A secure web browser that safeguards your privacy is vital. It is a tool that keeps you secure when you are online and keeps all your information safe from any third party. In this article, we will discuss the top three web browsers that are very safe and also have your privacy as their top priorities.
Today, there are various browsers that collect data for advertising firms. This happens with Google Chrome. It is the most famous browser across the globe. In fact, it is the largest browser on the market. These firms end up making a lot of money by collaborating with advertising companies that target specific ads. This type of similar privacy–abusing and invasive business model is seen with various email services and search engines.
Browsers have plenty of private information, and unless you have a strong configuration, your information might end up getting exploited or collected by multiple third parties;
* Browsing History: all the visited sites.
* Credentials of your Login: User ID and password.
*Trackers and cookies: The sites you go to, place these on your browser.
*Autofill Information: Name, phone number, address etc.
In this article, we will also discuss using ‘incognito’, or ‘private’ browsing doesn’t protect you. Your IP can be tracked by multiple third parties as it is continuous to remain exposed. You have no reason to go by what I am saying. However, we do recommend you read the article that mentions the fact that Google has its eyes on the ‘Incognito’ browsing: In most cases, you could have a hardened and locked down the browser, there is a possibility that there are exploits that could reveal your identity and data.
A while ago, a zero-day flaw was announced by Google Chrome. With this, affected systems would have codes executed by hackers from any part of the globe. This sounds like a scary situation to be in. But, let’s not take unwanted stress. There are a few very effective tools and solutions, and we will speak about them as we progress in this article. We have guidelines on browser privacy and security that are mentioned below:
1. Browsers that are safe and care about your privacy.
2. Concerns with various other browsers.
3. Compartmentalization of browser privacy.
4. Browser Add – ons that are secure.
5. ‘Private Browsing’ mode isn’t all that private. You need a VPN.
Warning: If your browser is using incognito and “private” mode, note, your real location and IP address is still seen by multiple websites, trackers and ads that uploads into the browser. VPN service is a good way of hiding your location and IP address in collaboration with an excellent browser. This will help you to achieve proper privacy.
Let’s take a look at secure browsers and their features:-
1. Security: Does the browser keep you secure from online exploits, vulnerabilities and hackers.
2. Privacy: Is your browser collecting all your sensitive data, and who is this data sold to? So how is your privacy protected by the browser?
Just to make it clear, we are not trying to sell a particular browser through this article. Opinions about browser security and privacy can be contentious and divergent. Everyone doesn’t have to go in for one browser; through this article, we will give a brief summary of the multiple browsers available along with the security and privacy they offer. Each one is encouraged to pick a browser with regards to your requirements, be it personal or professional.
3 Best & Secure Web Browsers
Below are the top three most private and secure browsers:
1. Firefox – tweaked and modified for privacy
It’s been many years now that Mozilla Firefox has made its way into the market. Over the years, they have had varied success with the iterations they’ve been through. The quantum update was launched by Firefox in 2017; it had a new design and better speeds. Read on to learn how does Firefox compare with other browsers.
Firefox is one of the fastest browsers. It has multiple features with extensive customization and various add–on options. The privacy protection is very strong. Mozilla’s business doesn’t run on a monetary incentive making it a non – profit organization. So, to collect or even sell your data will earn them very little incentive. Most operating systems (OS) and devices have Firefox on them. This includes Windows, Android Jelly Bean, macOS X 10.9 and more.
Below are a few Strengths and Weaknesses;
* UI customization
* Compatibility issues at times
* When the load is low processing is done, consuming a lot of RAM
We would like to point out, Firefox’ privacy isn’t the best; however, you can harden it by customizing it to meet your requirements. Firefox has a feature called telemetry, be sure to disable it. This feature is designed to collect ‘interaction and technical data’; also, be sure to ‘install & run studies’ on your browser. In the settings area under Privacy and Security, there are plenty of custom options that can prove to be very beneficial at various privacy levels; custom, strict or standard.
Firefox makes use of multiple browser extensions that, in turn, enhance your security and privacy settings.
* Independently audited open-source code.
* Frequent updates with active developments.
* Excellent custom options and privacy features.
* It supports various browser extensions.
* You must manually display tracking and telemetry needs.
* For extra security and privacy, you need to make other modifications.
