When you open a website, your presence on that website is also logged by hundreds of other websites like facebook, twitter, google and so on. These websites are present in form of plugins and widgets almost on all the other websites that use a like, google plus or tweet button on their pages. Disconnect is a free extension for Firefox and Chrome browsers that can virtually disconnect you from such social networking sites when you are browsing the internet. It works by blocking the connection requests to the known servers of the social networking and other tracking sites.
You can download and install the Disconnect extension from the Disconnect website from where you can install the extension for both the supported browsers. After the installation is done, you would see a new icon in the toolbar of Firefox (or Chrome) browser. This icon would show the number of requests blocked to tracking sites. If you click on the toolbar icon, then it would show a popup window where you can see how many requests for which category and which site are blocked.
The three major social networking sites facebook, google and twitter are shown separately on the top. If you want to toggle the blocking on or off for these sites, then just click on their icon. This would block or unblock that site and reload the webpage. The blocking settings, that you adjust, work only for the currently loaded website.
If you want to whitelist a website and prevent Disconnect from blocking any requests originating from that site, then you can click on the Whitelist button in the Disconnect popup. If you want to force the websites to encrypt the traffic to and from a website, then you can check the checkbox labeled Secure WiFi. It works only if that website supports encryption.
The Disconnect extension is a very helpful extension for all the internet users. It not only blocks the tracking websites, but also increases your web browsing speed by not loading unnecessary plug-ins of different sites. The Disconnect extension actually displays a graph in the popup window indicating how many requests have been secured, how much bandwidth and time has been saved by blocking the unnecessary content.
You can download the Disconnect extension from https://disconnect.me/.