As someone who has been using the internet for a long time now, I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your internet usage anonymous.
There are several reasons why you should prioritize anonymity while surfing the web, and in this post, I will highlight some of the most important ones.
First and foremost, anonymity protects your privacy. With the rise of big data and surveillance capitalism, it’s become increasingly common for corporations and governments to collect and analyze user data.
This can lead to targeted advertising, identity theft, and even legal trouble in some cases. By using anonymous browsing tools, you can limit the amount of personal information that is collected about you, thereby safeguarding your privacy.
Another reason to keep your internet usage anonymous is to bypass censorship and geo-restrictions.
Depending on where you are in the world, specific websites or services may be blocked or unavailable due to government censorship or regional restrictions.
By using anonymous web browsers, you can access these sites without revealing your true location or identity.
Finally, anonymity can protect you from cybercrime and hacking attempts. When you use the internet, you’re constantly exposing yourself to potential threats from malicious actors.
By using anonymous web browsers, you can add an extra layer of protection against these threats, making it more difficult for hackers to steal your personal information or compromise your online accounts.
Now that I’ve convinced you of the importance of anonymity on the web, let’s move on to the best anonymous web browser apps out there. Here are my top picks:
Best Anonymous Web Browsers in 2023
While there are several ways to go anonymous on the internet such as refusing cookies, rejecting permission requests to collect our data by apps like Facebook, using VPN services, and so forth, below are the web surfing tools to see when thinking about staying off the grid.
Free and open-source
Epic Privacy Browser
For privacy-conscious users
Mobile incognito browser
Offers a built-in VPN for added privacy
DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser
Encrypted browsing experience
Tor Browser is a web browser that allows users to browse the internet with enhanced privacy and anonymity.
The browser is designed to protect user privacy and security by using a network of servers that bounce user traffic around the world, making it difficult for anyone to track their online activities.
The Tor Browser is based on the open-source Firefox browser and is available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
The Tor Browser is primarily used by individuals who value their privacy and want to keep their online activities anonymous.
It is commonly used by journalists, activists, and whistleblowers to communicate securely with sources and to access censored information.
The browser is also used by people who live in countries where internet censorship is prevalent, as it allows them to bypass restrictions and access blocked websites.
The Tor Browser is built on top of the Tor network, a decentralized server network that relays user traffic.
The Tor network is designed to provide anonymity by routing traffic through multiple servers, making it difficult for anyone to trace the origin of the traffic.
The browser also includes privacy and security features, including NoScript, HTTPS Everywhere, and a built-in VPN.
What I like about Tor Browser
As a user of the Tor Browser, I appreciate the following advantages:
- Enhanced privacy and anonymity: The Tor Browser encrypts user traffic and routes it through multiple servers, making it difficult for anyone to trace the user’s online activities.
- Access to censored information: The Tor Browser allows users to bypass internet censorship and access information that would otherwise be unavailable.
- Security features: The browser includes various security features, such as NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere, which help protect users from malware and other online threats.
- Open source: The Tor Browser is open-source, which means that anyone can review the code and help improve the software.
What I dislike about the Tor browser
However, as a user of the Tor Browser, I must also acknowledge the following disadvantages:
- Slow browsing speed: The Tor network can slow down browsing speeds, as user traffic is routed through multiple servers.
- Limited website compatibility: Some websites may block Tor traffic, making it difficult for users to access them.
- Suspicion from authorities: The use of the Tor Browser may raise suspicion from authorities, as it is commonly used by individuals who value their privacy and want to remain anonymous.
- Risk of malicious nodes: While the Tor network is designed to protect users from malicious nodes, there is still a risk that an attacker could set up a malicious node and intercept user traffic.
Epic Privacy Browser
The Epic Privacy Browser is a web browser that is designed to protect user privacy and security by blocking tracking scripts, cookies, and ads.
The browser is based on the Chromium open-source browser and is available for Windows and Mac OS.
The Epic Privacy Browser is primarily used by individuals who want to keep their online activities private and secure.
The browser blocks tracking scripts, cookies, and ads, which helps prevent companies from collecting data on user activities.
The browser is also used by people who are concerned about online surveillance and want to protect their personal information from hackers and government agencies.
The Epic Privacy Browser is built on top of the Chromium open-source browser and includes various privacy and security features.
The browser includes a built-in ad blocker, which blocks ads and tracking scripts, as well as a built-in VPN, which encrypts user traffic and hides their IP address.
What I like about Epic Privacy Browser
As a user of the Epic Privacy Browser, I appreciate the following advantages:
- Enhanced privacy and security: The browser blocks tracking scripts, cookies, and ads, which helps prevent companies from collecting data on user activities.
- Built-in VPN: The browser includes a built-in VPN, which encrypts user traffic and hides their IP address, providing an extra layer of security.
- Customizable privacy settings: The browser allows users to customize their privacy settings, including the ability to block third-party cookies and scripts.
- Easy to use: The browser is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it accessible for users of all skill levels.
What I like about Epic Privacy Browser
However, as a user of the Epic Privacy Browser, I must also acknowledge the following disadvantages:
- Limited website compatibility: Some websites may not work properly with the browser’s privacy settings, which can result in broken features or pages.
- Slow browsing speed: The browser’s privacy features can slow down browsing speeds, particularly when using it with other tools like a VPN service.
Firefox Focus is a mobile web browser developed by Mozilla that places a strong emphasis on user privacy and security.
The browser’s main feature is the automatic blocking of web trackers, ads, and other potentially harmful scripts. Firefox Focus is available for free on both iOS and Android.
