The best web browser: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Edge from the point of view of anonymity

Many people ask which browser is better and which browser you can use every day.

Internet service providers always record the actions of users on the Internet. But the browser itself can also record information about sites visited. Therefore, it is important to use an anonymous browser that does not keep an eye on the user.

We'll look at the most popular browsers today - Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Яндекс Браузер, SrWare Iron, Tor Browser, Maxthon.

In this article we will compare browsers in terms of anonymity and security of use, the availability of additional plug-ins.

When we wrote this article, we were impressed by the wide variety of browsers. But our research has shown that almost all browsers are not anonymous and are clones of the main popular browsers.


How we will compare browsers

First, we need to determine the criteria by which we will compare browsers among themselves.

Important criteria are:

  • the origin of the browser and who owns the source code, as this will explain who is interested in developing the browser
  • who finances development in order to understand the motives of developers
  • support of different OS
  • reliability of the code and speed of error correction, the ability to anonymously configure browsers, the presence of plug-ins

Quick navigation on this page:

Google Chrome

Mozilla Firefox

Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge

Safari

Opera

Tor Browser

Yandex Browser

SRWare Iron

Maxthon




Google Chrome

The Google Chrome browser was first released in 2008. The browser takes the 1st place in the world by popularity with 55% of the market.

Window of Google Chrome browser


History of Google Chrome origin

The browser was created on the basis of the Chromium browser with open source (Chromium is developed by Google and third-party developers). The browser is developed by Google. Also this browser is installed by default in the operating system Chromium OS and on devices with the Android operating system.

Google Chrome has a closed source code. Although it is claimed that the source code corresponds to the open source code of the Chromium browser.

Google Chrome browser logo


Who is funding Google Chrome?

The development of the browser is funded by Google. The development of the Chromium browser is also funded by Google.


OS support

Google Chrome browser is supported by the following operating systems.

Windows macOS Linux iOS Android


Google Chrome anonymity

The browser is constantly updated, the percentage of errors is minimal, and they are quickly eliminated.

In terms of anonymous work in the browser, there are settings that allow you to remove the tracking of the user. There are such functions as Do not track, erasing cookies and other information when you exit the browser, refusing to send Google technical information on using the browser.

WebRTC technology can only be disabled using plugins.

Interestingly, plug-ins in Google Chrome can only hide the output of your IP address and can not completely disable this technology.

Partial disabling of WebRTC in Google Chrome browser


In the plugin directory there are many different extensions associated with anonymity.


Criticism of the Google Chrome browser

The Google Chrome browser has been criticized for generating a unique key for every downloaded copy of the browser. Then, the information about the installation of the browser, including the time and date of installation, is transmitted to Google servers.

При вводе любого текста или URL адреса информация отправляется в Google, чтобы показать вам подходящие страницы.

Браузер Google Chrome содержит кнопку авторизации пользователя в сервисах Google.

Authorization in Google Chrome


On the one hand, it's convenient, because you get access to all Google services integrated into the browser, including working with documents.

On the other hand, it is necessary to warn that due to this function all actions of Google Chrome users can be tracked. Most sites have Google Analytics - a service that keeps statistics on users visiting the website. If you are authorized, then Google may have statistics on the sites you visit using own Google Analytics service. In this case, neither VPN nor other means of anonymization will help, because the identity of your visit will be authorization on Google services.


Go to the browser comparison table




Mozilla Firefox

The Mozilla Firefox browser was first released in 2004. The browser occupies about 14% of the browser market in the world. This is the second most popular browser in the world after Google Chrome.

Window of Mozilla Firefox browser


History of Mozilla Firefox origin

Netscape Communications developed the world's first Netscape Navigator browser in 1994. Later, this company formed a separate unit of Mozilla Application Suite, which engaged in the development of the browser.

After the closure of Netscape Communications, the Mozilla project is managed by the Mozilla Foundation, which has all rights to the Mozilla Firefox trademarks. The company is registered in the US and is a non-profit.

