Why is Firefox establishing connections to detectportal.firefox.com on start? - gHacks Tech News

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Why is Firefox establishing connections to detectportal.firefox.com on start?

When you monitor the network traffic of the Firefox web browser you may notice that the browser establishes a connection to detectportal.firefox.com on start by default.

The connection is one of the first that the browser makes automatically and you may wonder why it is being made in first place.

detectportal.firefox.com

The name provides a clue; Firefox attempts to find out if the Internet connection is limited. Hotels and other places that provide access to the Internet make use of captive portals that limit connectivity unless the user enters a code first.

Web browsers and any other Internet software cannot establish connections when that happens since every attempt is blocked by default; this means that the browser cannot check for updates or load sites that are not in the cache.

Firefox tries to detect if a portal is active with the help of that initial connection. If that is the case, network connections are held back as they would not be successful anyway.

Firefox users who use the browser at home or any other location that is not making use of captive portals for Internet connectivity, can block the connection attempt as there is no downside to doing so.

Note: A user mentioned in the comment section below that disabling the check impacts Firefox's new Private Network ability to connect.

firefox-network.captive-portal-service.enabled

Here is how you configure Firefox to block connections to detectportal.firefox.com:

  1. Load about:config in the Firefox address bar.
  2. Confirm that you will be careful if the warning page is displayed.
  3. Search for network.captive-portal-service.enabled.
  4. Toggle the preference so that its value is False.
    1. False means that Firefox won't connect to detectportal.firefox.com on Start.
    2. True is the default value. It means that Firefox will connect to the address to determine if a captive portale is used.
  5. Restart Firefox.

You can use a network monitor such as Wireshark to log connections that Firefox makes and verify that the connection to detectportal.firefox.com is not made anymore.  I verified this in Firefox 73.0.1, the latest stable version of the web browser.

You can turn the setting back on easily if you use Firefox in environments that make use of captive portals.

Now You: do you check the connections that your programs make automatically?

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Why is Firefox establishing connections to detectportal.firefox.com on start?
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Why is Firefox establishing connections to detectportal.firefox.com on start?
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When you monitor the network traffic of the Firefox web browser you may notice that the browser establishes a connection to detectportal.firefox.com on start by default.
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Comments

  1. Kincaid said on February 19, 2020 at 8:39 am
    Reply

    That bugzilla issue thread is very long. Anyone care to read it all and summarize how Firefox actually determines if it is connected to a captive portal?

    1. JustADudeWithAFlute said on February 19, 2020 at 11:04 am
      Reply

      Nothing really, this new article is about something known for almost 3 years:
      https://old.reddit.com/r/privacytoolsIO/comments/6j22nd/disable_firefox_detect_captive_portal_in/

      It is not even a malicious or bad intent, but I’m not sure. Many articles here feel “Anti-Firefox”.

      >Now You: do you check the connections that your programs make automatically?
      Yes I run wireshark and own DNS servers..

  2. c4h4n2o2 said on February 19, 2020 at 8:43 am
    Reply

    Thanks for the information!

    I really appreciate to have this information even though I am not usually monitoring my apps traffic actively, and using wireshark gives a massive amount of information, really hard to manage and filter. I’ve seen that in your screenshot, you are filtering by process, I didn’t know that was possible!

    1. JustADudeWithAFlute said on February 19, 2020 at 11:18 am
      Reply

      That is because you don’t understand how he filters. It is clear he filters for a “string” with the characters “firefox”.

      So he sees all packets containing the word firefox. He is not filtering by process……………

  3. Nico said on February 19, 2020 at 9:05 am
    Reply

    Martin,
    You might want to mention that when setting ‘network.captive-portal-service.enabled’ to false, Firefox Private Network doesn’t establish a connection…

    1. im said on February 22, 2020 at 2:52 am
      Reply

      Thats probably a good thing tbh. Browser accounts shouldn’t be encouraged, browser freemium cloud services definately shouldnt be. A separate vpn subscription is the legit way.

  4. Yuliya said on February 19, 2020 at 9:06 am
    Reply

    “this browser respects you’re privacy, trust me”

    1. Anonymous said on February 19, 2020 at 9:36 am
      Reply

      Every bit as much as a trust a privacy agreement to be unequivocal :)

    2. T J said on February 19, 2020 at 9:47 am
      Reply

      @ Yuliya

      “Firefox attempts to find out if the Internet connection is limited. Hotels and other places that provide access to the Internet make use of captive portals that limit connectivity unless the user enters a code first.”

      Why don’t you read Martin’s article properly, before starting your usual anti Firefox trolling.

      Just a thought.

    3. Tom said on February 19, 2020 at 10:07 am
      Reply

      Martin should really consider to block Yuliya on this blog. Her bashing against Mozilla on EVERY ARTICLE is so annoying. I don’t know if she is paid by another browser vendor (unlikely, I guess) or if she just don’t have a life, but it should really be stopped. Such people are really bad for the reputation of Ghacks because Ghacks is already well known for having Yuliya…

      1. Anonymous said on February 19, 2020 at 10:34 am
        Reply

        Tom should be blocked. Yulia knows what she write.

