Web Browser Reviews

What is a secure browser?

The best secure browsers 2018
But the philosophy often behind true secure browsers is to eschew the notion of platforms and plug-ins, stripping back every non-essential feature to create a more minimalist experience. Get Ready for Winter Driving. This should improve the overall user experience and speed up loading time. In a recent update, the developers also added an option of Private tabs integrated with Tor to ensure extra privacy. In addition to speed and a clean interface, the best browsers have features like pinned tabs, bookmark and password management and privacy settings.

When did you last try a new browser?

Browsers Reviews

The browser you're currently using might not be the best, but you've probably become use to its idiosyncrasies over the years without realising there are better options around that will make your life so much easier. After several years dropping behind the competition in terms of speed, Firefox is back in the game with a fully updated code base.

Firefox recently received its biggest update in 13 years, and it's so impressive, it's propelled the browser to the top of our list. Firefox has always been known for its flexibility and support for extensions, but in recent years it had started to lag behind the competition in terms of speed. Firefox Quantum, first released last year, represented a total overhaul of the browser's code base, with speeds now comparable with Google Chrome.

That's not just on top-end computers, either — the new Firefox makes frugal use of RAM, even with masses of tabs open. Firefox also scores serious points when it comes to privacy. Mozilla is non-profit, which means it doesn't have the same impetus to sell your data as some other browser developers.

The organization also makes regular updates to help protect its users' privacy as internet companies come under increasing scrutiny over the way they treat people's data. Quantum also introduced a new system for extensions that prevents rogue developers making malicious changes to the browser's internal code. It's not always the absolute fastest — for some pages Chrome still has the edge, as Mozilla's own video demonstrates — but the new Firefox has come out swinging and is our pick for the best web browser of so far.

With Chrome , Google has built an extendable, efficient browser that deserves its place at the top of the browser rankings. According to w3schools' browser trend analysis its user base is only rising, even as Microsoft Edge's install numbers are presumably growing. Well, it's cross-platform, incredibly stable, brilliantly presented to take up the minimum of screen space, and just about the nicest browser there is to use.

Its wide range of easily-obtained and installed extensions mean you can really make it your own, and there's support for parental controls and a huge range of tweaks and settings to ensure maximum efficiency. Future versions of the browser will make it very clear when sites aren't using HTTPS encryption, aiming to make it standard throughout the web.

Like Firefox, Chrome now also supports password-free logins via WebAuthn — either to replace traditional passwords completely, or work as a form of two-factor authentication. The browser also offers more features for web app developers, including more consistent experiences across different VR headsets, and the ability to use input from sensors such as your device's ambient light sensor and accelerometer.

It launches fast, the UI is brilliantly clean, and it does everything its rivals can do with a couple of extras thrown in for good measure.

The key reason we'd at least recommend having Opera installed alongside your main browser is its Opera Turbo feature. This compresses your web traffic, routing it through Opera's servers, which makes a huge difference to browsing speed if you're stuck on rural dial-up or your broadband connection is having a moment.

It reduces the amount of data transferred too, handy if you're using a mobile connection, and this re-routing also dodges any content restrictions your ISP might place on your browsing, which can be mighty handy. Opera automatically ducks out of the way if you're using secure sites like banks so your traffic is free and clear of any potential privacy violation. There's also an integrated ad-blocker — which can be switched off if you're morally inclined in that direction — and a battery-saving mode which promises to keep your laptop going for longer.

The default 'browsing experience' on Windows 10, and unavailable for older operating systems, Edge is an odd one. Quite why Microsoft needs to be running a pair of browser products in tandem rather than making Edge backwards compatible is beyond us.

The company's reason, it seems, is that Edge represents the more user-friendly end of Redmond's offering while Internet Explorer scales a little better for enterprise. Integration with Windows 10's core gimmicks seems to be Edge's main strong point. It happily runs as a modern-skinned app on Windows 10's tablet mode, and works with Cortana. It's also highly streamlined for the current web age, doing away with insecure protocols like ActiveX and forcing you into Internet Explorer if you want to use them.

We're more used to browsers failing to render newer pages than we are to being told off for visiting older corners of the web. Curmudgeonly grumbles aside, actually using Edge is a perfectly pleasant experience. It's super-quick, hammers through benchmarks, its integrated reading mode makes complex sites more palatable, and by sandboxing it away from the rest of the operating system Microsoft has ensured that Edge won't suffer the security breaches of its older brother.

