Online tracking plus surreptitious data collection have always been a massive cause for concern for most privacy-conscious users, and many netizens are now waking up to its dangers. Well, The problem is even more acute on mobile devices as there are far too many sensors sending far too much information to far too many third-party servers. Thus, we bring you a list of the best 12 Browsers for Privacy to safeguard your Android & iOS devices’ privacy.
Free Browsers for Privacy on Smartphones like Android & iOS
Today In this article, we list some browsers specifically designed to stop online tracking and data harvesting. Some are either open source or come from some of the most reputable and trustworthy names in the market. Hence without further ado, let’s check out the best web Browsers for Privacy on Android and iOS. Spoiler Alert: There is no Google Chrome on this list. Well, I wonder why.
Chromium is a Open-Source Privacy Browser on Android. The Chromium is the open-source browser project that underpins the most popular Browser in the world, Google Chrome. This also forms the basis for the latest version of Microsoft’s new Edge browser. The Chromium comes with many of the features you love on Google Chrome but without automatic updates and built-in DRM components that enable Chrome and Edge to play copyrighted content. This also looks and feels identical to Chrome, which means the transition process from Google’s proprietary Browser is painless. It is the Best Browsers for Privacy.
The Chromium comes with most of the key features of Google Chrome but without persistent tracking and user data collection. But, it will likely be more buggy than even the beta versions of Chrome and Edge. Most importantly, Chromium is neither available on Google Play nor F-Droid. The unique way you can get an official build is through sideloading. This said, if you are willing to put up with all that, Chromium is a more private alternative to Google Chrome while looking & working almost exactly alike.
- Download: Android
This brainchild of former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, Brave Browser, is also based on Chromium. This is part of a growing tribe of browsers that promise to block ads and trackers by default. Brave is a free and open-source browser built from the ground up with privacy in mind. This blocks trackers, scripts, and ads by default and offers an automatic HTTPS connection and a native password manager. Additional notable features include bookmark-syncing, tracking protection, private (incognito) browsing, and more.
The Brave Browser comes with an integrated cryptocurrency payment platform called BAT (Basic Attention Tokens), and it rewards users with crypto-tokens by allowing privacy-respecting ads. Users can spend BATs to support websites, bloggers, vloggers, and content creators they love, who can convert the BATs into actual currency. These developers claim that the Browser also reduces page loading times, improves performance, increases battery efficiency, and reduces data usage.
Avast Secure Browser
As well, Avast Secure Browser comes from Avast Software SRO, the Czech cyber-security firm behind the popular Avast Antivirus software. This Browser comes with a built-in ad-blocker, which automatically blocks ads and web-trackers. This incorporates a free VPN that protects your data, especially on public Wi-Fi. Additional securities and privacy features include full data encryption, private search engines, PIN lock, and more, making it one of the best Browsers for Privacy on Android and iOS.
This Avast Browser encrypts all your online data, including IP address, browsing history, bookmarks, DNS queries, and more. So, Downloaded files are automatically encrypted on-device and accessible through the privacy-focused Media Vault. Additional notable features include bookmark-syncing, customizable browsing modes, dark mode, privacy-focused media player and video downloader, etc.
Basically developed as a Safari extension by Mozilla, Firefox Focus has grown into an independent, minimalist, privacy-focused web-browser on Android and iOS. This is a free and open-source browser with a built-in ad-blocker, tracking protection, and content blocking. So, Firefox Focus is ‘Private by default,’ which means it only functions in private (incognito) mode. This has been the default browser on all my Android devices over the past 3-4 years, and apart from the lack of Dark Mode, there’s not a lot I can complain about it. This is The best Browsers for Privacy on Android and iOS.
The Firefox Focus ensures automatic privacy by blocking a wide range of common web trackers by default, without any user intervention. This erases your browsing history, including logins, passwords, cookies, etc., the moment you exit the Browser. Well, By removing trackers and ads, web-pages also consume less data and load faster. This isn’t as feature-rich as the full-fledged Firefox browser, which also supports add-ons. However, if uncompromising privacy is what you seek, Firefox Focus is by far one of the best browsers both on Android and iOS.
