FireFox Containers - Thoughts and recomendations

Mozilla provides an official Addon to Firefox which enables you to open sites in special containers which should isolate site from one another. Firefox Multi-Account Containers

My current approach is to isolate the things that are private like email and stuff, and to isolate the untrusted stuff like Reddit, Twitter and so on. The rest is all container less at the moment.

A friend of mine is using an additional addon which is creating temporal containers for all new tabs. Temporary Containers
This is an addition and this addon needs permissions like “Access your data for all websites” and “Access browser tabs”.

So I am not so sure about this.

I do like that it forces you into using containers, and that it create a new one every time means that you aren’t logged in somewhere by accident.

So my question is, is someone using containers? what are your thoughts, are they a good idea, what approach would you recommend?

cheers
Raphty

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i’n using ff (firefox) profiles.
What i mean/Example:

I think this is fine, because it needs those permissions to isolate sites in separate containers. They’re developed by Mozilla IIRC so shouldn’t be anything shady going on.

I like containers, I use a couple containers for the stuff I need to stay logged in as and temporary contaners for everything else. They’re somewhat annoying because they aren’t handled natively by the browser, so sometimes when I open a new tab and start searching, it closes the tab and replaces it with a temporary tab quickly. It’s pretty fast, but not fast enough that I don’t lose the first 10 characters of my search and have to retype it. They also require you to change your behaviors a bit, since they of course delete all the cache/cookies in the temporary tabs when they’re closed, so you login quite a bit more.

Overall, I’d recommend it. I have a “Personal” tab for mainly social media, a “Work” tab for non-personal social media accounts, a “Google” tab because I need to use Google services (AdSense, YouTube, G Suite, Webmaster Tools, Search Console, etc) a lot but don’t want them tracking me outside of their own sites. I just use temporary tabs for everything else, since logging into other sites is easy enough with my password manager.

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I am not familiar with those Profiles, what do they do? do they isolate as well? what about cookies and other local data?

other profiles like new browsers, like firefox browser/profile for yt, netflix & so on & another firefox/profile for reddit, mastodon & so on so yeah its more advance like if tracking got your history it will get from one browser (like social media) so it will see just other social media website & will never catch other activities in other profiles. for more info: https://invidio.us/watch?v=lLessJ4R6w8 (it’s website to watch yt videos safely! so do not worry)

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You may be interested in

All of the changes you make in Firefox, like your home page, what toolbars you use, extensions you have installed, saved passwords and your bookmarks, are all stored in a special folder, called a profile . Your profile folder is stored in a separate place from the Firefox program so that, if something ever goes wrong with Firefox, your information will still be there. It also means you can uninstall Firefox without losing your settings and you don’t have to reinstall Firefox to clear your information or troubleshoot a problem.

Firefox saves your personal information such as bookmarks, passwords, and user preferences in a set of files called your profile, which is stored in a separate location from the Firefox program files. You can have multiple Firefox profiles, each containing a separate set of user information. The Profile Manager allows you to create, remove, rename, and switch profiles.


I find temporary containers confusing by myself and keep opening tabs in wrong containers due to multiple accounts so I am instead using a few other extensions:

  • Facebook Container
    • I don’t use Facebook by myself though, but sometimes there are links in chats there and when I click those, I hope that I appear a bit different from the other tracking they are doing on other websites.
  • Google Container
  • Firefox Multi-Account Containers
  • Cookie Autodelete where I have whitelisted the pages where I wish to stay logged in, even if it has drawbacks compared to Temporary Containers, but I am less confused with it.

And I forgot profiles entirely, I have set profile manager to start every time I launch Firefox so I can decide whether to open my main profile which has several pinned tabs or a profile for focusing into something without pinned tabs or even create a new profile without getting distracted by the pinned tabs shouting for attention.

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They are a fantastic idea.

My personal recommendation is to use the Temporary Container Addon.

It is incredibly powerful and you can tweak different variations as you like.

I use it in it’s create a new container for every new tab mode, which essentially makes it like qubes for firefox,

This won’t scale well however, given the extra overhead, so if you regularly open 100s of tabs, you may be better off with a rule-based approach on the domain level.

What is the difference with Firefox Multi-Account Containers?

Multi-Account containers used a relatively basic method of only confining certain domains to certain containers.

Temporary Containers allows you to have extremely fine-grained control of what goes where (and does provide the same functionality as multi-account containers), but more importantly, also allows disposable/temporary containers. So anything a site creates in a disposable/temporary container will be both limited to being in the container, and also deleted when the container is deleted, which is typically when the tab is closed. It provides excellent isolation, and can even be set to have every new tab be in a different temporary container.

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Don’t you guys forget to said privacy.firstparty.isolate to true, it will isolate all first parties from each other.

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thanks.
I need to better understand how to use these containers.

I like that setting, but I find temporary containers to be much more versatile, particularly in making sure everything set by a given tab is isolated and deleted afterwards. My understanding is that firstpartyisolate is a subset of the isolation provided by containers.

Indeed, but its nice to activate it so you at least have a baseline of privacy, you could also use Tor browser which does all fingerprinting protection, separation of states, and IP protection for you.

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yeah, I should really try and use tor browser more. The only problem is that I consume a lot of video, and the speeds have been a problem in the past. Along with cloudflare and google captcha issues.

Generally, Tor browser is pretty quick these day., I’m often able to watch 720p videos and sometimes also 1080p videos. but you have to be a bit lucky with your circuit tho. also cloud-flare/googles captchas are solvable for me these days (where they were broken before).

Might have to give it another shot then.

There’s a guide to this here: https://12bytes.org/articles/tech/firefox/firefoxgecko-configuration-guide-for-privacy-and-performance-buffs

i dont understand.
each profile has its own <privacy.firstparty.isolate = true/false> option.
so if i have 5 profiles and only one has privacy.firstparty.isolate = true , the other 4 have cookies combined as if 1 profile?

Interesting, I didn’t realize Temporary Containers was essentially a refinement of Firefox multi account containers.

Since I discovered containers, I started using them all the time. They are perfect for isolating/compartmentalizing various services and managing multiple profiles per service.

One thing I don’t like about Firefox MAC is that there is no native support for Firefox sync. IMO, support for Firefox sync should be mandatory. I would even add Firefox MAC to the mainline release. While only a tiny % of users would ever user MAC; IMO it’s one of those “halo” features that allows Mozilla to demonstrate to the market that they are forward thinking.

IMO, if you refined the on-boarding UI/UX, you could even get non-technical users on board. It makes logical sense to treat certain internet activities (e.g. banking, government sites vs. personal vs. work) in a different manner.

AFAIK, the profiles don’t “combine.” Each one is always distinct. First party isolation refers to login/services within a given account. So service X is isolated from service Y if you have first party isolation on.

I could be wrong on this. The only time I’ve ever messed with profiles was when I hosed my main profile and I had to create a new one (this was almost ~10 year ago).

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