Six Browsers Better Than Yours at Protecting Privacy

No matter your computer level, chances are you use one of the “big five” browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, or Opera. But many other browser options are available that steer the Internet toward its original intent – a tool for you to use and not use you.

Of course, it can be scary to switch from something you’re comfortable with – you may be aware that Google Chrome is bloated and full of trackers, but you KNOW Google Chrome (or insert other current, big-name browser here).

A constant stream of stories about hackers and viruses and malware and on and on don’t help, either – creating a kind of feeling toward technology like“if it ain’t broke, I ain’t gonna break it.”

That being said, here are some reputable alternative browsers you should seriously consider:

Maxthon – Karl Mattson, vice president/general manager of Maxthon, recently was a guest on the PC Mike Techcast and made a great case for using Maxthon – it considers privacy of utmost importance and doesn’t make money by selling what you do on the Internet to advertisers. It even comes with AdBlock Plus. But there’s a lot more reason – starting with the simple look and feel and the speed it delivers by not trying to shove an ad down your throat for everything you’ve ever looked up on the Internet. The company calls Maxthon a cloud-based browser.

WhiteHat Advisor – If privacy is of largest concern to you, consider WhiteHat Advisor. It doesn’t collect any private data and blocks the holes that allows malicious sites to infect your computer. In addition to cutting out all ads, it also disables that super annoying thing where audio/visual ads automatically play when you go to a website. It opens in “incognito mode” and doesn’t leave a trace of your online activity when closed. The default search engine is DuckDuckGo, which is a privacy-centric service that doesn’t link search activity to a user.

Midori – If you like the alleged simplicity of Google Chrome but are less appreciative of its complex intrusiveness, add Midori to your list of potential browser suitors. There isn’t a lot to say about Midori except that it has a really simple look and feel. It has excellent and easy-to-adjust privacy settings. Because there isn’t a bunch of extra stuff running in the background, Midori is really great for older computers or smaller computers that don’t have a ton of RAM to spare.

Citrio – If downloading a lot of media is your thing, you’ll definitely want to consider Citrio. It has a ton of downloading feature you can adjust with the end result being downloads that are up to five times faster than any big-name browser. Citrio also has built-in malware and phishing protection and auto-updates to make sure you have all the latest security fixes.

Tor – I recently saw this referred to on a comedy show in a way portrayed as something only deep underground, total Matrix-type cyber geeks would use. But rest assure, Tor is no joke. Basically, it keeps anyone or anything from tracking you by causing communication chaos on the backend of your Internet, i.e. the technology that allows you to use the Internet. Tor accomplishes this by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all over the world. Anything trying to track you would be better off trying to herd cats. Many will like that you can use Tor without installing software. It can also run from a USB flash drive.

Comodo IceDragon and Comodo Dragon – If you really, really don’t want to change the look of your Firefox or Chrome browser, these are worth considering. IceDragon is based on Firefox; Dragon is based on the open source code behind Chrome called Chromium.  Comodo web browsing is done by users through Comodo’s own special servers that the company says are faster and more secure. The browser performs checks to ensure websites are legit and secure. Perhaps the best feature is its virtual browsing mode that runs separate from the rest of your system, ensuring malware cannot infect your computer.

Posted in: Tips

About the Author:

Andrew is a writer and producer/content developer for Roadtreking.com and the PC Mike Techcast at PCMike.com. He has been a professional storyteller for 16 years, building a successful career as a newspaper reporter and public relations specialist. Andrew's work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Oshkosh Northwestern, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Crain’s Chicago Business, Advertising Age, Automotive News, Waste News, Appleton Post-Crescent, and Real Detroit.
  • I began the download for Maxthon, then saw that it originates in Asia. With the nternational hacking situation being what it is, it gave me the heebie-jeebies and I didn’t complete the download. What can you tell me about the safety of the code, and the servers which offer the cloud services? NSA has me running scared, but at least it’s the U.S. spying on us.

    • Denis

      I’ve been using Maxthon for at least a year, and I’m very happy with it, same goes for my friends I recommended it to, and nothig weird happened to any of us. I think Maxthon is a great browser, you should give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

  • Maxthon was started – and remains based –
    in China. Though still rising in popularity in the U.S., Maxthon is the
    second most-used browser in China and among the most popular in Europe.
    As Karl Mattson, vice president of Maxthon, told the PC Mike Techcast,
    Maxthon has a lot of protections other Internet-based media stemming
    from China don’t because Maxthon doesn’t create content. It also is
    protected by a very large firewall – from anything happening in China or
    anywhere else. Also, the PC Mike Techcast fully vets any products or
    services that it features in any way. Being cautious about something
    that “originates in China” is understandable, but there isn’t a need to
    fear everything China-based.