      2. charger said on February 19, 2020 at 10:50 am
        Reply

        It’s no different to the firefox can do no wrong crowd or the pale moon fanatics or the people who just have comment even though they haven’t a clue or the people who comment without reading…. If you ban people because they annoy you then the internet would be very, very quiet.

        If comment sections become annoying, and they certainly do, then use something like Shut Up extension and don’t read them for a while. A lot of the time it doesn’t add anything to the article, including here.

        And no Ghacks isn’t well known for having Yuliya. I find that sort of thing annoying, so you need to go too going by your own criteria.

      3. thebrowser said on February 19, 2020 at 1:03 pm
        Reply

        I actually learn quite a lot from the comment sections as much, or even more, than articles itself. Not always of course, but over the years I’ve found it to be a great source of information. Not nice when it gets too large fill with pointless discussions but they’re easy enough to ignore.

      4. Rush said on February 19, 2020 at 6:45 pm
        Reply

        ↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑
        @thebrowser

        Exactly…the comments are a wealth of information, over the last few years, ghacks and the commenting family morphed me from sheeple to a much wiser user.

        Many thanks to Martin and the rest.

        Sure, there are comments that don’t hit their mark with everyone, for which I just yawn, roll my eyes, and simply move on.

      5. Mike J. said on February 20, 2020 at 8:18 pm
        Reply

        Hear, hear. I am a tyro in the world of the Internet compared to the average poster here, and I learn a lot from the comments. Mostly how ignorant I am.

      6. Chris T said on February 19, 2020 at 10:56 am
        Reply

        Just ignore and move on, discernment is key….

      7. Iron Heart said on February 19, 2020 at 11:02 am
        Reply

        @T J and Tom

        Honestly, I don’t see how the stuff @Yuliya does is any different from what the Mozilla fanboys do here all the time. Can you even imagine how often I’ve read “Firefox is so much better for privacy!” and “If Chromium gets even more market share, the free web will die!” and similar propaganda falsehoods? Please, do not pretend that the grass is any greener on the other side.

      8. T J said on February 19, 2020 at 12:27 pm
        Reply

        @ Iron Heart

        Your post reads just like one of Yuliya’s.

        Are you Yuliya using “Iron Heart” as an alternative name so that you can post more anti Firefox and pro Chrome/Chromium comments?

      9. Iron Heart said on February 19, 2020 at 12:53 pm
        Reply

        @T J

        The paranoia starts to set in… No, I am not “Yuliya”. Throwing around claims like this in a comment section which is largely anonymous is pointless to begin with, but you could have known that I am not Yuliya by looking at my writing style. I am just not OK with Mozilla fanboys such as yourself pretending to be better and trying to suppress other opinions based on this false assumption.

      10. T J said on February 19, 2020 at 1:35 pm
        Reply

        @ Iron Heart

        ” I am just not OK with Mozilla fanboys such as yourself pretending to be better and trying to suppress other opinions based on this false assumption. ”

        FYI I use Firefox ESR and Ungoogled Chromium. I prefer FF because I can configure “about:config” to my requirements.

        I am not OK with people like you making generalisations and assuming that 1) I am Mozilla fanboy and 2) that I try to suppress other opinions.

        ” The paranoia starts to set in ”
        That was a rather silly statement. It seems that your paranoia is showing.

      11. Iron Heart said on February 19, 2020 at 1:47 pm
        Reply

        @T J

        > FYI I use Firefox ESR and Ungoogled Chromium. I prefer FF because I can configure “about:config” to my requirements.

        Good luck with that, haha. Read the “Measure and support our marketing” section here: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/privacy/firefox/ Firefox on Android comes with built-in trackers, you can’t remove those via about:config. Plus, there are useful about:config settings which you have to research in order to even be aware of their existence.

        > I am not OK with people like you making generalisations and assuming that 1) I am Mozilla fanboy

        I quote you: “(…) before starting your usual anti Firefox trolling.” How does Yuliya troll against Firefox? Trolling to me is something that is just hatred and not based on facts at all, but so far I have not seen Yuliya make any claim that can’t be proven rather easily. Criticism /= hatred, IMHO. Your dislike of the criticism doesn’t make it trolling. Mozilla should behave according to their own manifesto which they claim to uphold, maybe then the criticism might wind down. But not before.

        > 2) that I try to suppress other opinions.

        So? Then why are you not just ignoring them instead of flaming?

        > That was a rather silly statement. It seems that your paranoia is showing.

        I quote you again:

        “Are you Yuliya using “Iron Heart” as an alternative name so that you can post more anti Firefox and pro Chrome/Chromium comments?”

        That screams “paranoia”, pal. Calm down and then we’ll talk again.

      12. SilentObserver said on February 19, 2020 at 1:05 pm
        Reply

        @T J

        Several accounts here are just sock-puppets of the same persons, you can tell by their grammar and repetition of unique spelling errors. I bet they even use a VPN or their phone’s mobile data in order to have multiple IPs.

        They also outright attack people and don’t allow others to have an opinion other than their own.
        It is damaging to this website and to a civil and friendly comments section. But I wilkl not point the finger at them, we all know who they are.

      13. Iron Heart said on February 19, 2020 at 1:25 pm
        Reply

        @SilentObserver

        How do I know that you are not T J’s sock puppet? Please provide proof! God, you guys are ridiculous.

