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10 Best Web Browsers for Privacy, Security, and Speed in 2022

Benjamin Walsh
Last Updated by Benjamin Walsh on August 01, 2022

It’s easy to assume that browsers such as Chrome or Microsoft Edge are safe. However, your privacy may be at risk as these browsers store data including your search history, login credentials, and autofill details. Even “incognito” mode can reveal your data to third-party sites, trackers, and advertisers.

The only way to protect your information is to make sure your browser is secure and private. But it’s hard to know which ones to trust. I tested 20+ browsers and found the best options that safeguard your data instead of selling it.

To maximize your privacy, you should always use a VPN with a secure browser. A VPN encrypts your internet connection, so your data stays hidden. You can test ExpressVPN with your browser risk-free. If you’re not satisfied, you have 30 days to claim a refund.

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Quick Guide: 10 Best Web Browsers for Privacy, Security and Speed in 2022

  1. Opera — #1 choice for security and privacy with a built-in VPN service, but the proxy doesn’t specify which country you’re connecting to.
  2. The Onion Router (TOR) — Encrypts and reroutes your traffic through numerous nodes, but the advanced protection significantly slows down your speeds.
  3. Mozilla Firefox — Fast and secure with customizable privacy settings, but it takes time to tinker with multiple tricky options.
  4. Ungoogled Chromium — Offers daily security updates, but requires you to install them manually.
  5. Epic Privacy Browser — Instantly deletes your data when you close the browser, but makes it difficult to obtain its open-source coding files.
  6. Brave — Incorporates ad, tracker, and malware blocker into its interface, but it’s still very new on the market
  7. Iridium — Doesn’t allow for any data monitoring, but doesn’t work on Android and iOS.
  8. Apple Safari — Uses sandboxing to protect each tab from malware, but collects certain parts of your data and uses it for maintenance.
  9. Vivaldi — Comes with a highly user-friendly interface with an option to customize almost everything, but you need to register with your personal details to use it.
  10. Google Chrome — Regularly improves its browsing security, but collects your data and shares it with advertisers.

Use ExpressVPN for secure browsing

10 Top Web Browsers for Privacy, Security, and Speed (Tested in August 2022)

1. Opera — Top Choice for Privacy With an In-Built Proxy Service

Screenshot of Opera's download page

  • Never tracks, collects, or shares your browsing data
  • Removed all code specific to Google web services (e.g. Google Host Detector)
  • Works on Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, Android, and iOS
  • Comes with a built-in VPN

Opera is a Chromium-based browser with great privacy options, including an ad blocker, tracking prevention, and a built-in VPN service. The latter operates just like a proxy, allowing you to choose from 3 server locations (Americas, Europe, and Asia). There are also in-built privacy tabs, which operate similarly to other browsers’ private or incognito mode.

Since it uses Chromium, Opera lets you install browser extensions from Chrome’s library. This is great as you’ll be able to make the most of top add-ons with privacy provided by the browser. However, be sure to stick to recommended Chromium add-ons, since some of them share Chrome’s reputation of shady privacy policies.

Once you install it, you’ll instantly notice that you don’t need all the extensions you may be using on Chrome. Opera allows you to integrate your favorite platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, directly into its bookmark sidebar. That way I could instantly access my most-visited accounts with just one click of a button.

Screenshot of Opera's main page highlighting the taskbar on the side of the screen

It was easy to talk to friends and family while securely browsing the web with Opera

Unlike other browsers, Opera is available even on Chromebook. Plus, it comes with a handy Flow feature that lets you sync your accounts and share data between different devices with ease. I found it particularly useful if I saw a website I wanted to come back to, as I could save it through Flow and send it to my phone or PC for later.

Even though it scrapped one of its best features (Opera Turbo), Opera comes with a battery-saving mode. So while it no longer compresses images, videos, and other types of bandwidth-heavy data, you won’t have to worry about your laptop suddenly dying as you’re browsing. The browser’s use of my device’s resources was minimal, so my PC and mobile phones remained as fast as always.

The only other thing I wish Opera did is to incorporate specific country locations within its own VPN service. Choosing between continents is great if you simply wish to keep your activity private and encrypted, but it’s not so good at accessing specific streaming services. That’s because these require you to connect to your home country before you can watch your local content. This, however, is a minor inconvenience that you can fix by getting a reliable VPN, like ExpressVPN, directly on your device. You can try ExpressVPN risk-free, as it comes with a 30-day-money-back guarantee. In the event you don’t like it, you can get a full refund.

Use ExpressVPN for secure browsing

2. The Onion Router (TOR) — Highly Secure With Encrypted Connections for Privacy

Screenshot of Tor's download page

  • Hides your location and prevents you from being tracked by third parties
  • Doesn’t collect your data and removes your browsing history with each reboot
  • Stops JavaScript and Flash with built-in extensions
  • Works on Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux

Short for The Onion Router, Tor is a highly private browser with multiple layers of encryption to protect your online activity. When you connect to Tor, your data flows through numerous volunteer “nodes” (individual computers). The network of onion nodes is decentralized, which means that Tor doesn’t rely on third-party companies to handle your traffic. This makes it practically impossible to trace any data back to your device.

