Your web browser is your bridge, keeping a delicate balance between you, and the internet. Since you use your browser for most of the things you do online such as paying bills, shopping, online banking, social networking, publishing blogs, or booking hotels, it should be your first line of security. The large amount of information you enter on your web browser is of interest to many people, including websites, ISPs, advertisers, government agencies, and even hackers.
You need to make your browsing experience safer and more private by finding the best, secure browser to protect your privacy and keep you safe while browsing.
In this updated list, we identify the best browsers for security and privacy in 2020.
What Makes a Browser Secure?
The best, secure browsers use different security tools and privacy features to keep you safe online such as:
- Sandboxing which helps restrict malicious applications
- HTTPS to encrypt your connection and keep it private
- Active content protection
- Phishing and spoofing protection which helps to prevent you from visiting fraudulent sites
- Tracking protection to help guard your privacy online
Here is our list of the best browsers that have put effort to protect your privacy and security:
More than a decade old, Firefox has earned a reputation as the best browser for customizable privacy and security. This reputation is because of its features and it is the only known open-source browser and has no questions on its revenue stream.
If you prefer to personally manage your browser’s privacy and security settings, then Firefox should be your browser of choice. It does not only heavily emphasize its default settings on strong privacy protection, but it also allows users to customize the settings with their preferred security level. Among the built-in security and privacy features include mandatory private browsing mode, and protection against scripts and tracking.
If your browsing needs to focus on maximum security, then Tor browser is your best choice. With a three-layer encryption, complete anonymity, and user privacy, Tor is undoubtedly the best privacy-focused browser today. It considers your security concerns down to the smallest detail, including warning you to avoid maximizing your window to prevent screen-size tracking.
Tor helps you avoid fingerprinting and prevents unauthorized snooping with its built-in hidden relay servers. It automatically clears your history and cookies and protects you from tracking. Tor also blocks plug-ins by design, making its focus highly inclined on your privacy.
Brave is the best overall browser when it comes to privacy.
Brave is a modern Chromium-based browser with a wide variety of built-in security, and privacy features making it one of the best, secure browsers. Brave’s default security configurations and features include:
Ad, scripts and cookie blocking and management
- Browser fingerprint protection
- Automatic HTTPS connection upgrades
- Native password manager
- Protection against tracking
- Automatic block for threats, such as malware and phishing
- The option to customize your browser’s privacy and security settings
Brave’s only drawback is that it’s Chromium-based, and being a Google product, there is no guarantee that it is independent.
Epic is the only best alternative to the Tor browser when it comes to browser security and devotion to privacy. Its security features allow you to feel secure even without a VPN or incognito.
Epic takes “extreme caution” to deliver on the promise of privacy. It ensures all its default privacy settings are turned on. It automatically deletes all browsing data and history as soon as it is closed. It sends “Do Not Track” requests to websites, blocks URL data tracking modules, cookies, ads, and search in private all through to prevent any potential data leakage. It also avoids auto-syncing, auto-fill, spell-check, plug-ins, and protects your IP address.
However, Epic has the same drawback as the Brave browser. It is also Chromium-based, and not open-source.
Waterfox is the only best alternative open-source browser based on the Firefox code. It is more privacy-focused compared to Firefox, and has additional security features.
It offers users a default tracking protection and removes many of Firefox’s privacy decreasing features such as Telemetry, Pocket, startup profiling, and data collection. It can erase all of your online data without any add-ons.
However, Waterfox has less frequent updates, and its webpage data runs through Google’s Safe Browsing service, which doesn’t guarantee independency.
Chromium is the next-best alternative to Google Chrome. It gives you the best security features of Chrome but without tracking or selling your personal data and information. The main features of the Chromium revolve around three things, namely reliability, speed, and safety.
It functions almost similar to Google Chrome but without extra Google features, such as:
- No automatic system update
- No default Adobe Flash
- Only standard video and audio formats
- Chromium doesn’t send error reports, RLZ identifiers, statistics, or other information to Google
The advantage of Chromium over Chrome is its customization options, including daily updates.
Safari is the best browser for privacy on Mac, according to Apple.
Safari is a relatively good browser in terms of maintaining your privacy and online security. Apple-designed it with plenty of small, useful features, such as:
- Password generator of strong passwords
- Private browsing mode with default DuckDuckGo
- Machine learning-based protection
- Sandboxing that provides warning for unsafe websites
- Anti-fingerprinting tools
However, being Apple owned, Safari might be at risk of data collection of users’ browsing history, which compromises its guarantee for reliability.
8. Google Chrome
Chrome has the best features a browser should have, and is the undisputed leader of popular web browsers. Chrome offers speed, convenience, undisputed function, and constant update on security features.
Chrome’s incognito mode is its most well-known security feature that doesn’t save your site data, browsing history, and cookies. Additionally, Chrome automatically scans for harmful websites and downloads. Above all, Chrome has an extensive collection of extensions, which offer various additional functionalities.
Other than questions of data collection and privacy violations, Google remains the best browser for online security.
9. Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge is the best alternative browser option for privacy.
Despite its brand on Windows PC, Edge is still available on other platforms such as Android, macOS, and iOS. This makes Microsoft Edge a great alternative to other popular browsers named above.
The new version of Microsoft Edge provides several customizable privacy options similar to Firefox. You can select your level of tracking protection from basic, balanced, to strict and configure site permissions such as ads, cookies, and location requests.
You will also get a default Microsoft Defender SmartScreen, which protects your device from malware, and phishing attacks. It also warns you against visiting malicious websites.
As the rise of online security concerns continues to increase, you need to be vigilant in protecting your data. Other than choosing the best browser for your security and privacy, you can take precautions such as installing anti-malware, and deleting junk files on your browser and PC.