The 13 Most Secure Browsers in 2019February 25, 2019
Browsers, by default, track your online activity, including your location and browsing history. This behavior can put your private information to high risks.
In order to keep your data secure from third parties, it is essential you pay close attention to the browsers you use and what kind of information they store about you.
In this post, we'll walk you through the most secure browsers in 2019.
The most popular browsers out there will store a lot of private information about you and your browsing habits if you don't customize them. This information about you can be collected, sold to third parties and even leaked.
The most common private information browsers store about you:
- Login credentials - such as usernames and passwords
- Browsing history - all the websites you access
- Autofill information - phone numbers, names, credit card credentials, and so on
- Cookies and trackers - these are stored in the browser by the websites you allow to store them
A secure browser will allow you to choose which of this information to store. But even when you disable the tracking to all of these aspects, some browsers will still gather some data about your browsing journey.
That's why the most secure browsers are the ones that don't keep such logs at all or they allow the use of add-ons and extensions to further secure your private data.
Privacy and security are two words that are often misinterpreted. Privacy does not guarantee security.
Privacy - When we talk about privacy, we refer to staying away from third parties collecting private data about you. Privacy is important because your information can get in the hands of hackers or third parties who will want to misuse it either for spamming you with advertisements or to hack your accounts.
Security - Being secure online means being protected against hackers, malware, vulnerabilities, and so on.
As I said, privacy does not guarantee security. But keeping your data private will minimize the chances of you becoming the pray of targeted attacks.
There's no one solution to keep yourself secure online. For total protection, you need to take care of more aspects:
Epic is a private browser developed using chromium technology that uses an encrypted proxy to keep your data hidden from third parties (including your ISP and the government). When you close the browser, all your browsing history will be gone and there will be no trace of your browsing history left on your computer.
One important aspect of the Epic browser is that it blocks fingerprinting scripts more efficiently than any add-on designed to do the same thing. And because websites use a lot of trackers to spy on your online behavior, Epic has a feature that shows you who's tracking you. These features make Epic one o the most secure browsers out there.
Available for: Windows, macOS
Features of Epic browser
- Your data is routed through an encrypted proxy
- Blocks tracking scripts, cookies, and other third-party widgets
- You can access blocked content from other countries
- The browsing history is deleted once you close the browser
The Brave browser is one of the most secure browsers even though it is fairly new on the market. It is also a chromium based browser that has been developed by one of the original Firefox developers. It is privacy-focused, coming with a built-in ad blocker, script blocking, and HTTPS everywhere, meaning you won't need any plugins to do the job.
The Brave browser doesn't store your browsing data, which means you don't have to worry your information will be sold to third parties. With the default settings, Brave blocks phishing, malware, and will disable plugins that pose a security risk.
Available for: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS.
Features of Brave browser
- It blocks ads and trackers in its default mode
- It has a built-in script blocker
- It blocks fingerprinting scripts
- It doesn't store your browsing data
- It automatically requests HTTPS for a secure connection
Vivaldi is another chromium based browser that aims to keep your data private across the internet.
There is a concern about the ID number that is assigned to each user so they can keep track of the number of users and their geographical distribution. still, they don't store any of your data such as the search keywords or downloaded content. These are saved in your client profile and you're the only one having access to them.
Available for: Windows, Mac, Linux
Features of Vivaldi browser
- It doesn't track your browsing history
- Cookies and browsing history won't be saved in a Private Window
- If you sync browser data between devices, the data is encrypted using a password so only you have access to it
Lynx is the oldest browser still in use, and it is a text-based browser.
It does support HTTP cookies, but they can be disabled or blacklisted.
Available for: Linux, Unix, Windows, MacOS
Features of Lynx browser
- It's a text-based browser
Tails is not an actual browser but a live operating system you can use on any computer from a DVD or USB drive (it will work independently from your computer's operating system). Tails is designed to preserve your online anonymity and privacy. All the connections to the internet are pushed through the Tor network.
What's more, is that Tails is configured not to use your computer hard-disks to store data. Any information is stored in RAM, meaning it will all disappear when the computer shuts down.
Features of Tails
- The connection is pushed through the Tor network
- It leaves no trace of your browsing history
The Tor browser is the most popular browser for online anonymity. Although it gets a bad reputation because it is highly used by those looking to commit online crimes without leaving a trace, it can be very efficient for anyone looking for a great secure browser.
When using the Tor browser, your browsing history and activity is anonymous and private as this browser encrypts your data in multiple layers. When you send an online request, the information will pass through multiple nodes that are chosen randomly. None of these nodes is able to read the information it receives as it is encrypted. Moreover, your IP address and location are not visible to the websites you access.
Tor is a great browser for online anonymity, but keep in mind that you can still be at risk with certain actions like checking your bank account.
Available for: Windows, MacOS, Linux
Tor browser features
- Your IP cannot be traced
- Your browsing history is not stored anywhere
- It's a hard to hack browser
Google Chrome raises some concerns when it comes to the privacy of its users. As you know, Google collects a multitude of data about your online activity. There's this joke going around that Google knows more than your mom does. And it is true.
Does this make it a no for secure browsers?
Well, not necessary. Google Chrome is, indeed, one of the most secure browsers and fights efficiently against exploits.
