NoScript falls into the category of script blocking extensions that also provide ad blocking as a consequence. NoScript can, therefore, be compared to extensions like uMatrix and uBlock Origin. It is a free extension that can be used not only to gain added privacy and security online but also to improve page load times by avoiding downloading necessary content coming from third-party domains.
Until 2020, NoScript was exclusively available for Firefox. However, it is now also available for Chrome - further increasing its appeal as a security and privacy providing an extension. Admittedly, NoScript has got a reputation for being a little confusing. For this reason, it is often considered not suitable for internet users who are not tech-minded.
- Available for Firefox, Firefox-based browsers like Seamonkey, and Chrome
- Cross-site scripting (XSS) protection
- ClearClick anti-Clickjacking protection
- Easily customizable settings
- Temporarily Unblock scripts
- Global settings for bypassing NoScript when needed
- Comprehensive list of per-site permissions
- Whitelisting (and default whitelisting for important domains)
Why NoScript seems annoying and frustrating
While this may put some people off downloading the app, the reality is that this means it is working. Users only need to do a few things to get the websites they want to load - while still gaining extra privacy and security online.
Do I need NoScript?
If setting up NoScript sounds a bit too fiddly for you, you may want to stick to using other privacy and anti-tracking extensions like Privacy Badger, Ghostery, uBlock Origin, and Adblock Plus. However, we prefer running those extensions in addition to NoScript. NoScript is not difficult to use and requires only minimal effort to set up.
Perhaps the only drawback of NoScript is that it does whitelist some webpages by default, and for privacy advocates who like to do everything themselves this may be seen as annoying (and does sometimes lead to criticism of NoScript in comments). However, you can go into settings and change how a page loads, so those criticisms are a bit OTT in our opinion. And you can even export your settings from one browser to another for added convenience.
Whether you find NoScript to be an annoyance really depends on how you use it. Every website you set up remains that way indefinitely, meaning that with just a bit of effort you can gain security and added privacy online. We think the benefits of NoScript outweigh the effort that is needed to initially get it working.
What’s more, you can go into the settings and export your preferences onto any other machine, adding convenience to get NoScript working on other devices.
Overall, this is an excellent, free, and open-source extension - developed by trustworthy devs with a good reputation. It is well worth the tinkering and only recives a 7.4 beause it is probably a bit tough for most people to use right out of the box.