The browser is developed by the company and independent developers. The project has open source code and the ability to create its own browsers based on Mozilla Firefox.

Logo of the browser Mozilla Firefox


Who funds Mozilla Firefox

The Mozilla Foundation had contracts with Google for many years, since Google's default browser search was used.

At the moment, there are contracts with Yahoo, and the company also collects donations.


OS support

The browser can be downloaded for the following operating systems.

Windows macOS Linux iOS Android


When you download the browser, an interesting window appears with the title "The last independent browser". At first we did not attach importance to this text. And we understood what this text means only after compiled a complete overview of all browsers.

Our findings are at the end of this article.

The last independent browser Mozilla Firefox


Anonymity of Mozilla Firefox

According to research by Sauce Labs in 2014, the browser has the lowest percentage of errors in the code among all browsers. New versions of Mozilla Firefox come out very quickly and close possible errors in the code.

In terms of anonymous work in the browser there are settings that allow you to remove the tracking of the user. There are such functions as Do not track, erasing cookies and other information when you exit the browser, refusing to send Mozilla technical information on using the browser.

Developers of Mozilla Firefox provided access to many browser settings using a special command line about:/

In other words, some settings can be made without installing plug-ins. For example, Disable WebRTC. WebRTC technology allows you to transfer audio and video data directly between users' browsers.

Only Mozilla Firefox can completely disable this technology.

Disable WebRTC in browser Mozilla Firefox


The browser provides a large catalog of plugins, where you can download additional plug-ins for anonymity.


Go to the browser comparison table




Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge

We specifically combined these 2 browsers, as Microsoft Edge replaced Internet Explorer and is developed by one company Microsoft. The browser takes the 3rd place in the world in popularity with 11% of the market (in aggregate Internet Explorer + Microsoft Edge).

Window of Microsoft Edge browser


History of the origin of IE and Edge

The Internet Explorer browser was developed from 1995 to 2015. The first version of the browser appeared in the operating system Windows 95. Then it was replaced by the browser Microsoft Edge.

Browsers are developed by Microsoft and installed in all versions of Windows by default. Both browsers have closed source code.

Logo of Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer browsers


Who funds IE and Edge

Development is conducted at Microsoft's own funds.


OS support

The browser is supported by only one operating system.

Windows


Anonymity of Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge

The popularity of this browser is primarily due to the fact that this is a standard browser of any version of Windows. Thus, to download a different browser, you must at least once open Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge.

In the browser there are no many functions that are available in other browsers from the point of view of anonymity.

WebRTC technology is not supported in Internet Explorer, so you do not need to install additional plug-ins.

Disable WebRTC in browsers Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge


WebRTC technology since 2017 is supported by the Microsoft Edge browser. This technology can not be switched off at this time. We do not recommend using this browser in terms of anonymity.

WebRTC in browser Microsoft Edge


The catalog of plugins is small. There are no plugins for anonymity in this catalog.


Go to the browser comparison table




Safari

Safari was first included in Mac OS X 10.3 Panther in 2003. The browser takes the 4th place in the world in popularity with 10% of the market.

Window of Safari browser


History of Safari origin

The browser was developed by Apple to replace the Internet Explorer browser on computers running the macOS operating system. Initially, Internet Explorer was the main browser for macOS.

From 2007 to 2012 there was a version of Safari for Windows. But the development was stopped.

The browser has a closed source code.

Logo of Safari browser


Who funds Safari

Browser Safari is the standard browser for the operating systems macOS and iOS. Funded by Apple.


OS support

Safari supports the following operating systems:.

macOS iOS


Anonymity of Safari

The browser has few settings for anonymity on the Internet.

WebRTC technology in the Safari browser is not supported, because Apple refused to implement this technology.

Disable WebRTC in browser Safari


The catalog of plugins is small. Anonymity plugins are not available.


Go to the browser comparison table




Opera

The first version of the Opera browser was developed in 1995. The browser takes the 5th place in the world with a market share of about 3%.

