A large majority of people stick with the default browser provided by their operating system, but is this a good option? There is much debate about the best browser to use, with some claiming performance, security, or feature improvements over the others. This article will explore some of the best and worst options available.
Developed by Microsoft and is the default web browser of Windows 10, making it widely used among those who don’t know better. Microsoft likes to collect and sell the data of their users, and they actively make it quite difficult to opt out of the collection. This extends to their browser, which collects data about the browsing habits of users.
Mac uses Apple’s Safari browser as their default, and much the same as Microsoft, Apple uses data from their users for marketing purposes. This comes in the form of advertising IDs, which uniquely identify users and their interests, ensuring that ads are more relevant and effective.
Sticking With The Default Browser
Regardless of the convenience of using the default browser on an operating system, the price paid in my personal data is too high for me to bear. I always look to install a different browser on a new system running Mac or Windows, and a majority of people do too. There isn’t room to cover every browser in this article, but we’ll cover some of the main few, as well as some you may not have heard of.
The most popular browser in the world, developed by Google, who is the original purveyor of data collection for profit. They collect everything typed into the browser, linking interests to products and selling their impressively accurate profiles of their users to the highest bidder. On the plus side, the browser is pretty fast, and almost eerily knows what you want to find before you even type it into the search.
A highly customisable browser that has the ability to be security and privacy hardened to the specifications of a user. For the technically minded, this is a powerful browser to tinker with, providing great tools that are useful for developers and enthusiasts alike. Projects such as the Tor browser are based on Firefox.
A great privacy-focussed browser based on the chromium source code that Chrome is built on. A bit like the de-Googled phones sold here, that are built on the base android code without Google’s additions, Brave is built on the base Chromium code. Brave has great privacy features and settings by default. It makes it difficult for websites to track you by blocking trackers, has a built-in ad blocker, and still maintains great compatibility so websites function correctly. You do get the choice of various search engines, just make sure to set the default search engine to Duck Duck Go, or Ecosia. You can get it from their website here, or get it on mobile on the Aurora Store, Play Store, or App Store.
An open source browser for mobile based on chromium much like Brave. It has some very strong security and privacy measures in place by default, with a particular focus on anti-fingerprinting. What that means is it is more difficult to identify you by your browsing habits, because users are much harder to track across websites. For Android, this is one of the best options available for any browsing that isn’t Tor. You can download it from F-Droid after you manually add the Bromite repository by going into the F-Droid settings and add a repository by entering the repository address found here
Best Browser For Privacy on Mobile
If you don’t mind the little bit of fiddling with F-Droid repositories, Bromite is one of the best options available for a mobile device. If not, Brave is a great option that you can get straight from the Aurora store, while still having some powerful security and privacy features.
Best Browser For Privacy on Computer
If you want the fastest setup with minimal fuss, while still packing powerful security and privacy features, Brave is a great option. If you want to spend some time getting to know more about how you interface with the internet, Firefox is an awesome tool that can be customised to provide even greater security and privacy, breaking websites on your end in the process is part of the fun.
If you need to be anonymous online, your only real option in 2021 is the Tor Browser, but that deserves a whole article to itself.