Privacy Redirects redirects Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, Google and other sites to privacy-friendly alternatives

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 18, 2021
Browser extension reviews
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23

Privacy Redirect is an open source browser extension that redirects links and requests to certain privacy-offensive sites to privacy-friendly alternatives. The extension is available for Firefox, Chrome and Edge officially, and should work in most browsers based on Firefox or Chromium as well.

privacy redirects interface

Once installed, most redirects happen automatically. What is particularly good about the extension is that it loads the content the user requested, if possible. To give you an example: if you open Ghacks' official Twitter account in a browser that has the extension installed, you are redirected to a Nitter instance to access the content.

Privacy Redirects supports the following services:

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  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Google Search
  • Instagram
  • Reddit
  • Google Translate
  • Google Maps
  • Wikipedia

Privacy Redirects configuration

Some redirects are not enabled by default. It is a good idea to visit the options first to configure the extension properly.

privacy redirects

The search engine, translation and Wikipedia redirects are not enabled, the redirects for Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, Google Maps, and Instagram are enabled by default. You can toggle these individually under options.

The Privacy Redirects extension has more to offer than that. It picks a random instance of one of the available alternatives when users type in the browser's address bar or activate links in the browser. You may also set a specific instance as the default target for all redirects for all supported services.

Note that some instances may not work anymore, or at the time. The first four YouTube alternatives did not work, as the instances were either down or no longer available. Broken YouTube, Twitter and Instagram instances can be removed under Advanced. New instances may be added there as well.

The advanced configuration page lists additional options for the three services. You may change the desired video quality, enable the proxying of videos through Invidious, force the use of FreeTube over Invidious whenever possible, and enable redirects only for embedded videos. Other options include enabling auto-play, persistent preference cookies on Invidious, and adding language codes for subtitles.

The third and final tab supports the configuration of exceptions. You may add URLs directly or use Regular Expressions to exclude certain sites from redirects.

Closing Words

Privacy Redirects improves privacy on the Internet by redirecting certain popular services to alternatives that are more privacy friendly. These alternatives may load the content of the original site, which worked well during tests (with the exception of the initial issue with Invidious instances that were not functional). Some alternatives display different content, e.g. OpenStreetsMap displays the same location but information and functionality may be different.

All in all a useful extension for Internet users who want to access certain content but prefer to do so without sacrificing their privacy.

Now You: do you visit any of the sites that Privacy Redirects redirects?

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3.5 based on 4 votes
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Privacy Redirect
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Comments

  1. Coriy said on October 18, 2021 at 2:37 pm
    Reply

    I tried it a few weeks ago. It worked, but at the time the extensoon had a habit or reseting itself to defaultif I set something to not redirect, such as stopping the invideous redirects. So I stopped using it.

    1. marvin said on October 23, 2021 at 12:02 pm
      Reply

      how long before Brave steals this and markets how wonderful they are
      – added tor mode, doesn’t contribute upstream and undermines Tor Browser (and users)
      – added native adblocking to enable them to extort advertisers and uses lists from others without contributing
      – added a repackaged jitsu, doesn’t contribute
      – adds bounce tracking using lists from others
      – and more

      nothing brave does is original

      1. jack said on October 24, 2021 at 9:18 am
        Reply

        @marvin

        > nothing brave does is original

        It’s worse than that, add these to the list
        – They use HTTPS-Everywhere’s upgrade rules
        – They use chromium without upstreaming their token minimalist gimmicks (and they added telemetry, for what? they don’t do anything)
        – They hijack existing adverts to threaten creator’s revenue streams .. nice site you have there, shame if something happened to it
        – Lets not forget they inserted and sent affiliate referrals on some eTLD typed urls – not searches, but typed urls, which no other mainstream browser has ever done
        – And their jitsi rebrand requires that Brave Rewards be enabled

        Typical advertising company funded by venture capitalists. All smokes and mirrors.

  2. Marcin said on October 18, 2021 at 3:01 pm
    Reply

    So even Wikipedia is a privacy-offensive site now?

    1. Josie Wails...Plenty said on October 18, 2021 at 4:22 pm
      Reply

      @Marcin
      Yes, they are for quite a while now, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ministry Of Truth.
      Edited by the woke-est of the woke. As are pretty much all of main stream social media…

      1. JimmyQ said on October 19, 2021 at 8:27 am
        Reply

        Exactly!!!

      2. Matt said on October 19, 2021 at 5:53 pm
        Reply

        LOL

      3. Bulopu said on October 19, 2021 at 11:44 pm
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        Even if they were “the woke-est of the woke”, they are not tracking you across the web to create profiles or sell your data to third parties so your answer is pretty much as moronic as it sounds.

        Wikiless says that the two reasons to use their service are:
        *Circumvent censorship
        *You prevent Wikipedia getting your IP address

        The second point is not about “wokism” but all about the NSA infiltrating Wikipedia.

        Even the creator of Wikiless doesn’t agree with your moronic stance.

      4. JWP said on October 20, 2021 at 6:54 am
        Reply

        Yeah, a butt-hurt Wiki editor chimes in, not with reasoned points and objections, but with name calling and cry baby whining. Your job there is obviously secure.

