When you want to go online, you will likely fire up Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Safari. Those four browsers have most of the market share right now along with Edge/Internet Explorer. They aren’t the only web browser and they certainly aren’t the best browsers for privacy. After Wednesday’s post, ‘Five reasons you should use a VPN’ I thought it might be a good idea to let you know there are other options to secure your web browsing from prying eyes.
Chrome is the world’s favorite web browser but it is developed by Google. A company whose main revenue is advertising. Safari is also a great browser and along with Microsoft Edge, also has form for not being very secure. Firefox goes a long way to keeping your private data private but could do better.
Here are five of the best browsers for privacy available right now.
While Firefox is not specifically hardened for privacy, it is the only mainstream browser that does not make money from your data. The Mozilla Foundation works hard to keep your data private and with a couple of addons such as HTTPS Everywhere, uBlock Origin, NoScript and some others can prevent most leaks of your data while in use.
If you don’t want a privacy-specific browser, Firefox is the one to use.
The Tor browser uses a special version of Firefox that eliminates almost every element of surveillance. Tor stands for The Onion Browser and uses anonymous relays to bounce your connection around the world. Much like in the movies where you see someone trying to trace an internet user online but can’t, this is similar. It is not perfect but is as near to it as most of you will need.
Tor does not share your data and actively prevents third parties trying to capture it. The downside is that it can be slow at times and can cause some websites to appear strange or not work as it enforces HTTPS. Otherwise, you can’t get much better in terms of privacy.
Brave is a relatively new browser on the scene and one that is going down well with users. I have it on my personal computer here at Dave’s Computers and it works well. It’s by the same guy who helped start the Mozilla Foundation and does a lot of work to protect your privacy.
It has ad-blocking built in, enforces HTTPS anywhere, blocks cookies and does what it can to protect your privacy without getting in the way. As it’s new, there aren’t that many addons for it but that will change.
Waterfox is a more secure version of Firefox with a lot of the data collection turned off. Even though Firefox says it doesn’t share your data, it does collect some so for maximum protection, Waterfox might be what you’re looking for. It’s open source and uses a stable version of Firefox 56 to run.
It has removed telemetry, data collection, profiling and other privacy concerns while working with many legacy Firefox addons like uBlock Origin and HTTPS Everywhere.
Epic differs from these others as it uses Chromium, the basis for Google Chrome rather than Firefox. It says it has stripped out all of the data tracking, analytics and collection tools inherent in Chrome to help keep your browsing private. It also routes all of your browsing through its own servers and deletes all session cookies and log files after you’re finished.
There is also a proxy button to help disguise your location but like all proxies, it slows down your browsing a little as a result.