The Privacy Series: Healthier web browsers

Source: “Comparativa: Google Chrome vs Mozilla Firefox vs Microsoft Edge vs Opera” @ aadslzone.net

Almost every device we purchase (it doesn’t matter if we are talking of desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone) provides a pre-installed operating system that (almost) always includes another software too. This one is the web browser.

Usually, Microsoft provides Edge with Windows, Apple gives you Safari with macOS, and most of the Linux distributions provide Firefox (or a forked project). However, there are a small number of exceptions.

But, one of the first things we all do when we are setting up our device is to install another browser (usually Chrome), because we want faster and more secure Internet access when browsing. And right after that, some of us install a set of browser extensions, among them the one named AdBlocker.

Source: “The best web browsers for 2020” @ techadvisor.co.uk

Google Chrome is the number 1 browser, according to several websites that share metrics. And if you track your online visitors (most probably using Google Analytics), then you’ll see that a considerable number of visitors use Chrome as the main browser. But there are plenty of alternatives that we can consider.

Google Chrome web browser is based on the Chromium web browser, an open-source project that powers up not just Chrome but other browsers too. And Brave is another browser, also based on Chromium. It means that you can still use all the extensions that you use on Chrome but in a much healthier way. Let me tell you why.

Brave Software

Source: “Adiós, Chrome! Hola Brave!” @ enriquedans.com

Brave is a controversial browser: its fundamental strength is privacy and protection of user data and clearly proactive cookie management, but it also has other features, such as the removal of advertising and, if you wish, the replacement by advertising managed by the company whose income it shares with the user, which have given rise to numerous controversies.

Given Brave is based on Chromium (like Google Chrome) it means that all the browser extensions available on the Chrome Web Store are compatible with the Brave browser too, so any of your favourite extensions should be working as usual. Just bear in mind that Brave has a built-in ad blocker service, so there’s no need to install AdBlock anymore.

As a small extra, Brave can use the Tor Network on demand and without needing to install the Tor Browser, so it just gives both services through a single software.

Tor Project

Source: turkhackteam.org

Another alternative is the Tor browser, operating under the Tor Network: a set of VPN tunnelled servers where your browsing goes through to ensure your browsing habits are anonymous.

The main problem with the Tor network is that some users have used it for abusive practices, so some search engines such as Google or some anti-robot measures like ReCaptcha might expect a more active checking on your end before allowing you to send any form.

What about me

I’ve been using Brave for a few years, and it’s my default browser on my desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone. It helps me keep healthier, privacy protected and faster browsing.

I also allowed Brave to send me a push notification with suggested advertisings that I can follow or ignore depending on what I’m doing, and when I browse the advertising. Then, Brave sends me a small number of BAT tokens (a crypto-currency that is held by Uphold) that I can tip on other websites or request to be withdrawn to my bank account.

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Alternative browsers you can consider