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Total privacy browsers in 2021 and how tweak them even more secure

There are 9 best privacy ensuring browsers reviewed, but also tweaks making them even more secure and private.

Updated: September 6, 2021 By Darina Shramko

Title image for Total privacy browsers in 2021 and how tweak them even more secure

Now I will tell you one secret that will make you practically invulnerable to hackers. Thanks to it, you be can safely surf the Internet and was sure that no intruder was harming you. You will become invisible to cybercriminals and can deftly lead them around your finger!

So, this secret is secure Internet browsers. And no, this is not Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. I bet you haven't heard of many of the browsers I'll be covering today. In this case, you are in the right place at the right time.

I've prepared 9 best privacy ensuring browsers for you, and I can't wait to share my find with you.

Okay, let's get started!

Disclaimer: The information in this article is for informational purposes only. Any illegal copying, use, or distribution of article materials is prohibited.

My choice: top 3 best private browsers in 2021

Brave

Pros
Cons
  • Blocks website trackers
  • Remove intrusive Internet ads
  • Has 19 private search engines
  • Not detected

Brave browser

Image source – brave.com

Brave is an open-source privacy browser based on the Chromium browser.

The developers claim that Brave blocks website trackers and remove intrusive Internet ads.

The name of the Brave browser is justified because it is a brave step − by all means, to preserve the privacy of users on the Internet, even to the detriment of oneself.

To offset the effects of ad blocking and replacement, Brave is testing the Brave Payments reward system.

This system allows users to set the amount they are willing to donate to support the sites they visit. Brave will use an algorithm to calculate the percentage of this amount attributable to each specific website, which the publisher will receive in the form of a cryptocurrency transfer.

Brave has 19 different private search engines, including StartPage, Ecosia, and Qwant.

For extra secure be sure to enable Brave Shields in the upper right corner of the browser to block trackers on sites you don't trust.

This way, you can protect yourself from collecting data about your browser and device.

The Brave Shields function

Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Tor (The Onion Router)

Pros
Cons
  • Best secure browser in the world
  • Protects against traffic analysis mechanisms
  • Favorite browser of Edward Snowden
  • Ability to surf safely on DarkNet
  • Hides the user's real IP address
  • Not detected

Tor browser

Image source – torproject.org

Tor Onion is the favorite browser of Edward Snowden, of all eminent hackers and active Internet users who are worried about their security. Through the onion connection, you can get to the vastness of the DarkNet and visit closed forums. Sounds dangerous, but interesting!

However, if you're not looking for adventure on the DarkNet, I still recommend Tor for personal use.

With Tor, you can keep your anonymity online when visiting websites, blogging, sending emails, and using other apps. Traffic Anonymisation provides through the use of a distributed network of servers − nodes.

The Tor Onion technology also protects against traffic analysis mechanisms that threaten not only Internet privacy but also the confidentiality of trade secrets, business contacts, and communications in general.

Tor operates on the network layers of onion routers to provide anonymous outbound connections and anonymous hidden services.

It’s impressive, right? And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The Tor Onion is the most secure browser, and it is impossible to disagree with that!

But...I have to warn you about one nuance. If you use the Tor browser wrong, all your data will instantly become public.

So what should be done to provide additional safety when using Tor Onion?

  • Download Tor ONLY from the official site. If you download the installation file from a torrent or other untrusted source, there is a high risk open a malicious file.
  • Before opening Tor, close all other browsers. Tor Onion hides your IP address, but if at the same time you have opened another browser (for example, Brave), all anonymity is down the drain.
  • Don’t follow suspicious links and questionable forums. They may contain malware files.

Platforms: Windows, Linux, Android, macOS.

SRWare Iron

Pros
Cons
  • Block incoming ads
  • Doesn’t share user data to third-parties
  • Little-known in the Internet society

SRWare Iron Browser Logo

The SRWare Iron browser creates by the German company SRWare as a secure alternative to Google Chrome. The browser was developed using the source code of the Chromium project.

Unlike Google Chrome, Iron uses the latest versions of WebKit and V8 and blocks incoming ads.

SRWare Iron developers care about the security of user data, so the browser doesn’t share confidential user data to third-parties.

This browser equips with a powerful security system, so I can only recommend general rules that will help you avoid problems and stay incognito on the World Wide Web:

  • Don't use frequently used sites or social networks as a start page so that a random person does not see this data
  • Update browser regularly, as older versions may contain vulnerabilities
  • Clean your browser history every time you turn off your computer − don't leave any traces behind you

Platforms: Windows, Android, Linux, macOS.