        > It is damaging to this website and to a civil and friendly comments section.

        But the Mozilla fanboys do contribute to a civil and friendly comment section? Don’t get me started… The most intolerant people out there in the browser sphere, and it’s not even close.

        > But I wilkl not point the finger at them, we all know who they are.

        You may not, but I certainly will: @T J @svim @notanon @Silent Observer @Emil @Tom and many other ignorants. Too much to list here, you get the point anyway.

      14. T J said on February 19, 2020 at 1:49 pm
        Reply

        @ Iron Heart

        “The most intolerant people out there in the browser sphere, and it’s not even close.”

        “and many other ignorants.”

        When you start to make comments such as the above, you are the one demonstrating your intolerance of anyone who has an alternative point of view to yours.

      15. Iron Heart said on February 19, 2020 at 3:18 pm
        Reply

        @T J

        > When you start to make comments such as the above, you are the one demonstrating your intolerance of anyone who has an alternative point of view to yours.

        Care to point out in how far I am wrong about Mozilla? Good luck. Everything else is just ad hominem stuff on your part.

      16. JustADudeWithAFlute said on February 19, 2020 at 11:14 am
        Reply

        Most importantly, I’d advise people to even read the article and understand
        “WHY THE BROWSER IS SHOWING SAID BEHAVIOUR”

        Good:
        Read, think, post.

        Bad:
        *rage post with foam at the mouth whilst having zero information*

      17. John G. said on February 19, 2020 at 11:45 am
        Reply

        All opinions should be respected. Some users like W10, some don’t. Some users like Firefox, some don’t. And some users dislike some software roughly, and probably they have their legitimate reasons to do that. Otherwise, censorship is very dangerous, because some users may say “I dislike Tom’s opiniones”, and who will defend you? Just think about it. 🙄

      18. John said on February 19, 2020 at 9:57 pm
        Reply

        You’re right mate.

      19. ShintoPlasm said on February 19, 2020 at 12:09 pm
        Reply

        @Tom: I disagree. Yuliya is fully entitled to their opinions, much as I don’t like the constant knee-jerk reaction re: Mozilla. As long as there’s no abuse of others posters, I’d live and let live.

      20. Klaas Vaak said on February 19, 2020 at 12:26 pm
        Reply

        @Tom: tell me, please, is someone holding a gun to your head to force you to read Yuliya’s comments? If there isn’t, why don’t take the easy route and skip her comments. Or is free speech only acceptable when it does not disturb you?

      21. Anonymous said on February 19, 2020 at 12:48 pm
        Reply

        Blind Mozilla supporters like Tom are targeting personally the numerous critics of Mozilla here one by one systematically (for example they did that before to IronHeart or to a lesser extent to Tom Hawacks), suggesting that they should be censored, calling them shills, trolls, or tinfoil hats, writing personal attacks that they don’t have a life or are “pussies”, and that they don’t understand what they criticize. Often not bothering to give any counter-argument at all. And viciously trying to make them look like they are the only one thinking like that. It doesn’t make the Mozilla supporters look good at all.

        Mozilla often deserves the bashing. In the present case I had disabled this captive portal detection long ago. I didn’t test this carefully so this should be confirmed but when looking at the Firefox network requests in the past it even looked like this ping was done periodically quite often, not just at startup, that pissed me off. I never needed this.

        The Icecat fork of Firefox used to replace the homepage with one having a few nasty settings to enable or disable to counter the user-disrespectful default choices of Mozilla, and portal detection was among them. Waterfox discussed disabling this by default too (https://github.com/MrAlex94/Waterfox/issues/681), apparently Tor disabled it.

        I think that there were discussions in the past that such a feature could have been implemented more privately or wasn’t even really necessary, I don’t remember the details but I don’t trust Mozilla to have made the best technical choices here.

      22. John said on February 19, 2020 at 9:56 pm
        Reply

        Censorship is not a good idea. Do you understand it?

      23. Heydrich said on February 20, 2020 at 12:04 am
        Reply

        Reading Yuliya’s remarks, is what makes this site so worthy; it allows intelligent and informed individuals’ to discuss, at times controversial, issues to the benefit of us all.

        To all who contribute to the discussion … thank you. Surprisingly, in a globalized world not much objective information is available. This site is an exception, as it offers superb staff writers and loyal readers.

      24. Max3 said on February 20, 2020 at 6:02 am
        Reply

        I appreciate the fact that this is one of the few sites that still permits anonymous posting. Not that I want to be anonymous, but because it feels so 90s when I was younger and the web was simpler and more trusting.

      25. Dumbledalf said on February 20, 2020 at 10:19 am
        Reply

        @Tom

        are you a Communist/Fascist/Nazi dictator maybe?

        Are you going to limit free speech, just because it makes your behind hurt? The thing about democracy and free speech is you’re allowed to talk all the shit you want, mostly because smart people who are above that won’t even take you seriously and straight up ignore you.

        If the comments of one random user on the internet is annoying you so much you can’t even sleep at night, you have serious problems and need to see a psychiatrist.

    4. ShintoPlasm said on February 19, 2020 at 12:05 pm
      Reply

      Would you like Mozilla to pop up a ‘Yes/No’ dialog box for every single connection it makes to the big, bad internet?

