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Alternative browsers

Everyone knows about the major browsers. Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Edge. In the Windows world, most people use Chrome or Firefox. However, some of us choose an alternative browser. All these browsers work, so how do we decide which to use, and why wouldn't we go with a standard browser?

The Case against Chrome

The case against Chrome is simple. They spy on you and sell your private information. My clients who use Chrome have 2-3 times as many tracking cookies in their system as those who use Firefox.

The Case against Firefox

I can't find one. But some people don't like it, or find it doesn't work well on a particular site.

The Case against Alternative browsers

Alternative browsers are normally based on either the Firefox engine or the Chrome engine. Both are open source and can be used by anyone. After Mozilla (Firefox) or Google makes their security updates, it may take a few weeks or more for those updates to make their way into the browsers who use that engine.

The case for Alternative browsers

Two excellent browsers focus on being more secure. They help prevent trackers and block ads. They also limit your access to extensions. Extensions are a major source of malware. Extensions allow other companies to add code which runs inside the browser. This is a security risk.
  • Cliqz is based on Firefox and indeed partially owned by Mozilla. This is my recommended browser. It builds in Adblocking and anti-tracking.
  • Brave is another security focused browser but based on Chrome. If you like the Chrome browser better than Firefox, you may like Brave and you will be more secure. It will also protect your privacy.

Innovative features
Without competition, innovation disappears. Having more browsers trying different things can produce new and innovative products. Sometimes these browsers offer a feature you want but don't get from the two main browsers. Maybe, you just like the way it looks or acts.
  • Vivaldi is my recommended browser for those who prefer Chrome and want access to extensions. It is Chrome based, fast, and very innovative. I'll do an in-depth article on it next month. Vivaldi lets you use the Chrome extensions, and the Chrome base, but frees you from Google's massive tracking and privacy invasion. While not as safe as Brave, it offers your favorite extensions from the Chrome store. When you add Adblock Plus and Privacy Badger, it becomes nearly as safe as Brave.

Competition is healthy. Lack of competition is unhealthy. Supporting an alternative browser is supporting competition.

Date: November 2018

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