5 Most Privacy Focused Web Browsers

For many internet users, a web browser application is what they interact with the most. Whether you are on a desktop or mobile (and regardless of the platform), you will always end up using the web browser.

You access cloud storage, banking services, social media, e-commerce platforms, and numerous other services through it.

Hence, it is crucial for you to pick a web browser that respects privacy, and provides you a secure web experience.

Here, let me highlight the best privacy-focused options that you can utilize in any device of your choice.

LibreWolf

screenshot of librewolf browser featuring itsfoss.com

LibreWolf is a fork of Firefox with privacy enhancements out of the box.

It is not just Firefox with different configuration. LibreWolf get rids of all the telemetry, DRM protection, and adds various improvements to the security-side of things.

For instance, the browser deletes browsing and download history when you close it. However, you can always tweak this behavior and customize it to your liking following the documentation.

Furthermore, you get privacy-friendly search engines like DuckDuckGo and Qwant. And, the uBlock Origin extension comes baked in by default.

Not just a private and secure experience, it also takes away some Firefox elements that some users may find distracting, like a cleaner new tab, and Firefox sync.

Highlights:

  • A highly customized Firefox fork for privacy
  • Customizations can be tweaked if needed
  • Disables Firefox Sync by default
  • Available for desktop platforms only (Linux, Windows, and macOS)

Brave

screenshot of brave browser featuring itsfoss.com

Brave is a popular option based on Chromium. It is known for providing a blazing fast user experience with web pages.

Brave features numerous privacy-centric settings, like the ability to sync browser data securely, without needing to create an account. The browser effectively blocks trackers to give you a private web experience.

You also get extras like the reward system (for opt-in ads) and crypto wallets.

While this is available cross-platform, the installation procedure for Linux systems is a bit different from others. You can refer to our guide for help:

Installing Brave Browser on Ubuntu & Other Linux DistrosWant to get started using Brave on Linux? This guide will help you with installation, removal and update process of the Brave browser.

Highlights:

  • Fast web page experience
  • Familiar user experience to Chrome
  • Secure browser sync option
  • Extras like crypto wallet
  • Available for Linux, Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS

Firefox

a screenshot of firefox browser featuring itsfoss.com

Mozilla Firefox is the go-to browser for countless privacy enthusiasts.

It features many privacy protection features that include abilities to block trackers, and set a different DNS.

Firefox provides a unique user experience with useful integrations like VPN, email aliases, Pocket, and a Firefox account to sync all your browser data conveniently.

With Firefox, you can customize the user interface, and tweak the experience with a JavaScript file as well. If you would rather not use any Firefox fork but want to improve the privacy game, you can take a look at arkenfox configuration on GitHub.

If you are confused between Firefox and Brave, our comparison article can give you an in-depth look to help decide:

Comparing Brave vs. Firefox: Which one Should You Use?The evergreen open-source browser Firefox compared to Brave. What would you pick?

Highlights:

  • Privacy-focused features keeping usability in mind
  • Firefox sync and Pocket integrations
  • Available for Linux, Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS

Tor Browser

screenshot of tor browser featuring itsfoss.com

Tor Browser is the best bet for a privacy-conscious user.

Considering it is based on Firefox, you get the same fundamental experience with tweaks to level-up the security and privacy.

Unlike LibreWolf, Tor Browser lets you utilize the Tor network, which could affect your web experience but gives a big privacy boost. You can browse onion sites to fight against censorship, and keep things private at the same time.

Similar to Brave, Tor Browser can be a bit tricky to install on Linux systems. If you are a Linux user, you might want to follow our tutorial:

How to Easily Install Tor Browser in Ubuntu and Other LinuxThis tutorial shows you how to install Tor browser in Ubuntu Linux. You’ll also learn a few tips around effectively using the Tor Browser. Privacy is one of the most discussed topics these days, from the NSA spying on citizens and governments alike to the Facebook data scandals. The

Highlights:

  • Strict privacy with compromises to usability
  • Tor network connection
  • Available for Linux, Windows, Android, and macOS

Mullvad Browser

a screenshot of mullvad browser featuring itsfoss.cmo

Mullvad is one of the best VPN services out there. The Mullvad browser is built in collaboration with the Tor Project to provide a solution tailored to be used with VPNs instead of the Tor network.

You can use any VPN service with Mullvad, if not their own. The browser includes extensions like uBlock Origin and NoScript by default to give you the private experience they aim for. Additionally, the browser does not support Firefox sync.

While you cannot remove the extensions, they do not recommend adding more.

Highlights:

  • Tailored for VPN usage
  • Pre-installed extensions that cannot be removed
  • Available for desktop platforms only (Linux, Windows, and macOS)

Suggested Read 📖

Top 10 Best Browsers for Ubuntu LinuxWhat are your options when it comes to web browsers for Linux? Here are the best web browsers you can pick for Ubuntu and other Linux distros.

Wrapping Up

The web is evolving and with various things to take care of, it is convenient to rely on a browser that focuses on privacy.

Among the browsers mentioned above, Firefox and Brave are popular picks for most. However, if you want a little more strict protection and configurations in your browser, LibreWolf should suffice.

Of course, with specially tailored browsers like Tor Browser, LibreWolf, and Mullvad, you lose the flexibility of accessing it on mobile devices. So, you can choose a separate browser for your smartphone, or pick one that supports all your devices.

💬 What is your favorite privacy-focused web browser? Let us know in the comments below! And if you disagree with some entries in the list, express your views gracefully.