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Tech

Top Secure Browsers to Protect Your Privacy (2019)

The most secure browsers use encryption and range of other features to protect your browsing from security threats. It’s important to explain that we are not talking about private browsers, but secure browsers. Privacy and security are not the same and these browsers are focused on security. These browsers will protect the information that your browser sends to the websites you visit and what information these websites send to your browser. In most cases, these browsers are also privacy-friendly, but not always. Google Chrome, for example, has excellent security features but isn’t privacy-friendly because it sends that information back to Google’s servers.

The Most Secure Browsers of 2019

Tor Browser

Tor (The Onion Router) is one of the most trusted and established names in advanced internet security and privacy. Tor Browser uses Tor’s distributed network of volunteer-run relays to bounce your communications all over. This prevents anyone from monitoring your internet connection and learning which sites you visit and where you’re located. Tor Browser is available for Windows, MacOS and Linux. Tor is essentially a beefed-up version of Firefox that is set up to run on Tor’s anonymous network. Tor can protect you from ‘browser fingerprinting’, which is when a tracker identifies you based on the characteristics of your browser.

  • ExpressVPN Security Rating: 5/5
  • NordVPN Rating: 9.5/10

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is a great browser for anyone looking for an alternative to Chrome or Safari. Firefox has made a lot of updates and changes to its browser in the past year, including adding new privacy and security features. Firefox includes a built-in ad and tracker blocker. Firefox has a “Private Browsing” mode, which goes beyond the minimal privacy protection of Chrome’s “Incognito Mode“. Firefox’s Private Browsing mode deletes cookies and your browsing history, but also blocks trackers so websites can’t easily determine who you are.

  • ExpressVPN Security Rating: 4.5/5
  • NordVPN Rating: 9.5/10

Brave

Brave is an open-source browser built on a Chromium platform. It’s a good choice for anyone looking for a Chrome-like browser without the privacy-concerns with Google. One of Brave’s most unique features is its new approach to digital advertising. It blocks ads on sites you visit, but you can choose to see ads and get paid with Brave’s Basic Attention Token, which is an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency. Brave has been criticized for being “malware” because of its advertising practices. It blocks other ads and then injects its own, but it pays users with BAT for viewing and engaging with ads. It’s still a better choice than many browsers that you could otherwise use.

  • ExpressVPN Security Rating: 5/5
  • NordVPN Rating: 8/10

Chromium

There are a number of other private browsers that are built on Chromium. The one knock that Chromium takes is that there are a number of malware programs that disguise themselves as Chromium. If you are installing Chromium on your computer, make sure you are downloading it from a reliable source. Chromium is a better option for more technically adept users, because many of the conveniences of Chrome, like Auto-Update, aren’t included in Chromium.

Popular Chromium Builds: Opera, Vivaldi, and Chrome Portable

  • ExpressVPN Security Rating: 3.5/5
  • NordVPN Rating: 8/10

Safari

Safari, Apple’s browser for MacOS and iOS, is widely used due to it coming pre-installed on Mac and iOS devices. In its early days Safari had some flaws that raised concerns from privacy and security experts. According to PCWorld, “Safari leads the pack in anti-phishing filtering and pop-up blocking, but it also has many security weaknesses”. Safari has since fixed many of its security vulnerabilities and is now a respected option for private browsers. Safari has a fraudulent site detection system, script blocking, pop-up blocker, and tracker blocking.

  • ExpressVPN Security Rating: 4/5
  • NordVPN Rating: 7/10

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is a great browser if you’re concerned with security. Google has well-established and vetted security systems in place that keep their users’ data private from anyone but Google. This reliable security features are great, unless you’re worried about Google having access to any of your activity in your browser. Google has realized the value of your data, so it’s in their best interest to keep that information secure on their servers (even if they’re going to use it to advertise to you).

  • ExpressVPN Security Rating: 4/5
  • NordVPN Rating: 6.5/10

What is The Difference Between Chromium and Chrome?

Chrome is More User-Friendly: Even though the two browsers have very similar functionality Chrome and Chromium have some key differences that might help determine which one you choose. Because Chrome is is proprietary, and not open-source, it has many features built in that make its use simpler. For example, Chrome has auto-update built-in and allows you to login to your Google account at a browser level.

Chromium is Open-Source: Chromium is open-source, which makes it appealing to privacy-experts and advocates. You can check the browser’s functionality in its source code. Again, because Chromium is open-source it’s more trustworthy, but it comes at the expense of Google’s convenient features built into Chrome.

Which Web Browser is Best for Security in 2019?

Our selection from this list for the best browser for security in 2019 is: Mozilla Firefox. It’s easy to install and set up, and requires very little extra configuration to get high-level security. While there are other options that provide slightly higher levels of security and anonymity, like Tor, we think that Firefox will give you the best experience in an easy-to-use package. Which features make Firefox our number one choice?

  • Private Browsing: Firefox’s Private Browsing mode actually has some worthwhile functionality, unlike other incognito/private browsing modes. Combining this with Firefox’s tracker blocking can actually give you a reasonable level of privacy on the internet.
  • Tracking Protection: Many other browsers require you to install extensions or make changes to your settings to block trackers, but Firefox has it built in. This will prevent trackers following you from one website to the next without you noticing.
  • Faster Page Loading: Blocking ads and trackers can speed up your browsing because they are resources that take network resources to load.
  • Firefox Accounts: Using a Firefox account, you can sync information like passwords and bookmarks across all your devices in a privacy-friendly way.
  • Browser Add-Ons: Firefox has a great selection of browser add-ons that enhance your browsing experience. Combining Firefox’s built-in features with the possibilities of all available add-ons give you the control and power you need to browse how you want.
  • Super Lightweight Browser: Firefox is very lightweight, especially in comparison to Google Chrome. This lets you browse while using other programs without a noticeable performance impact.