Firefox Focus is designed to be a fast, secure, and private browsing experience for mobile devices.
The browser automatically blocks web trackers, ads, and other scripts that may compromise the user’s privacy and security.
The browser also offers the ability to erase browsing history, passwords, and cookies with just one tap, which can be useful for those who share their device with others.
Firefox Focus is built on top of Mozilla’s Gecko engine, which powers the popular Firefox desktop browser.
The browser is also integrated with DuckDuckGo, a privacy-focused search engine that does not track users.
The app is developed using Java, Kotlin, Swift, and Rust programming languages.
What I lie about Firefox Focus
As a user of Firefox Focus, I find the following advantages:
- Strong privacy protection: Firefox Focus blocks all web trackers, ads, and scripts that can compromise my privacy and security online.
- Faster browsing: Since the browser blocks unnecessary scripts and ads, web pages load faster, and I can browse the web more efficiently.
- One-tap history and data erasure: I can quickly erase my browsing history, passwords, and cookies with just one tap, which is useful for maintaining my privacy and security.
- User-friendly interface: The app’s interface is simple and easy to use, making it ideal for users who want a straightforward browsing experience.
What I dislike about Firefox Focus
However, as a user of Firefox Focus, I also notice the following disadvantages:
- Limited features: Firefox Focus does not offer some of the features that other browsers have, such as extensions, bookmarks, and tabs.
- Limited customization: The app does not allow me to customize its appearance or settings as much as other browsers do.
- Limited compatibility: Firefox Focus may not work well with certain websites or web applications that require cookies or scripts to function correctly.
Brave Browser is a free, open-source web browser developed by Brave Software, Inc. The browser is designed to prioritize privacy and security for users while also providing a fast browsing experience.
The browser is based on the Chromium web browser, which means it uses the same underlying technologies as Google Chrome.
Brave Browser is a popular choice for those who are concerned about their online privacy and security.
It includes features such as ad-blocking, tracker-blocking, and the ability to browse using Tor for extra privacy.
It also offers a rewards system that allows users to earn cryptocurrency (Basic Attention Tokens) for viewing ads if they choose to opt-in.
Brave Browser is built on the Chromium web browser, which means it uses the same technologies as Google Chrome.
However, it includes additional features such as ad-blocking and tracker-blocking.
It also uses a custom extension called Brave Shields to protect users’ privacy and security while browsing.
What I dislike about Brave Browser
- I appreciate the ad-blocking and tracker-blocking features, which make my browsing experience much faster and more private.
- The rewards system is a great way to earn cryptocurrency while browsing the web.
- I like that I can easily browse using Tor for extra privacy.
- The browser is easy to use and has a clean interface.
- I appreciate that it is open-source and developed by a team that prioritizes privacy and security.
What I dislike about Brave Browser
- Some websites may not work correctly due to the ad-blocking and tracker-blocking features.
- The rewards system is optional, but some users may find it distracting.
- The browser is not as widely supported as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, which can sometimes cause compatibility issues with certain websites or applications.
- The lack of support for certain plugins or extensions may be a drawback for some users.
- As with any browser, there is still a risk of vulnerabilities and security issues, despite the emphasis on privacy and security.
DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser is a mobile browser designed to protect user privacy by blocking trackers, encrypting connections, and providing instant privacy ratings for websites.
It was created by DuckDuckGo, a company known for its privacy-focused search engine. The browser is available for both iOS and Android devices.
The DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser can be used just like any other mobile browser. Users can search the web, visit websites, and bookmark pages. However, the browser’s focus is on protecting the user’s privacy.
It uses a combination of encryption and tracker blocking to prevent websites and advertisers from tracking user activity.
The browser also provides instant privacy ratings for websites, allowing users to quickly assess a site’s privacy practices before visiting.
DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser is built using a variety of technologies, including:
- HTTPS Everywhere: This technology ensures that all connections to websites are encrypted, preventing anyone from intercepting or spying on user activity.
- Tracker blocking: The browser blocks third-party trackers, including cookies and scripts, which are often used to track user activity across the web.
- Privacy ratings: The browser uses a database of privacy policies and practices to provide instant privacy ratings for websites.
- Tor integration: The browser includes an option to use the Tor network for anonymous browsing.
What I like about the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser
- Privacy protection: I appreciate that the browser focuses on protecting my privacy by blocking trackers and encrypting connections. It gives me peace of mind knowing that my online activity is not being tracked.
- Instant privacy ratings: I find the privacy ratings for websites to be very helpful. It allows me to quickly assess a site’s privacy practices before visiting and decide if I want to proceed.
- Tor integration: I like that the browser includes an option to use the Tor network for anonymous browsing. It’s a useful feature for when I want to browse the web without leaving a trace.
- User-friendly interface: The browser has a clean and easy-to-use interface, making it simple to navigate and use.
- Ad-free experience: The browser does not show any ads, which is a refreshing change from other mobile browsers.
What I dislike about the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser
- Limited features: The browser does not have all the features of other popular mobile browsers, such as tab syncing or built-in translation.
- Slow loading times: I have noticed that some websites take longer to load in the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser compared to other browsers.
- Compatibility issues: Some websites may not work properly in the browser due to their tracker blocking and encryption technologies. I have experienced this issue a few times.
There are cons to staying anonymous on the internet because you might miss some opportunities and services that could be targeted at you such as products and services that are geo-location based and so forth but if you’re a paranoid person who just doesn’t want to exist outside of your home, then you can stay anonymous by using either of the aforementioned web browser apps.