Tor uses DuckDuckGo as a default search engine, which is much more secure than Google. It never logs your data, which stops potential hackers and other prying eyes from getting hold of your details. Another bonus is that it prevents targeted ads on every site you visit. In my tests, DuckDuckGo displayed more relevant search results than Google did, as it isn’t influenced by paid ads.

Screenshot of DuckDuckGo search page

When you use DuckDuckGo, none of your search history or other data gets saved

Another security feature is that your browsing history is separated whenever you open a new Tor window — so your data is never shared between sites. Tor also removes your history when you close your current window, meaning that every online session is self-contained and fully private.

Tor comes pre-installed with 2 extensions: HTTPS Everywhere (automatically upgrades website security) and NoScript (prevents vulnerable software like JavaScript from running). I found it to be extremely effective at keeping my traffic protected against hackers and the dangers of the Dark Web. Keep in mind that even though Tor is a Firefox-based browser, it’s best not to add any third-party extensions to it as they may weaken its security and privacy. Luckily, the pre-installed add-ons are more than enough, and I didn’t find any issues with them.

Unfortunately, Tor is relatively slow as your data needs to jump through several nodes before it reaches the internet. Each website took up to 40 seconds to load, which was tolerable for checking my email or reading the news, but could get frustrating if I needed information quickly. Another thing to note is that Tor is way too slow for streaming as it causes constant buffering on every video platform. It also uses malicious exit nodes that can impact your browser’s overall performance.

Another downside to Tor is that your ISP knows when you’re using it, and you may find that some websites automatically block traffic when they recognize you’re using the Tor browser. It also relies on US government funding, which makes some parties question whether its privacy statements are reliable. To stay safe from all these concerns, I recommend you pair Tor with a VPN connection to increase your safety and privacy. A VPN connection will make your traffic fully invisible, so no one (not even your ISP) will be able to see you’re using Tor to begin with. Plus, it’ll add extra encryption to your traffic, keeping pesky malware at bay. Just remember to pick a VPN that has a minimal impact on your speeds, like ExpressVPN, to avoid slowing down your browser traffic even more.

Use ExpressVPN for secure browsing

3. Mozilla Firefox — Customizable Security With Support for Many Browser Extensions

Screenshot of Mozilla's Firefox download page

  • Multiple security features, like sandboxing, cryptomining protection, and more
  • Undergoes regular audits to check how well it protects your data
  • A large library of extensions to boost privacy and security
  • Works on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux

Mozilla Firefox supports a wide range of extensions and customization of its security settings to match your browsing needs. I could install multiple add-ons, including NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere, that pushed Firefox to search for only the safest websites and stop malicious JavaScript code. Its extensive security and privacy settings also allowed me to stop fingerprinting and more with just a few clicks.

creenshot of Firefox security and privacy settings

I was able to tinker with my settings until I was satisfied with Firefox’s level of privacy

Firefox protects you with various sandboxing methods as well as blocking against web tracking and cryptomining. With the browser’s protection, you’ll avoid malicious JavaScript, so cybercriminals won’t be able to break into your device to use its resources.

Firefox’s open-source nature allows cybersecurity specialists to adjust the existing code to patch new vulnerabilities whenever they’re spotted. This means it releases regular browser updates, so you don’t have to worry about potential security issues.

The browser blocks ads and trackers, preventing malware and other cyber threats. Even though Firefox collects some data about your browser usage, it’s never sold or shared with third parties. This non-identifying user data is collected with the purpose of monitoring and improving its service. If this concerns you, be sure to disable telematry in your settings. This will prevent the collection and transmition of general technical data for analysis by Mozilla.

I also checked Firefox’s latest audits to confirm its commitment to privacy. While there were a few small vulnerability issues, the general consensus was that Firefox poses little risk to its users and prevents data leaks at all times.

Android and iOS users can stay safe online with Firefox Focus, which is programmed to keep mobile devices secure. My tests proved it effectively stops pop-up ads and website trackers on all Android and iOS devices.

Most VPNs offer a secure extension for Firefox which you should use to increase your online privacy. The browser add-on makes them very easy to use without having to configure a connection on your entire device.

The only minor issue is that configuring Firefox and installing its extensions can be fairly time-consuming. It took me about 30 minutes to research and find the best security add-ons and an extra 25 minutes to understand what each browser setting was responsible for. However, I do think it’s worth the time if you want to safely use Firefox as your go-to browser.

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4. Ungoogled Chromium — Daily Updates to Guarantee the Latest Security Features

Screenshot of Ungoogled Chromium download page

  • Releases software updates every day to patch existing bugs and vulnerabilities
  • Removed all code specific to Google web services (e.g. Google Host Detector)
  • Supports all Google Chrome extensions
  • Works on Windows, Mac, and Linux

Ungoogled Chromium is a Chromium-based browser, which is a free and open-source software initially started by Google. This means that it looks almost identical to Google Chrome, but is more secure and has no links to the tech giant. In fact, Ungoogled Chromium has completely freed itself from Google’s trackers and host detectors, so your browsing is never logged or shared with third parties.

