Most people limit their Internet browser choices to four main options – Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari. These aren’t your only choices. In fact, there are five other browsers you might not have heard of that focus on keeping your safer online. These browsers are designed for a more secure, private browsing experience. Think of them as the “private” or “incognito” modes in other browsers, but even more secure. All of them are easy to learn and completely free.
If you use Chrome, you’ll instantly recognize WhiteHat Aviator’s design. They’re both based on the same platform. Aviator, developed by WhiteHat Security Labs, describes itself as the “most secure browser online.” Unlike most browsers, it comes complete with several security and privacy plug-ins already installed. It’s optimized with the most secure settings possible so you don’t have to do anything but open the browser.
It’s compatible with any Chrome extensions since it’s built from the same source code. Unlike Chrome, it helps block tracking cookies, ad networks, hackers and viruses. Even though it does all this, it’s still fast and doesn’t get in the way of viewing your favorite sites.
Maxthon Cloud Browser is available on nearly every platform, including mobile. It’s designed to help you browse securely wherever you are. While you can utilize their cloud services to store files, favorites and form information, their security features are what really sets this browser apart from the rest. It automatically blocks malicious sites and phishing attempts and even scan sites before opening them to ensure they’re safe.
Maxthon has its own set of extensions which help add functionality to the browser. To avoid storing any history, you can enable a private browsing session. Many users also love the snapshot, new session (multiple logins on a single site) and Ad Hunter ad blocking features.
Opera Browser, much like Maxthon is available for desktops and mobile for optimal browsing security everywhere. It’s designed to prevent excessive tracking from search engines and social networks while boosting overall browsing speed. For areas with a slower connection, the Turbo feature helps speed things up. For mobile users, there’s also a data saving feature to prevent you from going over your data cap.
Opera has numerous extensions to help you customize the browser. While it’s not as secure as some of the others on this list, it’s still far more secure than the major four. One downside is some sites aren’t compatible with Opera just yet.
Comodo, creators of the popular Internet security software, went a step further to help keep you safe online. They developed the Dragon Internet Browser which is built on the same Chromium code as Chrome and Aviator. It has numerous privacy controls and enhancements and automatically stops web tracking and cookies. It scans all SSL certificates to determine if sites are really secure or not.
If you’re a Firefox user, Comodo also created IceDragon which is just as secure, but has the look and feel of Firefox. Both browsers have ample extensions. They’re also designed to be faster than all other browsers. The only major con is Dragon is only available on Windows currently.
Tor works differently than other browsers on this list. Privacy is the driving factor behind this browser. It uses a network of computers throughout the world to prevent any online spies or hackers from tracking you. These “relays” are run by volunteers who are dedicated to keeping the Internet a safe, private place. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux and can even be installed on a USB drive so you’re secure no matter where you browse.
This browser is more for privacy than straight security. The developers recommend still only using sites you trust and always checking for “https” on secure sites. They also recommend using anti-virus and firewall software in addition to the browser.
No matter which browser you use, you should always use caution while online. Never submit any personal or financial information on sites you don’t trust. Only browse the Internet when your anti-virus and/or firewall software is running. If you suspect you might have a virus, disconnect from the Internet until you can remove the threat.