      1. Iron Heart said on February 19, 2020 at 12:15 pm
        Reply

        @ShintoPlasm

        Think, use your brain capacity. There is a clear distinction between legitimate and illegitimate requests. Illegitimate requests is basically everything that is not absolutely required for the browser or any given website to work (trackers, telemetry, fingerprinting + cryptomining scripts, super cookies, pointless 3rd party cookies, session identifiers etc.).

      2. charger said on February 19, 2020 at 3:47 pm
        Reply

        @Shinto actually that would be very nice with an explanation of what each connection is for and if it’s required for core functionality.

  5. tadaral said on February 19, 2020 at 10:16 am
    Reply

    Same for Opera (chromium) in opera://flags/

  6. Kubrick said on February 19, 2020 at 10:20 am
    Reply

    Seems a very legitimate connection to make in my opinion.Nothing nefarious about it.

  7. charger said on February 19, 2020 at 10:40 am
    Reply

    I block all of these in hosts, easy to copy between machines.

    ostats.mozilla.com
    sostats.mozilla.com
    metrics.mozilla.com
    hardware.metrics.mozilla.com
    incoming.telemetry.mozilla.org
    crash-stats.mozilla.com
    experiments.mozilla.org
    getpocket.cdn.mozilla.net
    qsurvey.mozilla.com
    telemetry.mozilla.org
    telemetry-experiment.cdn.mozilla.net
    detectportal.firefox.com

    1. Shania said on February 19, 2020 at 1:16 pm
      Reply

      Thanks, added all. If anyone has more such, please share.

    2. pineapple said on February 23, 2020 at 10:41 pm
      Reply

      question: what kind of data is sent to Mozilla ? can they read passwords store in profile folder files?

  8. John C. said on February 19, 2020 at 11:03 am
    Reply

    I got sick and tired of all the calling out Firefox was doing at program startup. I switched to Pale Moon and love the way it only looks for program updates. In fact, if I don’t want it even to do that, I can still go into options and tell it not to. I keep Firefox on my system though, because of the rare (very much so) occasion when I have a problem opening a page in PM.

    Don’t get me started on Google Chrome. I wouldn’t touch that privacy-raping piece of garbage with a barge pole. Or anything else based on Chromium for that matter.

    1. ShintoPlasm said on February 19, 2020 at 12:07 pm
      Reply

      “privacy-raping piece of garbage”

      It’s great how we avoid emotive hyperbole here… /s

      1. Gerard said on February 19, 2020 at 12:42 pm
        Reply

        Indeed. It’s a euphemism when it comes to Google products.

    2. Iron Heart said on February 19, 2020 at 12:12 pm
      Reply

      @John C.

      You’d be surprised to hear that some (not all!) Chromium-based browsers have better privacy than Firefox out of the box. I am thinking of Ungoogled Chromium, Brave, and Bromite (mobile) here. I mean, check out the range of unsolicited requests Firefox establishes on startup. The connection this article describes is a legitimate one, but there are a great many which aren’t legitimate at all.

      1. Klaas Vaak said on February 19, 2020 at 12:30 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart: finally someone who mentions Ungoogled Chromium. I am always surprised to see people ranting on about how Google Chrome’s privacy sucks, which it does, but implying that the rest of the Chromium-based browsers are the same. Chromium is open source, as is UC. Anyway, thanks for mentioning UC and the others, even though I don’t use them.

      2. Iron Heart said on February 19, 2020 at 1:18 pm
        Reply

        @Klaas Vaak

        The Anti-Chromium propaganda (for lack of a better word) has something to do with Firefox’s market share plummeting. The fanboys fear for the future of their favorite plaything, it’s definitely not about privacy.

        Take a look at this: https://old.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/8tenbx/please_correct_me_since_im_not_an_expert_but_why/
        As expected in the fanboy temple, the truth is being downvoted into oblivion, especially the 100% correct answer of “coolboar”.

        And then read the “Measure and support our marketing” section here: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/privacy/firefox/

        Firefox Preview “Fenix” on Android comes with trackers by default(!). Just how is this privacy-respecting? Not even Google Chrome does something like that. Firefox users on Android are using a browser with tacking built-in, and yet the fanboys still have the audacity to hate on better browsers like Ungoogled Chromium, Brave, and Bromite. Mozilla needs to be exposed, and the fanboys need to be shown for the clowns that they are. That’s the reason why I am here, much to the fanboys’ detriment.

      3. 99 said on February 19, 2020 at 2:46 pm
        Reply

        Out of six comments …

        > what the Mozilla fanboys do here all the time

        > Mozilla fanboys such as yourself pretending to be better and trying to suppress other opinions based on this false assumption.

        > But the Mozilla fanboys do contribute to a civil and friendly comment section? Don’t get me started… The most intolerant people out there in the browser sphere, and it’s not even close.

        > the fanboys fear

        > the fanboy temple

        > the fanboys still have the audacity to hate

        > the fanboys need to be shown for the clowns that they are.

        … garnished with the following cherry on top of his foolish rants:

        That’s the reason why I am here, much to the fanboys’ detriment.

        Oh dearie me …
        Every time you spread such nonsense, dozens of BAT coins mysteriously disappear from your crypto wallet. It would be better for you to spent your valuable time viewing ads and earn some tokens.

