Due to an uptick in cybercrime and online fraud in recent years, internet privacy has become critical. Internet-connected devices, especially smartphones, are vulnerable to threats such as spyware, malware and ransomware.
However, there is growing awareness around how our online lives are being monitored by internet service providers, governments, search engines, hackers, bots and other third-party entities. Therefore having the right web browser with the right security/privacy features is a no-brainer for everyone. It can go a long way in ensuring your safety and protecting you against prying eyes.
It’s essential to make sure your mobile device is as secure as possible.
Unfortunately, though, most of the web browsers available for Android devices lack privacy features. Some of them are even intrusive by nature. A web browser should protect you from hackers and other online threats, and it should also be able to carry out operations with speed as well.
Finding the right web browser that offers security, privacy and speed is difficult. That’s why we’ve dug deep to show you the best Android browsers for privacy.
This article will cover the top five Android browsers that you can use to protect your anonymity and privacy. We’ll also list some less secure web browsers to avoid.
The Tor browser is a free, open-source web browser that offers top-notch privacy and speed to Android users.
When you install the Tor browser on your Android device, it would connect to the Tor proxy network and hide your IP address. It also hides your activities from your internet service provider, spyware, trackers, bots, government surveillance agencies and other third-parties.
The Tor browser app for Android comes with a state-of-the-art multi-layer encryption algorithm and performs at advanced speeds. You should consider the Tor browser if you’re serious about your privacy and looking for ways to secure your online activities.
Note:The app allows Android users to choose their security level before they get started. In the Tor browser, your security level is set to standard by default, but even the standard security settings still offer more privacy than other browsers.
You can use Tor’s security settings to select the level you want and go completely untraceable if you want, or you can use the Disconnect.me option if you also want to be disconnected from search engines. This ensures no one will track you online, and you leave no footprint behind.
Lastly, the Tor browser uses HTTPS Everywhere to redirect your connection to a secure version of the website you are trying to visit.
The Brave browser is new on the block, but it has proven to be an efficient secure web browser for Android devices.
The platform has been praised for its privacy and traffic encryption capabilities. Brave helps you take complete control over your personal information and browsing activities, ensuring that you stay anonymous while browsing the internet.
The app blocks out ads, blocks device trackers and connects to the Tor network to provide anonymous browsing. It’s a lightweight browser, and it executes with lightning speed.
Brave doesn’t store users’ history and details, unlike other browsers.
The Brave browser is among the best browsers for Android privacy. Here are some more features of the platform:
- Security Updates: Brave automatically scans for updates and deploys new releases to ensure that it fixes all the latest security issues.
- Optional Sync: Synchronization is optional with the Brave browser, and it doesn’t synchronize anything unless you turn on the sync function. When it turns on, you can save whatever you want, including bookmarks, passwords and browsing history. This information is saved in an encrypted file, which can be decrypted only by you and not the company.
- Location: Some websites may want to know your location when you visit them. Brave browser for Android automatically hides your location and protects your privacy.
- Brave Together: Brave browser comes with a private video-calling tool for meetings, webinars and other online video conferencing. Nothing in your video session is saved, whether text or voice, unlike other video conferencing tools that save your meetings.
- Brave Firewall + VPN: Brave comes with a reliable firewall and VPN system that can add to your privacy on the internet and secure your device.
As the name implies, privacy is the watchword for the Epic browser. It prioritizes your online privacy and safety. Since its initial launch in 2010, the Epic Privacy Browser has demonstrated that it puts users’ privacy ahead of its financial and business interests.
Some web browsers deploy incognito mode for privacy, but they often aren’t effective at preventing tracking. The developers of the Epic Privacy Browser believe that your online sessions should always be private. Therefore, the app deploys VPN systems to help you remain anonymous on the internet.
Everything you browse through Epic is automatically deleted, including your history, cookies and passwords.
Furthermore, the Epic browser would not ask you for any permissions when installing. It comes with a built-in VPN and protects your activities.
Here are the top advantages of the Epic Privacy Browser:
- Blocks all ads
- Provides a secured web browser
- Provides security against device trackers
- Authenticates users and connections with fingerprints
- Provides ultrasound signaling
- Offers VPN servers in more than eight countries around the world
- Protects users against data abuse
- Small in size and executes with speed
- Blocks all analytics
Are you looking for a browser that can ensure your privacy and also load with speed? If yes, then Aloha is one of the top Android browsers for you.
