HarborFront

Level 54
Verified
Content Creator
Below is some info on both which I gathered from the net. Any mistakes or additional info you can contribute please post so I can update the info.

On the surface both are similar in that they provide privacy protection to the user by clearing cookies and local data upon closure of the private window/container tab. Unfortunately, both suffer the same problems as below

- Intermediaries such as your network administrator or ISP, and anyone they share your activity with, can still see your browsing activity.
- Logging into a website means the website may still hold onto information about what you did there and tie it to your other account activity outside of private browsing.
- The websites you connect to can still see your IP address.
- The websites you connect to can still see other identifying information embedded in the browser, such as the size of the window or the type of browser and operating system you’re connecting from i.e. browser fingerprints

CONTAINERS

Container tabs is like having multiple FF profiles. They let you open fresh, cookie-free tabs that can be used for different accounts—personal, work, shopping, etc. That means you can open several Google accounts at once without any overlap. This means your site preferences, logged in sessions, and advertising tracking data (cookies) won't carry over to the new container. Likewise, any browsing you do within the new container will not affect your logged in sessions, or tracking data of your other containers ie. they let you store different sets of data for different containers because the tabs in different containers are isolated from each other. Most trackers won’t associate the different accounts, keeping your work life separate from your personal life online. Some more advanced trackers, however, can and will track you across different accounts, so beware. Upon closure of tab(s) all cookies and local data be deleted. Note that you may also block all third-party cookies in the browser, and that should deal with the bulk of cookie-based tracking as well. The use of Multi-Account Containers allows one to access into account sites without signing in and it also supports syncing, meaning that your container configuration and site assignments can roam across devices when you are signed in with a Firefox account. You can combine with the use of other containers like Facebook Container/Google Container/Temporary Containers as well. However, setting up is a hassle and Container tabs do not work in Private Browsing Mode. In addition,

What is (and isn't) separated between Containers

Separated by Containers:

Cookies
localStorage. Note that Firefox is not supporting removing site localStorage per container – it means that you could remove all localStorage or nothing
indexedDB
HTTP data cache
Image Cache
Any other areas supported by originAttributes Bug 1179985

Not separated by Containers (Yet):

History - Bug 1283320
Bookmarks - Bug 1213290
Security Exceptions for Invalid TLS Certificates Bug 1249348

Not separated by Containers (On Purpose):

Saved Passwords
Saved Search and Form data
HSTS Flags - (Supported by OA: Bug 1253006)
OCSP Responses - (OA Supported: Bug 1264562)

Security/Contextual Identity Project/Containers - MozillaWiki

PRIVATE BROWSING MODE

Private browsing mode doesn't store any data, so if you close the private window, you will be logged out of the email account. In PB mode tabs aren't isolated from each other and all tabs share the same (in memory) cookie jar and thus for instance existing third-party cookies are possibly send. However, third-party tracking cookies can be blocked in FF. Private Browsing mode tabs mean that no data is stored in the Firefox profile folder, but is kept in memory. It’s easier to set up and use, and less extensions are needed e.g. for cookies control (e,g, Forget Me Not, Site Bleacher, Cookie AutoDelete etc) and containers. But you’ll need to sign into an account site each time you visits it. Also, DNS queries will reveal the PB Mode history by typing ipconfig/displaydns using elevated command prompt

Private browsing means the browser will forget some kinds of information only on your computer.

- The browser won’t save a history of searches or websites you access on your computer.
- The browser won’t save information, such as cookies or content from websites, that would ordinarily be saved onto your computer to help speed up future page loads.
- Information entered in forms you fill out, such as credit card information, won’t be saved on the browser.
- Generally, private browsing mode still allows you to save bookmarks and the files you download.


Summary

Here is a comparison between PB Mode and Facebook Container

Firefox browser privacy features explained – The Firefox Frontier

In short, containers are NOT supported in PB Mode unless you are using different FF profiles.

So, IYO, which is easier to use, safer and better?
 
Last edited:

Stopspying

Level 10
I've been experimenting with PB and containers and find the latter easier to use on Firefox, so far. Principally because I can have different containers open in tabs in the same window, making navigation easier than having a number of PBs open. Remembering not to have tabs open in the same window while in PB mode is a trick I have yet to master fully, to avoid the issues you describe above.