But note that privacy usually requires compromises so these won't be for everyone. There are various Chromium-based browsers that promise to cater to privacy and in some instances de-Google the core browser but ultimately there's no guarantee this is the case - so we've left those out.

We also discuss Virtual Private Networks VPNs , such as nordvpn , which can be used in association with the browser you already use to increase privacy. It also has some privacy features built in such as tracking protection. Firefox is also just a good, user-friendly open source browser that receives regular updates, has a pleasing UI, delivers in speed performance and is lightweight — with the Mozilla Foundation boasting that it uses 30 percent less memory than Chrome.

However, there have been a number of controversial decisions taken by Mozilla that have upset both casual Firefox fans and die-hard open sourcers who have been with the project since the start. The two most prominent of these were a plug-in appearing in users' browsers without warning and without their consent called Looking Glass, which turned out to be a promotional plug-in for TV series Mr Robot.

Although it was disabled by default, it rightly caused alarm among the userbase who have valued Firefox for its line on privacy and yet was inserting code into users' computers. Another cause for alarm was an experiment with Cliqz, a privacy-focused browser that Mozilla had invested in.

Essentially Mozilla rolled out an engine provided by Cliqz called Human Engine to roughly one percent of users in Germany.

There's a great explainer on Reddit - the extremely short version is that Human Engine would scrape user data, although it was anonymised this caused a mild uproar. There are various forks of Firefox that claim to be privacy-focused listed below - Waterfox, Pale Moon, Basilisk but it's up for debate whether they are more overall secure because their development teams are, naturally, way smaller than the contributors to Firefox's code base.

Waterfox is an open source fork from Firefox with telemetry Mozilla phoning home turned off completely - which is possible in Firefox but with some tinkering. It also claims to be speedy but your results may vary compared to lightweight browsers like Firefox Quantum. Waterfox also promises to erase all online information from your computer, so passwords, cookies and history, as well as blocking trackers automatically without addons.

Speaking of addons, Waterfox supports legacy Firefox extensions. The Waterfox subreddit is fairly active and its creator says that it will continue to be supported with updates and patches, although these won't be as regular as Firefox. It's available on desktop and Android. A lightweight open source desktop browser forked from old Firefox code technically a fork from Mozilla's Gecko browser engine to the open source Goanna , Pale Moon touts "efficiency and customisation" as two of its selling points.

It is regularly being updated with the latest version released in August at time of publication. You might find some compatibility issues with addons. We've not created a separate entry for Basilisk because the developers say it's development software, and so should be "considered more or less 'beta' at more times", although it is still worth investigating bearing that in mind.

It promises to make what would otherwise be a complex and uncertain process much simpler because it is easy to start out using HTTPS on a website and be sent back to non-HTTPS pages without realising it. Because it bounces your connection through a number of distributed nodes, it should obscure the public IP address you are connecting to the internet with. The important thing to remember about Tor is that it is really an advanced privacy browser rather than a secure one, in that it includes no anti-malware technology and blocks plug-ins by design.

Using Tor will be slower than with other browsers and it can be demanding to use to its full privacy potential. Some people think that anyone who uses Tor is trying to hide something. Of course they are right. If privacy is that important, let them think what they want. Announced by Brendan Eich, co-founder of the Mozilla Project, Brave is an open source browser that offers a respectable Chrome, Safari, and Firefox alternative.

Brave offers great speeds and advanced ad-tracking controls, ideal for the privacy-conscious who are also after a lightweight browser. Available for Windows, Linux and OS X users, Brave includes HTTPS Everywhere integration, blocks cookie capture, features a decent ad-blocker, and has an active developer community which is always improving the browser.

It's still a relatively new browser, so perhaps not as polished a product as it could be, and extension functionality is still lacking. Based on Chromium - the open-source Web browser project founded by Google - Epic is a browser that strips out every conceivable feature to maximise privacy.

It does not collect data about its users and comes with excellent built-in ad blocking.

Best browser overall

In our search for the best internet browser, we tested how fast pages loaded and how quickly each web browser navigates to sites. We also explored the tools and settings, and their location. We tested both Explorer and Edge, combining our findings in our review of Microsoft Internet Explorer. One difference we liked in Microsoft Edge is its. Picking a web browser isn’t like picking an operating system or smartphone ecosystem. fun product reviews, insightful editorials, and one-of-a-kind sneak peeks. Web browsers aren't simply about navigating the Internet anymore, but have become essential tools for managing your online interests, searches and history. In addition to speed and a clean interface, the best browsers have features like pinned tabs, bookmark and password management and privacy.