Priv8 – Sandboxed Firefox Tabs

Implementing Electrolysis or “e10s” support to its Firefox browser is something that Mozilla has been working on for quite a while. Electrolysis is set to separate web content from the core Firefox processes, which could improve performance and security. One of the main advantages is that it would be possible to sandbox individual tabs in order to run content in sandboxed tabs, keeping it separated and preventing it from interacting (for instance sharing storage, cookies or other data) with content in other tabs, or with the rest of Firefox. Each tab can be run as if it was a completely separate browser.

While e10s has enabled Mozilla to develop the underlying technology needed for sandboxing tabs, Priv8 lead the way in the implementation of this functionality. Priv8 is a free open source add-on fir Firefox that gives users the possibility to sandbox individual Firefox tabs. A default URL and tab group color can be assigned to newly created sandboxes.

It all starts with a sandboxed tab that has its own tab color. It is possible to open another tab and sign into a different account (or sign into Gmail on one tab and another Google account for YouTube in another) with one instance of Gmail or Facebook sandboxed. Right-clicking a new link within sandboxed tab will give you the chance to open the link in that sandbox. All these tabs have the same tab group color, which facilitates immediate identification.

The sandboxes created can be opened quickly through the menu bar icon’s dropdown dialog. The setting works effectively, although some improvements can be made. For instance, options like Private mode support needs to be added. It would also be good to be able to open sandboxed links from a non-sandboxed tab and to open links from within a sandboxed tab into a different sandboxed group. The lack of documentation should also be addresses by the developer gas stated that this is on the pipe.

Overall

Priv8 offers an interesting and useful solution, although there are still a few things that need to be added in order make it truly effective. There are some limitations at the moment, but it is possible to use Piv8 for keeping Gmail open in a tab without exposing your browsing to Google’s tracking. The extension has a lot of potential and while there are some shortcomings, it is an option that will give you the option of having multiple sign-ins to the same service simultaneously.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *