The first thing we are going to do is find out what this extension offers us and how it works. Then we will learn how to install Privacy Redirect and we will also see the configuration options that it offers us. Then we will put a series of examples with YouTube, Instagram and other widely used services, so that you can see how it redirects to other services that have greater privacy and security.
What is Privacy Redirect and how it works
Users are increasingly concerned and distrustful of how large companies handle the data they obtain. Right now this problem is far from being solved, and that is why software is being created to mitigate it as much as possible. One of those who is working on it is the one we talk about below.
Privacy Redirect We can define it as a browser extension that will redirect our requests from Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google Maps, Reddit, Google Search and Google Translate to privacy-friendly alternatives. To perform this task, instead of the ones we just mentioned before, we are going to use Nitter, Invidious, FreeTube, Bibliogram, OpenStreetMap, SimplyTranslate and for private search engines we would use DuckDuckGo and Startpage.
Obviously this extension does not solve the problem completely, because although it keeps us away from websites that obtain a lot of data about us, on some occasion we may have to use them. However, that information they obtain about us will be considerably less if we use this extension. We have Privacy Redirect available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge browsers. Another thing to keep in mind is that it is from Open Source that you can consult here. That means that anyone can review the work and see if it really fulfills its mission. This is a GNU v3.0 General Public License.
As for its way of working, it is simple, within the main menu we have a place where the redirects that we want to use are activated. For example, Nitter would be to use it instead of Twitter. Also in More options, we have the instances. For example, Nitter operates through various websites that load randomly. What happens is that these Nitter instances are not all encrypted, for example, we access them with the HTTP protocol instead of encrypted HTTPS. For this reason, some may prefer to select a specific instance.
How to install the extension and configure it
The first thing we have to do is install Privacy Redirect depending on the browser that we are going to use. For this we have to do it on different websites:
- Google Chrome on the Chrome Web Store.
- Mozilla Firefox in Firefox Browser ADD-ONS.
- Microsoft Edge from Edge add-ons.
In this case, the one I’m going to use is Google Chrome, but the steps I’m going to take and the options that this browser add-on has are the same. We are going to start by clicking the Google Chrome link and then we will see a screen like this:
Here what we have to do is click on the blue button that says Add to Chrome. Then a screen like this will appear, asking us if we want to install Privacy Redirect. What you have to do is click on the button Add extension.
Now is the time to prepare it so that we can use it comfortably and configure it to our liking. To do this we touch the add-ons button indicated by the up arrow and then press the pushpin icon so that it is always visible and we can access the extension easily.
If we click on the icon of the Privacy Redirect extension we can see its main screen and choose the websites to which it will redirect. It will show an alternative page that offers us the same but respecting privacy.
Depending on the checkbox on its right, the redirection will be enabled or not. Regarding redirects, Nitter refers to Twitter and Invidious to YouTube. On the other hand, Bibliogram refers to Instagram and OpenStreetMap to Google Maps. We also have those from Reddit and the one that affects the behavior of the Internet search engine.
At the bottom we have the button More options where are the advanced settings. Here the one that interests us the most is the tab general. As in the main menu you can enable and disable redirects but it adds a new concept.
For example, we are going to enable Search Redirects. Below we have the concept of Instance which is used to choose the web that we want to make the query because there are usually several options available. If a specific one is not chosen randomly, we will use the different websites available. In this case, if we make a query in the Google search engine as DuckDuckGo is selected, it would do so through the latter.
If we open a search engine and put YouTube, it will offer us a series of links.
By clicking on one of them we will be redirected randomly to one of the websites that offers us the same, but more private. Remember that, if for any reason you are interested in a specific one, you can select it in its corresponding instance. This is what it would offer us as an alternative to YouTube where we could also watch our videos.
As an alternative to Google Maps it will redirect us to OpenStreetMap.
Then we have Bibliogram, which is what it offers us to be able to view Instagram content with greater privacy.
On Go to Profile We could do a search of a person’s profile all without having to log in. On the other hand, if we click on See an example We can see content from this platform through an example.
Thanks to the Privacy Redirect extension we can have an improvement in privacy obtaining almost identical results through the use of alternative websites. This tool is really useful to have a little more privacy when browsing the Internet, using third-party services that respect the privacy and security of users much more.