Unlike most other browsers, Ungoogled Chromium offers daily software updates. These updates keep the browser highly secure since any known weaknesses are fixed immediately. The consistent quick patches are possible due to the open-source build of the browser that lets software developers from all over the world go over the code and improve it. Sadly, I couldn’t find an independent audit from any cybersecurity company, which would give me an extra confidence boost when it comes to its privacy and security, but I couldn’t find anything to worry about when I searched its history.

Because of its Google-like build, Ungoogled Chromium lets you use the same browser extensions as you would with Chrome. I checked it by running LastPass, Honey, and Grammarly on it, and didn’t experience any problems at all.

The daily updates are impressive, but there is a downside in that it’s not automatic — you’ll have to manually install each Ungoogled Chromium update (there are no automatic prompts or reminders). If you miss 1 or 2, you’ll need to spend more time downloading the patch files before you’re able to browse securely again. As a safety precaution, make sure you only download new updates from the official website.

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5. Epic Privacy Browser — Automatically Deletes All Browsing Data With Every Reboot

Screenshot of Epic Privacy Browser download page

  • Blocks ads, RTC calls, trackers, and cryptominers
  • Disables cookies, cache, and trackers to stop your data from being collected
  • Supports a selection of secure browser extensions
  • Works on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS

Another Chromium-based browser, Epic Privacy Browser temporarily stores your browsing activity directly to your device and automatically deletes it once you close the browser. The local nature of the storage means that Epic never has access to your search history and automatically logs you out of all accounts when it’s not running. This also turns off autofill, sync, and spell check features since they’re based on your personal data. All ads and web trackers are blocked as well, and none of your browsing activity is shared with third parties.

Epic Privacy Browser supports a small selection of pre-installed extensions, which is good to see, as many unsafe extensions will track your device. One of its most useful extensions is the built-in proxy with servers in the US, Canada, France, Germany, and India.

By default, Epic is programmed to stop crypto-mining, adware, fingerprinting, and RTC calls. I was glad to see this as it means the browser is protected from cryptocurrency hackers and data analytics, keeping your information secure.

The only minor concern I have is with Epic Privacy Browser’s open-source restrictions. While Ungoogled Chromium allows anyone to access its code online, Epic only lets you access the files if you contact the team directly and provide information on your background first. Although this is an extra level of security, it deters developers from fixing security bugs, slowing down patch releases for the browser.

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6. Brave — Offers In-Built Protection Against Ads, Trackers, and Fingerprinting

Screenshot of Brave download page

  • Never accesses any parts of your data as it stores your browsing history locally
  • Uses Chromium software for increased privacy and security
  • Multiple customizable browser extensions
  • Works on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux

Brave is a relative newcomer on the market but comes with a range of strong security and privacy options. All your browsing data is stored locally on your device, so you can delete it whenever you like — Brave can’t see or access any of your data at all.

You’ll also find built-in blockers for ads, trackers, and browser fingerprinting. I especially like its Private Windows feature, which connects you directly to Tor for greater anonymity. Plus, Brave improves each website you visit to HTTPS sites, making your browsing a lot more secure than other browsers.

As a Chromium-based browser, Brave supports the same add-ons as Chrome. However, you should still be careful which extensions you add to ensure you don’t compromise your online anonymity.

Some users might be nervous about Brave’s introduction of Brave Ads, but I don’t find any cause for concern. The browser still blocks invasive trackers, so you won’t be targeted by spyware. Ad matching occurs locally, so none of your private data is shared between third parties.

Considering how new it is, it’s not a surprise that Brave still has some bugs that may make it more vulnerable and slower than competitors. Luckily, these are regularly reviewed and patched as soon as possible, which reduces the possibility of compromising your data privacy.

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7. Iridium — Based on Chromium, Programmed for Privacy

Screenshot of Iridium download page

  • Uses the most secure technology to prevent hackers from breaking in
  • Doesn’t access any of your personal data for enhanced privacy
  • Supports the same extensions as Google Chrome
  • Works on Windows and Linux
  • Does not work on Android, iOS or other mobile platforms

Iridium resembles Chrome in almost every way, but it’s much better when it comes to privacy. I especially liked the familiar interface as it meant I didn’t have to learn how to use it. Your private information is protected as Iridium doesn’t allow for any data monitoring. Since it’s built on Chromium, you can rest assured that the browser uses the latest security technology utilized by the best browsers available.

With a unique search engine, Quant, Iridium doesn’t base its results on your personal data. This means that your location and previous search history won’t impact on the websites suggested in response to your search terms. It’s also a good indicator that Iridium doesn’t check any of your personal metrics.

Unlike other browsers, Iridium doesn’t give you access to Google, so you won’t be able to log into your email account. This is to cut ties with the questionable privacy policy Google practices, and offer you the anonymity you deserve.

Annoyingly, you won’t be able to use Iridium on Android and iOS as the browser doesn’t yet support mobile platforms. I was really disappointed with this, as Iridium’s security and privacy features should be enjoyed across all devices, not only PCs. Hopefully, the browser will soon expand its service.