Onion Browser is the Best Browser for Privacy on iOS. Onion Browser is a fully free and open-source web browser that brings the safety, security, and privacy of the Tor network to iOS. So, Originally envisaged as a Tor Browser equivalent for iPhones and iPods, the Onion Browser uses Apple’s core web rendering engine (UIWebKit/ WKWebView) Firefox Gecko, unlike Tor Browser on Android. Well, Be that as it may, the Tor Project still officially recommends the Onion Browser for maximum privacy protection on iOS.
This Onion Browser encrypts your internet traffic and then bounces it through three different parts of the world to hide your real IP. Thus, Because it uses the Tor network, ISPs and Wi-Fi network operators cannot track your browsing activities. The Browser disables third-party cookies and web-trackers to help protect your privacy. Well, All said and done, and Onion Browser remains one of the most secure, privacy-oriented browsers on iOS and the best Tor-related offering on the platform.
- Download: iOS
Tor Browser is the Best Browser to Access Onion Sites on Android. This is One of the most well-known privacy-focused software among geeks and human-rights activists alike, Tor Browser, is developed by Tor Project Inc., a non-profit organization based out of Seattle. So, Funded by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Tor Browser consists of a modified Mozilla Firefox, the TorButton, TorLauncher, the Tor proxy, NoScript, and HTTPS Everywhere. This routes traffic through the Tor network and automatically deletes all session data, such as HTTP cookies and browsing history, at the end of every session.
It is available on all major desktop platforms, including Windows, Mac, and a vast majority of Linux distros. Tor Browser is also popular among privacy-conscious Android users. But, because the traffic is routed through multiple Tor nodes for security purposes, the browsing experience can be slower than usual. This can be a deal-breaker for first-time users. Suppose, however, and you can look past that, the Tor Browser is one of the best browsers for Android devices’ privacy. So, You can learn more about the Tor network and its benefits in our detailed article on the subject.
- Download: Android
Opera Browser With VPN
The Opera has been a popular web-browser on both desktops and mobiles for years, and it now comes with an integrated VPN for enhanced privacy. So, In keeping with its privacy theme, the Browser also comes with a built-in ad-blocker to weed out annoying online advertisements. A native downloader, a file manager, and a QR code and barcode scanner accessible from the search bar. Well, You can even sync files and data between the desktop and mobile versions of the Browser.
The Opera Browser for Android comes with integrated infotainment features, including trending videos and breaking news. Here the service is available in many Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Bangla, Urdu, Marathi, Malayalam, Telugu, and Kannada. Well, Designed for Indian users, the entertainment and sports channels on the Opera newsfeed offer the latest on Bollywood and cricket. So, The feed is personalized by default, but you can turn off personalization for enhanced privacy. There is a dedicated cricket channel with live updates on both regional and global matches.
Kiwi Browser is the Best Privacy Browser on Android With Chrome Extensions Support. The Kiwi is an open-source Chromium and Webkit-based Browser that started life on the XDA Forums in 2018. So, Developed by XDA Senior Member arnaud42, Kiwi Browser comes with statutory ad-blocking and tracking protection and incorporates Cryptojacking protection to block hackers from using your device mine crypto-currency. Well, As per the developer, it is a first for an Android browser. Kiwi comes with an optimized rendering engine that displays web pages faster than either Chrome or Chromium.
Plus, Another impressive feature of Kiwi Browser is that it supports numerous Chrome extensions that do not rely on x86 binary code. This means not every extension will work, but many of the popular ones do. This Browser also comes with a built-in night mode with customizable contrast and grayscale options. This offers notification blocking, the ability to open extensions in external applications, custom search engine options, experimental Chromium flags, and other advanced features.
