Advice Request Which browsers are best for privacy?

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silversurfer

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Comparison in this article is not about Privacy only, rather even other points what matters for users...
ProsCons
Chrome
  • The best performance and compatibility
  • A massive library of third-party extensions
  • Seamless cross-platform experience and sync
  • Google is after your data
  • Bland and uninspiring design
  • Lacks some features found in other browsers
Edge
  • Provides unique productivity and performance-oriented features
  • No compatibility issues and overall good responsiveness
  • Better integrated with Windows in terms of capabilities and UI
  • Best-in-class password manager
  • Less data-hungry than Chrome but still wants to know much about you
  • Can consume more RAM than competitors
  • Lackluster mobile versions
  • It will annoy the living hell out of you with its constant notifications and prompts
  • Slightly bloated
Firefox
  • Open-source browser
  • Chromium-free
  • Privacy and security are a cornerstone of Firefox
  • Chromium-free, hence worse compatibility
  • Notably slower performance
Vivaldi
  • Customization and productivity cranked to 11 with tons of unique features
  • A solid balance between performance, features, and privacy
  • Solid efficiency
  • Can feel slightly overcomplicated
  • No version for iOS
  • The UI looks outdated
In the end, selecting the best browser for Windows comes to finding a balance between features, privacy, and performance. It is not that difficult to understand why Chrome is so popular. It is a fast and reliable no-frills browser that gets the job done. For a regular consumer, faster load speeds and no-exceptions compatibility are more important than privacy.

If you have slightly higher privacy standards, you can consider Edge or Vivaldi. Both will provide you with a more than satisfactory experience without Google's data probes, plus you will get some useful productivity features and capabilities. Finally, Firefox is the best choice for those who value privacy and open-source software more than performance.
 

rain2reign

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rain2reign

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In case, the curious among us want to know when seeing privacytests.org. With some manual, but minor fiddling within Firefox, some failed test parameters can be fixed due to the nature of their default setting/value. Know these are the things you don't need an add-on for, such as uBlock Origin, to get it working/blocked.

Note 1: I know there is a way to block blobs in Firefox properly (without add-ons), but I can't remember how. The settings with .blob in them don't seem to do much...
Note 2: Tracker content blocking should be done through either DNS filtering or add-ons like uBlock Origin or AdGuard.


Testing pages for some functions
GPC (Global Privacy Control):
webrtc/ip leakage:
To test query parameters, see test page within article:



about:preferences#privacy
HTTPS-Only Mode set to 'Enable HTTPS-Only Mode in all Windows'

about:config
Global Privacy Control (GPC):​
privacy.globalprivacycontrol.enabled toggle to true
privacy.globalprivacycontrol.functionality.enabled toggle to true
IP address leak is connected to webrtc, but disabling can break some online peer services like Discord voice chat for example.​
media.peerconnection.enabled toggle to false,​
// to disable media devices
media.navigator.enabled toggle to false
Document referrer:​
// 0 = Disable || 1 = Send referrer on link click and for subsequent linked page. || [Default] 2 = Send Referrer header on click link or image load.
network.http.sendRefererHeader change numerical value to 0
Tracking query parameter:​
// Toggle only useful when using custom ETP settings, like block all 3rd party cookies. Enabled by default when using ETP on strict.
privacy.query_stripping.enabled toggle to true
Resist fingerprinting:​
// I don't use it, find it annoying. However, it has subsequent values to fiddle with.
privacy.resistFingerprinting to true
 
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Gandalf_The_Grey

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Whoa...look at LibreWolf. It's by far the best for privacy. But I prefer strong security over strong privacy. So I am staying with Chrome. Google Chrome now comes with up to 50x faster phishing detection
For security Edge is superior to Chrome according to this post:
Five security advantages of Edge over Chrome (and Firefox)
  1. De-elevation on launch.
    When Edge is started with high integrity rights (admin) the broker process is automatically brought back to medium IL/standard user rights. This effectively puts Edge the broker process in an additional standard user sandbox. Edge and Chromium both use a Separate update process, therefor the broker process does not need admin rights. Firefox surprisingly still offers the option to disable updating Firefox using a separate update service (requiring admin rights for the broker to update Firefox).

  2. Code Integrity Guard for broker process (option)
    The broker process is often attacked by spyware and banking malware. That is why it is an advantage to allow only Microsoft signed DLL's to load into the broker process. You must enable CIG in Microsoft Defender Exploit Guard (the exploit guard also works when you are using another AV). This additional security requires a user interventions and can only be used when your AV is co-signed by Microsoft (a lot of security programs inject a DLL into browser broker process). Chrome and Edge by default enable CIG for the renderer process (a security feature which Firefox lacks).

  3. AppContainer for renderer process (option)
    In the future this will be enabled for stable versions, since V96 by setting a registry key RendererAppContainerEnabled to 1. AppContainer is a more restricted level than Untrusted in which the Chrome renderer process runs ( again Firefox lags behind because Firefox renderer runs with Low level rights, that is one level higher rights than Chrome Untrusted level).

  4. Super duper secure mode
    On strict this disables the Just In Time javascript compiler on all websites, on balanced Edge will disable JIT on websites you do not visit often. JIT means that the Javascript code is compiled just before it is executed (Just In Time), this increases speed (a little in modern browsers for most websites), but reduces security (a lot) Windows can do on the code. Disabling JIT would cause 90% of the browser based exploits to fail.

  5. Smartscreen
    As this video (and often other studies) show Smartscreen is better than Chrome's safe browsing and Firefox's weaker version of Google's safe browsing.
This technical only comparison is unfair for Firefox. One must also take the return on investment into account for hackers. Because Firefox has a lower market share (and probably near zero market share in the corporate market), it is also less under attack than Chromium based browsers.
 

blackice

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Moonhorse

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Seems brave and librewolf are even

But there is no android version of librewolf so it would be brave that wins for me

Im currently running Firefox, but it sometimes lags/stutters when watching twitch.tv
 

SpiderWeb

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I think it's the base that matters. Firefox out of the box is private but you can tweak it to be far more private without sacrificing convenience or usability which is so important. Chrome can only be tweaked so much. Safari only so much. Brave only so much. Edge? lol.
 

AG3S

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Oct 14, 2020
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Seems brave and librewolf are even

But there is no android version of librewolf so it would be brave that wins for me

Im currently running Firefox, but it sometimes lags/stutters when watching twitch.tv
I like LibreWolf a lot and I am using it as my test browser however, I believe if you install uBlock on the normal FireFox and also disable the telemetry, you will have similar results.
 

Kongo

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I like LibreWolf a lot and I am using it as my test browser however, I believe if you install uBlock on the normal FireFox and also disable the telemetry, you will have similar results.
There are quite a few additional tweaks enabled in LibreWolf compared to Firefox. Not only the disabled telemetry.
 

rain2reign

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I like LibreWolf a lot and I am using it as my test browser however, I believe if you install uBlock on the normal FireFox and also disable the telemetry, you will have similar results.
Librewolf, is basically Firefox + Arkenfox's template user.js + in-house modifications. Somewhat alot more than just telemetry disabling.
 
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