The Best Privacy-Focused Browsers You’ve Never Heard Of

Photo: SFIO CRACHO (Shutterstock)

Photo: SFIO CRACHO (Shutterstock)

It’s never a bad time to switch to a browser that respects your privacy more than Chrome. For most people, Firefox or Brave (along with a few configuration changes) is good enough. But if you’re looking for a browser designed entirely with privacy in mind, you also have even better options than that.

Of course, no matter what browser you use, you will never magically disappear from the Internet. But all four of these browsers start with pre-loaded plugins that protect privacy and claim they don’t send telemetry data either. They’re great if you want to reduce tracking by ad networks and your ISP, but not so much if you’re concerned about government surveillance.

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LibreWolf

LibreWolf is a Firefox-based browser with uBlock Origin preloaded. It does not send any telemetry data to its developers and prioritizes privacy-focused search engines like DuckDuckGo over the usual Google or Bing defaults. You can think of this browser like Firefox, but with more privacy out of the box. It’s available on Windows, Mac, and Linux, but you’ll have to manually download and install updates if you download its installer. Instead, you have to install the app via repositories like Chocolatey.

pale moon

If you want to try a privacy-friendly browser that doesn’t rely on Chrome’s Blink or Firefox’s Gecko engines, Pale Moon is worth a try. The browser is open source and says it does not collect no data, something that most browsers cannot claim in their privacy policies. It works pretty well most of the time, but you may face certain issues like video loading issues. Pale Moon isn’t a conventional browser, so you’ll also have to give up some of the benefits of using a popular alternative; for example, the latest extensions may not be available for Pale Moon and your favorite plugins may not work.

snow haze

All iOS browsers are essentially variants of Safari, because Apple doesn’t allow non-WebKit browsers in the App Store. That makes it hard to justify using alternatives to Safari, but even so, some browsers like SnowHaze stand out. SnowHaze has a built-in ad-blocker available from launch and it claims to prevent all types of internet tracking and fingerprinting by default. The browser also has an optional paid VPN available, but don’t be too quick to sign up for that. You should do your research on the reliability of the developers if you decide to sign up. We have a guide to help you check if a VPN is iffy to get started.

Mull

Mull is a privacy focused browser for Android phones. It is built by the people behind F-Droid (an alternative app store for Android) and is focused on privacy. To get started, you’ll need to download the F-Droid client on your phone and then install Mull from there. Once you do, don’t forget to install uBlock Origin for more privacy.

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