If you are anxious about your privacy, then Firefox is apt for you. The default settings tend to collect a little information about you, but you can turn that off with much ease. It comes with strict cookie protection and tracking giving you a private robust browsing mode.
The browser is user–friendly with excellent other features like alternate search engines and screenshot tool. The extensive add–on library allows you to add all the missing browser features. Firefox sometimes tends to have compatibility issues with web apps that are new. When the load is low, the processing is done, consuming a lot of RAM. Having pointed out these issues, I must say it does make up for them with the extraordinary features and privacy designs.
Now that we have covered Firefox, let’s move on to our next contender;
2. Brave Browser
When you talk from a security point of view, Brave is also great. It has the potential to be as safe as Firefox. I must say, no browser can assure 100% safety. But, if you’re wondering how safe is Brave, then we must say it is very safe. They have a variety of features that look after the security, like:
* While browsing, you can store and create passwords with the help of a password manager that is inbuilt.
* Depending on the site you are on, you can control the functionality to autoplay.
* You can block scripts and control cookies by various sites.
* To ensure secure and safe web surfing, the Tor project functionalities are used by many private browsers.
These are excellent features. To ensure encryption for your site connections, you can with much ease permit HTTPS. This is very helpful, especially if you are entering sensitive information regularly. It is nice to know that Brave has it as a standard feature.
We can see that they have a very active developing team that continually works to improve the privacy and security of all its users. You will get support for IPFS (InterPlanetary File Systems) links. They were the first to offer this support. Isn’t it amazing! Looking at this, you can imagine how exceptional the security settings for daily use are.
Shield settings can now be accessed from the toolbar.
Shields up seems to be a default, but it is a simple step to disable it.
If you would like to see the blocked elements, select the link ‘Advanced View’, and it will give you a dialog with a complete breakdown of it.
You can make changes to block trackers and ads, fingerprinting and cross-site cookies. The functionality – HTTPS Everywhere can be toggled. The website will have incoming connections – it will work on all of them instead of only the main page.
Some users have queries regarding the security provisions from Brave. To answer these questions, we’ll discuss a few advantages and disadvantages it comes with:
Brave is catching on quickly in the market, and here’s why –
Less Tracking and Better Privacy
Native’ – privacy protection is the best and loved by us. Wherever possible, users secure HTTPS connections, and it doesn’t sell or collect your information. It stops ad trackers automatically. Brave also has Tor network power its latest browsing tabs.
Ad Blocking is Built-in
Brave has integrated its ad-blocking feature. Unlike most browsers that have extensions to block ads, Brave has it as its core feature. You can replace these ads with interesting plans. We’ll discuss it later.
Efficient and Faster Browsing
Ad tracker and ad blocking together allow Brave to give its users impressive speeds, and it uses little data resource. It also loads pages faster than most web browsers.
Chromium is the foundation on which Brave has built its desktop software. Chromium is also the backbone of Chrome. Being open-source is always better for security and privacy. Since Brave is open-source, it works in their favour.
We have noticed that various sites depend on ads to make their money that in turn helps them to run their sites. Brave has a payment system implemented through which you can now pay for the sites you visit the most or like. Depending on the budget you have, you can make the payment using cryptocurrency transactions that are anonymous. They are currently working on a system that will allow users to view non-target ads, and in return, they will be rewarded for viewing them. They would then get paid in points that they can in turn use to pay for their favourite sites.
A couple of things Brave could improve on;
Lack of Ad – on and Extensions
This is one of the biggest cons that they have, is the lack of plugins, add – ons and extensions. On the other hand, Firefox, Opera etc., seem to have an extensive list of extensions. LastPass and Dashlane are the password managers the library is limited to.
Few Features are in Beta
Brave continuous to work on its features, but with Tor, private browsing tabs and ad replacement is in ‘beta’, which means they are still working on it.
Not compatible with every site
At times using Brave for a certain site has been an issue. This particular site worked well with Firefox. But this is no biggie; this happens with many browsers at some point or the other.
If you’re wondering whether you should move to Brave, then there are a few points you must consider. If you don’t like using many settings and extensions, however, you are looking for a browser with blocks ads, has high speed with good built-in privacy, then Brave is the perfect option.
If you are tech-savvy, then you will be able to replicate a lot of Brave’ ad blocking and privacy features by using the features from Firefox. Only because, as we discussed earlier, Firefox is a fully – realized browser with an extensive library of themes, other features as well as add – ons. All in all, it depends on your current requirement.
