How to stop Firefox from making automatic connections

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  • Revision id: 91009
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  • Creator: philipp
  • Comment: updated sections until down to firefox hello (still a draft - do not approve!)
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Some people are particularly concerned about the connections Firefox makes to the Internet, especially when such connections are made with no apparent cause. This article will explain a number of reasons why Firefox may make a connection to the Internet and how you can stop it from doing so, if you so desire. Mozilla's Firefox Browser Privacy Notice has additional information.

Automatic updates & Security

Auto-update checking

Warning: Disabling update checking is not recommended and will leave you open to security vulnerabilities that get fixed in newer versions.

Firefox occasionally checks to see if any updates are available for itself and for your search engines. To disable these checks:

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and choose Options.Preferences.
  2. Select the Advanced icon.
  3. Select the Update tab.
  4. Uncheck Automatically check for updates to: and Search Engines.Check Never check for updates (not recommended: security risk) and uncheck Search Engines.

Blocklist updating

Warning: Disabling the blocklist is not recommended, as it may result in you using untrustworthy add-ons or graphics drivers that can cause Firefox to crash.

Firefox may be updating its blocklist, which is used to block malicious extensions, vulnerable plugins, and graphics drivers known to cause crashes. For more information, see Blocklisting (MozillaWiki), Blocklisting/Graphics (MozillaWiki) and the article Add-ons that cause stability or security issues are put on a blocklist. To disable this feature:

  1. In the address bar, type about:config and press EnterReturn.

    • The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click I'll be careful, I promise!I accept the risk! to continue to the about:config page.
  2. In the about:config page, search for the preference extensions.blocklist.enabled.
  3. Observe the Value column of the extensions.blocklist.enabled row.
    • If it is set to false then do nothing.
    • If it is set to true, double-click on it to set it to false.

Anti-phishing list updating

Warning: Disabling the anti-phishing protection is not recommended, as it will leave you vulnerable to untrustworthy websites that might try to steal your financial information and/or your identity.

The phishing protection list may be updating itself. To turn this off:

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and choose Options.Preferences.
  2. Select the Security panel.
  3. Uncheck Block reported web forgeries.

Anti-malware list updating

Warning: Disabling the anti-malware protection is not recommended, as it will leave you vulnerable to malicious file downloads or untrustworthy websites that might try to infect you with a virus, trojan or spyware.

The malware protection list may be updating itself. To turn this off:

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and choose Options.Preferences.
  2. Select the Security panel.
  3. Select the Update tab.
  4. Uncheck Block reported attack sites.

Secure Website Certificates

When you visit a secure website (i.e. "https"), Firefox will validate the website's certificate. This may involve communicating with a third-party status provider specified by the certificate over a protocol namend OCSP to confirm that the certificate is still valid. To turn this off:

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and choose Options.Preferences.
  2. Select the Advanced panel.
  3. Select the Certificates tab.
  4. Uncheck Query OCSP responder servers to confirm the current validity of certificates.

Prefetching

Firefox will prefetch certain links if any of the websites you are viewing uses the special prefetch-link tag. For more information, please see the Link Prefetching FAQ. To disable Link prefetching:

  1. In the address bar, type about:config and press EnterReturn.

    • The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click I'll be careful, I promise!I accept the risk! to continue to the about:config page.
  2. In the about:config page, search for the preference network.prefetch-next.
  3. Observe the Value column of the network.prefetch-next row.
    • If it is set to false then do nothing.
    • If it is set to true, double-click on it to set it to false.

DNS prefetching

In order to reduce latency, Firefox will proactively perform domain name resolution on links that the user may choose to follow as well as URLs for items referenced by elements in a website. For more information, please see the DNS Prefetching blog post. To disable DNS prefetching:

  1. In the address bar, type about:config and press EnterReturn.

    • The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click I'll be careful, I promise!I accept the risk! to continue to the about:config page.
  2. In the about:config page, search for the preference network.dns.disablePrefetch.
  3. Observe the Value column of the network.dns.disablePrefetch row.
    • If it is set to true then do nothing.
    • If it is set to false, double-click on it to set it to true.

