When it comes to internet browsing, you are more vulnerable than you’ve ever been. Not only is your privacy massively under threat, but it is also very easy to get hacked when you are using a conventional browser. We will take you through a few browsers that are not only going to decrease significantly the chance of you getting hacked, but also give you additional options to protect your privacy.
Although Google Chrome might very well be the most popular browser in the world, it’s not the safest browser (more on that later). It has a lot of features which make you feel safer, but there are far better alternatives that can provide you more control over your internet experience.
Further below, we will also give you tips on how you can ensure your privacy. By the end of this article, you will have a good idea of all of the steps you need to take in order to completely protect yourself from threats that arise while surfing the web.
Which browser is safest?
When people wonder which browser is the safest browser, they often forget that there are other browsers outside the mainstream which might be more secure.
Based on our analysis, the most secure web browsers should have tons of features which do not track your activity and do their best to avoid anything that might allow hackers to exploit loopholes in their coding.
Most secure browser: Tor Browser
We recommend Tor Browser if you want the safest web browser. Tor is an open source web browser which comes with a plethora of security features which protect against browser fingerprinting. On top of that, it is regularly updated to deal with all of the new security issues that may arise.
Tor Browser does not allow any scripts to run by default. It also uses the Private Browsing mode by default which is like the Incognito mode in Google Chrome. This means that Tor doesn’t save your passwords, history, cookies, and web content. It also blocks plugins such as Flash and Quicktime in order to make sure that there is no way for anyone to hack into your system.
One of the best things is that if you only want to protect yourself from fingerprinting but want to be able to use the internet like a normal person, you can enable all of the features above and have a decent internet experience.
Although Tor might be the safest web browser, there are alternatives. Let’s go ahead and take a look at a couple.
Possible safest browser: Mozilla FireFox
Although Tor may be the most battle-ready browser out of the box, FireFox has such massive plugin support that you might be able to make it more secure than Tor. Like Tor, FireFox is also open source. Unlike Tor, it is Fully Audited.
Mozilla FireFox may not be the most secure browser out of the box, but if you want to know which browser is safest, then download a few privacy plugins, and FireFox is your answer. The main reason that FireFox is better than Tor is that you can use it for secure browsing when you want, and use it as a fully-featured browser at other times.
Like Tor and unlike Google’s Chrome browser, FireFox does not track your browser history. It is also updated regularly to deal with new security threats that may arise. Unless you are looking for hardcore security, then Mozilla is your best choice. You can learn more about its security and privacy features by reading our full Mozilla FireFox review.
Alternative choice for Apple users: Safari
Although Apple is known to have been accused of data collection in the past, the company’s decision to have users opt in to data gathering techniques made Apple’s products a lot more attractive from a privacy standpoint.
The Safari browser is no exception. With privacy concerns addressed, Safari’s security features are definitely worth considering. For example, Safari runs websites in a sandbox, which prevents unauthorized data access and malicious code from one of your tabs taking over your entire browser. This is done by separately quarantining each open tab.
Other cool features include a built-in password manager, protection from phishing and fake websites, as well as a private browsing mode. For a complete overview of everything Safari has to offer, be sure to read our full Safari review.
Alternative choice for everyone else: Opera
Opera is a fairly underrated browser. It has built-in features such as the ability to route your traffic through their servers if you want to and a very robust ad-blocker. It is also very good at compressing your traffic so it might be great if you have a slow connection.
If you are connecting to secure websites such as those of credit card companies, Opera has built-in privacy features and automatically makes sure that any sensitive information will not leak.
The main problem that Opera has is the same as Mozilla’s, in that it needs plugins to be completely secure. This may not be a huge problem, but Firefox has way more plugins than Opera due to its higher user-base, making finding the right plugins much harder. Read our full Opera review to learn more about how Opera compares to other secure browsers on the market.
What about Google Chrome?
Over a decade since its introduction, Google Chrome is now the most popular web browser on the planet. While this browser scores exceptionally highly in terms of security because of frequent updates and an abundance of useful features, many (including us) would hesitate to call Google Chrome a “secure browser.”
Why? The primary reasons for that are Chrome’s interaction with your Google account and the Sync feature, which automatically collects your data and sends it back to Google, including things like your browsing history, website permissions, and search history. What’s more, the mobile version of Chrome provides Google with your location data as well.
If you want to learn more about Chrome’s privacy concerns and its security features, check out our full Google Chrome review.
Protecting your privacy
Now that you know some of the safest web browsers, remember that there’s a difference in being secure and being able to have complete privacy. Security relates more to protection against hackers while Privacy is more focused on protecting you against any sort of spying that might go on.
Nowadays, it is possible for ISPs to sell your browsing history to numerous third parties. On top of that, there is legislation in many countries which allows governments full access to both aggregated and targeted data when it comes to their resident’s browsing history. Do not fret though, as there is a simple way to protect you against this.
Using a VPN to safeguard privacy
A VPN essentially routes your traffic through a remote server. This means that anyone spying on you will only be able to see that you are connected to a VPN, and not have any information as to which websites you have been visiting. It is entirely legal to use a VPN, and it is the most convenient way to protect your privacy.
We recommend you use NordVPN. It has over 60 countries to select your server from, and it encrypts your data so that any information that is intercepted cannot be accessed.
If you are looking for the most secure web browser and also want complete privacy, then we recommend using the Tor Browser along with a VPN like NordVPN. Opera can be a worthy alternative as it has its own built-in VPN (although it lacks in most features that a VPN should have and is very basic). If you are using NordVPN, then you might even be able to turn off some of the additional features that Tor offers.
Read our full NordVPN review
Mozilla Firefox is mostly based on customization and is perfect for those who want a completely personalized browsing experience. Remember that it can take a fair bit of time to find all of the right plugins that you require, so make sure you are willing to invest the time needed to make Firefox the perfect browser that it can be.