Window of Opera browser


History of Opera origin

The Opera browser was developed by the Norwegian company Opera Software. Since 2013, Opera developers have taken Chromium as the basis.

The browser has open source code.

Logo of Opera browser


Who funds Opera

In 2016, Chinese IT company wanted to buy Opera Software. But the deal did not take place. Information about funding not published.


OS support

The browser supports all modern operating systems.

Windows macOS Linux iOS Android


Anonymity of the Opera browser

The Opera browser is based on Chromium and has similar settings like Google Chrome. There are functions Do not track, erasing cookies and other data when you exit the browser.

WebRTC technology is blocked with plugins.

Similarly Google Chrome completely disable WebRTC is impossible. The plugin only hides the output of IP addresses.

Partial deactivation of WebRTC in Opera browser


The browser began to support a free VPN. Although this VPN technology is named conditionally, as in the Terms of Use it is written that the proxy works and keeps logs.

The plugin catalog is large and corresponds to the Google Chrome directory.


Go to the browser comparison table




Tor Browser

The Tor network was launched in 2001. The browser based on Tor network appeared later and uses the Mozilla Firefox browser with NoScript, HTTPS Everywhere and other plugins included in it.

Window of Tor Browser


History of Tor Browser origin

The principle of the Tor network was developed at the US Naval Research Laboratory for Federal Order. Tor network allows anonymizing outgoing connections.

It is believed that the Tor network project has open source code. Although on the official site we did not find the source code Tor Browser.

Logo of Tor Browser


Who funds Tor Browser

For many years The US Department of State financed this project, as well as funds fighting freedom of speech in various countries. In the article What is a Tor network there are examples of funding to date have been presented.


OS support

Tor Browser can be installed on the following operating systems.

Windows macOS Linux Android


Anonimity of Tor Browser

Updates come out constantly, so possible bugs are fixed quickly.

A feature of Tor Browser is that it is already configured for anonymous work. The required plug-ins are already installed and configured for anonymous Internet surfing. Since this browser is based on Mozilla Firefox, all the advantages of the Mozilla Firefox browser from the point of view of the anti-tracking features are embedded in the Tor Browser.

WebRTC technology is disabled completely.

Disabling WebRTC in Tor Browser


Full support for the plugin catalog from Mozilla Firefox. You can download any plugins available for this browser.


Go to the browser comparison table




Yandex Browser

Yandex Browser was developed in 2012. Statistics on the popularity of this browser in the world is not represented.

Window of Yandex Browser


History of the origin of Yandex Browser

The browser was first introduced at the Yet Another Conference. The browser is developed by Yandex based on the Chromium browser. Yandex Browser has a closed source code.

Logo of Yandex Browser


Who funds Yandex Browser

The company Yandex finances the development of the browser.


OS support

The browser supports all modern operating systems.

Windows macOS Linux iOS Android


Yandex Browser Anonymity

Yandex Browser is made on the basis of Chromium, so all the advantages of this platform is in this browser. Do not track functions, blocking user tracking, cleaning cookies and browsing history are supported.

WebRTC technology supported.

Completely disable the WebRTC technology is impossible, you can only hide the IP address. This feature is present on all browsers based on Chromium.

Partial deactivation of WebRTC in Yandex Browser


The plugin catalog is similar to the Google Chrome and Opera directories. Large selection of plug-ins for anonymity.


Go to the browser comparison table




SRWare Iron

The SRWare Iron browser was developed in 2008. Statistics of popularity in the world is absent.

Window of SrWare Iron browser


History of SrWare Iron origin

The browser was developed by the German company SRWare due to the fact that the Google Chrome browser tracks some user actions.

The browser has open source code and is developed on the basis of Chromium.

Logo of SrWare Iron browser


Who funds SRWare Iron

SRWare itself finances the development. Part of the money is collected from partner contracts for placing bookmarks in a browser on third-party sites.


OS support

The browser can be downloaded for the following operating systems.

Windows macOS Linux Android


Anonimity of SRWare Iron

SRWare Iron is positioned as an anonymous browser. There are Do not track functions, deleting cookies, visiting history.

