The Most Secure Browser of 2018

by Alice Woods - -

Most secure browser has never been so important 

The Most Secure Browser of 2018

Internet security and privacy are the hottest topics of 2018. The never-ending growth of cyber crime, data breaches, and inappropriate data tracking cases have already made netizens concerned about online security. Taking into account that browser is a tool that you have to use to surf the web, we decided to find the most secure browser of the year.

Nowadays, users can choose between numerous popular and less popular web browsers. They promise better browsing experience, increased privacy, personalized search results and other features that could seem useful. However, in 2-spyware, we believe that security must be everyone's priority.  

If you are looking for a new tool to explore the Internet or want to make sure that you’re using a secure tool, our prepared list will help you find the most secure browser to use in 2018.

Google Chrome provides high-security level but struggles with user’s privacy

Image of Google Chrome

Released in 2008, Google Chrome is the leader among web browsers. According to the latest statistical data, it covered 54.98%[1] of the browser market share in November 2017. There’s no doubt that convenient functionality and high-security gained the success for this browser.

Chrome ensures that it can be considered the most secure browser, thanks for these three features:

  • Safe Browsing that alerts about possible threats when opening phishing or malicious website;
  • Sandboxing that adds extra layer of protection and prevents from automatic malware installation;
  • Auto-updates that allows installing all updates automatically and eliminating security flaws.

The browser has Incognito mode and offers customizing privacy preferences manually. However, Google’s ability to track each user’s step and click seems concerning. Therefore, even if Chrome is considered as one of the most secure web browsers, its data tracking and usage capabilities are the biggest disadvantages.

Firefox presented security improvements with Quantum version

Image of Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is one of the biggest competitors to Chrome. However, the company released a new version of the browser in November 2017 – Firefox Quantum that offers better security and privacy features, such as:

  • Linux Sandboxing[2] that prevents hacking attempts;
  • Tracking protection [3] that blocks tracking components on visited websites;
  • Improved Control Center that allows accessing and customizing numerous settings to ensure the most secure and private browsing sessions the browser can offer.

While trying to become the most secure browser, developers have also been providing frequent security updates and fixes. With the latest upgrade, they fixed numerous security vulnerabilities, including flaws that allow spoofing attacks or exploitation of arbitrary code.

Another advantage of Firefox is that users can maximise their privacy by running on the Tor network. However, in order to do so, you have to enable Tor add-on on the browser.

Opera includes built-in VPN

Image of Opera browser

Opera is another search tool that could be included to “most secure browser” list. Since 2016, its desktop version includes a built-in ad blocker.[4] However, the ad-blocking feature is disabled by default and users have to enable it manually via Opera’s settings. When active, ad-blocker operates like any other third-party application that allows whitelisting needed websites to see their ads.

In 2015, Opera was acquired by North American online privacy company SurfEasy.[5] Thus, they were able to offer better privacy for the users by adding a built-in virtual private network (VPN). However, it only provides five VPN locations in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, and Singapore. That’s almost nothing when comparing to commercial VPN services. However, Opera offers free services and its one of the biggest advantages.

To sum up, the browser offers some serious advantages: you can avoid third-party ads that might contain malicious processes and access particular sites anonymously. However, the browser itself collects some information about users and might share it with trusted partners.

Internet Explorer still receives security updates

Image of Internet Explorer

Old versions of Internet Explorer have been known for terrible security-related issues, so IE can hardly be called the most secure browser. Besides, few years ago Internet Explorer was reported to have the highest detection rate of malware.[6].

Microsoft stopped sending updates and patches to all versions of their browser (except IE 11) since 2016, but users can still get support, security updates and compatibility fixes. However, even when taking this into account, there is no surprise that other “mainstream” browsers beat IE during security tests. Though, the browser is not the best choice to protect your browsing sessions from criminals and cyber threats.

An interesting fact is that Microsoft is still offering an update at least every 30 days. It gives the option to add extensions to the blacklist and has Do Not Track feature to block sites from collecting information about you.

Just like Google Chrome, IE is also criticized for user data tracking. It seems that Microsoft wants to know about their customers more than they might share.

Microsoft Edge wants to be the most secure browser too

Image of Microsoft Edge

Microsoft promoted Edge as the web browser which is safer than Chrome and could win the most secure browser title. Thanks to Windows Defender SmartScreen technology, Windows 10 built-in browser can detect phishing and malicious sites better than Chrome or Firefox.[7] Additionally, the browser has sandboxing technique which is similar to Chrome’s and better than the one offered by Firefox.

Microsoft Edge also receives automatic updates through Windows Update service. However, users who disabled automatic Windows 10 updates cannot get latest security patches and vulnerability fixes for the browser.