3. Tor Browser
You can with much each protect your identity using the Tor browser as it anonymizes the traffic of your web with the help of the Tor network. You may be investigating your competitor, a dispute that’s legal, or you simply think that it’s not right for the government or your ISP to keep track of all the websites you visit. Whatever your reasons are, the Tor browser could be a good option for you.
For some of your reading this write-up and wondering if Tor browser is legal or not, let me put your concerns to rest; yes, it is completely legal. However, in a few countries, it is blocked or illegal by their national authorities. China has blocked the traffic of Tor from passing the Great Firewall. They have blacklisted this anonymity service. Other countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Russia are trying their best to stop their citizens from making use of the Tor browser service. Recently, all traffic from Tor was blocked by Venezuela.
This web makes it easy to report corruption keeping the identity of the journalist private. Political repression can now be put to an end as it helps dissidents stand up against them. So, now we can clearly see the reason behind all the hatred towards Tor from repressive regimes.
There is the freedom to read anonymously, publish, and communication is vital to express your freedom online, making it a necessity for democracy. Tor believes in supporting freedom across the globe. Its name originated from the process in which data is transferred. The design of the onion is the original inspiration. The journey of each layer is different from the other, transferring data effectively and keeps it anonymous.
The best tools available online find it challenging to get details of the origination of the information and its destination. Many people, unaware of the facts, falsely presume it is illegal. It was built and continues to be funded by the government of America. It is used to communicate online, especially in unsteady nations. Let’s look at some of the key advantages and disadvantages;
Anonymity: Data packets of users keep bouncing through various nodes. This makes surveillance impractical. Tracing or even tracking IP address is impossible.
Security: In Tor, hiding malware is difficult, as its software is open–source. They have a guard against codes that are malicious. Due to which a few outlaws look at using this niche browser.
Universal accessibility and free: You can download Tor for free without paying a cent. It works well on Linux computers, Macs and PCs. It has no intrusive cookies or ads.
Deep Web Access: A site that has a suffix of onion through Tor is visible. This is not possible through web browsers that are mainstream.
Search Engines: It has a search engine that is privacy-conscious. It has very secure search engines, and anonymity is its top priority.
Aids Democracy: A couple of years ago, in the uprising Arab spring, it was a leading and popular communications tool. Repressive regime citizens communicated safely.
Start-up Time: The homepage takes forever to load. Once you click the icon, it takes sixty seconds to load. Users of regular mainstream browsers will be in total shock.
Performance: The distribution of the data is layer – making it extremely slow. You would never be able to have a good experience watching media content that’s streaming, even over fibre broadband.
Encrypted Data: As it is anonymous, Tor doesn’t encrypt its data. You need to get a separate VPN to encrypt the data. This slows the transfer time.
Dated Interface: With the retro banners and grey fonts, Tor looks like the browser from the 90s Netscape Navigator instead of the modern-day competitor like Firefox or Brave.
Security Flaws: Anonymous delivery of information is an advantage; however, the software of the browser has vulnerabilities. It happens mostly when your visiting HTTPS sites.
To be honest, I find it extremely difficult to imagine someone using the Tor browser as its primary internet portal. We have seen the advantages it has and the kind of people who could benefit from it.
Suppose you use your browser for regular things, then I find it unnecessary to have Tor. The reason being; it’s not as fast enough as you would want it to be, especially for your day-to-day use. The interface doesn’t look all that great, and the performance is as slow as a snail, reminds me of the olden days when we used Midband connections. No fond memories here.
We have noticed the number of people is increasing around the globe who chose to have Tor as a secondary web service. It’s mainly used keeping in mind issues around public awareness like reselling and tracking data. It is mostly a backup to Firefox and Brave; it’s an excellent way of keeping a low key and away from attention, especially from advertisers and ISPs. Keeping this in mind, it is quite appealing.
The key to protecting your data and securely browsing the internet is a safe and secure browser. It is difficult to recommend “The Best” secure browser to anyone because each one’s needs are different. You can also check our article on Where Does WordPress Store Pages.
This article is written with the intention of giving you a place to start. We always suggest users get a VPN that will ensure airtight security. You can also read up on device/browser fingerprinting and WebRTC browser leaks. We hope our article will help you pick a browser suitable for your requirement. Safe surfing!