My Resume

Yes, it was not an easy task. How do you pick the best of the best? After testing the 9 secure browsers, I chose the top 3 for myself − these are Brave, Tor, and SRWare Iron browsers. Each of these browsers guarantees security and anonymity on the Internet and cares about the privacy of users.

The 3rd place in my rating takes by SRWare Iron. The browser is reliable and is considered one of the best safe browsers, but it frustrates me that Iron is little-known in the Internet society.

The browser uses in Germany, but I would like to see a lot of publicity for this quality product. I hope this article helps you discover SRWare Iron and the benefits of using it!

But...I couldn't choose the 2nd and the 1st place because Brave and Tor Onion are equally good and reliable. Both browsers do an excellent job of protecting user data.

Tor is great for surfing DarkNet completely anonymously, while Brave − as the default browser for home use.

You can combine the two browsers like me. I use Brave on smartphones and Tor for work on PC.

The Best Privacy Ensuring Browsers

Avast Security Browser

Pros
Cons
  • Created by Avast − is one of the largest manufacturers of antivirus software
  • Includes tools to ensuring the data safety of users on the Internet
  • On December 18, 2016, vulnerability was discovered in the browser: any site could make requests through the local host. The vuln was quickly fixed, but the browser is no longer 100% trustworthy.

Avast Security Browser

Image source – storespy.net

Avast Secure Browser is a Chromium-based web browser created by Avast. The browser focused on the security and protection of confidential user data.

To increase the security levels of the browser, I advise you to abandon the save passwords feature. Re-enter your passwords each time to protect yourself from hacks.

Platforms: Windows, Android, macOS.

Ungoogled Chromium Browser

Pros
Cons
  • Like Google Chrome, but only secure
  • Browser remove all services and features that interact with Google or negatively affect privacy
  • New features that violate privacy can penetrate the code

Ungoogled Chromium Browser

Image source – store.kde.org

Ungoogled Chromium − it's Chrome without Google binding. It's a version of Chromium in which all services that communicate with Google are disabled. That is, it's like Google Chrome, but only secure.

For better security, use a browser bundled with third-party VPN apps − this way, you will hide your real IP address.

Platforms: Android, Windows, macOS, Linux.

Bromite

Pros
Cons
  • Reliable and secure browser
  • Built-in ad blocker
  • You can select the your favorite search engine in Bromite
  • Designed for Android users only

Bromite Browser

Image source – apkmirror.com

Bromite is a Chromium-based browser with a built-in ad blocker and open security policy. I can confidently say that Bromite is a great Google Chrome alternative for Android users. 

To download Bromite, open the official website of the browser and scroll down the page. There you will find a download file:

Bromite official site

Downloading Bromite

Open the notification center − there, you will find a notification that the download is complete. Click on this file.

Successful downloading the file

Install Bromite on your smartphone:

Installing Bromite

After installation, use your browser only in incognito mode − this will help increase the level of security.

Bromite incognito mode

Platforms: Android.

DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser

Pros
Cons
  • Has received the title of king of privacy
  • Uses a security search engine of the same name
  • Deletes your data after the browser sessions ends
  • Designed for Android users only

DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser Logo

Image source – logo.wine

DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser is a web browser that doesn’t store your data or search history. The browser has received the ambitious title of “Privacy King” on Windows, and it deserves it!

But, despite the browser's security system, I recommended do not neglect the incognito mode and do not save passwords.

Platforms: Android.

Firefox

Pros
Cons
  • Independent browser
  • Hits the Guinness Book of Records for the record download of the app
  • Reliable and fast browser
  • For 100% security, you need to use third-party VPN apps

Firefox Browser Logo

Image source – mozilla.org

Firefox is an independent browser that is part of the Mozilla non-profit organization. Mozilla fights for the Internet rights of users hold and makes the World Wide Web accessible to anyone and everyone, regardless of location.

For the best protection, always work in incognito mode. To do this, click on the three stripes in the upper right corner of the web page and select “New private window”:

Firefox incognito mode

Switching to incognito mode at the bottom of the screen, you will see a link to Mozilla Firefox VPN − click on it:

The Mozilla VPN link

I highly recommend downloading Firefox VPN − this app includes additional security settings.

The Mozilla VPN app

To do this, leave a request on the site and, soon, you will receive a download link by email.

Mozilla VPN Waitlist

Also, while you are waiting for a link to download Mozilla VPN, install additional measures of security in the Firefox settings. To do this, open Settings, then go to the “Privacy & Security” section and select the highest (3rd) security level, like in my image:

Firebox security settings

Platforms: Windows, Linux, Android, macOS.

