Privacy Badger vs Ghostery Comparison

Privacy Badger and Ghostery logos

Privacy and security are in huge demand on the internet today, and developers are well aware of that.

While some browsers, such as Opera or Firefox, continue to add more privacy and security features, others can be lacking.

Regardless, you probably wish for more protection, right?

This is why many go for privacy and security extensions, as these can usually add features quicker than browsers update or add features that commercial giants (*ahem* Google) probably don't want to add.

Two of the most popular ones are Privacy Badger and Ghostery. But what are they? and ultimately is one better than the other?

I've been finding out and below you'll discover what I found.

First, let's find out what they both are.

What is Privacy Badger?

Privacy Badger is a privacy extension available for multiple browsers, including Chrome and Firefox.

The extension was created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organisation that we have financially supported.

Its purpose is to block trackers, spying ads, and similar privacy-intruding elements while you browse the web.

It is an extension that will stop most things from monitoring and recording your online activities, with a particular focus on advertisers.

Privacy Badger interface

Privacy Badger's unobtrusive interface.

As you may know, advertisers record users' browsing activity to use this data to target them with better ads for specific products, offers, and alike.

While this can be useful, it is also highly intrusive.

Ever search something once only to see that item pop up on every other website? You know what I mean.

Top Tip

Looking for additional tools to stay secure online, check out our comparison of VPN services.

With Privacy Badger anyone who has privacy concerns can finally know that they are adding an extra safety layer to their online browsing.

What is Ghostery?

On the other hand, we have Ghostery, which is another privacy and security extension that was made for the same purpose, and with the same goal.

Just like Privacy Badger, Ghostery can also block trackers, and protect its users from intrusive advertisers.

Unfortunately, extensions like these are becoming more necessary, as advertisers' methods become more ‘aggressive.'

Ghostery interface

Ghostery's interface is more involved.

Ghostery is easy to use, it lets you avoid problems such as lags, and it improves browser speeds. In other words, it can eliminate distractions and make your browsing experience better than ever.

The extension is owned and produced by German company, Cliqz GmbH.

Privacy Badger vs Ghostery

While both of these extensions exist to do almost the same thing, you will eventually have to make a choice and opt for one of them, while turning your back to the other.

Our goal today is to compare the two and ensure that you pick the right one. With that in mind, let's see how they stand up.

1) Level of control

The first thing that we noticed when comparing these two privacy extensions is the level of control that they give you.

Of course, they both have a settings section where you can modify them to an extent, although Ghostery actually gives you the option to choose which trackers you wish to block, and which one you want to allow.

It is an effective way to give you control over your information, and at the same time, it educates you about who is following you and whether or not they are a suspicious entity.

Privacy badger settings page

Privacy Badger's basic interface.

Privacy Badger, on the other hand, automatically blocks suspicious trackers without bothering you with the details. In the end, deciding which one is better in this regard will depend on you and your interest in the technical aspects of using these extensions.

If you don't care about making a difference between the trackers and you just wish all of them blocked, then Privacy Badger is the way to go.

If, on the other hand, you know of certain benefits and advantages that you may make use of if you allow certain trackers to remain, then Ghostery will definitely give you the necessary control to make that call.

2) User Interface

When it comes to the User Interface (UI), we feel like Ghostery has a cleaner one, which is easier to understand and navigate.

It is nice and tidy, and the information is presented to you without too many distractions around. It looks very professional and it just gives you the feeling of dealing with a capable extension.

Ghostery's settings page

Ghostery's much more professional ‘commercial' interface.

Of course, that doesn't mean that Privacy Badger is its polar opposite.

On the contrary, it also offers a pretty clear UI, which will notify you of the number of trackers that are recording your data, and it will give you a slider that you can use to decide whether or not the trackers should be blocked, allowed, or restricted.

Top Tip

Make your searching even more secure by using a secure Google alternative.

