Private browsing causes the browser to disable all record keeping it normally does during a browsing session. When private browsing is turned on, it forces the browser to ignore cookies, and doesn’t keep record of websites you visited, files you downloaded or keep copies of files used by the website such as images, stylesheet and others. It’s good for hiding your browsing from people who use your computer. However, private browsing doesn’t mean anonymity, which is totally different. Your ISP still knows where you went and advertisement trackers can still sniff out information about you. Private browsing offers privacy locally, on your computer. If you want privacy on the web, you must use a proxy.
If you think you have reasons to remain anonymous both on the web and at home or work, you should use a proxy server along with private browsing.
Private Browsing Proxy is an add-on for Firefox that automatically switches to a proxy server when you enable private browsing.
How to use Private Browsing Proxy
- Install Private Browsing Proxy. No need to restart Firefox as it is a restartless add-on.
- Open the Options window from the Firefox menu. Click on the Network tab and then click on the Settings button under “Connection”
- Choose the “Manual” radio button and type the IP address and port number of the proxy server. In case you don’t have one, Hide My Ass maintains an updated list of free proxy servers around the world.
- After you’ve entered the proxy address, select “Use system proxy settings” and click on the OK button. The IP address you entered in the IP field should remain saved but disabled as shown below.
- Close the Options window.
- Open “Add-ons” from the Firefox menu, locate Private Browsing Proxy in the list and then click on the “Options” button next to it.
- Under “Desired proxy configuration”, choose “Manual”.
Close the Add-ons window.
Explanation: What we’ve done here is set a proxy server manually and configured the add-on to switch to the manual setting whenever we use private browsing.
Now try opening a private browsing window, you should see a notification at the bottom telling you that proxy server has been switched on. You can also verify this by opening the Connections dialog box under Firefox Options.
As soon as you exit the private browsing window, the connection settings are reverted to default.
Do note, that Private Browsing Proxy doesn’t work with the Private Tabs add-on that lets users open private browsing tab alongside regular tabs.