Best browsers for privacy

Here are some of the best browsers to guarantee your privacy and anonymity online

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No browser can be guaranteed to be completely private. However, the best of the privacy-minded browsers promise to block ads and cookies and accommodate extensions that increase anonymity further. 

There are a number of options out there, but here we take a look at the best browsers on the market for privacy.

Some companies that formerly made the list have now been removed to reflect new information. Namely, Yandex, Comodo and Cocoon because they are all proprietary and closed. 

Opera was also sold in 2016 to a Chinese consortium and is now closed off and keeps users are in the dark about how the browser behaves.

Chrome features on our list but it's important to consider the following caveats: Chrome is owned by Google, and while it's based on the open source Chromium browser (also from Google), Google code means Google tracking. However, if you trust Google with your information there are ways to safeguard your browsing to a degree.

If you like Chrome there are 'de-Googled' options available like the Epic Privacy Browser (listed below) and Iridium Browser but it's hard to say if all the traces of Google are truly removed from top to bottom.

In other words, if you're privacy conscious you'll want to opt for an open source solution that receives regular updates with an active community, as well as supporting add-ons for disabling tracking and so on.

While Tor is technically the most anonymous browser, the Tor network is frequently monitored by authorities, so it could actually make you more visible in some ways than using a more conventional browser. To be truly secure with a Tor browser probably means locking down your system with a secure basic Linux OS such as Tails, and using networks that are two or three steps removed from your home wifi – like public networks.

For most users, Firefox checks all the boxes. While it's by no means airtight, you can buttress it with add-ons that minimise online tracking.  Firefox and the stripped down Firefox Quantum both get our vote.

Read next: Five steps to secure your office network