The internet isn’t always the safest place to be. But people diligently work to make it safer every day. Organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Tor Project, to name a few.
They are the minds behind cybersecurity tools like Certbot and the Tor Browser. But together they also created a useful little tool called HTTPS Everywhere. It encrypts your data exchanges with every website.
But it isn’t the only useful tool out there that can help ensure a more secure connection. Here are eight alternatives for those who don’t want to — or can’t — use HTTPS Everywhere.
What is HTTPS Everywhere?
HTTPS Everywhere is a free browser extension for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, and Brave. It’s also available for Firefox for Android.
As its name implies, HTTPS Everywhere forces websites to use the HTTPS connection over the less-secure HTTP one. At least, for those that support that option.
It also offers users the option to block any HTTP connection requests to protect hackers from stealing their data.
8 Alternatives to HTTPS Everywhere
Despite it being easy to install and use, not everyone wants to use HTTPS Everywhere. Though everyone wants to have a secure connection to websites.
Fortunately, many alternatives do the same thing. Some of them also offer even more helpful features.
1. KB SSL Enforcer
KB SSL Enforcer is one of the more well-known HTTPS Everywhere alternatives out there. It is a Chrome extension that enforces encryption for as many websites as possible at the moment. The extension checks whether a site supports SSL and redirects the connection.
2. Smart HTTPS
It is a free browser extension that changes any connection to HTTPS if the website supports that function. Should any loading errors occur because of it, then the tool reverts the connection to HTTP.
Smart HTTPS remembers websites that don’t support HTTPS to speed up future visits. You can also blacklist or whitelist the sites that don’t support HTTPS and seem unsafe as needed.
3. The Tor Browser
Most browsers don’t encrypt connections on their own, but some privacy-focused browsers like Tor do. Anyone who connects to the internet via Tor has their connection travel through a series of relays. They encrypt and anonymize the connection.
Though, keep in mind that Tor doesn’t encrypt data after it leaves the last relay.
HTTPZ is a free Firefox extension that works on Windows and Linux and is an unobtrusive alternative to HTTPS Everywhere.
It doesn’t rely on any databases to see whether a website supports HTTPS or not. Instead, HTTPZ tries to switch the connection to the more secure HTTPS. Only if any errors occur, then it reverts it to HTTP.
Apart from upgrading connections to HTTPS, this add-on also has built-in defences against SSL stripping attacks.
A VPN might seem like a strange addition to this list. But they are by far the best tools for encrypting a connection. The fact that the connection stays encrypted regardless of whether a website uses HTTPS or HTTP is a big bonus too.
VPNs also offer many other security benefits. For example, preventing attacks like man-in-the-middle and hiding your IP address.
NordVPN is the best VPN option out there. It has reasonable pricing tiers and uses strong encryption algorithms. Their plans also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee which should work for testing the service out first.
It is another free Firefox extension that protects your data. It forces the connection to become HTTPS whenever possible. It’s a simple to use tool that works in the background to augment the browser with custom URL rewrite rules. It’s an old but dependable alternative that still gets the job done.
7. HTTPS Always
Not everyone uses popular web browsers like Chrome or Safari. Some people prefer less well-known but more secure browsers like Firefox’s “spin-off”, Pale Moon.
But connection encryption add-ons exist for these browsers too, like HTTPS Always. This extension encrypts connections to most of the popular websites. It is particularly helpful for people who connect to public networks.
8. HTTPS Now
HTTPS Now is one of the only extensions that exist which supports Safari. HTTPS Now isn’t a free extension; it costs $5. But it’s well worth it for some added security.
The extension helps redirect connections to HTTPS, even when someone clicks on links that redirect them to HTTP sites. It also ensures that all data (images, videos, sounds) goes over the secure network.
HTTPS Everywhere is a great tool. But it isn’t perfect and can be heavy on resources — especially RAM. These alternatives may not work for everyone, but there should be at least one option that works as an excellent substitute for most people.