It’s a no-brainer that almost everything we do online requires some amount of interaction through a web browser.
In fact, for some users, 90% of their tasks depends on a web browser. Ranging from banking to virtual meetings, you can end up using a web browser for both important and casual needs.
And, that’s why it is pretty important to ensure that we’re potentially using the most secure web browser, right?
Not just the security, we also need the web browser to be available on all supported platforms that include Windows, macOS, and Linux. So, no matter what platform you work on — you can continue to use the same web browser.
In this article, I’ll list some of my best picks for the most secure web browser available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
How do you know that a web browser is secure?
For an average Joe, you can’t always verify if it’s secure enough or not. Sometimes you may have the expertise to analyze the browser for its safety but you don’t have time.
But, there are a few basic things that you can look out to see if it’s secure enough. I’ll list some factors I consider for this article:
- Privacy-friendly or not
- Open-source code or not
- Level of control
Let me explain the factors in brief:
If a web browser does not collect any of your personal information, it should be a good option to consider. The fewer data a browser collects, the more private it is. Of course, for the most part, you will not be anonymous, but usually, privacy-friendly options have a good reputation for security. You should always invest some time to read the privacy and security policies of the web browsers that you want to use.
Next, I believe if the browser is open-source, it’s easy for everyone to review the source code and point out any issues (if there’s any). But, if it’s not open-source, you cannot be sure for yourself and have to depend on the company for its security.
Finally, the level of control that a browser offers directly implies how robust it is. For example, if the browser offers all the necessary options to control what data you share with them, that’s a good sign. Not just limited to options, but the ability to enable/disable each feature of the browser also tells you a lot about a good browser.
In addition to all these factors, you may use some extensions (or add-ons) and VPN services for an additional layer of privacy and security.
Best Secure Web Browser for Windows, Mac, and Linux
Now that you know about the most common factors to pick a good secure browser, let me list some of my favourites here:
Note: The list is in no particular order of ranking.
1. Firefox Browser
Mozilla Firefox is easily my personal favourite because I use it as my daily driver. It gives you a lot of options to customize for security and privacy when browsing online. Not just limited to privacy/security, you can also find a lot of useful options to control your browsing experience from the browser settings.
Firefox is the first web browser that decided to start providing DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) feature by default. The feature basically prevents your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to monitor what you do. Currently, DoH is limited to the U.S, but it’s a bold step that Mozilla has decided to take.
Hence, it’s safe to assume that Mozilla Firefox is constantly improving and adding features to ensure the best security and privacy.
Not to forget, Mozilla Firefox is an open-source project and you can find it on GitHub as well.
In a recent research paper by the School of Computer Science & Statistics, Trinity College (Ireland), Brave browser got the appreciation for being the most privacy-friendly browser.
Indeed, compared to Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and others, it is potentially more private in nature because it does not track any kind of data.
In case you didn’t know, Brave browser is based on Chromium and is completely open-source. You can explore more about it on their GitHub page.
So, if you don’t like Firefox, you can definitely prefer to use Brave Browser. However, some users may have a problem with the reward system (which is optional) and the recent affiliate link fiasco.
Unless you have a problem with how they make money — Brave is one of the most secure browsers there is.
3. Tor Browser
Tor Browser is usually considered as a very secure browser because it uses Tor connection for browsing.
Usually, Tor is popularly known to facilitate anonymous browsing. Hence, it’s an easy choice to go with. But, it’s not for everyone.
Technically, Tor Browser is just a modified Mozilla Firefox version. But, with the strict privacy and security features it offers, it is not suitable for daily browsing activities. Unless you’re doing something very sensitive, it’s not something that you should try.
However, if you have a blazing fast Internet speed and no issues using Tor network for everything you do, you can try Tor Browser.
Google’s open-source web browser is Chromium. If you didn’t know already, Google Chrome is based on Chromium. It’s just that Google has added more features to it.
If you don’t hate Google for its privacy policies, Chromium is a fantastic option to use. It’s open-source, privacy-friendly, and is being actively developed.
Probably one of the best alternatives to Google Chrome that you can find.
5. Ungoogled Chromium Browser
If you’re someone who hates using Google services or anything that relates to Google, this is for you.
It’s important to note that is fairly a new project and it may not the best browser yet. However, it’s worth giving it a try. I would recommend this as an experimental choice to go with. So, take it with a pinch of salt.
Overall, it’s just a Chromium browser without Google services.
There are a few more browsers that are potentially secure — but they don’t really offer the best experience that you need. Hence, I did not include them in the primary list.
Our aim is to have a secure browser without comprising any feature or UX. So, here, I’ll mention some of them for you to take a look:
Additional Info: Browser Extensions or Add-ons To Ensure Best Security
Yes, it’s important to choose a secure browser — but in addition to that, you can add some important extensions (or add-ons) to make your browsing experience even more secure.
Some extensions that I’d recommend having on your browser are:
- uBlock Origin
- Multi-Account Containers (only for Firefox)
There are several other extensions that help you block trackers, detect malicious sites, block ads, and a few other things to keep your browsing experience secure.
However, it’s not a wise choice to install every extension that you find. You may find websites breaking and some may not properly function. So, only use the least amount of important extensions and I’d recommend sticking to what I mentioned above.
While there’s a lot of things you can do to secure your web browser, the most important of all is to select the best browser for your requirements.
Of course, this list is based on my personal experience. But, you can choose to review the policies and the source code of the web browsers mentioned and make better-informed decisions for yourself.
What do you think about the recommendations here? Did you find it useful? Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below.