More alternative privacy frontends for popular sites

websites

wikipedia

Wikiless - https://codeberg.org/orenom/Wikiless

quora

Quetre - GitHub - zyachel/quetre: A libre front-end for Quora

imgur

rimgo - video-prize-ranch/rimgo: An alternative frontend for Imgur. - rimgo - Codeberg.org

imdb

libremdb - GitHub - zyachel/libremdb: A free & open source IMDb front-end.

reddit

libreddit - GitHub - spikecodes/libreddit: Private front-end for Reddit
teddit - GitHub - teddit-net/teddit: alternative Reddit front-end focused on privacy https://teddit.net

google translate (+ libretranslate)

SimplyTranslate - SimpleWeb/SimplyTranslate-Web: Web Interface for SimplyTranslate built with python and quart - SimplyTranslate-Web - Codeberg.org

medium

scribe - Scribe: An Alternative Medium Frontend

reuters

neuters - GitHub - HookedBehemoth/neuters: Reuters Redirect and Proxy

youtube music

beatbump - GitHub - snuffyDev/Beatbump: Alternative YouTube Music frontend built with Svelte/SvelteKit 🎧

apps

youtube music

ViMusic - GitHub - vfsfitvnm/ViMusic: An Android application for streaming music from YouTube Music.

alternative streaming frontend for hundreds of sites

Cloudstream - GitHub - recloudstream/cloudstream: Android app for streaming and downloading Movies, TV-Series and Anime.

Disclaimer: This app comes empty as default, and you can add repositories that include “extensions” (providers) post-install. (keep in mind some sites are legal, some aren’t, so add providers at own risk.) Anyone can make there own repo/extensions for this app, contributing to the amount of site available. legal-provider examples - iptv-org, crunchyroll, and more.

P.S.

there are other alt-frontends, like android apps for reddit, but i am only including ones i have experience with. see GitHub - mendel5/alternative-front-ends: Overview of alternative open source front-ends for popular internet platforms (e.g. YouTube, Twitter, etc.) for more.

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Hello there, and welcome to the forum!

We want to be very careful when recommending frontends, as we try to be with everything we recommend on the site.

The first step towards that is asking ourselves “what does this frontend provide the first-party site doesn’t?”

We do not want to recommend frontends just because they exist and someone made them.

If you go to our Frontends page, you’ll notice that all of our recommendations provide a usecase as to where each tool would make sense (Invidious is for YouTube on the web without JS, Piped is for having SponsorBlock without needing an extension and so on).

Now, I am not saying that the links and alternatives you’ve provided do not have something to offer, but it would help us if you (or other people in the community) looked at them critically and provided us with valid usecases for them, so that we can evalute them for inclusion.

2 Likes

wikiless - No JavaScript or ads. no login required
All requests go through the backend, client never talks to Wikipedia.
Prevents Wikipedia getting your IP address.

querte - All requests are proxied, no ads or tracking, no login required

rimgo - No JavaScript, No ads or tracking, no login required

libremd - No ads or tracking, no login required

libreddit - no JavaScript, no ads, no tracking, all requests are proxied through the server, including media, strong Content Security Policy prevents browser requests to Reddit. no login required

Teddit - No JavaScript or ads, All requests go through the backend, client never talks to Reddit, Prevents Reddit from tracking your IP or JavaScript fingerprint. no login required.

simplytranslate - claims anonymous usage of google translate, doesn’t fully explain how. someone please look into cood for me :slightly_smiling_face:

scribe - does not claim anonymous use, needs code review

neuters - No JavaScript or ads, No tracking, No cookies

beatbump - no ads, no login

Vimusic - no ads, no login, offline playback

cloudstream - access streaming sites without ads, tracking, no login required.

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Wikiless - It was recommended here but I currently don’t see the point. As far as I can tell, you can browser Wikipedia perfectly fine without JS (I tried with Tor Browser on safest setting). Browsing through the site also does not require an account. No ads aren’t really a privacy enhancement, and Wikipedia isn’t a exactly full of ads, so this is not a concern. Finally, and I should mention this now that I’m still looking at the first option, “proxying” to another service isn’t necessarily a privacy enhancement, or even desired by default. People can use other tools (Tor or a VPN) if they want to hide their IP. With a frontend, Wikipedia might not get your IP, but the Wikiless instance is. Why do you trust the instance operator more?

Quetre - This can be considered, because Quora is notorious for blocking content behind a login screen. It would be interesting to look further into it.

Rimgo - No JavaScript required is nice. I’m not fully convinced about how useful this is overall, but it can be looked into. I also remember a different variant of this, Rimgu, I believe. Any differences or advantages there?

Libremd - I don’t think this deserves a place on Privacy Guides at this point. The frontend doesn’t allow you to browse, and when you do replace imdb for the libremd instance for, say, a specific movie, you’re not able to click on something like an actor’s photo and browse further. It’s a static page with some info that someone could also get by using a search engine to search for a movie’s name. Perhaps in the future there will be a valid usecase for this, but I don’t see it right now.

