The best browsers for privacy

Need to block ads and trackers? Browse our list of the best browsers for privacy

stock photo of laptop on desk
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While speed and user-friendliness are important concerns to consider when looking for a new browser, it’s also important to find the right browser for your privacy needs. Our picks for the best browsers for privacy include a wide variety of privacy features.

In fact, consider our top pick, Brave. It’s a browser that contains many of the same features better known browsers have, but its emphasis on privacy and security really set it apart. Features like default and customizable settings that allow you to block things like ads, trackers, and malware make Brave a particularly helpful browser for privacy.

The staff at Digital Trends have written thousands of news articles and helpful guides to help you get the most out of your online experience. And if Brave still isn’t the right browser for your secure browsing needs, scroll on to check out our other great privacy browser picks.

The best browsers for privacy at a glance:

The best browser for privacy: Brave

Brave Browser screenshot
Screenshot

Brave‘s laundry list of security and privacy features provide enough reasons for this browser to claim the top spot on our list of the best browsers for privacy. But there are a few features worth highlighting such as its automatic HTTPS connection upgrades, its ability to block ads and scripts, manage cookies, and it has a native password manager. You can even customize your shield (read: security) settings on a “per-site or browser-wide basis.” And if you’re curious to see exactly how well Brave block unwanted content and trackers, you can just view the blocking stats on the New Tab page.

And even if you’re not crazy about customizing your own settings, Brave’s defaults are still pretty solid since they automatically block things like phishing and malware.

The best for browser for customizable privacy: Firefox

Firefox privacy settings screenshot
Screenshot

For those who want to get specific about how they manage their browser’s privacy and security settings, Firefox is a great option. While Mozilla does heavily emphasize its default settings and the fact that it provides “strong privacy protection from the moment [users] install,” you can still customize a fairly detailed list of privacy and security settings which include features like the ability to block cookies and third-party trackers and the level of security that you want.

If you want total security you can opt for the Strict option that blocks every single tracker detected. You can also just use the Standard option that allows you to have the best of both worlds: better performance and tracker blocking. And Firefox’s tracking protections are turned on by default even when you use its Private Browsing Mode.

The best browser for maximum security: Tor

Tor Browser screenshot on Windows 10
Screenshot

If you’re looking for a browser that’s thought of everything security-wise, Tor Browser might be the browser for you. The Tor Browser handles your security concerns down to the smallest detail. (Really. Even when you try to maximize your browser window, Tor Browser will warn you that doing so can leave you open to having your computer’s screen size tracked and it will recommend that you change it back to its smaller, default window size.)

Tor also offers other security measures such as the automatic deletion of your browser history and cookies when you’re finished browsing, the blocking of third-party trackers, and protection that includes three layers of encryption for your web traffic, “as it passes over the Tor network.”

The best browser for privacy for Mac: Safari

Apple screenshot of Safari browser
Safari website/Apple Inc.

Apple touts that its own browser, Safari, is the “best browser for your Mac,” and that may very well be the case, at least as far as its security and privacy features are concerned. According to Apple, Safari actually uses machine learning to prevent the tracking of your personal data, including your browsing history. Safari is able to do this by using machine learning to detect advertisers and other trackers and then removing their “cross-site tracking data.” Safari also offers a number of other helpful security features including: Sandboxing, warnings for unsafe websites, Private Browsing (which includes a DuckDuckGo default search engine), and the auto-generation of strong passwords that can auto filled and stored for all of a user’s Apple devices.

Safari also works with iCloud Keychain, which is an optional feature which allows you to store and autofill sensitive data (like usernames, passwords, credit card information, and social media account logins) for any given device you’ve approved of. The best part of iCloud Keychain is that it uses end-to-end encryption to protect your sensitive data. Such encryption doesn’t even allow Apple access to it.

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