Use ExpressVPN for secure browsing

8. Apple Safari — “Sandboxes” Tabs for Overall Browser Security on Mac and iOS

Screenshot of Safari download page

  • Blocks ads, trackers, and malware-infected websites
  • Stores browsing data locally, so it has no access to your private search history
  • Uses extensions available only in the App Store
  • Works on macOS and iOS

Apple Safari offers secure browsing for Mac and iOS devices, and it’s quite impressive in terms of its privacy protection. Every individual Safari tab is “sandboxed,” which means that each tab remains self-contained at all times. This compartmentalization ensures that if malware infects one of them, the browser as a whole remains safe.

You can store all data on your personal device and activate blockers for trackers, ads, and malware. Even if you choose to store data within the browser, I found it easy to locate and delete my browsing history and cookies. Safari also has an in-built password manager and private browsing mode.

Safari only supports App Store browser extensions, but the add-on library is almost as extensive (if not more) than Google and Firefox collections. Just make sure that you’re careful in your selection as some of these extensions may track your activity.

My main concern is that Apple collects many parts of your data to use for “improving its service”. This is especially worrying as the company is a part of a US surveillance program called PRISM, so the authorities have regular access to Safari’s servers. Luckily, none of that information is used for advertising, so you won’t be exposed to the adware that pops up on so many sites.

Use ExpressVPN for secure browsing

9. Vivaldi — User-Friendly and Secure Browser, But Privacy Policy Is Weak

Screenshot of Vivaldi download page

  • Blocks ads and trackers
  • Collects identifying data and tracks your device’s location
  • Supports most Chrome extensions
  • Works on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android

Vivaldi is a Chromium-based browser that’s very easy to use and navigate. Unlike other Chromium-based browsers, Vivaldi sports a completely different and very refreshing layout. My favorite websites were pinned to the sidebar instead of the top of the browser and I could change each page’s font style and color to my liking. On top of the standard browser history and bookmarks, Vivaldi also comes with a notepad for quick note-taking, and the ability to add nicknames to tabs, tab groups, and search engines.

However, you’ll need to customize the privacy settings before you use it. I suggest selecting “block trackers and ads,” as well as opting for “Phishing and Malware Protection.” You can also turn off several Google features, including auto-fill, safe browsing, and search suggestions, which will stop the browser from keeping your vulnerable details from being stored and analyzed.

Unfortunately, I did have a few privacy concerns. Vivaldi requires you to register your name, birthday, and email to create an account. The privacy policy is also quite intrusive — your device gets a unique ID and its location is tracked daily. While it is a fresh and modern-feeling browser, this level of invasive data collection is disappointing.

Use ExpressVPN for secure browsing

10. Google Chrome — Popular Choice With Regular Security Updates, But Collects Your Search Data

Screenshot of Chrome download page

  • Provides the option to block cookies and trackers
  • Browsing data is tracked, collected, and shared with Google
  • Offers popular extensions from its own library
  • Available on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux

Despite its privacy shortcomings, Chrome is relatively secure and undergoes regular updates to eliminate weak spots. If you want to use Chrome as your primary browser though, I recommend you block all cookies and trackers in “Settings”. You can also download ad and malware-blocking extensions, such as uBlock Origin or Privacy Badger.

Though it’s based on Chromium, Chrome is a closed-source browser, which means its files are not easily available to the public. This would usually be a concern but, after checking its security features, I’m confident it doesn’t need external developers tinkering with its code.

Despite its popularity, very few users know that Chrome shares your online data with Google and third-party advertisers, who then use your data to target you with personalized ads. So, while I liked how easy it was to log in with Chrome’s autofill features, I realized it has access to more data than I anticipated.

I also found that Chrome took a huge toll on my device, causing lags and slowdowns. This was even more prominent when I opened more tabs, so keep your browsing to a minimum to maintain fast speeds.

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Comparison Table: Which Web Browser Is the Most Secure in 2022?

Secure Browser Security Privacy Speeds Extensions Platforms
Opera Excellent Excellent Very Fast Many Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook, Android, and iOS
The Onion Router (Tor) Excellent Excellent Slow Some Windows, macOS, and Linux
Mozilla Firefox Good Really Good Fast Many Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS
Ungoogled Chromium Good Good Fast Some Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android
Epic Privacy Browser Good Average Fast Some Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS
Brave Excellent Really Good Good Many Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS
Iridium Good Good Good Many Windows, macOS, OpenSUSE, CenOS, RHEL, Fedora, Debian, and Linux
Apple Safari Good Average Good Some macOS and iOS
Vivaldi Good Below Average Good Many Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android
Google Chrome Average Below Average Average Many Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS

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How I Tested and Ranked the Best Web Browsers

I used the following criteria to evaluate each browser:

  • Advanced security features – Secure browsers should have zero weak spots for hackers to exploit, and regularly update their defensive features.
  • Strong privacy policy – Your data shouldn’t be tracked, shared, or sold to make money. The browsers in this article give you the choice to opt out of data collection.
  • Support for secure extensions – Extensions can boost your browser’s functionality, but can be risky. Secure browsers block extensions that compromise your security.
  • Fast speeds – Your chosen browser shouldn’t use up too much of your device’s resources like CPU or RAM, so you don’t experience slow-downs.
  • Multi-platform support – Browsers need to be compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. Some of the browsers on the list are even compatible with Android and iOS.

