Online privacy has become a massive problem that has been left unaddressed for too long. Now people are trying to do what they can to take back some of the privacy browsers and other online platforms.
Some regularly clean their cookies and browse in private mode when they feel they need to, but that’s not enough. Digital agencies are still collecting a ton of data and using that data to create digital footprints. So, many people are turning to privacy browsers to help protect their personal lives from constant surveillance.
Anyone who’s concerned, and wants to ditch Chrome, might want to check out these privacy browsers instead.
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The Top Privacy Browsers: Tor vs. Brave
Anyone looking for a browser that puts privacy first will likely find mention of these two – Tor and Brave. They take different approaches to user anonymity, but both are pretty good at what they do.
1. Tor Browser
Tor Browser is technically a mash-up of several open-source software. It was created by the same company that runs the Tor network and uses Mozilla’s Firefox code. What sets Tor Browser apart is that it puts privacy before convenience.
The browser runs a connection through the Tor proxy, which consists of several “nodes”. This system is designed to encrypt and hide a person’s IP address by obscuring it with the IP addresses of those nodes. In addition to that, Tor Browser blocks scripts, uses the HTTPS Everywhere extension, and browsing history is deleted when the window is closed. Imagine it being akin to constantly browsing in Incognito mode, except it’s much more private and secure.
This browser is a good option for people who want a browser that takes privacy seriously and thinks of everything down to the minutiae.
2. Brave Browser
Unlike Tor Browser, Brave takes a more user-friendly approach to privacy to provide a more well-rounded experience. In the sense that Brave has a long list of privacy and security features but also gives users the ability to control how much they want to share – overall or on a per case basis.
Among its many security features, some standout elements worth mentioning are its automatic ad and script blocking, automatic HTTPS connection upgrades, and cookie management. Most of these features are automatically turned on, but users can change that in the settings menu. The privacy settings can be adapted per website or kept on permanently. Brave also provides stats about trackers and so forth that it blocks per session.
This browser is geared towards someone who wants more control over their privacy.
The Best Alternative Browsers For Privacy
While these browsers don’t necessarily market themselves as privacy browsers, they are more privacy-focused than many other popular ones. These browsers marry security and convenience, which might be a more acceptable middle-ground for some.
As the second-most used browser on the internet, Firefox needs almost no introduction. It also features a whole host of customizable options, just like Brave, but doesn’t take privacy-hounding quite far. That doesn’t mean Firefox’s privacy framework isn’t robust. Rather the opposite – it even provides a “Strict” option that blocks all trackers.
This browser is for anyone who wants more privacy but wants to keep the convenience of using a mainstream browser.
It’s no surprise that Safari made this list considering the lengths that Apple has gone to before to protect their users’ data. According to the company, Safari uses machine learning to detect third-party trackers and prevent them from doing their thing.
The browser also prevents fingerprinting (to a degree) and doesn’t add any custom tracking headers to web requests. Private browsing also automatically uses DuckDuckGo as a search engine perfect for avoiding digital footprinting while online.
One of the only downsides to Safari is that it doesn’t automatically delete cookies after a session, so they have to be deleted manually.
Safari is normally the main browser Mac owners use, and it works well, privacy-wise, in that context. Which means that Mac users don’t necessarily need to make a change.
Why Are Privacy Browsers Better?
Ever typed something like “how to hide my IP” or “how to stay safe online” into a search engine? How about those times when ads suddenly showed up for a product that was mentioned in a post on Facebook or somewhere else. Felt a little creepy, didn’t it?
Browsers have the ability to track everything people do online every day. Some of them also allow other platforms like websites and social media to do the same. Let that sink in for a moment. It would be disturbing to give even one stranger access to that level of intrusion into every moment of one’s life, let alone multiple corporations.
Sure, companies collect data to “improve the user experience and provide targeted ads”. But it also gives them a lot of power over people, allows them to sell that data for profit, and gives criminals the incentive to steal it. These are some of the main reasons why it’s better to take privacy seriously – even when people feel they have nothing to hide (https://nordvpn.com/features/hide-ip/).
Privacy browsers help by blocking ads and trackers along with a host of other privacy-related features. No browser is perfect, and there’s likely no way to be completely anonymous online, but they are a good place to start.
All these browsers provide a great alternative solution to the ones that track people’s every move and allow their data to be sold to the highest bidder. It’s not likely that big data will become a thing of the past anytime soon. So it’s up to people to educate themselves about privacy and choose the options that best suit their lifestyle.