      4. Iron Heart said on February 19, 2020 at 3:16 pm
        Reply

        @99

        Your comment proves that fanboys (another mention for your list, lol) are clearly present here. Because you are one of them.

        > Every time you spread such nonsense, dozens of BAT coins mysteriously disappear from your crypto wallet. It would be better for you to spent your valuable time viewing ads and earn some tokens.

        You are doing good, maybe Mozilla will make you a Firefox ambassador and donate a fitting shirt to you. Maybe you should spend your valuable time tinkering with about:config, in order to make Mozilla’s marketing claims true (“private browser”).

        The only people who are fools are those who fall for Mozilla’s marketing campaign and foolish apologists.

      5. Ignatius said on February 19, 2020 at 4:19 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart
        >quote: That’s the reason why I am here, much to the fanboys’ detriment.

        So basically you an Yuliya admit to the dictionary definition of online trolling?

        Martin should both block you, and make sure no more posts about Firefox from your ISP are unlocked anymore. Hey, but it is your lifetime you spend here on your personal crusade against a company that will never read one of your posts :)

        You seriously need to chill :):)

      6. Iron Heart said on February 19, 2020 at 6:02 pm
        Reply

        @Ignatius

        > So basically you an Yuliya admit to the dictionary definition of online trolling?

        Nope. All I am saying is that the Firefox fanboys here are either ignorant or deliberately lying about the real state of FF’s privacy settings. I am here to inform others about the real state of affairs, and the fanboys (like you) don’t like it, which means that I am here to their detriment, automatically. I seriously can’t be held accountable for you being unable to deal with facts.

        > Martin should both block you, and make sure no more posts about Firefox from your ISP are unlocked anymore.

        Freedom of speech much? Martin let your BS through, so why shouldn’t others be allowed to post as well? Just because you don’t like it. Mere dislike on your part is not a sufficient reason for censorship, buddy.

      7. Iron Heart said on February 19, 2020 at 6:08 pm
        Reply

        @Ignatius

        > basically you an Yuliya admit

        And no, I am not Yuliya. You can easily discern this, if you are willing to use your brain for once. The writing style and argumentation structure of myself and the person behind @Yuliya is completely different. But who knows, maybe you and @99 or @T J are one and the same person? I can’t prove it at all, just speculating like you do…

        Yes, there is more than one person that can easily see through Mozilla, believe it or not.

      8. Marco said on February 19, 2020 at 7:55 pm
        Reply

        They have the right to criticize Mozilla and Firefox or whatever browser they want, but this irrational need of telling others *all the time* how they hate Firefox reminds of butt-hurt ex-boyfriends who won’t stop talking crap about that precious girlfriend who dump them. It’s as funny as annoying.

    3. Cor said on February 19, 2020 at 1:34 pm
      Reply

      I’ve tried Ungoogled Chromium, but I keep coming back to using the official Chromium build as UC logs me out of every site after closing the browser. Could someone tell if UC is like a permanent incognito mode, or a glitch at my end?

      1. charger said on February 19, 2020 at 5:19 pm
        Reply

        I’ve not checked out UC recently so it might have improved but the problem when I did try it was that updates often took a very long time to be released. I’m happy with Brave at the moment, well except for the awful sync but they are working on that.

    4. Kubrick said on February 19, 2020 at 3:44 pm
      Reply

      John C.
      Long term pale moon user here and i have used it for years with no issues “except” for facebook.I chose chromium for that purpose because firefox has got an horrendous memory issue with facebook.I only have a 2gb 32bit machine and firefox kills it where as chromium does not,

      1. charger said on February 19, 2020 at 5:23 pm
        Reply

        Looking on the pale moon forums the other day more and more sites aren’t working or working correctly. That’s only going to get worse. That plus very limited choice of password managers, keepass and that’s it (?), it’s not something I’d think of switching too.

      2. Stan said on February 19, 2020 at 7:57 pm
        Reply

        Yep noticed the same, the “Sheriffs” response is to pile even more profanity laced abuse on the poor users.
        Real smart business practice.

  9. TelV said on February 19, 2020 at 12:16 pm
    Reply

    Appears to be present in Waterfox Classic 2020.02 http://imgbox.com/BPk4BtBX

    No need to type the whole string by the way: ‘portal’ is sufficient.

  10. Targa55 said on February 19, 2020 at 12:46 pm
    Reply

    Martin, you say this setting is enabled by default, but in my Firefox 73.0.1 the default value is set to false already and it certainly wasn’t me setting it this way.

  11. Matti said on February 19, 2020 at 2:01 pm
    Reply

    Same as Targa55. Just checked and mine is set to false as well. I don’t recall ever setting it manually. Maybe setting some the other .telemetry settings to false also turned this feature off automatically as well?

  12. John Fenderson said on February 19, 2020 at 5:28 pm
    Reply

    “do you check the connections that your programs make automatically?”

    It depends. By default, I never allow programs access to the network. If I need to allow a program such access, then I absolutely check the connections (and sniff the traffic) of the program to determine if I am OK allowing it network access.

    If I find any mysterious connections or suspicious traffic related to the program, and I cannot configure the program to stop doing that or configure my firewall to block the objectionable connections, then I kick the program to the curb.