  3. ioub hceab said on October 18, 2021 at 3:40 pm
    Reply

    I hope this extension continues to be refined to the point that is becomes indispensable to a privacy conscious internet public.

  4. plusminus_ said on October 18, 2021 at 4:06 pm
    Reply

    I use it mainly for Twitter -> Nitter and it’s great for that. I have tried it for Reddit to old.reddit but it doesn’t work quite as well as the Old Reddit Redirect FF addon – I’m not sure quite how to explain it but it seems to miss some URLs?

    I also use it on my phone (yep, still using 68 :p) for Reddit -> Teddit.

    1. Anonymous said on October 19, 2021 at 12:20 am
      Reply
  5. Tom Hawack said on October 18, 2021 at 6:08 pm
    Reply

    I’ve been using ‘Privacy Redirect’ for some time. The best in its category, IMO.
    Personally I don’t use all the redirects :

    Nitter : yes
    Invidious : yes
    Bibliogram : no, because Instagram blocks the redirected content.
    OpenStreetMap : no, because the developer himself agreed it needs more work.
    Reddit, yes
    Search engines : no
    Simply Translate : no, even if it allowed me to discover [https://translate.metalune.xyz] : worthy
    Wikipedia : no

    I won’t elaborate except for Invidious, would be too lengthy.

    Invidious, the primary reason for which I installed ‘Privacy Redirect’.
    I choose the option ‘Only redirect embedded video to Invidious’ and another extension, ‘Redirector’ for non-embedded YouTube videos, because I move my Invidious instance among six I consider to be the most reliable, none hosted by Cloudflare, and each with their cookie. ‘Privacy Rediector’ redirects with the user’s chosen parameters (or default) and this cannot be disabled : these parameters don’t include all Invidious options so I end up with a redirected url which is bothering given the cookies. A bit more complex redirecting cooking recipes here but I won’t detail.

    Privacy Redirector is an eminent component of my privacy environment.
    Hint : the best two reliable Invidious instances, over time, are, in my experience, [yewtu.be] and [invidious.snopyta.org], the most successful as well : see [https://api.invidious.io/]

    1. ryuk said on October 18, 2021 at 9:27 pm
      Reply

      Is there a privacy respecting Instagram front-end alternative to Bibliogram that actually works?

  6. Anonymous said on October 18, 2021 at 9:35 pm
    Reply

    This type of plugin is called an URL ReWriter.
    They all use wildcard/regex to work on any URL.

    “Hacks”
    You keep using that word, I don’t think it means what you think it means.

  7. B26354 said on October 19, 2021 at 3:00 am
    Reply

    teddit.net > reddit.com
    rumble > youtube… needs more time for the great migration, invidious in the meantime.
    in search of a replacement for wikipedia.

    1. ryuk said on October 19, 2021 at 12:33 pm
      Reply

      Maybe this one will suit your needs…

      https://wikiless.org/

  8. Tom Hawack said on October 19, 2021 at 9:41 am
    Reply

    @ryuk, not that I know within Bibliogram instances given the problem is apparently not that of Bibliogram but caused by Instagram itself. Here is Instagram’s notification when a user’s page is opened with a Bibliogram redirection (tested with several Bibliogram instances) :

    “Timeline loading blocked
    Instagram is refusing to provide data to this server.
    This server will only be able to load the first page of timelines.
    This error is permanent.”

    Another front-end than Bibliogram? I know none. But don’t take my word because I haven’t been zealous with redirections to Instagram given my lack of interest, contrarily to Twitter posts.

    1. ryuk said on October 19, 2021 at 12:46 pm
      Reply

      OK, thanks, appreciated!

      Perhaps a change of platform is a better idea…

      https://pixelfed.social/

      1. Tom Hawack said on October 19, 2021 at 1:43 pm
        Reply

        @ryuk, thanks for the link, I’ll have a look.

        P.S. After so many years here on Ghacks I still happen to mistake when answering : I replied to your comment with ‘Post Comment’ rather than with ‘Reply’ which broke the hierarchy :) I point this out because I happened to miss answers when the reply to my comment wasn’t underneath …

        Concerning UserScripts : feasible if the intent is to visit Instagram without logging in, but to do so without actually opening Instagram (all Facebook and dependencies are blocked in my case) you’ll always need a ‘transit’ server, of course.

  9. ryuk said on October 19, 2021 at 12:53 pm
    Reply

    Another good alternative would be Violentmonkey + Greasy Fork scripts…

    https://violentmonkey.github.io/

    https://greasyfork.org/en

  10. Bulopu said on October 19, 2021 at 11:49 pm
    Reply

    It’s been a while I am using this extension and I like it but there is one point that annoys me: you can’t change the instances on the fly. You have to open a new tab to display the options. It is really cumbersome knowing that invidious’ instances are really unstable and need to be changed constantly (though it’s better now than months ago).

    Invidition was better in that regard but the creator alas stopped maintaining it. :(

  11. New trend said on October 21, 2021 at 12:22 am
    Reply

    URL disabler offers much more comfortable blocking method
    https://www.sordum.org/13075/url-disabler-v1-0/

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