Online privacy and security were among the hottest topics back in 2019. This is due to the recurring presence of data breaches, cyber-crime, and other issues that caused online users to be more concerned about their online security than ever before. In an effort to remain safe and secure while browsing the internet, netizens have been looking for other alternatives from using VPN’s (virtual private networks) to using browsers that grant anonymity when browsing the World Wide Web.
These days, online users can have a number of good choices when it comes to web browsers that allow for a better browsing experience as well as increased online security and privacy. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that a secure browser can be one of the most essential tools you need nowadays.
What are Secure Browsers?
Before we get started with our list of the best secure browsers, let’s first have an understanding of what they actually mean. In essence, a secure browser is different from your average browser by the fact that it focuses on providing its users with the privacy and security they need. An average browser, on the other hand, doesn’t really care about your privacy when browsing the internet at all.
The worse part is, some of them will even sell your personal information to several third parties. As a result, you will often get highly targeted ads whenever you browse the web. In some cases, however, it could also mean that your personal information will end up in the wrong hands.
As you browse the internet, you have to keep in mind that your browser might likely monitor tons of information about you. For example, it might use geo-location to know where you’re from, and it might even monitor all of your online activities, including your activities in social media.
Moreover, if your browser has the WebRTC plugin, then you might be putting yourself at more online risks. RTC or real-time communication is designed to streamline browser-to-browser communication, but since WebRTC is prone to security issues, there could be instances of WebRTC leaks that allow other websites and online users to view your IP address and other private information about you.
Therefore, in order to make your browsing experience as safe, secure, and private as possible, using secure browsers is one thing you’d want to consider. To help you decide, we have compiled the 10 best browsers you can use for ultimate privacy, safety, and security while browsing the web. They’re as follows:
The Most Secure Browsers
Mozilla Firefox is easily one of the most popular browsers on this list apart from Google Chrome. It’s reliable, lightweight, and fairly easy to use; not to mention, it also offers top-notch security and privacy levels to its users. Apart from that, it’s also open-source and performs quite well as it doesn’t use a lot of your computer resources yet can provide you with the protection you need from tracking and canvas fingerprinting.
On the other hand, Firefox’s privacy features aren’t as good as the other browsers on this list. However, it’s still good enough to provide you with the protection you need. It has a feature known as Content Blocking which lets you block any and all web trackers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have an automatic Adblock feature, but you can easily find tons of extensions that you can download to provide that function.
Despite falling behind other browsers when it comes to security and privacy features, one good thing about Firefox is that the team working behind it is quite active. In fact, the browser undergoes updates once every 6 to 10 weeks. These updates are designed to improve the browser’s overall privacy, security, and performance.
Brave is a newcomer to the world of online browsers. In fact, only a few people have already heard, let alone use it. Created by former Mozilla Firefox head Brenden Eich, Brave is an open-source browser that provides incredible speeds as well as reliable security for online browsing purposes.
Despite being new, Brave has emerged as one of the most secure browsers you can ever find. It uses the best and latest technology to make it faster, easier, and more secure to use compared to the other browsers on this list.
It uses a number of techniques in an effort to keep your web browsing activities safe and private. First off, it comes with a default ad blocker that’s really effective in preventing advertisers from monitoring your online traffic. Aside from that, it also features a built-in Tor tab which is perfect for incognito browsing.
In addition to the techniques used by the browser to protect your online activity, it also comes with a number of extensive security settings. There’s the option that lets you delete any data you want before you close the browser. Moreover, there are a number of settings that will help you customize your browsing experience and make it even more secure.
But then again, as mentioned earlier, Brave is still new and further improvements and developments are to be expected. Still, it’s fully operational and is available to everyone for free. Regular updates are also being rolled out.
Vivaldi is a Chromium-based browser that has only been known by people as it split from Opera. Its main goal is to provide users with the features that were originally included in the Opera browser but removed later on.
One of the things that make Vivaldi a good choice for a secure browser is the fact that it comes with a highly customizable interface as well as a host of features designed for optimum security and safety online. In fact, a lot of users tend to consider Vivaldi as a power user’s privacy browser.
The browser’s customization options aren’t just limited to its appearance. In fact, it also extends to its privacy settings, thereby making it possible for users to choose their default search engine alongside other settings related to their privacy. For example, you can set two different search engines as default when browsing regularly and browsing privately.