WebRTC technology is implemented. Similarly, with all browsers based on Chromium, you can not completely disable the WebRTC.

Partial deactivation of WebRTC in SrWare Iron browser


The plugin directory contains all the available plug-ins for browsers based on Chromium. You can find many plug-ins for anonymity.


Go to the browser comparison table




Maxthon

The Maxthon browser was first released in 2003. Statistics on the popularity of the browser in the world there.

Window of Maxhton browser


History of Maxthon origin

The browser is developed by the Chinese company Maxthon International Limited. Some time was recommended by Microsoft as an alternative to the Internet Explorer browser. The Maxthon browser was written based on the MyIE2 browser.

The browser has a closed source code.

Logo of Maxthon browser


OS support

The browser supports all modern operating systems.

Windows macOS Linux iOS Android


Anonimity of Maxthon

The Maxthon browser settings are similar to the Chromium project. In this case, the developers of Maxthon claim that they do not use Chromium. You can enable Do not track, disable user tracking.

We could not disable WebRTC technology, as there are no plug-ins for this.

It is impossible to disable WebRTC in Maxthon browser


The catalog of plugins is small. There are no plugins for anonymity in this directory.


Criticism of the Maxthon browser

When you first start, the browser obtrusively suggests entering a phone number or Email.

Authorization in Maxthon browser


Of course, we clicked on the Guest Login button. Then a second message appeared, which warns how many advantages await us if we register.

Even Google Chrome does not have such an intrusive authorization system.

Obsessive authorization in the Maxthon browser

All this makes us think about the lack of anonymity in this browser.




Browser Comparison Table

The Maxthon browser was excluded from the comparison table, since it is impossible to disable WebRTC and there is an intrusive user authorization system. This browser is labeled as dangerous in terms of anonymity.

Browsers in the table are combined according to the code used. For example, Tor Browser is integrated with Mozilla Firefox, as it is based on this browser. Browsers based on Chromium - this is Opera, Yandex Browser, SrWare Iron combined with Google Chrome.

Open source, we understand the ability to download the source code of the browser, compile it and use its browser assembly. Open source gives the advantage that you can check what functions are included in the browser (for example, the presence of surveillance for the user).


Comparison Options Google Chrome, Opera, Yandex, SrWare Iron Mozilla Firefox, Tor Browser Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge Apple Safari
Type of company and financing Corporations, personal investments Non-profit organizations, donations Corporation, personal investments Corporation, personal investments
Open source code Opera, SrWare Iron Only Mozilla Firefox
Functions Do not track, turn off reports, delete cookies and other parameters
Disable WebRTC
Plugins for anonymity: WebRTC Control, NoScript, HTTPS Everywhere, AdBlock
Estimation of anonymity 4 5 3 3

As a result, there are 4 corporations (Apple, Google, Microsoft in the US and Maxthon in China) and 1 non-profit organization Mozilla Foundation in the US (Mozilla Firefox browser).

Based on Google Chromium created such browsers as Opera, Yandex Browser, SrWare Iron.

Based on Mozilla Firefox, Tor Browser is made.


Mozilla Firefox - the last independent browser

Now it is understandable why this inscription was on the download page of the Mozilla Firefox browser. The rest of the browsers are developed by world corporations.


We recommend to use

Mozilla Firefox, Tor Browser

SrWare Iron



Advantage of Mozilla Firefox - is open source code, which is some guarantee of the absence of malicious code in order to track the user. Also Mozilla Firefox is used as the default browser in the operating system Ubuntu. The Tor Browser project, independent from the Mozilla Foundation, also uses Mozilla Firefox. This suggests that the Tor project trusts Mozilla Firefox more than Chromium from Google.

Tor Browser is already ready to use and is configured for anonymous work. True use of the Tor network imposes certain restrictions on the use of this browser. Use SSH or Dedicator to get a pure white IP address.

If you use Google Chrome and it's hard for you to stop using it, we recommend that you review the SrWare Iron browser.




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