Talking about the privacy protection, Edge includes Do Not Track feature. However, the majority of websites ignore these requests. The browser also allows InPrivate browsing mode which does not track browsing history, cookies, and temporary files.

Microsoft’s browser also has another advantage related to the privacy where it beats Google Chrome and could help it become the most secure web browser. The company does not generate revenue from selling targeted ads.

Safari offers customizing safe browsing options

Image of Safari browser

For more than a decade, macOS users find Safari pre-installed on their computers. Could it be the most secure browser for 2018? Compared to previously mentioned search tools, it has more security flaws and bugs that can be exploited by cyber criminals. However, Safari includes useful privacy and security measures to protect users from cyber threats:

  • Intelligent tracking prevention that allows identifying advertisers and preventing cross-site tracking;
  • Built-in sandboxing for website that helps to detect malicious codes and avoid infiltration of malware;
  • Harmful sites alert that shows up before you visit a potentially dangerous or infected website;
  • Private browsing feature which prevents from collecting and storing your browsing-related information.

Additionally, Safari offers a wide range of security and privacy settings[8] helping you to disable location settings, enable “Ask websites not to track me” feature, and many more.

Epic Privacy Browser disables Google services

Image of Epic Privacy Browser

Epic Privacy Browser by Hidden Reflex is a based on Chromium open source project – just like Google Chrome. However, the main difference is that Epic disabled and removed all Google services. Therefore, the search giant cannot track user’s steps (unless you log in to Gmail and continue browsing the web.)

The main reason to include Epic to the most secure browser list is that browser operates in private browsing mode only and has Do Not Track feature enabled by default. After each browsing session, cookies, trackers and search-related data are deleted. Additionally, the browser allows turning on the encrypted proxy that can protect you from revealing the IP address and other information from anyone online.

If it’s possible, Epic uses SSL connections, protects public Wi-Fi connections and includes built-in ad-blocker. Additionally, the program does not collect any information about users. The only information they are interested in is IP address “in order to get search results that are geographically relevant.”[9]

However, one of the main disadvantages is that this browser does not allow you install add-ons. The company claims that extensions are one of the most dangerous components that put user’s privacy at risk. Therefore, they support only few add-ons that can be trusted. It has also been reported for website loading time or skipping standard search modifiers.

Comodo Dragon Internet Browser is similar to Chrome but Windows users can feel safer

Image of Comodo Dragon Internet Browser

Just like Epic Privacy Browser, Comodo Dragon is based on the Chromium project. The browser includes all Chrome’s features but provides better security and privacy when browsing the web. So, if you are not a huge fan of Chrome and prefer Mozilla instead, you can choose Comodo Ice Dragon version as your most secure browser.

The main advantage of the browser are:

  • Domain Validation technology that identifies secure SSL certificates;
  • Blocks cookies and other tracking technologies;
  • Stops Browser download tracking.

Additionally, the browser supports plug-ins and add-ons that make it more user-friendly and convenient to use. However, the browser has one major disadvantage. It is only compatible with old versions of Windows OS, including Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP.

Tor browser offers anonymity

Image of Tor browser

Tor web browser is widely used by hackers. However, it does not mean that there’s something shady or dangerous with this tool. Actually, it’s the safest search engine that is currently available for free, so we have to present it as one of the most secure browsers.

The whole Tor project is managed by volunteers and is dedicated to letting netizens browsing the web anonymously. The program hides IP address, location, browsing-related information and uses multiple layers of encryption to prevent anyone from seeing your online activities. However, it is not a VPN service.

The browser is a cleaner and safer version of Firefox. It uses HTTPS connection, allows accessing locked websites and even visiting the dark web. However, you should not take advantage of this feature.

However, among Tor disadvantages are sluggish performance, inconvenient and slightly complicated usability. Additionally, governmental institutions can still see that you are using Tor. Even though they cannot see what sites you access and what activities you perform, you still seem suspicious to them.[10]

The verdict: choosing the most secure browser

“The most secure browser” review reveals the main fact – none of the aforementioned browsers is perfect. While some of these search tools offer maximum safety from malware, others ensure the best privacy settings and can easily help you become anonymous online. However, they may not be very user-friendly and convenient.

In our opinion, the top 5 most secure browser of 2018 are:

  1. Google Chrome;
  2. Tor;
  3. Epic Privacy Browser;
  4. Microsoft Edge;
  5. Opera.

However, if you are looking for the safest web browser, you should choose the browser based on your preferences. Think about how much personal information you want to reveal to developers, Google or third-parties, do you like seeing ads while browsing, etc. All mentioned browsers can ensure the protection from cyber criminals. Thus, make sure you choose the one that seems the most convenient for you.

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

Alice Woods is the News Editor at 2-spyware. She has been sharing her knowledge and research data with 2spyware readers since 2014.

Contact Alice Woods
About the company Esolutions

References

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