Aloha Browser

Pros
Cons
  • Built-in ad-block
  • Built-in VPN and QR code scanner
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Designed for iOS users only

Aloha Browser Logo

Image source – apps.apple.com

It is not only a free and fast web browser (with built-in something ad-block) but also a VPN, a QR code scanner, and more. Aloha Browser doesn't keep records of the websites visited or your IP addresses, doesn't collects personal data, and, accordingly, will not be able to share this with third parties.

To ensure the maximum level of security, pay attention to three browser settings − VPN, Adblock and Privacy:

Aloha settings

First, turn on the VPN. To do this, click on the button at the bottom of the screen, and then allow access to VPN on your iPhone.

Aloha VPN connection

Allowing VPN on the iPhone

Then set up adblock: deny access to all trackers.

Aloha Adblock settings

The last thing you need to do is open “Privacy” in your browser settings and disable tracking of data, as well as set the automatic deletion of browser history, tabs, and cookies.

Aloha Privacy settings

Platforms: iOS.

Private browsers for mobile devices

As you may have noticed, some of the browsers in my rating are only available on mobile devices. Let me explain why this plays into your hands: you can combine browsers and ensure the reliability of personal data on all your devices. For example, on a laptop, you can use the Tor browser, and on a smartphone − Brave or DuckDuckGo.

So, after analyzing all mobile browsers from my rating, I made nominations for each of them:

? Best browser for Android devices: Bromite

? Best browser for iOS devices: Aloha VPN

? Best Browser with Highest Security Level: Brave

? Best browser with its safe search engine: DuckDuckGo Browser

? Best Cross-Platform Browser: Firefox

I use Brave on my smartphone. I like the level of protection of my data, an intuitive interface, and the ability to remain incognito on the Internet.

Why you need a VPN?

I know that you are impressed with the capabilities of private browsers and want to appreciate their functionality. But I would not be in such a hurry.

Private browsers, of course, do an excellent job of ensuring data privacy, but their performance can only assess in conjunction with VPN services.

Why is VPN so important?

  • Incognito mode prevents the browser from storing your metadata and tracking cookies, but your ISP can still see every site you visit
  • Your  IP address (only if you are not using the Tor browser) are still available
  • Information about you can still obtain thanks to your public IP address, which is associated with your identity through an Internet provider.

To eliminate these shortcomings and ensure 100% security on the Internet, I recommend using VPN apps for secure browsers.

VPN encrypts Internet traffic and ensures the absolute safety of personal data. Thanks to VPN, your ISP will not track your online activities, which means you become an elusive birdie.

What's the problem with popular browsers?

Browser search history, your passwords, location data are a gold mine for hackers, criminals, and advertisers who collect information about you for their purposes.

Of course, advertisers are not as dangerous as hackers, but still, I put these three categories in one row since each of these individuals wants one thing − to get all the confidential information about you.

It is beneficial for hackers to know your passwords, which Google Chrome so intrusively suggests to save; your location and data that can be sold on the DarkNet forums.

Advertisers have slightly different goals − they use you to collect reports on their products. Even if you don't buy anything online, you are still part of a marketing chain. How do advertisers get information about their products from you? From cookies files.

Months earlier, we have already met with you for a conversation about cookies, so you remember that these are files that collect information about your clicks on links.

Cookies remember your Internet requests and thus select targeted advertising for you. In addition to helping PR people, you also help hackers who can track your cookies and use them for their dirty purposes.

Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Opera, and other popular browsers are your #1 enemy!

Google Chrome is by far the most popular browser. Unfortunately, it is also the most data collection tool.

I am confident that everything you write in Google Chrome is collected, stored in your profile, and used for targeted advertising (as a result, by hackers).

The same situation is with other popular browsers.

The only one that still tried to keep the privacy of its users is the Opera browser.

Opera browser was create in Norway, but in 2016 it was sold to a Chinese consortium for 600 million dollars, and since, then the security of the Opera browser can forget forever.

Moreover, I was outraged that the built-in function of “VPN Opera” is not secure encryption of the connection at all, but only a trick for collecting data about you.

I think that my reasons are enough for you to immediately remove all these unsecured browsers from your devices!

Conclusion

We trust the browser search bar with our secrets and troubles, not knowing that our data could use against us.

Today I taught you how to hide your digital footprints and keep your privacy on an immense web. Now, taking into all the facts about popular browsers, you should abandon using Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Opera for security reasons.

I will be glad to know that my article was helpful to you! Please, share your opinion in the comments, and I'll be happy to answer all your questions.

Stay incognito!

Author
Darina Shramko
Cybersecurity specialist and researcher.

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