Which Web browser should you use if you are concerned about privacy? From Tor Browser to commercial offerings like Comodo Dragon to a DIY approach, there are lots of options to choose from. Keep reading for an overview and tips on finding the best browser for privacy and security.
There is no one-size-fits all solution for private Web browsing. Instead, finding the most private and secure browser depends on your specific needs. Here are our recommendations, listed according to what is most important to you.
Best Open Source Private Browser
Epic Privacy Browser is the best solution if you want a browser designed for all-around privacy and security, but without special features like Tor. Epic comes with ad-blocking and anti-tracking tools built in. It also forces connections through HTTPS encryption whenever possible. It supports Windows and Mac OS X.
Best Anti-Censorship Browser
Tor Browser is the obvious choice if you want to access sites that are blocked in a certain location. Plus, because all connections are run through Tor, tracking by websites is effectively meaningless. The sites won’t be able to determine your true identity or location. Tor Browser supports Windows, OS X and Linux.
The downsides to the Tor browser are that it doesn’t support add-ons, and all data has to be transferred through Tor. If you want to browse privately without using Tor, this is not a good solution.
Best Anti-Malware Browser
We recommend Commodo Chromium Secure if you want a browser that is designed to thwart targeted attacks. Its most important features include secure DNS, a malware scanning tool and a feature that checks SSL certificates to make sure they are valid. Those are all great if you are worried about being the target of an attempt to steal information by someone who creates fake websites or spoofs DNS.
The downsides to Commodo Chromium Secure are that it only runs on Windows and is a commercial product. It’s free of cost to use, but it is tied to Commodo, a security company, and it promotes their products from time to time. If you’re not someone who likes being marketed to, this is not an ideal choice.
The DIY Approach
Last but not least is the DIY approach to browser security and privacy. This means taking any browser of your choice, then installing add-ons that give you extra privacy. The benefit of this approach is that you get only the privacy features you want, without added bloat. You also can use your favorite browser — whether that is Firefox, Chrome or something else — rather than the one chosen by someone else. Of course, the downside is that this approach requires more effort on your part.
If you want to configure your browser yourself for privacy, see our Online Privacy Guide, especially the section titled “Configure Your Web Browser for Privacy.”