However, even though it does come with end-to-end encryption which lets you sync between devices, there’s no mobile support as of now. It’s also compatible with most extensions designed for Google Chrome. While that might be a good thing, it might also introduce malware into your system.
Google Chrome is no doubt the most popular browser that’s widely used by most internet users these days. In fact, it has around 70% of the market share rate among the other desktop browsers as of late 2019. This is due to the fact that Google Chrome provides a really user-friendly experience to all its users.
For one, it rolls out updates quickly and on a regular basis. It also uses a very secure sandboxing method, and in the event that you come across a malicious or unsecured website, Chrome will let you know by sending you alerts. You can also find tons of browser extensions designed for Google Chrome to further enhance your user experience and security when browsing the internet.
Despite all that, Google Chrome is a closed-source browser as opposed to the other browsers on this list which are open-source. This means that you won’t have any idea what they’ve written and hidden in their code. Even though Google Chrome is a secure browser that keeps you safe from any malicious third parties who try to steal your information, it doesn’t mean it’s private at all.
As a matter of fact, Google doesn’t hide the fact that they collect as much data as they can from their users as possible. This explains why Chrome allows various websites to place tracking cookies on your computer, sometimes without your permission at all.
Short for “The Onion Router”, the TOR browser is considered the best private web browser online, and it’s one used for browsing the dark web. In fact, due to how secure it is, it’s commonly used by the US Navy for intelligence gathering purposes. Apart from that, it’s also used by various law enforcement organizations to visit websites without exposing their government’s IP address.
Compared to the other browsers on this list, TOR is a portable app that doesn’t require any installation on your computer. In fact, you can just store it on a USB stick then insert it into any device to use.
Due to its security and privacy, TOR is notoriously used by hackers. Despite that, it shouldn’t mean that the browser itself is shady or dangerous. In fact, it’s the safest browser that you can use for free. It features the ability to hide your IP address, location, as well as your browsing-related information. It also has multiple layers of encryption so your online activities won’t be spied on by anyone on the internet.
As a Firefox-based browser, TOR uses HTTPS connection and even allows you to access blocked websites. As mentioned earlier, it also lets you visit the dark web. However, we don’t really recommend doing so as the dark web is filled with tons of disturbing content as well as illegal activities.
Of course, it’s not without its downsides. For one, TOR has a very sluggish performance. This is due to its complicated function where your traffic goes through a very twisty route in order to arrive at its destination. Therefore, you can expect slow loading times for every website you visit. It can be really annoying if you have a slow internet connection, but it can still be a bit of an inconvenience even if you have a fast connection.
Apart from that, even though your online activities can’t be seen by your government and ISP, they know that you’re using the TOR browser, and this can arouse some unwanted suspicions.
All in all, even though TOR is your best option as far as anonymity goes, there are still some risks that you might be exposed to. For example, downloading torrents can leave you vulnerable, and so does illegal streaming. However, out of all the browsers on this list, TOR still remains king.
The Chromium project is an open-source browser that’s launched by Google way back in 2008. Compared to Chrome, Chromium allows developers to come up with their own version of a web browser that’s based on the Chromium browser itself. For users who want to use a browser that offers more privacy and independence from Google, then Chromium is no doubt one of the best choices.
Compared to Chrome, the Chromium browser doesn’t send any user data to the Google corporation. Moreover, it offers a more secure functionality since users can check for any vulnerabilities then fix those issues themselves. You even have the option to integrate third-party apps based on your preferences.
As far as updates go, Chromium rolls out updates on a regular basis, releasing a new one at least every single day. Such updates will allow you to patch any vulnerabilities as soon as possible. The only caveat is that it doesn’t update automatically. You’ll have to install the updates manually which only means that you have to make sure to keep it updated in order to maintain your security.
Another problem is that since it’s an open-source software, a lot of Chromium-based malicious browsers were distributed online. If you’re not careful, they might end up infecting your system with malware and steal any important data you might have.
Epic Browser is one of the most solid options as far as secure browsers go. Compared to most browsers available online, it has a default setting that’s set to provide you with the ultimate security settings possible. It’s also based on the Chromium platform just like that of Brave.
Even though it doesn’t use a specialized onion network, it does allow you to browse the internet privately by automatically disabling most activities that can compromise your privacy. For example, it prevents third-party cookies from accessing your online activity, doesn’t save your browsing history, and doesn’t come with an autofill feature, among others. It also automatically deletes any cookies whenever you close your session.
