In the escalating conflict between us and the organizations siphoning away our personal info, Disconnect is a rare victory for the little guys. This open-source, pay-what-you-want software works with most computer browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari), automatically blocking the data requests that won't interfere with your browsing experience – the ones that won't disable active elements, like video players and comment sections – and giving you the choice to deny the ones that might. Disconnect has a variety of great visualization features for displaying who is currently trying to track you, on any given page, but our favorite is the number that pops up on the software's icon in the menu bar, ranging from 0 while browsing Wikipedia, to dozens at news sites (like CNN's). It's an instant reminder of the scale, and the persistence, of the tracking industry.
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Style & Design 2014
Tech, Tools, Toys & the Hottest New Gear
Plus: When to Say No to Your Doctor
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