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Best Full Fledged Web Browsers including Privacy Focused ones

Full Fledged Web Browsers for desktop and mobile.
Best Full Fledged Web Browsers

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What is a Web Browser

A Web Browser is a software or an app which allows us to surf the internet by visiting websites.

When you request a website, your Web Browser connects to the server the site is hosted, retrieves content and display on the screen.

Web Browsers are available on both desktop and mobile devices.

Also read about Lite Web Browsers.

Replacement History of Popular Browsers

  • Netscape Navigator was once most popular browser in the world.
  • Then Microsoft’s Internet Explorer replaced it.
  • Which was then replaced by Mozilla’s Firefox.
  • And now the current popular is Google’s Chrome.
  • Who has the potential to replace Chrome?

Benefits of Web Browsers

  • Visit websites.
  • View PDF files.
  • Take screenshots of websites.
  • Earn money by viewing privacy respecting ads.
  • Check site performance using developers tools.
  • Save passwords, address and payment info for auto fill.

Features to Look for in a Web Browser

  • Fast.
  • Secure.
  • Private – your data is local and with you.
  • Privacy Focused.
  • Sandboxing – opening each tab as a separate process to prevent complete browser crash and prevent access to data by other tabs.
  • Smooth.
  • Ease of use.
  • Does the browser offer anonymous browsing by default?
  • Does the browser collect and sell your data to others or target you with personalised ads?
  • Does the browser automatically block ads and trackers?
  • Can you allow block particular trackers per site?
  • Does the browser block all kinds of Fingerprinting?
  • Does the browser leak IP address and DNS?
  • Does the browser encrypt DNS queries before sending?
  • Does the browser provide secure DNS using DNS-over-TLS or DNS-over-HTTPS?
  • Are the tabs locked, hidden and encrypted?
  • Can you open new links in private incognito mode?
  • Does the browser have incognito keyboard or does it remember what you type?
  • Has the browser disabled flash and silverlight by default?
  • Does the browser offer Do Not Track?
  • Does the browser disable Tab history by default?

How to Know if a Web Browser is Fast

  • Open 6 websites.
  • Then compare CPU, RAM and or battery Usage.
  • Found Firefox to be using least RAM compared to all Chromium based browsers when 6 tabs are opened simultaneously.
  • RAM usage was stable with Firefox while it rose very high for Chromium based browsers then falls significantly.

Benefits of Using Privacy Focused Web Browser

  • To prevent companies from selling your data (web activity).
  • To block sites from identifying your personal and private data.

Full Fledged Web Browsers

  • Brave
  • Bromite
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Tor
  • Tenta
  • Puffin
  • Vivaldi
  • Samsung Internet Browser
  • Edge
  • Opera
  • Chrome

Brave

  • Founded in 2015 by Brendan Eich (creator of Javascript and former CEO of Mozilla Corporation) and Brian Bondy.
  • Chromium based browser.
  • Fast, secure, private and privacy focused.
  • Sandboxing.
  • Open source.
  • Supports all Chrome extensions.
  • Inbuilt tracking protection with detailed info. You can switch on/off each individual feature per site or globally.
  • Toggle reader mode for distraction free reading.
  • Inbuilt Tor browser.
  • Auto delete browsing data on exit.
  • Brave Rewards – earn by viewing privacy respecting ads while keeping your data private. Get 70% of every ad clicked.
  • Tip your favorite sites with BAT.
  • Consumes more storage space as data is stored locally on your device.

Bromite

  • Chromium based browser.
  • It’s de-googled.
  • Aims to provide a clutter free browsing experience without privacy-invasive features with a fast ad-blocking engine.
  • Fast, light, secure, private and privacy focused.
  • Sandboxing.
  • Open source.
  • Configure DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH).
  • Enable to always open links in incognito.
  • Customize ad blocking with filters via user-provided URL.
  • Removes AMP from search results.
  • Push notifications will not work on some sites.
  • No add-ons can be added.
  • Does not support extensions.
  • Use F-Droid client to install and receive updates via the official Bromite F-Droid repository.

Firefox

  • Founded in 2002.
  • Owned by Mozilla Corporation.
  • Open source.
  • Fast, secure, and privacy focused.
  • Tracking protection displays what is blocked.
  • Select search engine to search for when you finished typing in the search bar.
  • Take screenshots.
  • Easily share links.
  • Supports installing PWAs only on mobiles.

