Google launched the Chrome web browser in 2008, about six years after Firefox first appeared. It has used and continues to use the open source Chromium software and it was a pleasant surprise in terms of speed and ease of use.
There are still some advantages to using Chrome (the way it integrates with Google’s own services, the wide range of extensions), but there are arguably more disadvantages today.
For a long time, Chrome was the best Chromium browser on the market, but it’s no longer the case. It became a Software bloated and uses a lot of memory in Windows 10. If you have a lot of tabs open it will adversely affect your computer.
Other web browsers, including Chromium-based ones like Brave or Microsoft Edge, do not experience this problem.
But that almost becomes a lesser evil compared to Chrome’s big downside: privacy. Or rather its absence. This should come as no surprise: Google’s business is data driven and is able to collect as much data as possible.
You are using Chrome and the default search engine is of course Google. It’s the best in the market but the searches you do in writing or at the same time are stored and serve to bring you the most relevant ads possible.
You can see this as a benefit, but most people don’t like their business being tracked and showing ads for the products they just searched.
The adblockers What can you get for Chrome? Google does not allow them to block all ads. Some do, but not all.
You may not be aware that there are many web browsers designed with privacy in mind. Brave, as I mentioned before, is one of the best known.
They claim it is 3 times faster than Chrome, uses up to 35% less battery on mobile, and has better privacy than Firefox (with default settings)
Along with Brave we find Opera, which is an undervalued option from what I understand. It blocks ads and tracking, and has a built-in VPN, which is great when using public Wi-Fi or even unblocking Netflix.
It’s very basic, but being free and being able to simply activate it in the settings, we can’t complain. Keep in mind that the Opera Touch browser for iOS and Android doesn’t have a VPN, but it blocks ads and trackers.
Another option is Avast’s secure browser, based on Chromium. It blocks ads by default, but you can choose to block only the most intrusive ones.
It has additional privacy features, such as preventing web pages from being able to identify you based on your web browser profile, and it also alerts you when your email address is leaked on the internet.
It also alerts you to dangerous web pages by default, warning you before you click on any links that might be harmful. It also forces web pages to use encryption to protect your data.
There is integration with Avast’s VPN service, but it’s not free, you have to subscribe.
You can continue to use Gmail, Google Docs, and other Google services on these browsers. they are not exclusive to Chrome.
Obviously, there are plenty of other great browsers out there. Being free, you can try them all.
Tips for browsing anonymously online
1. Don’t use the Google search engine
Using a “private browser” like the ones mentioned at the beginning is a good way to start. But avoid setting Google as the default search engine if you don’t want Google to know what you’re looking for.
2. Don’t trust private browsing mode – use a VPN
People think, and I don’t judge it, that having a private tab (incognito mode in Chrome) means your activity is private. It’s not that. It just means that your searches and the pages you visit will not be saved in the history.
Your ISP will be able to see this information, and if you are signed in to your Google Account, Google will also know what you are doing.
Use a VPN, which encrypts your information, to prevent your ISP from seeing the web pages you visit.
3. Do not log into your accounts
Some VPN services claim to be able to make you anonymous. But that must be accompanied by a large asterisk, with a warning that if you log in (on Google, Facebook, Amazon, or any other website) the service will know who you are.
There is no point in using a VPN if your Google Account is open. This will not prevent Google from recording your activity.
Obviously if you want anonymity you will have to compromise on convenience, so you should really want that level of privacy.
Original article published in Tech Advisor UK.