Today's Privacy Cookbook entry takes us back to browsers
For reasons of privacy, I have long been a Firefox user and I've even published a chapter on how to make Firefox a better, more privacy focused browser.
However, recently, looking at Firefox it just hasn't been going well for me. With privacy supposedly at the forefront, but with Cloudflare in the background and now the new partnership with Comcast (of all people!!!) this has got me wondering if there is a better solution? Chromium was always safe, after all, yet even without much Google in it, it was and is still a 'Googely' type product.
So what can you do and what did I do to take my browser experience back to the trust levels that I want and need? Where should I go post-Firefox?
Well, there is always Tor and the Tor-Browser bundle which, frankly, should be always be your No1 Browser when it comes to privacy.
However, it maybe that you just want a safe day to day option to replace Firefox or Chromium?
So let me kick off with:
Chromium based and with a history of just nothing that will help them on to my trusted list. Even after they claimed that they "fixed" the referral link hijacking issue, I just can't bring myself to use a company that would try that kinda bullshit on its own users!
A great option if you are a keyboard shortcut freak. This browser also supports most Firefox extensions. Not a bad pick and worth a trial!
It started life as a Firefox fork but grew into its own product, this browser is now Goanna-based and fully open-source. Add-ons are available on the Pale Moon website and some Firefox extensions will also work. It's a great browser, well worth a spin. Community driven, open-sourse, it ticks most of the boxes.
Midori is super lightweight and uses the Webkit rendering engine and GTK interface. The browser has ad-blocking built in and supports mouse gestures. In some Linux distros Midori is pre-installed as the main browser. looks clean, worth a try, just not quite right for my personal daily drive. Doesn't mean it couldn't be yours though.
This one is super old with 1992 as the launch year!. And it might not be everyone's cup of tea as the browser is text based. But bear with me, the browser supports no pictures or anything but text! That is turn makes it a super fast browser and maybe be a great second choice browser when it comes to reading news, researching etc.
Based on the WebKit engine, it is great for gnome and elentary where it is pre-installed, it is, after all, the Gnome Web (Browser). This browser has a built-in ad-blocker but other than that its a straight forward browser, no extras, no extensions etc. I enjoy it and use it as one of my browsers. (yeah one, as there really isn't just the ONE! - yet!!)
Falkon was last updated in March 2019 and was previously known as QupZilla. It was a research project written in Python which later morphed into a browser. It uses the WebKit engine. It has ad-blocking, speed dial and, of course, a bookmark manager. Amazingly. the performance on Falkon is good as it uses less memory than most other browsers including Firefox and Chromium. I wish the themes would look a little less dated but, other than that, it's a pretty good browser.
It's open-source, based on Firefox and build for a 64 Bit OS. Great browser, worth a look, little bit of a bad taste as it is partnering with System1, but the developer who single handedly supported this project for 9 years addressed this in a blogpost here.
"Meet the Free Speech Web Browser"...it's open-source and blocks ads and trackers. It has a Comment Badge, that enables user to comment on every website, and see responses and comments from other Dissenter browser users in real time.
The two winners in my book, however, are these two:
A lightweight approach to removing Google web service dependency!
Chromium has its advantages, so when it comes to security this could be your daily drive.
However, be warned! It does not support 'out of the box' Chromium add-ons, it can be sorted but requires a lot of tweaking. That said this is a great browser and comes without all the Google spyware pre-installed. The pre-selected search engines are DuckDuckGo, Ecosia and Searx.
And last but by no means not least...
I literally just discovered this baby and so far it feels great. Every Firefox extension works but then it is a Firefox fork after all. Privacy focused and secure, without all of the commerce of a Firefox. I love the fact that I can add my own DNS server, just like on Firefox, and I am running my own https-overdns server with an adblockhome server for all my devices on hetzner. This is great and gives me my new daily drive.
As always stay safe! Not just in this pandemic, but also on the internet!
The Privacy Advocate