Do Not Track Plus stomps on trackers | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Do Not Track Plus stomps on trackers

Do Not Track Plus is a lightweight add-on that returns a modicum of privacy to the Internet, as it keeps sites and advertisers from tracking you.

If ad blocking is the hacksaw of Internet-protecting add-ons, Do Not Track Plus (DNT+) is a finely honed katana, slicing out tracking behaviors embedded in sites without destroying the modern Web.

Do Not Track Plus extends your privacy

It's cross-browser and cross-platform, and will work in Firefox, Chrome, IE, and Safari. An Opera version is in the works. DNT+ blocks sites and ads from tracking you, unless you give them explicit permission to do so. For most sites, it actually rebuilds tools like social-networking buttons on the fly so you can still get your social on without sacrificing privacy or site load times. It also blocks ad networks and companies from following you around the Web.

DNT+ installs as a browser toolbar button. The icon reflects the number of tracking blocks against the site you're viewing. Click the button and a drop-down window appears with trackers separated into three categories: social buttons, ad networks, and companies. If there's something marked verboten that you want back, like a Twitter button, clicking it will resurrect it. Otherwise, the links at the bottom of each section take you to sites that explain what the add-on is doing and why it's doing it. This is smart, helpful stuff.

Do Not Track Plus protects your privacy as you bop around the Web, and lets you toggle those protections on the fly.

Do Not Track Plus protects your privacy as you bop around the Web, and lets you toggle those protections on the fly.

(Credit: Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

The interface is clean if a bit cluttered with the verbiage necessary to explain what it's actually doing. The add-on's On/Off button could be bigger, too. Its features work well, with no noticeable lag times when loading sites. In fact, the only feature hang-up was that on some sites, the social networking buttons weren't re-rendered. It's easy enough to go into the add-on and reactivate them, but it is an imperfect implementation of a core feature.

If you're aware of the serious privacy risks on the Internet today, but looking for something more nuanced than an ad blocker or JavaScript killer that still lets you experience the modern Web, Do Not Track Plus lives up to its value-added name.

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