What are 2021’s best private web browsers? A quick Google search will tell you that Tor is the best private browser available in 2021.
However, this isn’t strictly accurate. Are you making an effort to make your digital life more private? If so, our list of the 4 best private web browsers available in 2021, will help you do just this.
Why Tor is NOT on our list of 2021’s Best Private Web Browsers
Some might call it Internet privacy heresy. However, we will not be featuring Tor in our list of 2021’s best private browser options.
Make no mistake, Tor is a highly secure web browser. However, Tor isn’t as secure as many people try to make out.
- Tor does not encrypt data as it travels through the Tor network.
- Intelligence agencies are known to monitor Tor exit nodes to reveal the real identities of Tor users.
- It has been widely known in cybersecurity circles since 2013, that governments have several proven ways of de-anonymizing Tor network traffic .
This is why Tor doesn’t make our list. Thankfully, though, Tor isn’t the only privacy browser out there.
Epic – The Best Private Web Browser for Ease of Use
Epic is possibly the best private Internet browser you have ever heard of.
When you use Epic, you benefit from being able to use a browser built on the same open-source Chromium architecture that Google Chrome uses. As a result, if you are a Chrome user, you will feel right at home.
At its most basic, Epic is in perpetual private browsing mode. This means that while some websites can still place things like cookies while you are browsing the Internet, these get deleted as soon as you close Epic.
- Epic automatically blocks trackers and third-party cookies from most websites.
- By default, Epic keeps no records of your web browsing history.
- As well as blocking websites from tracking you, Epic blocks known data collectors from monitoring your behavior online.
This is a big reason Epic has made our list of Best Private Web Browsers.
For extra privacy, Epic also routes all traffic through an in-built proxy service. This prevents ISPs from tracking your location.
However, for best results, it is worth considering using Epic with VPN that fully anonymizes all your network traffic.
Brave – The Best Private Web Browser for Convenience and Ad Blocking
If you want to make your digital life more private, you likely fall into one of two groups of people.
On one side, you have people who don’t want to leave a single digital fingerprint anywhere online. On the other, you have people who just want to give the middle finger to advertisers.
If it is mass data harvesting by advertisers that you want to prevent by using a private browser, Brave is the browser for you. Best of all, you can earn money while using Brave!
There are two ways to use Brave. Like Epic browser, Brave is built on Chromium. However, when starting Brave for the first time, users can select one of two default privacy settings.
- For near-total privacy similar to Epic, users can opt to disable all ads, trackers, and cookies.
- Alternatively, Brave users can opt to view ads but still benefit from less tracking.
- If selecting to view ads, users can set up a Basic Attention Token (BAT) cryptocurrency wallet in Brave, where they will be paid BAT tokens every time they view ads.
That’s right. You can earn money by viewing ads in Brave. However, this doesn’t mean that you will see ads on web pages you visit.
In fact, you won’t see any. Instead, you will receive occasional popups asking if you would like to view an ad.
When you click yes on a popup, you will be taken to a full-page advertisement for products or services from Brave ad partners. The longer you stay on an ad page, the more you earn.
The best part? When you use a VPN with Brave you can completely anonymize all your network traffic, yet continue to earn by viewing ads. This is because Brave doesn’t require your real identity or location to serve these to you.
This is my favorite on our list of best private web browsers.
SRWare Iron – Google Chrome without Google
Google Chrome is the world’s favorite web browser. It’s fast, secure, and easy to use. Breaking away from Chrome can, therefore, be difficult. However, with SRWare Iron, it doesn’t have to be.
Like Brave and Epic, SRWare Iron is built on Chromium. However, visually, the browser is almost identical to the latest Chrome version you will be familiar with from Google.
Despite being almost identical to Chrome, SRWare Iron lacks integration with Google services, Google’s Updater software, and it features a built-in ad blocker.
- SRWare Iron is the best privacy browser to use if you want to kick Google out of your life, but aren’t looking for total online anonymity.
- It is possible to tweak SRWare Iron for more robust cookie and tracking prevention. However, SRWare Iron is really for more casual users.
- Total anonymity is possible with SRWare Iron when using the browser with a VPN like Shielded VPN.
Sadly, one negative of SRWare Iron rests with the fact that the browser doesn’t get regular updates. Some see this as a potential security flaw.
Waterfox – A Privacy-Focused Firefox Alternative
Our list of 2021’s best private web browsers, has been predominantly made up of browsers all built on Chromium. What, though, about Firefox?
Is Firefox your browser of choice over Chrome? If so, fear not. There are private browsers built on Firefox that are just as powerful as their Chromium alternatives. One of these is Waterfox.
Like SRWare Iron and Chrome, Waterfox is visually identical to Firefox. However, under the hood, Waterfox dispenses with Firefox telemetry reporting, user profiling, and online tracking and data collection.
Like with Epic, it is also possible to completely delete all web-browser data when Waterfox shuts down. This means that users can browse incognito every time Waterfox launches.
If You Need a Private Browser, You Need a VPN
When it comes to the best private browsers of 2021, our top choices are Epic and Brave. However, if you use a private browser, you also ideally need to be using a VPN.
This is because only a VPN can anonymize all traffic going to and from your device, not just your web browser.
Online freelancer, owner of Shielded VPN and long time website creator and designer. Happily married man and father of two amazing boys.