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Warning! Stay Away from These Web Browsers — They Don’t Protect Your Data

GNU IceCat

I initially had high hopes for this browser because it’s related to Firefox, but GNU IceCat doesn’t receive regular software updates. You might be lucky to get an update every few years if that. This means GNU IceCat is at risk of being targeted by cyberattackers as hackers can find its vulnerabilities much easier than with other browsers.

UC Browser

With multiple security and privacy problems, UC Browser is known for regularly experiencing data leaks. Past discrepancies revealed highly vulnerable user information, including IP addresses, search history, and location. In fact, UC Browser is considered such a big threat to user safety that the Indian government banned its use altogether in 2020. On top of that, UC Browser doesn’t offer any form of encryption, making it easy for hackers to exploit its vulnerabilities.

Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge

Internet Explorer was one of the first browsers available, but it failed to follow the latest privacy and security updates over the years. That’s because Microsoft used it as an easy resource for gathering personal user information.

If you wish to use it, remember that Internet Explorer isn’t going to receive anymore security updates. The browser was swapped for Microsoft Edge and so a lack of maintenance will lead to it becoming a much easier target for hackers to break through.

Even though it replaced Internet Explorer with a promise of providing better security, Microsoft Edge still falls short compared to competitors. While it may have slightly better protection than Explorer, I found it consistently logs your data, including passwords and login details. These are then sent directly to the Cloud. Microsoft Edge also uses Digital Right Management software that actively checks your connection for appropriate media licenses. This means you may regularly be blocked from streaming sites if your traffic fails the checks.

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5 Extra Tips for Safer Browsing on the Internet

Using a secure browser is the first step needed to protect your privacy online, but it’s not enough to give you the 100% anonymity you’re looking for. That’s why I recommend applying at least 1 extra safety measure to keep your browsing history to yourself.

1. Get a VPN to Encrypt Your Internet Traffic

Even the most secure browsers don’t encrypt your internet connection. Unfortunately, an unencrypted connection can let hackers, government agents, or other third parties see precisely where you are and what you’re doing.

A VPN will protect you by encrypting your traffic and hiding your Internet Protocol (IP) address. It uses a combination of complicated technology to mask your identity within your browser, so even your banking details or torrenting activity stays completely anonymous at all times.

After months of testing over 150 VPNs, I found that ExpressVPN is the best VPN for secure and private browsing. It has powerful privacy and security features, including a kill switch, military-grade encryption, and a strict no-logs policy. You can even use ExpressVPN to access streaming services like Netflix, and anonymously download public domain torrents.

You can try ExpressVPN risk-free in your browser with the 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it, simply claim a full refund.

2. Utilize Browser Compartmentalization to Boost Your Security

Using 1 browser allows trackers to keep hold of your data on websites you don’t log out of, like Google or Facebook. You can reduce the amount of data these trackers get by using browser compartmentalization.

Browser compartmentalization means you switch browsers for different online activities. For example, you may choose to use Tor for websites where total security is a must, Chrome for regular browsing and streaming, and Epic to log into your bank accounts.

This not only lets you make the most of each browser’s benefits but also ensures websites can’t track everything you do online. So, even though it seems quite inconvenient at first, you’ll really benefit from it as you’ll be limiting the data traces you leave online.

3. Use a Private Search Engine for Uncensored Web Browsing

I recommend using a private search engine like DuckDuckGo or StartPage, as they are committed to keeping your web searches untraceable. Popular search engines (like Google, Bing, and Yahoo) monitor and store your search history. It doesn’t matter what browser you’re using or if you’ve switched to incognito mode — your preferences and clicks are still being tracked. Unfortunately, popular search engines also control the results appearing on the page. You’ll only find links that you’re “allowed” to see, which are often generated according to advertising influence.

4. Switch to Anonymous Email to Send Encrypted Messages

Your browser might be secure, but your email is still vulnerable to third-party hacking and surveillance. Fortunately, anonymous email service will encrypt the contents of your messages. Services like ProtonMail and Tutanota will let you create an anonymous email address for free. You can even sync up your inbox with regular email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook.

5. Steer Clear of Browser Fingerprinting

Browser fingerprinting happens when websites install trackers within your browser to collect all types of your personal information. This is then used to create extensive user profiles that help identify you the next time you visit.

It’s impossible to avoid browser fingerprinting in its entirety, but you can stop external websites from tracking your activity. That’s because secure browsers already incorporate a certain level of fingerprinting and block sites from using their own trackers. Additionally, you should refrain from installing too many browser extensions. These are usually specific to a user, so it lets websites create a more detailed and unique profile on you.

If you think your online fingerprint isn’t too bad, websites like Panopticlick and AmIUnique allow you to check the extent of collected data. These free-to-use services will run a quick check on your browser and determine your digital footprint.