Libreddit/Teddit - These are both being considered. The issue with Libreddit is that the developer is currently not working on the project. There’s a fork of it that’s relatively new and is an effort to keep the project alive. I have to evaluate these options and see which of the Reddit frontends it makes sense to recommend.

SimplyTranslate - Research needed.

Scribe - See above.

Neuters - I consider this too niche of a usecase. You can use Tor Browser, or you can use Startpage’s proxy mode to browse the site instead.

Beatbump - From their GitHub: “Beatbump is going through a major rewrite, so errors, bugs, and other problems may happen at random.” This may eventually be worth looking at, but we value stability and tend to not list alpha/beta software when we can avoid it.

ViMusic - This is an app that I’ve been using and testing out for a couple of days, and I like a lot of what it offers. I’ve also been looking at their tracker and like that the developer is opinionated and doesn’t accept all feature requests. Projects with a clear focus are more likely to succeed. While it does cache songs as you play them so that they can then be played offline, it doesn’t have a “make available offline” feature at this time, and the developer isn’t sure if they want to add that. I hope they do. Nonetheless, it can be considered once I’ve tested it a bit more.

Cloudstream - I’m not sure if this is a good fit for the site.

3 Likes

https://orenom.fi/ - This is the dev’s website, as far as I can tell.

[ Wed, Oct 5 ] - Wikiless has been taken down from Codeberg

I don’t have any other information just yet. I don’t know if this is temporary or permanent. Only information I can see in the repository right now: “[Please wait for instructions from Codeberg Moderation]”.

Update: Wikimedia Legal Enforcement team has contacted Codeberg - the repository has been made private (only contributors will be able to access the repo for now). According to Codeberg, they will keep me updated on what happens next.

3 Likes

I wouldn’t worry about your IP so much as your browser metrics

The website always gets your IP, it’s up to you to hide it from the server. But, more importantly, proxying or using a VPN doesn’t do anything to make you less fingerprintable, nor does when you use Wikiless. You can fool a website into seeing you are browsing from another country. But the issue of canvas leaks, WebGL, even architecture-related methods, while nothing that Wikiless can see, can still be had by law enforcement. These are more important than the server seeing your network address. The IP is probably shared by more than just your connection when using a VPN or proxy, and canvas leaks can deanonymize a user far better than a fingerprint method such as Accept-Language.

  • The Accept-Language HTTP header tells websites your preferred language(s)
  • This is only one technique, there are even better ones that are becoming more and more common, such as mentioned by Brave.

The IP you’d give to either the Wikiless server(s) or the Wikipedia servers is also likely not within your immediate area; depending on your location, you may be anywhere from hundreds of feet to several thousand feet from the nearest network center. This means that your normal IP will not be a large enough data point to immediately deanonymize you. It’s an indicator for your identity, but it needs to be paired with other data to create a strong indicator. Largely, you can browse most of the web without the need for a VPN, and without the fear of being completely borked by your IP geolocation data. Most ISPs lease IPs for short periods of time anyway, so you will likely not have the same one every time you browse, making it less likely a server will know it’s you from another location. But there are caveats.

Your biggest allies in the realm of anti-FP are using privacy-respecting browsers like Brave, Librewolf, and especially Tor, which have built-in not only privacy measures but also security measures. That’s not a dig against these instances. Known methods of fingerprinting you, based on your browser alone, are what give you away. You can bet that blocking scripts using NoScript in Tor is going to keep you a lot safer than using a VPN when browsing the web. Browsers like this will attempt to either fool or block scripts, using a variety of techniques. They will block WebGL, disallow DRM, block websites knowing your fonts installed, languages preferred, and your cookies from other sites/servers. All thanks to either blocking the script outright or simply spoofing the values queried by them so you no longer have the same FP. Arkenfox aims to protect your real browser and OS metrics at any cost.

VPNs do not make you anonymous.

I agree about this: “No JavaScript required is nice.” Simply put, you want to have the option to view sites without scripts. That is a better option than using a VPN, which, in most cases, is a shift of trust to their ISP and not an enhancement to privacy. Hiding your IP only makes you harder to identify based on your location and doesn’t stop the government from requesting your information from the VPN. Using Wikiless, Nitter, it does help, but not as much as people believe.

The problem of correlation is trivial, and you can solve it by simply using IP hiding tools such as a VPN and the Tor network, sure, but you’ll still be connected to your IRL name and IP through data leaks or other factors.

Perhaps this is a stupid question, but do we even want to be recommending frontends for everything? It makes sense for instance, to view a social media post from a friend or a news article, or for most, to watch internet videos from the only real source that exists.

But to use a front-end for everything would just defeat the purpose of privacy-respecting software. Why develop a new application when you can just make another front-end to any existing service?

If we think about, your web browser is a front-end for HTML, CSS, JS, so why not use it to view whatever website you want already?

I’m not saying you should visit a bunch of websites that don’t respect your privacy, but visiting them through a bunch of front-ends doesn’t solve the core problem, and will not do anything to advance the collective shift of society from spying services to private ones.

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Original developer is now back and both are merged into a single project and open for Community.

Neuters could be used as it is simple and better than Reuters.