The Epic Browser makes use of the “encrypted proxy” technology to automatically hide your IP address and encrypt your data at the same time. As a result, you can enjoy protection to your browsing history from data thieves and even your ISP.
Just like Google Chrome, the Epic Browser is fairly easy to use as well. You just have to download the program then install it on your computer. When using the browser, you’ll be able to see the number of trackers and third-party cookies that were blocked on its home page. However, do keep in mind that these numbers only apply to your current session. It’s because as mentioned earlier, Epic Browser deletes your browsing history every time you end your session.
Additionally, Epic comes with its own search page that provides results from the most-used search engines without giving away your data to them.
SRWARE Iron is a browser that looks and works just like Google Chrome. Therefore, if you decide to use it for a more secure browsing experience, then it will surely give you a very familiar feeling. After all, SRWARE is yet another browser that’s based on the Chromium project, and that explains why the interface looks very familiar.
However, the similarities end there. SRWARE Iron is designed towards data protection by removing the use of a Unique User ID (a practice used by Google Chrome) each time you start a browsing session. It also removes search suggestions for an additional layer of privacy and security.
Apart from that, SRWARE Iron also offers a good number of customization options that allow you to customize its developer tools and privacy settings. It also has a fair amount of extensions that are designed to enhance your overall security.
All in all, SRWARE Iron is a browser with fast performance, a sleek design, and several innovative features. It’s a solid choice for users who want to use a Chromium-based browser that’s designed to secure any important data and provide layers of security and privacy.
The Iridium browser is also a Chromium-based browser that’s configured to provide its users with more security and privacy when browsing the internet. As such, it’s a good option for those who want to use a browser that can be installed with Chrome extensions while providing them with the privacy they need. What sets Iridium apart from the other secure browsers is that it’s backed by the Open Source Business Alliance which consists of more than 190 members.
Moreover, compared to the standard Chromium project, the Iridium browser features several enhancements designed to provide you with maximum security as possible while still maintaining overall compatibility. This means that you can use a variety of extensions from the Chrome Web Store, and you can even use it on most operating systems such as Windows, Ubuntu, Linux, macOS, Feodora, and more.
Also, when it comes to speed, Iridium is pretty fast since most of the core functions that are typical in common browsers are disabled by default.
Opera used to be a popular browser back then until Chrome was introduced. Users quickly forgot about it which is a shame since it has a number of amazing features and functionalities that most users weren’t able to discover, let alone use.
The browser comes with a simple and user-friendly interface. It also loads pages pretty quickly, and with its Opera Turbo feature, your web traffic is compressed to provide you with an even faster connection. This makes it quite good for users who have a poor connection speed. This feature is also pretty handy when using the browser on your mobile device.
Once turned on, it will cause your device to transfer fewer data. Aside from that, if you load a secure page, Opera will automatically disable any security feature to let you go through the website with ease. As far as privacy goes, it comes with a built-in VPN to hide your IP and traffic from other online users. While it’s not as reliable as the premium VPN services, it’s still a nice feature to have.
There’s also an integrated Adblock function that blocks all those annoying ads with ease. This means that you don’t have to install any third-party application to do so. Then there’s the battery-saving mode which can be really handy when you’re using the browser on your phone or laptop.
Despite all those amazing features, Opera only makes up 2.5% of the entire browser market. However, it doesn’t mean that it falls behind as far as performance and reliability go. If you want to give it a try, you can download it for free and check out the features for yourself.
Which Browser Should I Use?
For most online users, protecting their data and hiding their online activities aren’t all that important. However, this can be quite alarming as it can cause potential data and identify thefts. Therefore, in order to prevent that from happening, using a well-configured secure browser that offers a ton of privacy and security settings is highly recommended.
If your online data is very important for you, then you have to make sure you keep it well-protected as you use the internet. Always keep in mind that most browsers will record your private data if their default settings are not changed. As such, your private information will be easily exposed to cyber-criminals.
Looking for the best browser for ultimate security and privacy when browsing online will boil down to your preferences and needs. Since the decision will be based on your own criteria, we can’t really recommend one specific browser to handle all your needs. All of the secure browsers we’ve listed have their own unique features after all.
Hopefully, this list will help you decide on which secure browser to use each time you use the web. We recommend you stay vigilant with your online activities whenever possible to prevent your private information from getting exposed to malicious users.