Features specific to Firefox for Desktops

  • Copy or email.
  • Save to pocket.
  • Send tab to another device.
  • Set Master Password for saved logins and passwords.
  • Set custom proxy settings.
  • Wonderful horizontal scrolling for tabs.
  • Set image as desktop background.
  • Delete browsing history, close tabs and re-open Firefox.

Features specific to Firefox for Mobile Devices

  • Choose were you want to display URL toolbar, at the top or bottom.
  • Open links in incognito mode.
  • Delete browsing history when you select “Quit” from the main menu.
  • Categorize sites and save them into various collection for easy access.
  • Tab history is disabled by default.

Firefox Focus

  • Available only in select countries.
  • Simple, private, focused and clutter free.
  • Select what trackers you want to block globally like ads, analytics, social and content.
  • You can choose switch off all trackers per site.
  • Touch the button at bottom right to see list of open tabs or delete all browsing history and data.
  • Hides open web pages when you switch to another app on your mobile.
  • Disable screenshots.
  • Enable to open Firefox Focus with Fingerprint unlock.
  • Choose from installed search engines or add new.
  • Always opens in private browsing mode by default.
  • New tabs can only be opened by long pressing a link on existing web page.
  • Tab history is enabled.
  • Available only on Android and iOS mobile devices.

Safari

  • Founded in 2003.
  • Owned by Apple.
  • Available exclusively on Apple products like iPhone, iPad, etc..
  • Fast, secure, and privacy focused.
  • Deletes cross-site data left behind by websites.
  • Sandboxing.
  • Reading List allows you to save web pages and read them later.
  • Claims to be faster than any other Windows based browser.
  • Best reading mode to help you read without ads, navigation and other distractions.
  • Play video from a web page on your Apple TV.
  • Add notes.
  • Set reminders.
  • Send emails.
  • Horizontal scrolling for tabs.
  • Uses less power compared to other browsers.

Vivaldi

  • Founded in 2016.
  • Owned by employees.
  • Chromium based browser.
  • Lot of customizations.
  • Zero data collection.
  • Data is stored locally on your device and encrypted.
  • Group tabs using Tabs Stacks.
  • View tabs in split screen using Tab Tiling.
  • Manage tabs from sidebar.
  • Hibernate tabs.
  • Search open tabs.
  • Nice reader mode.
  • Customize keyboard shortcuts for faster browsing.
  • Block ads and trackers.
  • Take notes while you browse.
  • Capture screenshots.
  • See detailed image meta data.
  • Watch videos in separate floating windows.
  • Instantly post on Instagram.

Tenta

  • Fast, secure, and privacy focused.
  • Ad blocker.
  • Built-In VPN.
  • Secure DNS over TLS.
  • Tenta does not store any logs.
  • Video downloader.
  • Supports native dapps, decentralized networks and blockchain protocols.
  • Currently available only on Android devices.

Puffin

  • Founded in 2010.
  • Made in USA.
  • Cloud based.
  • Device and platform independent.
  • Runs web engine, JavaScript, flash all in the cloud.
  • Super fast on all devices as web pages are rendered in the cloud and then displayed on your device.
  • Cloud isolated sandbox protects your device from malicious websites.
  • All traffic is fully encrypted from Puffin’s server to your device using sessions.
  • On testing I managed to save around 75% of data.
  • In built scroll button to go up or down.
  • Download files directly to cloud storage free upto 1GB.
  • Allows you to scan barcode.
  • Inbuilt game pad.
  • Simulate mouse on mobile device without actual mouse.
  • Auto-clean your browsing activities when you leave incognito mode.
  • Preview PDF files in the cloud.
  • Puffin is discontinued on iOS from 1 July, 2019.
  • Puffin is available for individuals, teams and enterprises.

Features only in Puffin Pro

  • Cloud based ad blocker.
  • Pay once use forever.

Features only in Puffin for Teams

  • All features from Puffin Pro mentioned below.
  • Restrict file downloads to client PCs.
  • Get traffic insight and usage logs.
  • Block certain websites from being visited by employees.

