There are so many web browser options nowadays that it can be hard to tell the difference between them. While web browsers accomplish the job, they differ on how much emphasis they put on one important thing: privacy.
But when using the Internet, privacy should always be a top priority. Common browsers like Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer don't always prioritize a user's privacy. In this article we’ll break down some of the best browsers for privacy.
Why Do I Need Privacy on Web Browsers?
Web browsers are the pathway to accessing the Internet. A secure and safe connection starts with the browser that you choose. Threats of malware, viruses, and other damaging software are always present online, and your web browser protects against those dangers. But each browser has their own security features and settings, which makes it all the more important to choose a secure browser.
Best Web Browsers for Privacy
There are several desktop browsers and mobile browsers out there that place user privacy and anonymity at the top of the list. These browsers offer security that other browsers or search engines don't. They aren’t all equal, though; some are much more efficient than others. By default, some browsers leave WebRTC enabled which allows websites to see your location. These are the top three browsers overall when it comes to privacy-focused browsers.
1. Mozilla Firefox
Because of its commonness, it may come as a surprise that Mozilla’s Firefox browser is actually one of the most privacy-conscious out there. Once you switch to Firefox’s private browsing, all of your search history, cookies, and passwords are automatically erased after a browsing session.
Firefox won’t hang onto your information or keep track of you. Firefox’s private browser goes one step further with a built-in ad blocker. It cuts off websites with hidden trackers so that your browsing speed won’t be slowed. This ad blocking feature could even make it faster than Chrome, especially if your Google Chrome doesn't have ad blockers turned on.
Firefox has a number of privacy addons that can help with everything from blocking cookies to preserving your email address’ privacy. It has protection against fingerprinting and phishing. Overall, Mozilla’s safety features combined with the easy mainstream access make it one of the best browsers for privacy-focused users.
Epic is a lesser-known privacy-focused web browser. All data from your browsing session is setup to automatically remove, like cookies and history, once you exit the browser. This keeps your information safe and out of records.
Epic makes a point of blocking ad trackers, activity trackers, and fingerprint collection as well. It works to secure users when on free WiFi and ultimately protect your browsing history from any data collectors.
Chromium powers Epic. Chromium is Google’s open source browser project that also powers browsers such as Google Chrome. However, users don't need to be concerned about this. Unless you're logged in to a Google account, Google does not have access to what you do through Epic’s browser.
Even among other private broswers, Epic is unique. It has a built-in VPN already in its system. This is quite helpful to users because makes it so that websites cannot track a user’s IP address and location.
Tor is an Internet browser with an “onion” model—that is, layer upon layer of protection that ultimately strips users of an online identity completely. The removal and encryption of the user's first layer of identifying information, when a user browses with Tor. This happens repeatedly until a website can no longer tell where you’re from, your online profile, or any other private information. Tor’s default settings allow for maximum privacy, which makes it easy for new users.
The downside to Tor is the Internet speed. Because Tor is volunteer-run, a user’s connection speed is often lacking in comparison to other mainstream browsers. It’s also worth noting that users on Tor should exercise caution; the structure of Tor’s privacy system opens up the possibility of browsing the dark web.
This is never safe, regardless of how private your browser is. Users should not utilize Tor to browse the dark web. Ultimately, Tor is not the most efficient browser and it doesn't have the best user interface, but it is one of the most private.
With so many private browsing options, there is no need for Internet users to fear having their information collected when surfing the web. Regardless of the browser you choose, make sure to always exercise caution on the Internet when it comes to your information and personal data.