Speculative Pre-connections

To improve the loading speed, Firefox will open predicitive connections to sites when the user hovers their mouse over thumbnails on the New Tab Page or the user starts to search (in the Search Bar or in the search field on the Home or the New Tab Page). In case the user follows through with the action, the site can begin loading faster since some of the work was already started in advance. To disable this feature:

  1. In the address bar, type about:config and press EnterReturn.

    • The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click I'll be careful, I promise!I accept the risk! to continue to the about:config page.
  2. In the about:config page, search for the preference network.http.speculative-parallel-limit.
  3. Observe the Value column of the network.http.speculative-parallel-limit row.
    • If it is set to 0 then do nothing.
    • If it is set to a different value, double-click on it to set it to 0.

Add-on list prefetching

Each time the Add-ons manager is opened, Firefox prefetches a list of add-ons to improve responsiveness of the Get Add-ons pane. This connection is not made if the add-ons manager is not opened.

User-Invoked Content

Home page loading

Your home page may be loading. To change your home page to something that doesn't generate connections to the Internet:

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and choose Options.Preferences.
  2. Select the General panel.
  3. Either set When Firefox starts to Show a blank page or set it to Show my home page and click Restore to Default.

Extensions

An extension you have installed may be making a connection to a website that it relies on. For example, a connection to a website to synchronize your bookmarks, a connection to a website to update a list of sites to block, etc. Or it is possible an extension could be changing the expected behavior of Firefox in other ways. For example, FasterFox extension has an option to prefetch all links.

To easily disable all of your extensions please read the Troubleshoot Firefox issues using Safe Mode article, paying particular attention to the Disable all add-ons option under the Make Changes and Restart section. To disable or remove your extensions, see the Disable or remove Add-ons article.

Firefox also checks to see if any updates are available for your add-ons (extensions, themes). To disable this check:

  1. Click the menu button Fx57menu New Fx Menu and choose Add-ons Fx57Addons-icon Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.

  2. In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Extensions panel.
  3. At the top of the tab, click the Tools for All Add-ons menu and uncheck Update Add-ons Automatically, then select Reset All Add-ons to Update Automatically.

Live Bookmarks updating

Live Bookmarks - Subscribe to a web page for news and updates automatically reload themselves on a regular basis, and in doing so will make a connection to the Internet. Deleting all your Live Bookmarks will stop these connections from being made.

Downloads restarted

When you start Firefox, any interrupted downloads from your previous browsing session may be automatically resumed.

  1. Press Ctrl + JCtrl + Shift + Ycommand + J to open the Downloads window.
  2. Ensure nothing is currently being downloaded

Firefox Hello

If you're using the Firefox Hello video and voice chat feature of the browser by signing in with a Firefox Account or starting a converstaion, there will be a connection established in order to set up a call, once your partner joins a conversation. Next to singing out from Firefox Hello or deleting a conversation you can also disable Firefox Hello:

  1. In the address bar, type about:config and press EnterReturn.

    • The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click I'll be careful, I promise!I accept the risk! to continue to the about:config page.
  2. In the about:config page, search for the preference loop.enabled.
  3. Observe the Value column of the loop.enabled row.
    • If it is set to false then do nothing.
    • If it is set to true, double-click on it to set it to false.

Mozilla Content

Tiles

Snippets

What's new page after update

Add-on metadata updating

The Add-ons manager displays information about each add-on you have installed and provides personalized recommendations in the Get Add-ons pane. To keep this data updated, Firefox will request information from the Mozilla Add-ons gallery once a day (for more information, see this blog post). To disable these updates:

  1. In the address bar, type about:config and press EnterReturn.

    • The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click I'll be careful, I promise!I accept the risk! to continue to the about:config page.
  2. In the about:config page, search for the preference extensions.getAddons.cache.enabled.
  3. Observe the Value column of the extensions.getAddons.cache.enabled row.
    • If it is set to false then do nothing.
    • If it is set to true, double-click on it to set it to false.

Diagnostics

Health Report

Telemetry

Crash Reports

Media Capabilities

Open h264

WebRTC

SSDP for roku/chromecast detection in local network

Loopback connection

A loopback connection (to IP address 127.0.0.1) can be made by Firefox on non-Unix machines. In this case the browser is communicating with itself as expected, and it is not recommended that this communication be blocked. See bug 100154 for more information.

Infected with malware

If your computer is infected with a virus, trojan, spyware, or other malicious software, then Firefox's Internet connection may be being piggybacked in order for the malware to communicate with its author or to deliver advertisements, etc. (for more information, see Troubleshoot Firefox issues caused by malware). If you suspect this is the case, consider seeking advice from one of these forums specializing in malware removal:

Please be aware that Mozilla is not responsible for the content of third-party websites.




Based on information from Connections established on startup - Firefox (mozillaZine KB)