What is the safest web browser for privacy? Here are our top 7

Dawna Roberts

Dec 11, 20235 min read

What is the safest web browser for privacy? Here are our top 7: Header image

Chances are, you don’t stop to think about your choice of web browser very often. At first glance, it may not even seem all that important. But did you know that some web browsers are much better for privacy and security than others? The question is, what’s the safest web browser available? 

We have rounded up our 7 favorite web browsers so you can browse anonymously while keeping your location, data, and identity safe. Plus, you won’t have to worry about anyone tracking your online activities. 

What makes a browser secure?

Although many web browsers offer privacy features, these privacy settings may not be turned on by default. Therefore, you must configure the settings to get the ultimate privacy experience. 

Some features you will want to explore to make your browser more private include turning off tracking (location, IP address, device data, etc.), not storing cookies, turning off password saving, and turning off running scripts.

Other features of a secure/private web browser include:

  • Complete control over website permissions
  • The option to open a private browsing window
  • Unsafe warnings when you try to visit a malicious website
  • The ability to disable cookies
  • Disabling pop-ups and scripts
  • Stop automatic redirects
  • Control over your cache and browsing history (like automatic deletion of your browser history upon close)
  • Installing automatic updates 

The 7 most secure internet browsers today

If you are on the hunt for the most secure web browser, you’ve come to the right place. We have outlined the 7 most secure and most private web browsers available today and what they offer to keep you safe. 

1. Safari: The best secure browser for Mac

If you use an Apple computer or device, you probably already use Safari as your internet browser. The good news is that Apple cares deeply about user privacy, and many of its security features are turned on by default.

Some of the security features you can expect when using Safari include:

  • Blocking unsafe sites
  • Blocking cookies
  • Cache blocking
  • Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) to stop advertisers from tracking you
  • Blocking pop-ups
  • Website permissions
  • A built-in privacy report to show who has been tracking you online
  • Private browsing mode

2. Edge: The most secure browser for Windows

Microsoft Edge replaced the painfully flawed Internet Explorer browser many years ago and has become the go-to browser for Windows users. Edge is built on Chromium, meaning that it is partially open-source. When it comes to user popularity, it’s neck-and-neck with Mozilla Firefox.

Some of Microsoft Edge’s best privacy features include:

  • Reports on website tracking activity
  • Tracking prevention (multiple user-controlled levels)
  • Blocking tracking on websites where you make payments
  • Automatic protection against malicious downloads and websites
  • The choice to opt out of Microsoft tracking
  • The ability to customize tracking prevention levels in private mode

Edge collects user information, but it’s unclear how much it collects or what Microsoft does with the data. 

3. Chrome: Google’s secure internet browser

A screenshot of Chrome's Incognito mode.
Google Chrome is a trademark of Google LLC.

Chrome has an unprecedented number of users and is one of the most popular web browsers today. It is admired for its speed and privacy features.

Some of the included privacy/security features included with Chrome are: 

  • Incognito privacy mode
  • The option to ask websites not to track you
  • The ability to block scripts
  • Options to block pop-ups
  • The option to block cookies (both locally and globally).
  • Warnings about potentially unsafe websites
  • Notifications of exposed passwords
  • Website permission control
  • Options to block specific websites 

Although very secure, Chrome does share data with Google. The company is known to track user information and store it, although they don’t share it with other companies.

4. Epic: The most secure web browser with privacy turned on by default

Epic’s claim to fame is that, out of the box, all the privacy settings are turned on by default. You don’t have to do anything. Just start using it, and all of Epic’s security and privacy features are enabled.

Some of the best privacy features on Epic include:

  • Do not track is turned on by default
  • cookies are blocked
  • Ads are blocked
  • Search uses DuckDuckGo
  • Data-tracking web analytics systems are blocked
  • No storing of browsing history, passwords, or any other data
  • No auto-syncing
  • No spell-check or auto-fill plugins are enabled to keep your data private
  • No caching
  • RTC calls are blocked, protecting your IP address

The browser prioritizes SSL connections and can use proxy servers if needed. 

5. Firefox: The best secure web browser for developers

A screenshot of Firefox's privacy notice.
Firefox is a trademark of Mozilla.

Mozilla Firefox has been a favorite for web developers for many years. This secure browser includes a lot of powerful developer features, as well as privacy features.

Some of Firefox’s most essential web privacy features include: 

  • A privacy report on sites trying to track you
  • Blocked tracking (user-controlled levels)
  • The choice to opt in for data breaches and notifications
  • Website permission controls
  • Pop-ups are blocked by default
  • Malicious downloads and websites are blocked
  • All connections are forced to use a secure HTTPS protocol

You can choose a Private Window each time you use Firefox to prevent anyone from tracking your online activities. Firefox is open-source, meaning the code is available for anyone to review. 

6. Brave: The safest web browser for blocking ads

A screenshot of Brave web browser's private window.
Brave is a trademark of Brave Software, Inc.

Although Chrome boasts about its speed, Brave blows it away, claiming to be three times as fast. Brave is a relatively new browser that came to the market in 2019, but it has some of the most impressive privacy and security features available.

Chrome’s security and privacy features include:

  • Third-party ads are blocked by default
  • A built-in password manager
  • Blocks tracking by default
  • Blocks scripts
  • Blocks cookies
  • Private browsing that rivals Tor
  • Built-in Tor private browser
  • All connections are forced to go through HTTPS for maximum security

Brave uses Chromium, which could mean that data is shared with Google, but it’s not apparent at this time. Despite its new status, we think Brave will take off in a big way and become a very popular browser. 

7. Tor: The safest web browser to visit the dark web

Tor is a browser specifically designed to browse the dark web and is the ultimate choice for anonymity and privacy. The downside is that although Tor is one of the most secure browsers around, it’s not the most user-friendly and is not designed to work well on the regular internet.

Tor’s stellar privacy features include: 

  • Relay servers that make it impossible for your actions to be tracked online
  • Tracking is disabled by default
  • Does not track or save your internet history
  • A big tech company does not own it
  • Disabled scripts by default
  • Forces HTTPS on all websites
  • Deletes cookies after each use by default

Some websites block Tor, so you cannot use it everywhere. Tor blocks scripts (causing some sites to look “off”) and makes it difficult for you to log in to some accounts. Tor is most often used by whistleblowers, journalists, and others needing the ultimate security and privacy.

Using the lineup above, you should be able to choose the best, safest web browser for your purposes. Be sure to review all the configuration settings and turn them on for maximum protection before use. 

Dawna Roberts Dawna Roberts
Dawna has spent her entire career in web dev, cybersecurity, and IT. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Adobe, Airtable, Backblaze, Cyberleaf, Lifewire, and other online publications for the past ten years.