    In the case of Firefox, the connection to detectportal would not cause me to jettison it because I can turn that off.

    1. Anonymous said on February 20, 2020 at 1:49 am
      Reply

      Can you share your method? How do you sniff the traffic and block everything by default?

      1. John Fenderson said on February 20, 2020 at 5:01 pm
        Reply

        I use a system of firewalls (a standalone one for the entire network, and one on each machine connected to the network) to block stuff by default. I sniff traffic using a combination of wireshark and a MITM system I originally set up to protect my network from DoH, so I can see HTTPS traffic unencrypted. I also run a VPN out of my home, and my mobile devices use that VPN for their internet access, so my network firewall protects my mobile devices as well (and I run firewalls directly on those devices too).

  13. Yuliya said on February 19, 2020 at 11:02 pm
    Reply

    You’re right, I’m Iron Heart and privacy at Firefox is guaranteed to you despite what the rest say.

  14. Ray said on February 19, 2020 at 11:33 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for mentioning this, Martin. Captive portals are only useful for laptops when you need to use public wifi, so it’s still a useful thing to have.

    If you’re on a desktop, you should disable this functionality as it’s not necessary at all.

  15. Chris said on February 19, 2020 at 11:54 pm
    Reply

    I see there are many posts concerned about the incessant Mozilla-bashing by Iron Heart and Yuliya here on gHacks.

    I previously respected their opinions, but I found their constant Mozilla-bashing at every possible opportunity to be annoying, incredibly immature, and pathetically predictable. They had nothing new to say, and just repeated their same grievances over and over like broken records. As a direct result of their behavior, I classified them as nothing more than time-wasting trolls.

    I’m all for appropriate criticism of any corporation, definitely including Mozilla. But repeating the same criticism over and over again at every possible moment is nothing short of trolling.

    I haven’t read (or seen) their posts in a long time, but I seem to remember that at least one of them was repeatedly pushing a competing commercial product. I also seem to recall that at least one of them had some sort of twisted political agenda, and was upset with Mozilla because they have a history of not tolerating prejudice and bigotry.

    Why do I write in the past-tense when referring to their posts? Simple. I wrote a tiny piece of code that removes all of their comments from gHacks.

    1. Iron Heart said on February 20, 2020 at 12:45 pm
      Reply

      @Chris

      > incessant Mozilla-bashing

      Revealing Mozilla’s true colors = Mozilla-bashing? Ordinary fanboy logic. Care to actually counter anything I say about Mozilla instead of just whining about other posters?

      > annoying, incredibly immature, and pathetically predictable.

      As are the Mozilla fanboys, but at least I can still look in the mirror, knowing that I am telling people the truth. Your whining about other people is also “annoying, incredibly immature, and pathetically predictable”, in case you are unaware.

      > As a direct result of their behavior, I classified them as nothing more than time-wasting trolls.

      I am heartbroken, I tell you, heartbroken!

      > I’m all for appropriate criticism of any corporation, definitely including Mozilla. But repeating the same criticism over and over again at every possible moment is nothing short of trolling.

      The Mozilla fanboys always showing up and continuing to parrot the empty Mozilla marketing claims makes it necessary that someone points at the lies hidden within. I would like to retire from here, but the Mozilla fanboys doing their usual thing shows me that they don’t want me to leave.

      > I seem to remember that at least one of them was repeatedly pushing a competing commercial product.

      It might be news to you: Almost all browsers, some hobby one man show forks excluded, have for-profit companies behind them. This includes Mozilla Firefox. Suggesting a more privacy-respecting browser can always be interpreted as “pushing a competing commercial product” by malevolent parties (like you).

      > I also seem to recall that at least one of them had some sort of twisted political agenda

      Mozilla donates to communication networks primarily used by Antifa (domestic terrorism):

      https://www.foxnews.com/tech/mozilla-gave-100000-to-secure-email-platform-harnessed-by-antifa-groups

      So not wanting someone to donate to violent groups within society is a “twisted political agenda”? What is even going on in your head, I wonder?

      > and was upset with Mozilla because they have a history of not tolerating prejudice and bigotry.

      Antifa supposedly fights racism, but they are a domestic terrorist group themselves, just from the other side of the political spectrum. But good to know that you reveal yourself as a supporter of violence.

      > Why do I write in the past-tense when referring to their posts? Simple.

      You probably think this is a great gotcha, don’t you? Wow, you are so, so clever…

      > I wrote a tiny piece of code that removes all of their comments from gHacks.

      Cool, hopefully you distribute it. So that there is an Mozilla apologist echo chamber and a Mozilla critics echo chamber, in which we talk about each other instead of with each other. But seriously, writing code that removes differing opinions says more about your ignorance and intolerance than it does about my posts. It’s not enough for you to ignore them, you have to hide them because you disagree with their content, lol.

    2. im said on February 22, 2020 at 3:34 am
      Reply

      @Chris

      Sorry but thats a lot of words to say absolutely nothing, other than youre triggered and threatened in some way and want to derail discussions by attacking individuals while ignoring facts. Perhaps youre invested in the product somehow? Why else would someone invest so much effort to dismiss and opose critical information, while saying absolutely nothing at all to counter it in a coherent way? even then there must be SOME motivation to oppose it, why?

