The Cocoon security/privacy add-on for Firefox has been around since the beginning of 2011 but I must admit, along with many others, I had never heard of it before. And that my friends is why the developers have recently decided to make it available to everyone for free.
Until now Cocoon has been available only as payware. Apparently, the developers have been disappointed with the level of acceptance and are hoping that making it freeware will help broaden distribution and enhance recognition.
keeps your browsing information private, your internet connection secure, and your email spam-free. The idea behind Cocoon is very sound; it is basically a web proxy service which, when initiated, directs all your browsing activities through Cocoon's servers via protected SSL connections. So, your IP address plus all browsing history are hidden from prying eyes, and even unsecure sites are accessed using a secure connection.
Cocoon also provides an on-the-fly disposable email address creator, to help keep spam out of your email inbox.
I would imagine there would be a trade of where speed in concerned, the actual extent would be difficult to assess.
Anyway, it's certainly won me over, I'm about to install it right now so I'll soon discover if speed (or lack of it) is a real issue. I'll get back to you on that one.
P.S. Internet Explorer users do not despair; Cocoon for IE is due to be released "soon".