When it comes to choosing a browser, many prefer popular and well-known products like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, or Vivaldi. At the same time, most do not even think about alternative solutions that offer a much larger list of functions and are created with an eye to ensure maximum user safety when working in the global network and accessing 18+ websites. Here are some of them:
Developer: Avast Software.
Product website: avast.ru/secure-browser.
Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Android.
It was developed by the Czech company Avast Software, known in the software market for its antivirus products. A feature of the browser is the Security and Privacy Control Center, through which a wide range of settings can be configured. In particular, there are banking and invisibility modes, blocking of advertising banners, protection from phishing, trackers, malicious resources, tracking web systems and secret cryptocurrency mining.
Distinctive features of Avast Secure Browser are browser-integrated tools for checking user data for leaks and compromise (the so-called Hack Check function), protection against unauthorized access to the webcam, as well as tools to optimize the browser's use of RAM and PC processor. In the latter case, program algorithms operate with inactive tabs (suspend web applications and scripts running in them, lower priority, unload from computer memory, etc.), which has a positive effect on the Internet browser's performance and the duration of laptop battery life.
Developer: Hidden Reflex.
Product website: epicbrowser.com.
Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS.
The creation of Indian developers is widely recognized in IT circles thanks to the redesigned Chromium software code. All the components that can be used to track user actions have been removed. Epic Privacy Browser is not tied to Google services; there are no all kinds of identifiers, tags and telemetry collection, there are no information and search hints in the address bar, support for DNS Prefetching, DNS Cache and other unnecessary modules that show network activity all this has been removed to ensure maximum privacy user on the Internet. For added security, the browser does not save your browsing history and automatically clears cached data when you close tabs. In addition to this, the browser implements the Do Not Track system, which on the fly blocks trackers, cookies, behavioral analyzers, and other network content that allows you to track user activity.
The Indian coding gurus did not ignore the support of extensions, which in Epic Privacy Browser is minimized. An exception was made only for its own Epic Web Store with a modest assortment, in which only two extensions are of practical value AdBlock for cleaning advertising banners and Encrypted Proxy VPN Service for quickly setting up secure data transmission channels using virtual private networks. Not a lot, but it is enough to create an additional line of protection against surveillance.
Developer: Aloha Mobile.
Product website: alohabrowser.com.
Supported platforms: Android, iOS.
The strong point of this secure browser is the built-in VPN client, which allows you to explore the vastness of the Internet by accessing resources inaccessible in the host region and remaining completely safe, even when using open Wi-Fi networks. Aloha Browser is able to cut ads from HTML-code of pages, supports "only HTTPS" mode, and can prevent attempts to switch to other applications by links. For maximum protection of personal data, a private mode is provided in which data about web surfing is not saved, and the tracking of statistics on sites seen on this site is blocked. Other interesting features of the program should be noted the ability to set a password for launching the browser and a protection system against taking screenshots from a mobile device screen.
Product website: srware.net/iron.
Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
It was developed by German programmers, which implements the aforementioned Epic Privacy Browser ideas but only in a partial format. SRWare Iron did not bother with a large-scale cleanup of the Chromium code and removed only part of the functionality related to tracking user actions, namely: they removed the smart address bar, installed browser IDs, the system for handling erroneous URLs, and modules for sending messages about crashes and automatic app updates. All other components responsible for connecting to a Google account, data synchronization, the Chrome Web Store operation, storing passwords, and other functions remained in place. The creators of SRWare Iron call their product "the security-enhanced web browser of the future." In our opinion, this is more than a controversial statement that does not correspond to reality.
Product website: comodo.com.
Supported platforms: Windows.
It is the product of the American company Comodo, which has extensive experience in the field of IT security. IceDragon browser differs from the original version of Firefox by the absence of some system components responsible for sending reports to Mozilla servers in case of program crashes, information about the browser and other technical information. This allowed, albeit not significantly, but to speed up the application. In addition to this, the browser has a refined user interface and two additional modules - SiteInspector and SecureDNS. The first scans loaded sites for malicious code and check their safety; the second handles DNS queries and protects against infected, fraudulent, and other dangerous Internet resources.
Product website: brave.com.
Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS.
But that's not the fun part of Brave. The main "feature" of this browser is the built-in Tor client, which allows you to use online services, reliably hiding behind a distributed network of routers that provide the transfer of user information in such a way that it is impossible to determine at any point where the encrypted data is sent from or to. If this is not enough for someone, Brave offers full support for Google Chrome extensions, with the help of which it will not be difficult to set up a VPN connection and thereby build an additional layer of protection against "listening" to traffic by unauthorized persons.
Product website: iridiumbrowser.de.
Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux.
Well, our review ends with another German web browser, created on the basis of the open-source Chromium project according to the patterns of the Epic Privacy Browser discussed above. About forty edits have been made to the Iridium Browser code (see the detailed list) to ensure privacy and give the user control over their data. Experimental functions were removed from the browser, collecting and sending telemetry were removed, and communication with most Google services was disabled. In addition to this, automatic clearing of logs, cache entries and cookies is activated when the program is closed, all security settings are set to "maximum", and Qwant is selected as the default search engine, which attaches particular importance to ensuring user privacy. The rest of the Iridium Browser is the same well-known Chrome.
The market for secure browsers is now in its infancy, and at the current stage, it is quite obvious that the developments offered to the consumer are of the same type, which does not allow giving the laurels of primacy to a specific solution. Among the most interesting products, we highlight Avast Secure Browser, Epic Privacy Browser, Brave, and Aloha Browser. We can safely recommend them to those who seek to maximally protect themselves from threats in the global network, especially while accessing 18+ websites and services.