The Top VPNs for Secure Browsers in 2022

1. ExpressVPN — #1 Service for Fast and Secure Browsing on Any Device

Key Features:

  • Best-in-class encryption, data leak protection, and an automatic kill switch
  • Strict no-logging policy backed by a privacy-focused headquarters location
  • Top speeds for browsing, streaming, torrenting, gaming, and more
  • 3000+ servers in 94 countries across the world
  • Offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN is the top VPN for any browser as it combines ultra-fast speeds with unbeatable online security and privacy. It’s perfect for online activities such as gaming, streaming, and torrenting, as you won’t experience slow-loading websites. It’s compatible with most devices, and each subscription comes with 5 simultaneous connections so you can use it with your choice of browser on all devices.

All of your information and personal data is secured with ExpressVPN’s military-grade encryption and unfailing leak protection. The automatic kill switch cuts your internet in the rare event the VPN drops, making sure your real IP address and data stay hidden. This VPN is also located in the British Virgin Islands, which means it’s not legally obliged to share user data, keeping your privacy intact.

In my tests, I recorded fantastic speeds on ExpressVPN’s servers in the US, UK, Canada, Mexico, and more. On most servers my average speed was 300 Mbps, which is way more than you need to enjoy smooth streaming, gaming, and more. Even on distant servers such as Australia and Japan, the speeds were impressive. In fact, ExpressVPN reduced my speeds by only 8-10% on each connection I tested.

Enjoy fast, lag-free browsing on all of ExpressVPN’s global servers

It has 3000+ servers spanning 94 countries, and comes with unlimited bandwidth and uncapped data. You can connect to a location of your choice, and the sheer number of servers in each location means congestion is unlikely. ExpressVPN works with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, and other popular streaming services so you can stream your favorite shows while keeping your browser data secure.

Stream without any interruptions on ExpressVPN’s vast network of servers

You get what you pay for, and ExpressVPN’s advanced features mean it does come with a larger price tag than some of the other top VPNs. However, you can save with its current 49% discount deal, and get quality protection on your browser for just $6.67/month.

Secure your browser with ExpressVPN risk-free as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it for any reason, it takes just a few minutes to get a refund through the 24/7 live chat. I tested this out by cancelling on the last day of the money-back offer. After a short conversation with the online rep, my request was approved. The subscription fee was returned 2 days later.

Use ExpressVPN for secure browsing

August 2022 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan (you can save up to 49%) + 3 months free! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

2. CyberGhost — Military-Grade Browser Protection for Secure Online Activities

Key Features:

  • 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, malware and ad blocker
  • Doesn’t log your personal details at any point
  • Great speeds across all servers, so you don’t experience frustrating slowdowns
  • 8200+ servers (including streaming and torrenting ones) in 91 countries
  • Has free extensions for Chrome and Firefox
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

When it comes to privacy, CyberGhost isn’t playing around. Your browser will be protected with AES-256 encryption, which is also used by governments and military agencies — so you can be 100% confident your traffic is secure. My extensive tests proved that CyberGhost uses advanced leak protection with an ad and malware blocker. This means your data is unhackable, keeping your information safe from prying eyes.

CyberGhost is headquartered in Romania, which is outside of any government data-sharing alliances. You can trust that your data and browsing history isn’t monitored or logged, and that — even if a government body asked for your data — the VPN can refuse. This will keep your search history anonymous long after you log out. You can stay safe every time you browse, stream, and torrent by connecting to CyberGhost.

It comes with browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, without the need to set up a VPN app on your device. It is also extremely useful if you’re using a browser that doesn’t support extensions, as it has native apps for most devices. I found each app I tested to be extremely intuitive, and I could secure my browsing easily with just 1 tap to auto-connect or 2 clicks if I wanted to choose a specific server.

Watch shows on your Chrome or Firefox browser with CyberGhost’s easy-to-use extension

The only minor con is that CyberGhost’s servers are slower than other VPNs on long-distance connections. This didn’t bother me too much though as I still found speeds were fast enough to stream, torrent, and play games on your browser without problems. You can get all this for a fantastic monthly price of $2.29 when you subscribe to CyberGhost’s 3-year plan.

Test CyberGhost with your browser for up to a generous 45 days. I can confirm that the money-back guarantee is legitimate as I went through the refund process myself. I used live chat to make the request, and the rep was friendly and helpful. My refund was approved in around a minute and I had my money back within a week.

Use CyberGhost for secure browsing

August 2022 Update! You can subscribe to CyberGhost for as low as $2.29 per month + get extra 3 months free with the 3-year plan (save up to 83%)! This is a limited offer so grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

3. Private Internet Access — Ad Blocker and Privacy-Conscious Browser Extensions

Key Features:

  • AES-256 encryption, leak protection, PIA MACE ad blocker, and a kill switch
  • Follows a zero-logging policy and doesn’t collect any data
  • Reliably fast speeds for quick website loading and uninterrupted online activities
  • 35000+ servers across 80 countries worldwide
  • Comes with browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Even though it’s one of the most affordable monthly VPNs, Private Internet Access (PIA) uses premium security features that make any browser extremely secure. I could choose between 256 or 128-bit encryption and multiple VPN protocols to boost my speeds or protection to match my intended browsing activities. This is very unique as VPNs don’t usually provide too much freedom when it comes to security settings.

