The 5 best browsers for Android that respect your privacy

Google Chrome is a fast browser, but it fails to protect users’ privacy online. This way you will be followed everywhere online. With these five browsers you can put an end to that.

Privacy on the Internet

Every time you visit a website you will be monitored by several authorities. On the one hand by the website itself, which keeps track of how often you visit the site and which page you click on. On the other hand by advertisements, which look at whether and when you click or look at which advertisement. There are also ways to track you while you switch websites, and this can be done through so-called cookies. These are often present with advertisements, and even the buttons to share a webpage on Twitter or Facebook ensure that you can be followed.

Your internet behavior will never be completely anonymous, even if you clear your browser history or use a private tab. Still, there are ways to at least reduce the invasion of your privacy on the Internet with this selection of five browsers.

1. Tor Browser

If you really want to get the most out of your privacy, Tor Browser is the undisputed number 1. This browser hides your real IP address and replaces it with another copy. This way, the site and your internet provider do not know that it is you visiting a website. In addition, your browsing history is not kept because you get a new IP address every time. This is very privacy-friendly, but not always fast. That’s because Tor also heavily encrypts your internet traffic.

The third-party cookies mentioned above are also automatically blocked so that advertisers and other parties cannot follow you throughout the web. Tor also blocks a technique called ‘fingerprinting’. In doing so, third parties look at all the characteristics of your phone, such as: the type, size and resolution of your screen, the time zone, the Android version, the language you use, your browser, and more. With this technique, a unique profile of you can still be built up without using trackers.

2. Firefox Focus

A browser that puts privacy at the forefront is Firefox Focus. Last year, the regular Firefox browser received a large package of innovations, but this privacy-friendly variant is still being updated with updates.

Firefox Focus clears your browsing history by default as soon as you close the browser, and there is a button at the bottom right to close all tabs (and thus also clear your history). By default, it does not save cookies, so that you have to accept the cookie notifications from websites every time. Firefox Focus also claims to be faster than normal browsers because trackers now no longer need to be loaded at a website.

3. Brave Browser

Brave Browser is the most user-friendly of the apps in this article, and therefore also scores the ‘least good’ in this list in terms of privacy. Your history and your cookies are remembered by default, unlike its competitors. Fortunately, you can tackle that problem by diving into the settings. In exchange for that effort you will get user-friendliness back. Brave Browse automatically blocks things like third-party trackers and social media buttons.

The 5 best browsers for Android that respect your privacy

4. DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser

From the privacy-friendly search engine of the same name, DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser is a light-hearted browser including a dark theme that allows you to quickly navigate the web. If you enter a search query, DuckDuckGo is of course used, whereby your search history or other data is not saved.

You can see per website how privacy-friendly it is and how DuckDuckGo increases privacy by, for example, applying encryption to connections. In addition, the browser checks how many and which trackers are used, resulting in a judgment ranging from A (good) to F (bad). Finally, DuckDuckGo also analyzes the privacy terms of supported sites, informing you about the way a site handles your data.

The 5 best browsers for Android that respect your privacy

5. Vivaldi Browser

Vivaldi focuses on privacy and an attractive user interface. The browser helps you block trackers; just like annoying popup notifications and ads. You can customize the interface and set both a light and dark theme. Furthermore, Vivaldi also has its own view on tabs, because the browser has an interface that resembles desktops. it should provide more overview in your open tabs.

Vivaldi can also store your passwords in a safe that is secured with end-to-end encryption. You can then use those passwords on all your devices. Another feature of Vivaldi is the ability to take notes right from your browser. Finally, you can also take extra large screenshots of an entire webpage in one fell swoop. Vivaldi has recently been completely renewed and in this article you can read about all the novelties.

The 5 best browsers for Android that respect your privacy

Theme week privacy on Androidworld

This article is part of the Androidworld theme week on privacy. Do you have a question about the topic we discuss during this theme week or ideas or tips? Let us know in the comments below this article (also check our Android app). You can also email us via this e-mail address or leave a message on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also ask us questions via this Telegram group or this Signal group. Would you rather send one of the editors a tip? Then you can!

Original Publish Date: April 28, 2019 / Republished: February 19, 2021

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