      Mozilla could tomorrow remove the tracking from the browsers, take out telemetry and stop acting like google… whose side are YOU on? youre only motivated to stop the criticism if you work for the companies, users do not want crap like this tracking and sharing their data.

      Youre either for traking and data sharing or youre against it, pick a side, dont pretend.

  16. stefann said on February 20, 2020 at 12:14 am
    Reply

    “do you check the connections that your programs make automatically?”

    Always. Most software and games will be blocked either via the firewall or via the HOSTS – or both.

  17. Name said on February 20, 2020 at 12:58 am
    Reply

    I’m more worried about the connection that Firefox makes on every start to content-signature-2.cdn.mozilla.net, which apparently can’t be disabled in about:config, and Recommendations that Firefox does even when extensions.htmlaboutaddons.recommendations.enabled is false.

  18. Poirot said on February 20, 2020 at 6:06 am
    Reply

    I wonder how many similar network connections Google Chrome makes?

    1. Anonymous said on February 20, 2020 at 9:17 am
      Reply

      @ Poirot,Yes that’s a very good point but the Chrome trolls that constantly bash Firefox have nothing to say about Chrome even if it’s worse than Firefox.

      1. Iron Heart said on February 20, 2020 at 12:56 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        > Yes that’s a very good point but the Chrome trolls that constantly bash Firefox have nothing to say about Chrome even if it’s worse than Firefox.

        People never seem to be able to get it. Chromium /= Chrome. Chromium is free and open source software, anyone can take the code and modify it as they see fit. Chrome is an offshoot of Chromium and isn’t privacy-respecting, since it comes with proprietary binary blobs that aren’t part of the Chromium codebase. Other browsers derived from Chromium, e.g. Ungoogled Chromium and Brave, are much more privacy-respecting than Chrome and also much more privacy-respecting than Firefox out of the box, for that matter.

      2. Anonymous said on February 21, 2020 at 3:57 am
        Reply

        @Iron Heart,I know that what you’re saying about Chromium.But I responded to Poirot & we’re talking about Google Chrome.You know the worst for privacy / tracking / spying software anyone can use.Probably worse than Firefox.

        You’re constantly bashing Firefox but you have nothing to say about Chrome.Why is that,I
        suppose you have a personal grudge against Firefox.But you condone what Google Chrome does.

        Look at the Chrome articles here when they are posted.They always have the fewest comments & no one is bashing it for what is does to it’s users.

      3. Iron Heart said on February 21, 2020 at 7:57 am
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        I’ve said multiple times that Google Chrome (together with Opera) is the worst browser to use for privacy, ever. It has a shitty privacy level and will track your every move. That being said, Chrome is nothing but the biggest offshoot of Chromium. Chromium, its basis, is open source software and anyone can modify it. Some privacy-respecting browsers like Ungoogled Chromium and Brave are forks of it, as well. So supporting Chromium is not the same as supporting Google Chrome.

        Rest assured, I’ll never use Google Chrome itself, and I’ll also never use the browser of Google’s lackey Mozilla.

        > personal grudge against Firefox

        Not really. What leaves a sour taste in my mouth is the fact that Mozilla and their fanboys claim that Firefox is something that it clearly isn’t (“having privacy in mind”). They also like to present themselves as anti-Google fighters, which is not genuine either. Mozilla is being funded by Google.

        > Look at the Chrome articles here when they are posted.They always have the fewest comments & no one is bashing it for what is does to it’s users.

        I think most readers of gHacks are aware of the fact that Google Chrome isn’t a good choice for a browser, which explains the low number of comments. It’s also widely known that Google isn’t interested in your privacy at all. The high number of comments under Mozilla-related articles, no matter which exact commenters post here (the number tends to always be high) IMHO has something to do with some people still not having seen through Mozilla, while others already have for quite some time now. This naturally leads to disagreement.

  19. Emil said on February 20, 2020 at 11:21 am
    Reply

    Hey it’s a check for a cafe or hotel portal page, it’s not like the browser is a possibly remote-controlled piece of advert network infrastructe like “Brave” 😉

    1. Iron Heart said on February 20, 2020 at 12:53 pm
      Reply

      @Emil

      Just the usual lies by one of the greatest Mozilla shills on this site (you, Emil).

      I quote Brave’s own site:

      “Brave Ads put the user in control with privacy by design, and do not leak the user’s personal data from their device. Unlike conventional digital ads, ad matching happens directly on the user’s device, so a user’s data is never sent to anyone, including Brave. Accessing user attention no longer entails large scale user data collection.”

      source: https://brave.com/brave-ads-launch/

      Ads are being served locally, absolutely no data is being sent back to Brave. Which means that your claim…

      > possibly remote-controlled piece of advert network infrastructe like “Brave”

      …is nothing more than the bullshit that can be expected from you at this point.

      PS: It’s fun to see you panicking as the Mozilla Titanic is about to ram the iceberg.

      1. Anonymous said on February 22, 2020 at 4:47 am
        Reply

        @Iron
        Emil may be deflecting but Step3 on Uphold site:
        “In order to access your Brave balances, you will need to fully verify your identity on Uphold.
        When starting the verification process, please have a valid government issued photo ID, and be ready to take a live selfie with your laptop or phone’s camera. ”
        Step4 is link your bank account.