Its weakness lies in the lack of privacy. Although, it can be turned into a more private browser when you customize it right. You can choose to disable lots of the privacy concerns such as the tracking of your location, tracking scripts, and cookies along with using add-ons to strengthen your privacy. Still, you'll never be sure Chrome doesn't track anything about you.
Available for: all operating systems and mobile devices.
Features of Google Chrome
- Secure against exploits
- Warns you about potentially malicious websites
- Advanced security features
Disadvantage: Hard to keep your browsing history and data private.
SRWare Iron is a Chromium-source browser which keeps the features of the Chrome browser but without the aspects that raise privacy concerns.
Some of the features in Chrome that make people question their privacy and do not exist in SRWare are: you won't receive suggestions when typing in the address bar because it does not keep track of your browsing history, there's no URL-tracker, the DNS-Preaching is disabled by default. Also, it has a built-in feature for blocking ads.
If you want an alternative to Chrome, SRWare is one of the best secure browsers for that.
Available for: Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android
Features of SRWare Iron browser
- Customizable privacy settings and extensions
- Built-in feature for blocking ads
- No URL-tracker
Comodo Dragon is another best secure browser that aims to offer users a private experience packed in a friendly user interface. It is also Chromium-based, keeping all of Chrome's features while giving you the privacy you deserve.
This browser stops cookies and other web spies trying to track your online activity, prevents browser download tracking, and identifies and segregates superior SSL certificates.
Available for: Windows
Features of Comodo Dragon browser
- Customized plugins and add-ons
- Blocks invasive ads
- Identifies hidden programs in downloads
- Identifies and segregates superior SSL certificates
Firefox is one of the most popular browsers and also one of the best secure ones. It offers you lots of options to customize your privacy and security settings, and it also allows you to install add-ons to harden the security.
If you properly customize the privacy settings and use a couple of add-ons like HTTPS Everywhere, Firefox is a pretty good deal for a smooth and secure online journey. One thing you should pay attention to when it comes to Firefox Quantum is to disable telemetry because this feature collects technical and interaction data. Some research suggests that even though you disable this feature, the browser will still collect telemetry data.
Available for: all operating systems and mobile devices
Features of Firefox browser
- Advanced privacy and security settings
- Private browsing
- Blocks hidden trackers
- Allows add-ons to strengthen the security
Waterfox is designed based on the open-source Firefox browser. If you enjoy using Firefox but worry about the telemetry feature that collects data about you, Waterfox might be the right alternative.
Waterfox removed all the browser tracking features to provide users with a private experience. When it comes to privacy, Waterfox is way more reliable than Firefox.
As with security, Waterfox is a bit under Firefox due to the slower security updates.
Available for: Windows, MacOS, Android
Features of Waterfox browser
- It's based on Firefox 56 ESR
- Telemetry, tracking, and data collection have been removed
- Allows Firefox add-ons
Pale Moon is another secure browser based on the Firefox code. Same as Waterfox, Pale Moon also got rid of all the features that could raise concerns about privacy in the Firefox browser.
Although Pale Moon supports some older add-ons for Firefox, it does not support newer ones. The fact that Pale Moon is a fork of an older version of Firefox makes its interface to feel a bit outdated. Still, the interface is highly customizable.
Available for: Windows, Linux
Features of Pale Moon browser
- Based on Firefox 38 ESR
- Telemetry, tracking, and data collection have been removed
- Supports older Firefox add-ons
- Customizable interface
Firefox Focus is a is a Firefox tool designed to offer mobile users a private browsing experience. It is one of the most secure browsers for mobile with powerful privacy features.
he privacy features are always on and your browsing history is deleted after each session. It also blocks any ads with trackers and speeds up the page loading.
Available for: Android, iOS
Features of Firefox Focus browser
- Automatically blocks ads with hidden trackers
- Wipes the browsing history after each session
Besides using the best secure browsers, add-ons and extensions can help you further secure your online privacy. Here are the best add-ons you should consider.
HTTPS Everywhere - This is an open-source browser extension that automatically makes websites use an HTTPS connection instead of HTTP.
uBlock Origin / Adblock - These extensions will block those annoying ads and pop-ups along with their trackers.
Privacy Badger - It automatically blocks invisible trackers.
Cookie Autodelete - This extension automatically deletes the cookies that are no longer used.
Decentraleyes - It blocks content delivery tracking without breaking the web pages.
uMatrix - Similar to a firewall, it gives you the control to configure what type of data the browser is allowed to download, what it is allowed to execute, and much more (It's a more advanced plugin as it requires configuration).
NoScript - This is another advanced extension which allows you to customize specific scripts you want running on the websites you access.
One common problem with remaining private when surfing online is that you might want to log into accounts like Facebook or Google Drive. This action will put your privacy at risk because you allow those websites to track your activity while also being able to link it to your identity.
The easiest way to solve this problem is to use multiple browsers for specific actions.
For example, you'll use one browser to log into accounts and one of the most secure browsers for anything that only involves web browsing.
The more browsers you use for specific online activities, the harder it will be for third parties to track you online. The most important thing is to set up some rules on what you'll be using each browser for and break those rules.
If you want complete online anonymity, it is best to use one of the most secure browsers in conjunction with a VPN service. The VPN encrypts the overall internet connection meaning no one can see your online activity. It also keeps your activity secure when you're using public WiFi networks.