These security features are also available in PIA’s easy-to-use Chrome, Firefox, and Opera extensions. You aren’t limited when you use the extensions instead of installing the full VPN, so you’ll still be able to choose from any of PIA’s 35000+ connections. If you do want to use the VPN on all of your devices, you get 80 connections with one subscription, so you can install it on all of your gadgets.

Screenshot of PIA's browser extension in Opera
Get access to all of PIA’s features in its intuitive browser extension

One downside is that its headquarters are in the US, and so PIA falls under the 5-Eyes Alliance. This made me question its no-logs policy. However, a PIA representative reassured me that the company never stores any identifiable data on its servers. This means that, even if the authorities requested user files from the VPN, PIA wouldn’t have your search history to hand over.

You can get this great all-around VPN for your browser for as little as $2.19/month when you choose its 2-year plan.

Put PIA to the test with your browser using its 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it, ask for a refund — it’s that simple. The 24/7 live chat advisor approved my refund in a minute. All I had to do was say why I was canceling, and the money was returned to my bank account within 4 working days.

Use PIA for secure browsing

August 2022 Update! For a limited time only, save 82% with the 2-year plan + get an additional 2 months free! Hurry and check out the deal here!

FAQs: Web Browsers and Online Security

What’s the best browser without ads and tracking?

Through rigorous testing, I found that the best browser without ads and tracking is Tor. That’s because its tough browser encryption and rerouting of traffic makes it impossible for websites or advertisers to spy on your connection. Tor also regularly updates any weak spots in the software. This is much different than popular browsers (like Google Chrome), which may sell your private browsing data to advertisers and other third parties.

To use Tor safely:

  • Don’t share your true identity or facts about your life
  • Don’t access social media or email accounts
  • Don’t use Tor for torrenting activities
  • Never use mobile two-step verification in Tor
  • Don’t click into random sites – always ensure you enter the full HTTPS address

If you want to avoid being tracked entirely, the best option is to download a quality VPN. A VPN encrypts your entire internet connection — not just your browser. This means you can safely use apps and programs (like Netflix and BitTorrent clients) without anyone spying on your activity. You shouldn’t download the first browser you find, though. ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it out for yourself completely risk-free. If you’re not satisfied, you can always get a full refund.

Which web browser is the fastest?

Opera ensures your browsing remains fast on every device. Many popular browsers tend to eat into your device’s resources, including RAM and CPU. When I ran my tests, I found Opera had the least impact on my PC and Samsung phone, so I didn’t experience lag at any point. I even checked it on my old laptop, which runs slower than its newer counterparts, and all sites I tried loaded in under 5 seconds.

What’s the most secure browser for Windows, Android, Mac, and iPhone?

If you want a secure browser compatible with all operating systems, I recommend you get Opera. With in-built ad and tracker blockers, Opera is the only free browser that comes with an incorporated VPN proxy on all devices. This ensures you’re not bothered by prying eyes at any point during your browsing, and your connection is encrypted against hackers on mobiles and desktops.

Aside from its top security, I also liked its Flow feature which allowed me to sync my browsing and files between my PCs and mobile devices. This meant I didn’t have to email myself links I wanted to visit later — I could simply send them through Flow. It’s also handy for quick access to files, photos, videos, notes, and more, with just one click of a button.

Which popular browser extensions are the best for privacy and security?

Here are the most secure browser extensions that work with the 10 safest browsers for 2022:

  • HTTPS Everywhere — Automatically upgrades every website you visit to HTTPS (instead of the insecure HTTP).
  • uBlock Origin — Blocks known ads, trackers, and malware in your browser.
  • Privacy Badger — Blocks new and unknown ads, trackers, and malware.
  • Disconnect — Allows you to choose specific trackers to block on individual websites.
  • Chameleon — A Firefox-exclusive extension that randomizes your information, making it more difficult for websites to track your actual details.
  • Ghostery — Stops site trackers and ads in Firefox to free your bandwidth and increase your speeds.
  • DuckDuckGo — Tor-specific web browser used to search through the Deep Web without getting your information logged.
  • NoScript — Stops Javascript and Flash plugins, which are often infected with malware.
  • Canvas Blocker — Boosts your privacy by blocking Javascript APIs used by online sites to identify you.
  • unshorten.link — Automatically expands shortened links (e.g. from bit.ly) and analyzes each one, looking for signs of malicious destinations.
  • Click & Clean — Removes cookies, cache, search history, and browsing activity as soon as you activate it with 1 click.
  • Trace — Acts as a shield against browser fingerprinting.
  • uMatrix — Matrix-based firewall that lets you allow or block specific requests made by your browser, including scripts, iframes, ads, and more.
  • Cookie AutoDelete — Instantly deletes all of your browser cookies as soon as you close a tab.
  • Decentraleyes — Hosts local CDN (content delivery networks), so you don’t use third-party resources that could leave you vulnerable.
  • Disconnect Facebook — Stops any third-party requests that relate to Facebook.

Does incognito or private mode keep my browsing safe?

No matter which top secure browser you choose, incognito mode won’t keep you safe. Even though the incognito mode doesn’t save your search history, it works only on a local level — more specifically, just on your device. Your IP address, login details, and any websites you visit are still visible to advertisers, hackers, schools, employers, and anyone else using the same WiFi.