The Aloha browser provides online privacy for users, while compressing internet traffic and ensuring optimal speed. Aloha blocks trackers, spyware, malware, and keeps your IP hidden.
That’s not all; Aloha has a free and unlimited virtual private network built into the app. This VPN ensures that your ISP does not see what you do online.
Here are more features of the Aloha browser:
- Stores your downloaded files in an encrypted server
- Blocks ads
- Breaks geo-blocking technology and gives you access to protected websites
- Automatically switches to HTTPS to provide secure website navigation for users
- Carries out anonymous search and stores no history
- Has a built-in media player and provides seamless VR support
- A friendly user interface that is easy to navigate
- Displays privacy ratings for every website
DuckDuckGo is a renowned anti-Google search engine for a reason. It doesn’t compromise the user’s privacy. This engine regularly blocks Google search crawlers, APIs and Google bots that try to track users’ activities on the internet.
It ensures better protection for users, blocks intrusive/abusive bots, and furnishes users with what they block. DuckDuckGo ensures your privacy by forcing all websites to connect through HTTPS. Generally, it provides maximum online privacy for users with minimal effort.
Here are the major advantages of DuckDuckGo.
- Tracks and blocks cookies that seek to identify users
- Provides site ratings
- No search history
- Automatic data deletion after each session
- Comes with a browser extension that can seamlessly integrate with other browsers
- No personal information or user details are collected
- Prevents search leaks
Top Android Browsers to Avoid
Chrome is a prevalent browser developed by Google. It is fast, lightweight and readily comes with Android devices, but it does not provide adequate privacy for users. You can use the incognito mode to keep your browsing session private, but your ISP can still see what you’re doing on the internet while using Chrome.
The Chrome browser has faced criticism for sharing data on users’ activities with Google for marketing and ad placements. This claim is not surprising because Google is one of the biggest advertising companies in the world, tracking user’s information.
As you browse the internet, Chrome tracks and collects data on your preferences, searches and behaviors, then it uses this information to create suggestions for you. They can also sell your interests to other marketing companies for campaigns.
Google captures all of your activities and search terms and uses it to create a digital identity for you. Therefore, you should avoid Chrome if you want to remain private and browse the internet completely anonymously.
There are lots of reasons why you should ditch Microsoft Edge on your Android device. It doesn’t display the connection protocol for the websites you visit, meaning that you may end up on an unsecured website.
A privacy-focused web browser would force all connections to go through HTTPS (not HTTP), but this is not the case with Microsoft edge. Visiting an unsecured website can expose you to security threats and compromise your privacy.
Furthermore, Microsoft Edge saves your history, favorites, passwords and other sensitive information about you.
Like Google Chrome, Microsoft is also a marketing company. It gathers the user’s information through the Bing search engine for commercial purposes.
The default search engine in Microsoft Edge is Bing. Users’ information is relayed back to Microsoft for personalization and advertisement through Bing. However, users can disable the feature that sends their data to Microsoft.
Still, if data-tracking concerns you, then you might want to look for more privacy-focused alternatives to Microsoft Edge.
Mozilla Firefox advertises that it offers better privacy for web surfing than its competitors. But, Firefox stores telemetry data that is tied to each user.
Mozilla claims it deletes this data after a period of time, but storing personal data even for a few seconds is counter-intuitive to protecting users’ privacy.
Note:Telemetry data can include the number of tabs and windows you have open, the number of pages you visit, information about your add-ons and browsing session duration, device operating system, IP address and other types of data.
If you want to browse the internet completely anonymously, evading monitoring from hackers and internet service providers, you should opt for one of the more privacy-focused browsers we listed above.
The proportion of hackers targeting mobile devices has significantly increased in recent years. Big tech companies are also mining your browsing information for marketing purposes.
It is almost impossible to browse without leaving behind some kind of digital footprint. But using a secured and private browser on your Android device can significantly protect you from prying eyes.
Warning:Going online without a secured browser can expose you to a lot of security/privacy issues. You would leave behind sensitive information such as your location, browsing history, passwords and more personally identifiable information.
Bots, ISPs and hackers can access this information. Some browsers, such as Google Chrome, sell the idea that incognito mode ensures privacy. In contrast, others are selling the concept that browsing in “Private mode” secures you.
But you should not be fooled by the friendly handshake of these browsers. You should opt for a browser with a built-in VPN to shield your activities from your ISP, hide your location from hackers, and block out spyware. Furthermore, you should also consider a browser that blocks out ads and intrusive systems and won’t store your browsing history.