        Thats what you need to do to get the payout from braves privacy respecting ad machine (they couldve used btc and been open but this twisted way gives them a new ico to trade our data with). With brave being a usa company you need to register your identity with them or a partner to transact anyway, as you will for firefox’s premium ‘privacy’ services. We have google and all these fake competition branching from it polluting the space and preventing anything really open from growing.

        brave being competition to firefox is at least something, but hopefully they can bury each other and we can move on.

  20. brightspark said on February 20, 2020 at 1:56 pm
    Reply

    The best way to deal with trolls is to simply ignore them. By constantly responding to their barbs all you are doing is encouraging them… it’s what they live for. Think about it.

    1. Anonymous said on February 20, 2020 at 2:41 pm
      Reply

      No real counterarguments in sight, though. At times, they do have a point.

    2. Dungeon Master said on February 24, 2020 at 10:29 pm
      Reply

      Did you know? The term TROLL comes from Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, where bridges were infested by trolls, feeble enemies that asked for either 5 or 10 gold coins to pass.

      On the internet, they are a sure but light encumbrance.

  21. Stan said on February 20, 2020 at 7:59 pm
    Reply

    “PS: It’s fun to see you panicking as the Mozilla Titanic is about to ram the iceberg.”

    It certainty is, the Red Queen and her acolytes seem to have gone into hiding since the New Year.
    Somethings up….

  22. stefann said on February 21, 2020 at 7:20 pm
    Reply

    I did test FF 73.0.1 on a desktop computer, Windows 7 x64, and that **** didn’t work with my banking site. The site stated following:”You must update Your Firefox to a newer version !”. LOL ! I am back to 52.9.0 and now it all work again !

  23. Anonymous said on February 21, 2020 at 8:35 pm
    Reply

    Yuliya or Iron Heart are not trolls. They have right to comment. There are more opinions than absolut facts.

  24. MI6SWGROUP :) said on February 24, 2020 at 6:27 pm
    Reply

    FF67

    about:config… search for “detectportal”…

    captivedetect.canonicalURL;http://detectportal.firefox.com/success.txt
    network.connectivity-service.IPv4.url;http://detectportal.firefox.com/success.txt?ipv4
    network.connectivity-service.IPv6.url;http://detectportal.firefox.com/success.txt?ipv6

    Canonical… hmmm, the company behind Ubuntu.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canonical_(company)

    1. Mister Marvellous 2, the revenge said on February 24, 2020 at 10:26 pm
      Reply

      @MI6 Canonical is just an adjective there.

  25. Mister Marvellous said on February 24, 2020 at 10:25 pm
    Reply

    I’d like to interject here for a moment. I do not post of Mozilla Firefox articles anymore, as I have abandoned it.
    Seems like there are people on opposite sides: pro- or against- Firefox. I was pro- but the develepoment left me deluded. Really, preventing all those pings at startup is really annoying, but can be done with a really strong about:config typing.

    Other choices are better now-a-days, IMHO

  26. apollo130470 said on February 25, 2020 at 7:07 pm
    Reply

    What’s going on here?
    Calm down please, all of you.
    This is not a place where scoring will gain you any kind of advantage over other contributors.
    Let’s [preferably scientifically] analyse the facts through observation & experiment.
    The long term aim for all of us should be to have this site being recognized as an organized body of
    knowledge on any subject.

  27. steve j said on February 28, 2020 at 1:32 am
    Reply

    “organized body of knowledge”
    (turn into stack exchange) lol
    perhaps we can get some bronze badges too

    everybody use links2 browser its a breath of fresh air

  28. apollo130470 said on March 2, 2020 at 2:27 pm
    Reply

    Well, I prefer organized body of knowledge to “Kindergarten”.

  29. DDearborn said on March 10, 2020 at 1:45 am
    Reply

    Hmmm

    Not to put too fine of a point it, but I think people should take a step back for a moment and consider:

    The fact remains that the use of ad hominem fallacies are surefire indicators that either the perpetrator lacks a legitimate rebuttal and/or has an undeclared underlying agenda. And agenda that 99 times out of 100 cannot withstand the light of day and therefore remains undeclared and hidden. In either case, the use of such fallacies is tantamount to an open declaration of at best intellectual dishonesty. An irony that is clearly lost on the untold thousands who use this ploy every day….

    Here’s the thing about commentary: If you don’t like it, you are always free TO NOT READ IT! But, in a free society such as America, which prides itself (ahem…) on protecting the 1st Amendment right of freedom of expression, YOU CAN’T GO AROUND TRYING TO TAKE FREEDOM AWAY FROM OTHER PEOPLE. And it doesn’t matter a tinker’s damn whether you like what they are saying or not. As a reminder, the Supreme Court has ruled time and time again that “content” censorship is a unconstitutional. Which naturally applies in principle to “public forums”. Tempered of course by the rights of private property…..

    One final point; the term “troll”, like “antisemitic” are labels that been so overused and abused that they have become essentially meaningless taunts. In the lexicon of the 21st century they are, like ad hominem attacks, employed online most often by those that are intent on denying the freedoms of others.

    Great website by the way. Chalk full of useful information. Everyone have a great evening!

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