Who could think that one day, we will choose the web browser based on its level of security? This software was always considered just as a medium between a user and the Internet. Therefore, we all were picking the most beautiful and convenient option.
Nowadays, every user whose device is connected to the network is exposed to the potential threat. Hackers can get the profit of everything – your credit card information, logins and passwords, and even your hardware.
Therefore, we should always think about security. And choose the most secure web browser possible in addition to the antivirus software and VPN, if you use one.
What Browser Can Be Called Secure?
Many desktop browsers already include protective functions like URL filtering, no tracking, and download protection. So, in theory, they all can be called secure. Users have full control of all the settings related to safety. They can even opt out of data collection, which was almost always impossible to do. And the privacy mode is supposed to keep the user anonymous while they’re surfing the web.
But obviously, built-in settings and features are not enough since Chrome, Firefox, and even Edge offer additional plugins to tune the browser. It allows keeping the software clean from any functions a user might not need – if you want some additional features, feel free to install plugins. Therefore, users can create a setup that will be convenient for them.
You should remember that you can’t really be safe online, even with the most secure web browser. So we have listed options that don’t demand many resources yet offer some additional protection. Still, you should always have an antivirus program installed on your computer, and consider using a VPN service.
The list of Secure Browsers for Windows
If an upgraded and somewhat decent Edge that is a default browser for Windows 10 didn’t make you an instant fan of new Microsoft products, you always have a choice.
1. Firefox – Best Choice
Many users appreciate this browser. Mozilla, the creator of Firefox browser, has earned a complete trust and loyalty of its customers with a lightweight, reliable, and easy to use the software.
Firefox has gone through auditions, and the results prove that Mozilla doesn’t lie about the advantages of this browser. It is open-source and rather fast, and doesn’t require many resources yet gives protection against tracking and canvas fingerprinting. This software uses 30% less CPU than Google Chrome, and that’s a significant difference.
But despite all the attempts to make it the fastest browser, Firefox is still slower than Chrome. Also, Mozilla had several weird decisions like forceful installation of a plugin that scared many users away.
On the bright side, Firefox doesn’t gather your data to show you targeted ads. And regular updates ensure that your privacy remains safe. If you need more features, you can always get plugins.
Official site: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/
- Offers basic protection;
- The new version supports VR.
- Still less speedy than Chrome.
2. Google Chrome
Chrome is, no doubt the best secure web browser. If your hardware is resourceful enough to handle it. But even though this software requires more resources than other browsers, most users prefer Chrome.
This browser is cross-platform and keeps all your passwords, bookmarks, and other data in your Google account. Therefore, it is very convenient – you can log into Chrome on another device and instantly access everything you need. The control and navigation panels take little to no space allowing the user to focus on the content.
However, minimalistic and pleasant to use interface is not the only advantage Chrome has. Since Google is the company behind it, the browser is as secure as it can get. The Google account is protected by two-factor authentication. And the browser itself has fingerprint protection and actively shields the user from malicious websites.
All these advantages made Chrome the most popular browser. Together with Google account, it makes a handy suite of different tools for work and general use. And the ability to endlessly customize this browser with thousands of extensions only adds Chrome value.
But as we have mentioned, it is known for its hunger for resources. However, if your computer is not too outdated, you won’t even notice that it uses more CPU that you would desire. So unless your PC is ten years old, you must feel perfectly fine with Google Chrome on the board.
Official site: https://www.google.com/chrome/
- Fast performance;
- Highly configurable.
- Requires many resources.
This software is more than a browser – it is a package of tools that allow the user to remain secure and anonymous online. Usually, Tor is associated with dark web – the world of unlisted websites and forbidden items. But even though you can access hidden sites using this browser, it can be used as a generic browser with some extra safety.
First of all, Tor routes all your traffic through virtual servers, making it harder to track. This browser stores and tracks nothing, so you can’t even have bookmarks here. For some users it might be too much – bookmarks are quite useful. But the fact that your cookies are not stored either is very appealing to those who value their privacy.
Official site: https://www.torproject.org/download/
- Maximum safety;
- Easy to use.
- Not convenient for everyday use.
In the past, this browser was along with the most popular ones. But at some point Chrome became more attractive, and users forgot about Opera. And that’s quite sad because this browser is rather high-quality.
It has a pleasant and straightforward interface, launches and loads pages quickly. Another significant reason to get Opera – a built-in Opera Turbo function. It accelerates the connection speed by compressing the traffic. So if your initial connection speed is far from good, Opera is a great choice.
This function is also useful if you are connected to the mobile network. With the feature turned on, you transfer fewer data. And if you load a secure site like your virtual bank account, Opera automatically disables security features so that you can go through the website without any restrictions.
Moreover, for your privacy, there is a built-in VPN that will help to make your traffic harder to track. It is not as reliable as paid third-party VPN services. Still, it is nice to have additional protection.
To keep users away from threats, Opera checks every web page against a database of blacklisted sites. So, you’re shielded from malware and fraud – if you request entering a malicious site, you will see a warning that there is a potential threat.
An integrated ad-block function is very convenient, too. You won’t need to install additional plugins to block all the annoying ads online. Last but not least advantage – Opera has a battery-saving mode, which is excellent if you use a laptop.
Official site: https://www.opera.com/
- Clean interface;
- Built-in VPN and Ad-block;
- Opera Turbo feature.
- Didn’t take part in 2017 Pwn2Own competition.
5. Internet Explorer
IE has become a meme for its slow performance and overwhelming interface. No one was using it for other purposes than downloading another browser after installing Windows. But the latest Internet Explorer 11 that is included in Windows 10 gives us much more hope.
It has a clean interface, fast performance, and high compatibility. IE doesn’t need many resources. However, Internet Explorer still doesn’t go well with extensions. So you won’t have much room to play customizing it.
When it comes to security, IE doesn’t differ much from Chrome or Firefox. Therefore, there is no more reason to actively ignore this browser. But if you like customizing your software, unfortunately, you will need to choose another solution.
- Doesn’t need many resources;
- Isn’t customizable;
- Not secure.
It is hard to choose the best browser because everyone has different needs. Judging by the level of security, Tor browser hands down wins the competition. It gives the user maximum safety online. However, many people will find it very inconvenient for everyday use. So we would recommend having Tor for occasional needs – say, you will require some more safety for certain activities.
Opera is quite convincing with a built-in VPN, ad-block, and handy Opera Turbo feature. The only downside is that this browser didn’t take part in the last Pwn2Own competition. Therefore, we can’t be totally sure it is safe. So we would choose Firefox over Opera, even though the first one doesn’t offer built-in functions.
The best solution would be the Chrome browser for its stable work, fast performance, built-in security features, and an ability to install additional safety plugins. But if you have an ancient computer, you will have a hard time using Chrome. Although, if your hardware at least average, you will be fine with this browser.
But remember that you still need antivirus software if you want to keep your system safe!