Of course, Privacy Badger does most of this itself, as mentioned, and it stresses that you shouldn't interfere unless you notice that something is broken or not working correctly.

As such, it doesn't feel like it expects the user to spend too much time within the extension, so the UI does feel like it did not get that much attention. At least when compared to Ghostery, although this might also be a thing of personal preference.

3) Privacy and speed

When it comes to speed and privacy, each of these two seems to specialise in one.

Privacy Badger will not provide as high speeds as Ghostery. Still, its developer is a major privacy and security advocate, so you can be sure that there are no hidden issues that you may come to learn of and regret using it later on.

Its job isn't to improve speed remember, only privacy.

On the other hand, Ghostery is not that bad in this regard itself, at least since it went open-source a few years back.

It also has the ability to offer a slight speed increase.

So, if you are having trouble with your browser in this regard, Ghostery might be the better option.

However, we weren't too impressed with the pre-selected options of “Sharing Human Web data” and “Participating in Ghostery Rewards”. One to watch.

If you value your privacy, then Privacy Badger is the one for you as it's created by a privacy organisation as opposed to a business.

Conclusion

Privacy Badger and Ghostery are two major privacy and security extensions for the two most prominent browsers in the world – Chrome and Firefox.

While they do pretty much the same, they do have their differences and specialities.

Ghostery is faster, with a slightly better UI, and it gives you more control over the trackers and what happens to them.

Privacy Badger tends to do more by itself when it comes to choosing what happens with the trackers, but it is known for being an excellent security plugin.

As such, it is exceptionally trustworthy, even though its UI is somewhat less informative.

In the end, it is a matter of personal preference, as they are both pretty good, and we don't expect that choosing one over the other will be a thing you might come to regret.

Want speed and features? Grab Ghostery.

If you want a more privacy-centric beginner-friendly option, then Privacy Badger is for you.

Or you could give them both a whirl – they're free!

Which did you end up choosing and which do you prefer? I would love to hear your thoughts so pop me a comment in the section below.

Ali Raza

Author: Ali Raza

Ali is a journalist with a keen interest in VPN usage. He is an expert in the field and has been covering VPN related topics for VPNCompare and numerous well-respected publications for many years.

Comments

  1. Avatar Al Taylor

    Hello Ali, I found your article very interesting as I am not computer savvy as a retired mechanical real World Engineer. I have been with Ghostery on the advice of my Computer Support fella for a couple of years now, I have recently upgraded from Donations to Ghostery Plus as I already use the P.I.A V.P.N., so being mindful/sceptical of Companies/Programmes that offer their own V.P.N’s as an add on to their core business makes me very cautious of the quality of the add on ie V.P.N. compared to organisations that specialise in one programme. I do not wish to place all my Eggs in one basket just for the sole purpose of convenience to find the V.P.N. is substandard. So I was trying to establish the Ghostery V.P.N. compared with my current choice??? Would appreciate if possible your views. Al Taylor. P.S. my computer advice bloke has removed Windows and replaced with Linux, installed Firefox/Mozilla, I now do not use Google but now use duckduckgo,

    • Christopher Seward Christopher Seward

      Hi Al,

      Thanks for taking the time to post. Actually it sounds like you’re doing everything right and you’ve already put in plenty of recommendations that a lot of others could learn from.

      We haven’t tested the Ghostery VPN so can’t comment on it directly, but I do feel you’re best to keep your services apart as you’ve already mentioned. PIA is a long established and respected VPN provider. They have recently been bought out by an organisation called KAPE which also owns two other providers, CyberGhost VPN and ZenMate, so you may want to do a little research into their parent company to see if it fits with your ethos.

      That aside, it seems you’re definitely on the right track and hopefully some of our other readers can take your suggestions and implement them themselves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest privacy news, expert VPN guides & TV unblocking how-to’s sent straight to your inbox.

Black Friday sale

LAST CHANCE: Up to 84% off!