You can find all sorts of articles written about the best web browsers, the fastest, etc. However, in my direct experience with consumers, ages ranging from 55-90, most people care about what works, and it is easy to use.
This article is not about comparing speeds or functions. Instead, this article is about the web browsers that I use daily and what I recommend when asked.
Quick Note about Bookmarks and Passwords
Most people will use a single web browser and keep their bookmarks within that web browser. I did the same thing for a while, but I always found it a pain to sync my huge collection of bookmarks between several web browsers and mobile devices.
Then a few years ago I discovered a fantastic service called Raindrop.io, which is a web app that makes managing and accessing your bookmarks a breeze! Now I can create, edit, and access my bookmark collection anywhere.
The same goes for passwords, most folks will store their passwords within the browser they are using. Which is fine. I personally choose to use a password manager, as I take my online security seriously. I use BitWarden, which works in all major web browsers. I’ve tested all password managers and BitWarden is my choice.
Firefox by Mozilla
The not-for-profit Mozilla backs firefox. Firefox puts your privacy first — in everything they make and do. They believe you have the right to decide how and with whom you share your personal information. Though Firefox does collect information, they collect as little data as possible and never sells it. The data they do collect is only used to make products and features better. No secrets. But a lot of transparency and real privacy.
I currently operate three different physical computers
- a Windows laptop (running Windows 10)
- a Mac Mini M1 (running macOS Big Sur 11.4)
- a Raspberry Pi 4 (running Raspberry Pi OS)
Mozilla’s Firefox web browser is my primary web browser on each of those systems.
I also use several add-ons with the Firefox web browser, mostly for added security and protection from malicious websites.
- Facebook Container: Prevent Facebook from tracking you around the web.
- Privacy Badger: Automatically learns to block invisible trackers.
- uBlock Origin: An efficient wide-spectrum content (ads) blocker. Easy on CPU and memory.
- Decentraleyes: Protects you against tracking through “free”, centralized, content delivery.
- Popup Blocker (strict): Strictly block all popup requests from any website by default.
- HTTPS Everywhere: Protect your communications by enabling HTTPS encryption automatically on sites that are known to support it.
I notice a funny fact about the clients that use Firefox, many seem to call it FoxFire, and I have no idea why. Cracks me up. 🙂
Mobile Browser: DuckDuckGo
In addition to my physical computers, I own an Android-based Motorola Moto E smartphone and an Apple iPhone SE 2020. The Motorola Moto E is for my IT Consulting work, and the iPhone is my personal phone. On both smartphones, I use the DuckDuckGo browser/app as my primary web browser.
I started using the DuckDuckGo app as I was preparing to write an article recently called, “What is DuckDuckGo Email Protection?”
I had used the DuckDuckGo app for a few days before that article, then I just kept using it.
Here is the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser description direct from the Apple App Store (you can also find it in the Google Play Store):
Privacy simplified. Take control of your personal information, no matter where the internet takes you: tracker blocking, smarter encryption, private search, and more.
Tired of being tracked online? We can help. At DuckDuckGo, we believe online privacy should be simple.
DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser has the speed you need, the browsing features you expect (like tabs & bookmarks), and comes packed with best-in-class privacy essentials:
• Tap Fire Button, Burn Data — clear all your tabs and browsing data with one tap.
• Escape Online Tracking — automatically blocks hidden third-party trackers we can find lurking on websites you visit, which stops the companies behind those trackers from collecting and selling your data.
• Search Privately — our private search engine comes built-in so you can search the Internet without being tracked.
• Enforce Encryption — force sites to use an encrypted (HTTPS) connection where available, protecting your data from prying eyes, like from unwanted snoopers and Internet service providers.
• Decode Privacy — each site you visit gets a Privacy Grade (A-F) so you can see how protected you are at a glance, and you can even dig into the details to see who we caught trying to track you.
• Signal Your Privacy Preference With GPC — built into the browser, Global Privacy Control (GPC) intends to help you express your legal opt-out rights automatically. This will tell websites not to sell or share your personal information under future legal frameworks (e.g., CCPA, GDPR) in various states or countries.
• Limit Access — secure your browser with Touch ID or Face ID.
Once I find whatever I need to find, I either use the information at that moment or copy it to my Raindrop.io account via the Raindrop app.
Brave is a free and open-source web browser developed by Brave Software, Inc. based on the Chromium web browser (principally developed and maintained by Google.)
Brave is available for Windows (32-bit & 64-bit), macOS, and Linux.
Brave is a privacy-focused browser, distinguishing itself from other browsers by automatically blocking online advertisements and website trackers in its default settings.
Just like Mozilla, the Brave team believes strongly that we are not a product. Therefore, the web browser we use should not spy on our online behavior.
Brave is a fantastic Google Chrome alternative. Plus, because Brave is based on the same “engine” that Google Chrome is, you can use Google Chrome extensions.
I use Google Chrome on my Windows computer as a dedicated email client with my IT Consulting work. That way, it is separate from everything I do in my primary web browser of Mozilla Firefox.
Google Chrome is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
I choose only to use Google Chrome on my Windows laptop since that is the computer that is most likely to travel with me to a client location.
As stated earlier, I own a Mac Mini M1. I’ve been a Mac user for a very long time, but I never used Safari as my primary browser — and I still don’t.
I do use it, but to be honest, most of the time, I use it when browsing the Apple website. Or, I’ll use it to check websites I am creating or otherwise working on.
There’s nothing wrong with Safari on macOS. I prefer Firefox.