- Download: Android
DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser
DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser is a Integrated DDG Search on Android and iOS. This DuckDuckGo (DDG) browser comes from DuckDuckGo Inc., one of the foremost names in online privacy. This is a full-fledged web browser on Android and iOS, offering all the features you expect in a modern mobile browser, such as tabs, bookmarks, and even a dark mode. And, it also comes with a suite of privacy essentials, including one-tap deletion of all web history at once. The DuckDuckGo Browser offers a full-fledged mobile browser without any of the privacy compromises of Google Chrome.
This DuckDuckGo Browser also automatically blocks hidden third-party trackers, thereby stopping those companies from harvesting your data for commercial purposes. So, As expected, it also comes with the DDG search engine built-in and forces encrypted (HTTPS) connections where available. This comes with Global Privacy Control (GPC), which means it will tell websites not to collect, sell, or share your data unless permitted to do so.
Firefox Focus is the Best Browser for Privacy on Android and iOS. Firefox is a Best Full-Featured Browser for Privacy Enthusiasts. We have saved the best for last. So, One of the crown jewels in the FOSS universe, Firefox, is the legendary open-source Browser from Mozilla. This is one of the best Browsers for Privacy on any platform, including Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux. This is, quite simply, the most full-fledged, full-featured, no-compromise privacy browser you can use on desktops and mobiles. So, With privacy and customization at its core, you can configure Firefox to start in ‘Private’ mode every time.
The Firefox for Android retains much of its desktop counterparts’ goodness, only lacking in the add-ons department. This Browser officially started supporting add-ons on Android last year and is already compatible with a slew of blockbuster extensions, including Dark Reader, Ghostery, HTTPS Everywhere, FoxyProxy, NoScript, and more. Well, As for its privacy chops, Firefox blocks over 2000 trackers out-of-the-box as part of its Enhanced Tracking Protection program. This offers Quick Share, cross-platform syncing, smart-casting to tablet or TV, and other smart features.
This Adblock Browser comes from Wladimir Palant and Eyeo GmbH, developers of the blockbuster Adblock Plus add-on for Firefox and Chrome. So, Built on the Chromium code-base, it blocks everyday annoyances like pop-ups, video ads, and banner ads on most sites by default. This is a fast, sleek, and secure web browser that blocks annoying and disruptive ads, including pop-ups, video ads, banner ads, and ads disguised as content. This has a ‘Ghost Mode’ (Incognito/ Private mode) that prevents the device from storing any browsing history, including cookies, temporary files, etc.
This Browser allows some ads that aren’t disruptive, which is essential for publishers and content creators to raise revenues. But, you can choose to block these ads by turning off the Acceptable Ads option from the settings. Well, Not only does the Adblock Browser remove ads, but it also prevents them from being downloaded to your device in the first place, thereby reducing data consumption and improving battery efficiency. Here, You can easily configure the Browser to stop companies from tracking your online activity.
Ghostery Privacy Browser
So, based on Firefox for Android, Ghostery Privacy Browser comes from the same developer that offers the eponymous open-source browser extension on the desktop. Unlike the plugin, the Browser is also fully open-source, with the code hosted on GitHub. The Ghostery Privacy Browser combines the ad-blocking and tracking-protection features of Ghostery 8 with many Firefox Fenix features to boost its users’ privacy. This even includes a private browsing option that the developers call Ghost Mode. It the Great Browsers for Privacy on Android.
Thankfulness to the Ghostery add-on integration, users can see who is tracking their data on the websites they visit and block or unblock these trackers individually or en masse. And, the built-in ad-blocker removes intrusive ads and clutter, resulting in a cleaner and faster browsing experience. The Ghostery cuts out much of the additional features of Firefox Fenix for the sake of blazing-fast speed. But, it still retains some of its core functionalities, including bookmarks, tabbed browsing, etc.
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Browse the Web on Your Phone in Privacy
As well, The mobile Browsers for Privacy in the list above should greatly help lessen your online privacy concerns. To further strengthen your privacy, you should switch over to Open DNS on Android, move from WhatsApp to Signal or Telegram, and remember to steer clear of some of the most dangerous apps.