Thanks for this comparison, it pulls together a lot of what I've been thinking while trying out the two methods, without actually putting it down into a report like yours.
 

HarborFront

Level 54
Verified
Content Creator
I've been experimenting with PB and containers and find the latter easier to use on Firefox, so far. Principally because I can have different containers open in tabs in the same window, making navigation easier than having a number of PBs open. Remembering not to have tabs open in the same window while in PB mode is a trick I have yet to master fully, to avoid the issues you describe above.

Thanks for this comparison, it pulls together a lot of what I've been thinking while trying out the two methods, without actually putting it down into a report like yours.

Well, when you are in PB mode the tabs you open are also in PB mode. There's no need to open PB mode in a new window. See below screenshot

1596530753162.png


I find PB mode easier to use after using Containers. The important thing to note is to prevent cross-sites contamination like trackers, cookies and referrals which can happen to both Containers and when in PB Mode. Also, no headache in what cookies need to be accepted and retained in Containers so less cookie-control and Container extensions needed
 
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HarborFront

Level 54
Verified
Content Creator
Remember that using this doesn't protect your browser itself as Firefox miss site isolation / real sandboxing.
That means one comprised site/ tab can comprise others.
I'm comparing Containers vs PB mode of FF and not FF browser against other browsers

FF Site Isolation is still an ongoing-process


In short, quote from link,

Containers isolate sites from sites outside the container. You can put multiple into a container and they may share information if, e.g. the same tracking resources are loaded.

First-Party Isolation does more-or-less what Containers do, but for each site individually. Means: If the feature is enabled, you don’t need to use Containers for blocking tracking. Containers may still be useful for other purposes, e.g. automatic clearing of data in a container.

Fission / Site Isolation moves sites and cross-site iframes into their own process; this isolates them from one another which improves security.

More detailed explanation between Containers, Cookies and First-Party Isolation can be found here

https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/87mdkc
https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/i3k13i
 
Last edited:

Stopspying

Level 10
I'm comparing Containers vs PB mode of FF and not FF browser against other browsers

FF Site Isolation is still an ongoing-process


In short, quote from link,

Containers isolate sites from sites outside the container. You can put multiple into a container and they may share information if, e.g. the same tracking resources are loaded.

First-Party Isolation does more-or-less what Containers do, but for each site individually. Means: If the feature is enabled, you don’t need to use Containers for blocking tracking. Containers may still be useful for other purposes, e.g. automatic clearing of data in a container.

Fission / Site Isolation moves sites and cross-site iframes into their own process; this isolates them from one another which improves security.

So if you have more than one site open in PB tabs in the same Firefox window is there no chance of cross-contamination etc between the separate PB tabs?
 

HarborFront

Level 54
Verified
Content Creator
So to avoid cross-contamination we need to have only one site open, clear everything after closing that site and start again with another site so as we can't be tracked etc.

Its so 1990s!

The advise is to clear the cookies as soon as possible for if a website is open for too long then more cookies will be stored

For immediate clearing of cookies you can use extensions like Cookie AutoDelete, Site Bleacher, Foregt Me Not etc and also block 3rd-party cookies.
 
Last edited:

Stopspying

Level 10
The advise is to clear the cookies as soon as possible for if a website is open for too long then more cookies will be stored

For immediate clearing of cookies you can use extensions like Cookie AutoDelete, Site Bleacher, Foregt Me Not etc and also block 3rd-party cookies.
OK. I've used all three of these extensions, in the order that you mention them - currently Fogret MeNot is the one I'm using.
 

security123

Level 27
Verified
Remember that using this doesn't protect your browser itself as Firefox miss site isolation / real sandboxing.
That means one comprised site/ tab can comprise others.
difference between site isolation and containers:
Containers separate local storage like cookies per-website.

Site isolation runs each website inside its own sandbox so even if a website exploits a vulnerability in the browser, it cannot access data on other websites unless chained with a sandbox escape.
https://www.reddit.com/r/privacy/comments/iwaeq6/_/g650cpk
 
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