Even if you don't care about the privacy implications of tracking cookies and other technologies sites use to identify us online, you might want to turn on Tracking Protection in Firefox anyway for a potential big speed boost.
Former Mozilla software engineer Monica Chew and Computer Science researcher Georgios Kontaxis took a look at the top 200 news sites (according to Alexa) and found a median 44% reduction in page load time, as well as a 39% reduction in data usage, with Tracking Protection switched on.
Tracking Protection actively blocks domains known to track users. You might not see huge performance benefits for all sites, depending on how much each site relies on third-party content and similar extras from tracking domains. Still, with a range of between 20% and 90% decreased page load times according to the study -- and better privacy control -- it's worth a shot.
To turn on Tracking Protection in Firefox:
- Type in about:config in the location bar and hit enter.
- You'll see a warning about possibly voiding your warranty. Hit "I'll be careful, I promise!" to continue.
- Search for privacy.trackingprotection.enabled.
- Double-click that to toggle the value to true.
Tracking Protection for Firefox at Web 2.0 Security and Privacy 2015 [Monica at Mozilla via Venture Beat and Boing Boing]