CAPTCHA prompts are becoming insufferable

This is, for the most part, a rant, but I’d love some discussion around the subject.

CAPTCHAs and DDoS protection tools will be the reason I stop caring about privacy. Not inconvenience from using a phone without Google services, not the social problems arising from not existing on social media, not the often subpar software alternatives, no. It will be the constant prompts to pass various tests to access basic websites.

Using Firefox with a few about:config variables behind a VPN has become insufferable because of Google’s CAPTCHA tools which have become so widespread I’ve almost stopped using a browser. These of course have minimal impact on Chrome users who can click a box and pass, but with the Firefox setup I have (which is not that hardcore and quite far from something like Arkenfox) I have to spend at least a minute solving them each time.

On a similar note Cloudflare’s protection is insufferable too. I cannot even access the login page on GitLab with Firefox FPI enabled.

I love Firefox, it has been what I use and recommend for years, and I am not a fan of Chromium based browsers, but if the options available are running vanilla Firefox and no VPN, deal with constant CAPTCHA prompts, or switch to a Chromium based browser, well, then I’m not sure how long I’ll stick to Firefox.

I know I’m not the only person here who values privacy, so how do you deal with this? Do you not find the constant CAPTCHAs insufferable? Have you considered leaving Firefox as a result? If you’re a Chromium user, feel free to chime in on what your experience is like.


They are doing this on purpose.

If they cannot identify and track you they don’t want you using their “service”.

This is what privacy abusing companies want. Make it difficult and users will resort to a path of least resistance. Looks like they are close to breaking you. They win. You lose.

I avoid almost all of those sites altogether. A CAPTCHA for me means move on.

For the few I do use I setup individual VMs with lesser browser privacy protection, all they fingerprint is a VM, which I change up regularly.

Buy a flip phone.

I would be more likely to give up electricity first, given only alternative would be a chromium fork.

Chrome == Google == Evil.


I agree with you here, but it very much feels like a losing battle in the end.

I don’t use VMs. Once or twice I’ve tried to run a Windows VM for some software compatibility, but the experience was dreadful even on recent hardware. Perhaps something was off with my configuration. What do you use to spin up a VM?

This seems like the smart choice, whenever it is possible. Perhaps I should start writing down the sites I frequent which require CAPTCHAs. Feels a bit like a never-ending whack-a-mole though.

No disagreement here.

I have tried something similar in the past which used the audio function I believe. It worked for a while, but eventually stopped. Do you have any experience with this particular one?

Yes, like they say in the description it doesn’t work 100% of time, but still it’s faster to retry than this dreaded pictures of buses, street lights, boats… :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

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Firefox is far from perfect (the current iteration of it I wouldn’t even call “good”, personally), but it is the only viable alternative to Chromium.

The web has become so complex and bloated, writing a browser engine is a huge undertaking requiring tremendous resources and manpower, an impossible task for any individual. So there is no real competition.

Once Firefox bites the dust (which is probably going to happen eventually), we are going to be in trouble.


How good is Ungoogled Chromium in terms of being a stable basis for new browsers? I’m not really into this topic, but from what I know at least we can use that as a base. Could that be the next best thing if Firefox bites the dust?

It is just chromium with calls to google removed and some settings changed. It still has all the other issues that are associated with chromium.

I don’t think it makes much sense to base a browser off of it. Anyone with the resources to build a browser could easily make similar changes.

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QEMU / KVM managed with virt-manager (gui for libvirt).

Virtualbox is very easy to get up and running.

QEMU / KVM / libvirt combo requires a bit of time to learn, but provides almost host levels of performance for Linux guest VMs.

Set up VMs and install various different base Linux OSes, then clone & configure when you want new instances.

It takes effort to achieve a modicum of privacy, you need to read a lot, adjust how you do things, what you use, and what you interact with on the interwebs.

Even then it is not perfect, but still better.


Whilst you’re probably correct. I do wonder if it’s in Google’s best interest to keep Firefox alive in its current state (minimal share) for antitrust reasons. Curious if the revenue from keeping Google as default search would be sufficient to keep Firefox alive on it’s own. If we’re lucky Google does something monumentally stupid which shifts usershares in Firefox’s favor, but I’m not sure what that could even be. I don’t think even a complete removal of adblockers would result in more than a percentile or two. Grim future ahead for browsers…

I’ll look into this when I have more time. Certainly useful to have if it can mimic close to host level performances. Thanks.

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I’ll install it and hope for the best, thanks.

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Yeah, call me a conspiracy theorist, but I am convinced that’s pretty much the only reason why Firefox still exists: so that Goolag does not get in antitrust problems (like Micro$oft did with IE). Firefox’s market share is intentionally kept low (and Mozilla is fully complicit in it), but it is not extinguished, so it can be presented as “competition”.

Sadly, I don’t think Mozilla has the resources or the expertise any more to keep Firefox afloat on their own. Nowadays, Mozilla is a complete joke of a company, without any competency or common sense left in them.


Yes, that’s exactly right.


I think one of the major issues people have with Chromium is that if Firefox dies, Chromium/Blink will be the only viable browser engine left and it is largely controlled by Google.

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They do seem to have attempted to branch out and capture other markets rather than focusing on Firefox the past few years, but perhaps that is a result of Mozilla themselves realizing re-capturing marketshare is an impossible task, and admitting defeat.

If Firefox dies so does the Tor Browser … :scream: … can’t see it happening any time soon.

Long term though they are in trouble.


What’s that?

We’re living in :clown_face: :earth_africa: here, there’s no such thing :rofl:

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Just look at Firefox’s official YouTube channel:

The entire corporate climate at Mozilla just reeks of incompetency and “participation trophies”. It’s like a class for kids with special needs. Utter cringe!