The 7 Best Privacy-Focused Smartphone Browsers for Android and iOS
Most of us use a web browser on our smartphones every single day. It’s vital, then, to enhance online privacy on your device. You don’t want to give away your essential information to shady websites and unethical data collectors. This is where a privacy-focused web browser comes in useful.
What are some of the best privacy web browsers for Android and iOS? How do you identify a private web browser? Let’s find the best smartphone browsers for the job.
What to Remember When Choosing a Private Browser
Whether you use Android or iOS, there are plenty of mobile browsers available.
Of course, you can stick to the default browsers (Safari for iOS and Chrome for Android). However, there are a few extra perks with mobile browsers specifically tailored for privacy-focused users.
Unfortunately, you might stumble upon some browsers that make grand claims about your privacy, but the reality is not exactly what they market.
So, before you decide to give something a try, there are specific pointers that should help you choose an excellent private browser:
- The browser should be popular enough to trust.
- The web browser does not feature any wild claims, like making you completely anonymous on the web.
- Offering privacy-oriented features.
- Cross-platform support (optional).
While you can choose a less-popular option for its features, a popular mobile browser is often well-maintained, regularly updated, and bug-free.
Overall, you need to ensure that the browser fulfills basic necessities geared towards a private browsing experience.
We have a list of recommendations to make things easy for you…
1. DuckDuckGo Browser
DuckDuckGo Browser is an incredibly popular option for privacy-focused users. It offers a minimal user interface and is easy to use.
It lets you quickly delete all your browsing data in a single click, and offers tracking protection enabled by default. Extra features like email and app privacy protection are impressive but may not be accessible to all users (it’s still in beta at the time of writing).
If you want something that feels similar to Chrome but does not leave traces of your browsing activities after every session, DuckDuckGo Browser is a nice pick.
However, it may not be suitable for everyday usage due to the lack of sync capabilities and a lack of support for desktop platforms.
2. Brave Private Browser
Brave is an easy recommendation for privacy enthusiasts, and it offers a unique user experience compared to your default browser.
It provides various privacy features, including tracking protection and some industry-first features like IPFS protocol support to fight against censorship. The presence of such features is why the Brave browser is so popular.
While everything seems identical for Android and iOS, you get an extra paid-for service for iOS. This lets you enable a firewall combined with a VPN, which could be a better alternative to Apple’s private relay.
If you have been using Brave on your desktop, choosing it for your smartphone should make things convenient—all the more reason to consider it as a choice.
3. Firefox Browser
Firefox is an impressive browser for a wide range of users, whether you are a privacy enthusiast or not.
If you are looking for a browser not based on Chromium components, Firefox is the ideal choice. Firefox offers a clean user interface with a good user experience. You get the toolbar at the bottom, unlike others, but you can move it to the top from the settings.
It includes tracking protection and the ability to use add-ons to enhance your privacy further; however, the add-ons are limited to Android. Firefox offers a blend of privacy and usability, so is an excellent choice for many users.
4. Onion Browser
Are you looking to go super serious by using the Tor network on your iOS device? Onion Browser is for you.
This is not the official Tor Browser, but it is the most popular open-source mobile browser available for iOS on the App Store that lets you enable the Tor network for browsing.
It should prevent your IP address and location from being tracked by websites. It also features tracking protection, which you can customize as required.
With the Tor connection, the network is re-routed through several locations, making websites and services difficult to identify. However, it also affects the browsing speed significantly.
If you want to use the Tor connection on your mobile browser to add additional layers of privacy and do not want any other browsing features, try this out.
Download: Onion Browser for iOS
5. Tor Browser
Tor Browser is the official app by the Tor Project for Android.
It is a customized version of Firefox, and you get the same features and the ability to use add-ons to enhance privacy. Tor Browser is the answer if you like Firefox for Android but want to use the Tor network for an additional layer of privacy.
Note that you do not get the option to sync your data to another platform or your Mozilla account.
Download: Tor Browser for Android
6. Ghostery Browser
Ghostery Privacy Browser is not a popular option, but it does all the work you would expect. It is originally based on Firefox’s mobile browser. Unlike Tor Browser, Ghostery uses an older version of Firefox mobile and its own set of customizations.
You can find a similar set of features with tracking protection, but you also get an optional premium upgrade to use Ghostery’s VPN and advanced device protection.
7. Avast Secure Browser
Avast Secure Browser is a Chromium-based mobile browser available for Android and iOS.
It comes with a paid-for built-in VPN and tracking protection. You may notice a few extra tools for Android, but it shouldn’t be a big deal. It is also available for desktop platforms.
What Is Your Preferred Private Browser?
If you want full-fledged privacy without compromise, you can choose the browsers offering a built-in VPN or Tor connection. And, if you want usability with privacy-centric features, popular options like Brave and Firefox are great choices over the default web browsers.
Every option offers something better than the others. So give them all a try if you can’t decide right now.
Enhance your privacy and security with these Android web browsers that all come with a free integrated VPN.
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