Features specific to Puffin Enterprise

  • All features from Puffin for Teams plus mentioned below.
  • Cloud based antivirus for scanning documents.
  • Block websites from reading or modifying clipboard content.
  • Preview Word, Excel and PowerPoint in the cloud.

Samsung Internet Browser

  • Made in South Korea.
  • Chromium based browser.
  • Awesome user interface.
  • Scan QR codes or barcodes.
  • Choose from various recommended ad blockers.
  • Biometric Web Login.
  • Go to top button.
  • Swipe URL bar or bottom toolbar left or right to navigate to your previous/next tab.
  • Choose whether to display or hide scroll bar.
  • Display where to display scroll bar, on left or right side.
  • Displays downloads icon in URL bar if a website supports PWA.
  • Open supported installed app from your device if you visit their website. Open Amazon app from URL bar if you visit amazon.in with one click.
  • Sync with Samsung Cloud.
  • View your open tabs as list, stack or grid.
  • Available only for Android devices.

Edge

  • Owned by Microsoft.
  • Chromium based.
  • Provides one of the best reader modes.
  • Inbuilt tracking and ad blocker.
  • Does not tie your browsing and search data to your Microsoft account.
  • Come with inbuilt Microsoft Defender Smart Screen to protect you from downloading potentially malicious files as well as against phishing and malware websites.
  • Organize web pages with the help of Collections.
  • Handle PWA’s easily with Apps.
  • Open Microsoft sites in 2 clicks with App Launcher Menu on new tab page.
  • Customize and choose from four layout options for new tab page.
  • Choose site you want to pin to taskbar with Launch taskbar pinning wizard.
  • Family safety allows you to see web activity, filter content and avoid surprise spending.

Opera

  • Launched in 1995.
  • Chromium based.
  • Scan QR code and open website.
  • Inbuilt VPN.
  • Ad blocking.
  • Crypto wallet.
  • Automatically accept cookie dialogs.

Features available only on Desktop

  • Easy to access social media accounts on the sidebar.
  • Block trackers.
  • Battery saver mode to save power and browse longer.
  • Watch videos in new pop up, adjustable window.
  • See Tab Previews when you hover over a tab.
  • Scroll to the top of the page by clicking the active tab.
  • Create Workspaces for different tabs of pages.
  • Enable DNS-over-HTTPS.
  • Perform common browsing actions with your mouse.
  • Navigate through tabs with rocker gestures.

Tor

  • Launched in 2002.
  • Owned by The Tor Project, a non-profit organization.
  • Based on Firefox.
  • Defend yourself against tracking and surveillance.
  • Circumvent censorship.
  • You may not be able to access some sites in Tor.
  • Block ads and trackers.
  • Prevents others from knowing what sites you are visiting and from which place.
  • Hides your IP address from your ISP, employer or the sites you visit.
  • Your traffic is relayed and encrypted three times as it passes over the Tor network.
  • Access sites blocked by your country, ISP or office.
  • Sandboxing.

Chrome

  • Founded in 2008.
  • Owned by Google, a company whose business model revolves around collecting user data and generating revenue from it.
  • Most popular Web Browser in the world.
  • Chromium based browser.
  • Fast, and secure.
  • Generate unique passwords for every site.
  • Automatic translation of pages with Google Translate if website not in browsers default language.
  • Reverse image search.
  • Sandboxing.
  • Largest number of extensions.
  • Builtin tool to remove malware from your computer.
  • Automatic translation.
  • Comes with many Google services built in.

Recommend using multiple Web Browsers according to your needs.

Best Full Fledged Privacy Focused Web Browsers

  • Brave
  • Bromite
  • Firefox
  • Firefox Focus
  • Tenta
  • Tor

Moral of the Story

  • Brave – private browser which rewards you for browsing.
  • Bromite – Chromium plus privacy and blocking (ads, tracking).
  • Puffin – super fast cloud based browser.
  • Vivaldi – most customizations.
  • Firefox – non Chromium based privacy focused browser with stable RAM usage.
  • Safari – exclusive on Apple devices.
  • Tenta – privacy focused browser which lets you surf from a different location with inbuilt VPN.
  • Tor – anonymous browsing.
  • Samsung Internet Browser – best user interface.
  • Edge – for family safety.
  • Opera – social networks in the sidebar helps you chat and browse at the same time.
  • Chrome – sync helps you access your data from any device.
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