Chrome plugin shows how dark the web is without net neutrality

net neutrality plugin experience
Flickr/Backbone Campaign
In an effort to help educate the world about why net neutrality is important, the developers of a new extension for the Chrome browser show users how browsing the internet could be without it in place. The plugin affects internet speed, what sites you can access, and even goes so far as to suggest alternatives.

The difficulty with explaining net neutrality is that most people in the western world have never lived without it, so they do not know any different. What the “Removal of Net Neutrality Simulator” is hoping to do, is show them just how different it could be. Accessing some of the world’s most popular sites would become impossible because you or they have not paid for the privilege.

Using the plugin will see the internet slowed down when not using particular services and blocked from visiting sites like Google, Facebook, and YouTube. Instead, you will see a popup telling you that that website does not function correctly with your ISP’s service. If you are trying to use a social network, why don’t you “try MySpace instead.” Other suggested alternatives include Bing and Vimeo.

The extension does paint a somewhat extreme version of what a lack of net neutrality could mean for everyday internet users. As Motherboard points out, big corporate websites would be less likely to be affected by the change in net neutrality laws but the sentiment is accurate. Without an even playing field, much of the internet as we know it would become much harder to access and you would often need to pay extra to do so.

The developers at Keep Our Net Free hope that with this plugin more people will help fight to keep net neutrality laws in place in the U.S., despite the best efforts of some lawmakers and lobbyists. They are not alone either: Since the Federal Communications Commission launched its comment section for its rule change proposals, more than 2 million comments have been sent in defending net neutrality.

That comment section will remain open until July 16, followed by a secondary commenting period until August 16, at which point the future evenness of the internet’s playing field will be decided.


Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.

Fix those internet dead zones by turning an old router into a Wi-Fi repeater

Is there a Wi-Fi dead zone in your home or office? A Wi-Fi repeater can help. Don't buy a new one, though. Here is how to extend Wi-Fi range with another router you have lying around.

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.

5G: Why everything is about to change

Curious about the many ways 5G will change and enrich your life? Here’s our guide to all things 5G.