Which is the most secure web browser?

Which is the most secure web browser?

Enterprise cybersecurity is a holistic process that involves implementing efficient security practices at every level of use. This includes selecting a secure web browser that has the following features:

What is the safest browser?

Privacy and security are the two factors which make a secure browser. These are the two most important criteria for us. A good browser shouldn’t collect your browsing data and pass it to third parties, nor should it expose you to malicious and annoying ads, or other kinds of threats. Of course, we value functionality and convenience too, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of privacy and security.

Top Browser Security Features

Unfortunately in today’s world, a simple internet search for the best Thai restaurants in a neighborhood or a quick glance at a bank account can leave internet users open to a world of bad news. From marketers trying to mine your data for monetary gain to hackers trying to find personal information, it is no wonder online privacy is one of the biggest concerns in the tech world. A secure browser and security features designed to protect your privacy are key to keeping personal data safe from these nefarious activities.

Blocking Third-Party Trackers

Several popular web browsers act more like a data collection agency for advertisers rather than a consumer tool. These browsers track and store a person’s browsing history, then sell that data to corporations to use for advertising purposes. This allows tech companies to monetize your data.

Some users find this helpful, as search results are tailored to their specific preferences, however, other users find it as a breach of privacy. If you are in the second group, make sure your web browser blocks all third-party trackers and storage. This will prevent tech companies from collecting and storing data from your online searches.

Incognito Browsing

While incognito or private browsing sounds like it is a secure option, it still leaves you and your data exposed. While private browsing does erase your information, your IP address and location are still being shared with every website, ad and tracker that loads in your browser. That information can then be sold to third parties. Incognito mode also allows people to spy on your computer activities through key-logging software.

1. Tor Browser – the king of private browsers

+ Pros:

  • Excellent security and privacy
  • Access to the Deep Web
  • Preconfigured with security extensions

– Cons:

  • Slow
  • Your ISP sees if you’re using Tor
  • Blocks JavaScript

Often hailed as the undisputed king of private browsers, Tor is an open-source Firefox-based web browser that comes with a plethora of security features that protect against browser fingerprinting. As the name implies, it runs on the Tor network. On top of that, it’s regularly updated to deal with all of the new security issues.

  • Security rating: very high. By default, Tor blocks all scripts and runs in the private browsing mode. When you close your browser window, nothing is saved. This includes cookies, history, and passwords. Thus, Tor provides a less streamlined but more secure browsing experience. Flash and Quicktime are also blocked by default to prevent anyone from hacking into your device using their security vulnerabilities.
  • Privacy rating: very high. Tor is built with privacy protection at its very core. By using a vast network of “relays” to bounce traffic around the world, Tor makes it virtually impossible to track and identify what you’re doing online. And the HTTPS Everywhere integration ensures that your data is encrypted whenever you connect to a website. These features and more make Tor the absolute champion of secure browsers in terms of out-of-box privacy.
  • No of secure extensions: average
  • Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android

On the negative side, the Tor browser blocks scripts that may result in websites loading erratically. What’s more, Tor significantly slows down your connection because of the multiple layers it uses to hide your traffic. We also don’t recommend it for novice users as tweaking the Tor browser’s settings can easily leave you vulnerable.

Tor is so secure and privacy-friendly, leading many to believe it’s all you need for protection. This may be true in many cases, but you should consider supplementing Tor with a secure VPN service for maximum security.

2. Mozilla Firefox – the safest mainstream web browser

+ Pros:

  • Very high security and privacy
  • Plenty of browser extensions
  • User-friendly

– Cons:

  • Update cycle could be shorter
  • Requires customization
  • Dependable on third-party extensions

Although Tor may be the most battle-ready private browser out of the box, Firefox has such massive plugin support that you can configure it to compete for the top spot. Like Tor, Firefox is also open-source. Unlike Tor, it’s been fully audited and doesn’t suffer from speed losses.