If you want to keep your browser activity completely anonymous, you need to download a VPN. With tough encryption and leak protection, a VPN makes your traffic invisible to everyone (including the VPN itself). Plus, premium services such as ExpressVPN offer no-logging policies, which means none of your data is ever stored on its servers. You can test ExpressVPN out completely risk-free as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee — if you don’t like it, you can easily get a full refund.

Should I use more than 1 browser?

Yes, you should use more than 1 browser, and only pick browsers that are proven to be private and secure. Switching browsers, also known as browser compartmentalization, gives you more control over your privacy since you can use different services for separate activities. For instance, you may choose to use Epic Privacy Browser for checking the news or social media, and Tor for general browsing or accessing restricted news. This will ensure that no one will get hold of all of your search history and details — especially if you use more secure browsers (such as Firefox) for banking and torrenting.

What’s a secure browser?

A secure, private browser doesn’t track your online activity or log your data, while actively avoiding software vulnerabilities. Most recommended secure browsers have some security features to protect you, such as:

  • Sandboxing — This practice separates your browser, or even each tab within it, from your device. Your data is kept safe even if the browser is infected with malware.
  • Blocking ads and trackers — The best browsers block ads and malware from secretly checking on your online habits (either by default or with a secure add-on).
  • Upgrading to HTTPS sites — Since HTTP sites can be spied on by hackers, a secure browser will replace them with a much more secure HTTPS code.
  • Scam protection — Most secure browsers are now able to detect phishing emails, messages, and websites, and immediately block them.
  • Preventing malware from active content — Secure browsers come with active blockers for infected JavaScript or Flash, protecting you when you watch videos.

Why aren’t all browsers secure?

It’s essential you choose a secure browser because many browsers monitor, log, and store your data. This includes IP addresses, search history, and autofill details. Since most internet browsers can be downloaded for free, these services use the collected data to make a profit. The danger is that your information ends up being sold or shared with advertisers to target you with specific ads when you scroll through Facebook, Google, and other sites.

If that wasn’t bad enough, many browsers don’t apply the security features needed to prevent cyberattacks. Sadly, this is common even with the best browsers, since it’s difficult to find a service that will encrypt your traffic. To avoid getting hacked, you should combine your browser with an ExpressVPN connection.

Which web browser is the best for online banking?

After trying 20+ of the top secure browsers, I recommend you get Mozilla Firefox for checking your bank account, making transfers, signing agreements, and other vulnerable practices.

However, in order to maintain the protection you need to keep your bank details and information completely secure, you do need to take some time configuring your Firefox settings to maximize your security.

If you don’t want to spend time tinkering with your settings just to check your bank account, you can make any browser completely secure by connecting to a VPN server. This will give you complete privacy with stellar encryption and additional safety features. During testing, I found that ExpressVPN had the lowest impact on my traffic, keeping it almost on par with my base speeds. You can easily test ExpressVPN with your own browser risk-free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee.

Are there any browsers that come with a built-in VPN?

Yes, there are a few secure browsers that come with a built-in VPN, such as Opera and Epic.

However, my experience and testing proved that built-in browser VPNs usually lack the crucial features that separate services offer. For example, Opera VPN let me choose between 3 continents to connect to, but ExpressVPN comes with 3000+ servers in 94 specific countries. This gives you the option to select a specific city, and greatly reduces the risk of slow and overcrowded connections while maximizing your online safety and privacy.

How can I stop my browser from getting hacked?

Even if you use the most secure browsers in 2022, you should protect your traffic with a VPN connection to avoid hackers getting hold of your data. This is the most fool-proof way of stopping cyberattacks and keeping prying eyes out. That’s because a VPN wraps your traffic in layers of unbreakable encryption without slowing your speeds. Quality VPNs also come with additional top security features such as leak protection and a kill switch, so there’s no way anyone can access your search history or IP data.

Since not all VPNs provide the same level of security, you need to be careful about choosing one suitable for your needs. Through research, I found that ExpressVPN is the top choice for secure browsing on the internet in 2022. It barely impacted my network speeds when I connected, while protecting my browsing with top-quality security. Plus, it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try ExpressVPN with your browser risk-free.

Get a Secure Browser to Keep Your Online Activities Private

It’s not always easy to understand whether a browser is genuinely secure or not. However, every browser on this page offers a good level of privacy and security. To further improve your online security, I highly recommend combining a secure browser with a VPN.

After testing 20+ VPNs, I found the best choice for use with all browsers is ExpressVPN, thanks to its speeds and security. ExpressVPN is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can buy in confidence. If you don’t like it, your subscription fee will be refunded in full.

Use ExpressVPN for secure browsing


Summary: These Are The Best VPNs for Secure Web Browsing in 2022

Top Choice
ExpressVPN
$6.67 / month Save 49%
CyberGhost VPN
$2.29 / month Save 82%
Private Internet Access
$2.19 / month Save 82%
PrivateVPN
$2.00 / month Save 80%
IPVanish VPN
$3.99 / month Save 64%
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