Waterfox G6.0 ships with DNS over Oblivious HTTP support and performance optimizations
A new version of Waterfox is now available. The Firefox-based web browser is already available for new and existing users.
Waterfox G6.0 introduces a number of new and interesting features. Besides DNS over Oblivious HTTP, polyhedral optimization, DRM support on Linux and more.
Existing Waterfox users may select Menu > Help > About Waterfox to run a check for updates. The update should be found and installed. New users find the Waterfox G6.0 download on the official project website. Please note that it may be necessary to install a VC redistribution if the installer is throwing errors.
One of the main new features in the ne Waterfox version is DNS over Oblivious HTTP. The lead developer Alex Kontos describes it as a privacy preserving way to handle DNS queries.
DNS over Oblivious HTTP uses DNS over HTTPS to encrypt DNS queries, but it also redirects requests through proxy servers, so that the DNS provider can't link domain queries to the specific user. The release notes do not provide information on the proxy servers that Waterfox uses.
A look in the settings suggests that Cloudflare is being used. The default DNS over HTTPS provider is dooh.cloudflare-dns.com.
Waterfox is not the only browser that uses proxies to hide user IP addresses and thus their identity. Brave Browser uses proxies for certain operations, for instance when running Safe Browsing queries.
Waterfox G6.0 is configured to do better when it comes to repeating tasks. Kontos explains that the browser uses polyhedral optimization to "make maximum use of the CPU and memory". The optimizations speed up "repetitive tasks like rendering, scrolling, and video playback that rely on loops".
The release notes mention three additional improvements. First, that Waterfox on Linux supports DRM now, which means that content can be accessed that requires it. Second, that users may move and remove the extensions button in the main toolbar, and third, that the maintainer of Betterfox.js has helped go through the preferences "with a fine tooth comb". The release notes reveal nothing about the changes made to the preferences, which is unfortunate.
Betterfox.js is a user.js template for Firefox to improve "speed, privacy and security" of the browser.
In an outlook, Kontos reveals that Waterfox for Android will be released soon and that iOS is in the pipeline as well. Privacy enhancements are coming for "some of the most popular search engines", but no information has been revealed apart from that.
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