  • Security rating: high. If you download a few privacy plugins, Mozilla Firefox can be your answer to online dangers. The main reason why Firefox is a great alternative to Tor is that you can use it for secure browsing and easily switch to full-featured browsing. Besides, there’s a privacy-oriented Firefox Focus browser for Android and iOS.
  • Privacy rating: high. Like Tor and unlike Google’s Chrome browser, Firefox doesn’t track your browser history. It’s also updated regularly to deal with new security threats. Unless you’re looking for hardcore security, Mozilla Firefox is your best choice.
  • No of secure extensions: high
  • Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS

Mozilla Firefox is mostly based on customization and is perfect for those who want a completely personalized browsing experience. Remember that it can take a fair bit of time to find all of the right plugins that you require, so make sure you’re willing to invest the time needed to make Firefox the perfect browser.

3. Brave – lightweight and secure browser

+ Pros:

  • Fast
  • Very high security and privacy
  • Great for novice users

– Cons:

  • Shows ads
  • Few secure extensions
  • Tor mode is lackluster

While Brave is a relatively new Chromium-based private browser, it already supports all major platforms – something that Tor and Ungoogled Chromium are yet to achieve. Mainly developed by Brandon Eich, a former Mozilla contributor and JavaScript creator, Brave is lightweight, secure, and made specifically with privacy in mind.

  • Security rating: high. Out of the box, Brave blocks browser fingerprinting, scripts, and cookies by default. It also has a solid ad-blocker and provides the HTTPS Everywhere integration, as well as relatively frequent security updates.
  • Privacy rating: high. With a completely de-Googled codebase and customizable private windows, Brave further boosts its credentials with its complete lack of privacy scandals and/or concerns. That said, it’s still a work-in-progress. Until Brave adds more entries to its collection of secure add-ons, it’s difficult to recommend it as the most secure browser available.
  • No of secure extensions: low
  • Supported platforms: Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS

Overall, Brave is an excellent choice for those who don’t mind using an experimental piece of software and don’t struggle with minimalist functionality. Its only downside is its comparatively low number of supported browser extensions. Some users may also not like the introduction of ads as a means to support the initiative.

4. Ungoogled Chromium – no Google privacy concerns

+ Pros:

  • Very high security and privacy
  • Plenty of extensions
  • Frequent updates

– Cons:

  • No mobile version
  • Requires customization
  • Manual updates

Google Chrome is an open-source project, and Chromium is its less intrusive version that still offers most of Google’s products. But there’s also an ungoogled version that removes all links to the company and sits high on our secure browsers list while still allowing to install Chrome Store extensions. It also benefits from the regular Chromium security updates and has a nice feature of forcing all pop-ups into new tabs.

  • Security rating: high. While Chromium already scores high in the security department, the ungoogled version takes an extra step, removing background requests to all web services. It also removes pre-made binaries from the source code. Ungoogled Chromium uses HTTPS when possible, disables automatic URL formatting in Omnibox, and disallows pinging an IPv6 address.
  • Privacy rating: high. To keep your privacy protected, ungoogled Chromium cuts all ties to Google and its products by removing all code specific to Google web services. This means you can say goodbye to Google Host Detector, Google URL Tracker, Google Cloud Messaging, and so on. Finally, it disables WebRTC, which was impossible in Chromium without a third-party add-on or VPN.
  • No of secure extensions: high
  • Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Users should be aware that most settings require manual activation, making it not that friendly to those less familiar with cybersecurity. Being portable and requiring no installation, Ungoogled Chromium only partly solves your secure browser’s mobility problem as there’s still no support for mobile devices.

Reach out to Beringer today!

Here at Beringer Technology Group, we offer a wide range of solutions designed to keep your business operational, no matter what threats may come your way. Beringer is at the forefront of helping organizations navigate the daily threat that cybercrime poses. Protecting your online data and browsing the internet safely are just two elements of an overall cybersecurity posture. Give us a call to see how we can help your employees stay safe online.

Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution, also provides expert Managed IT ServicesBackup and Disaster RecoveryCloud Based Computing, Email Security Implementation and TrainingUnified Communication Solutions, and Cybersecurity Risk Assessment.