Browser Recommendations

These are our current web browser recommendations, settings, and add-ons you can use to preserve your privacy.

 logo

Firefox

Firefox is a fast, reliable, open-source, privacy-respecting browser developed by Mozilla.

Unlike Google Chrome, Firefox won’t track your data and send it to various companies. Firefox also allows you to simply install a number of add-ons that will improve your privacy online.

 logo

Tor Browser

Provides Anonymity

The choice if you need an extra layer of anonymity. Tor Browser is a modified version of Firefox ESR, which comes with pre-installed privacy add-ons, encryption, and an advanced proxy.

Worth Mentioning

Bromite

A Chromium-based browser with security and privacy enhancements built in, such as an adblocker and DNS-over-HTTPS support. It includes patches from Ungoogled Chromium and other security/privacy focused Chromium projects. However, Bromite is only available on Android at this time, making it a poor choice for users of multiple devices, especially if you need to sync between a desktop and mobile device.

Project Website

Safari

A browser option on macOS and iOS with a strong focus on security and privacy. We believe Safari is an acceptable choice for Apple users, despite Safari being a proprietary browser, because Apple users are already trusting a proprietary operating system to run their programs on. We do not recommend using iCloud Sync, which saves your bookmarks and history in a way which allows Apple to view them. Additionally, WebKit, the browser engine powering Safari is open source.

Ungoogled Chromium

A desktop browser based on Chromium which removes all Google integrations, while adding features which seek to enhance your security, privacy, and control of your browser. However, we do not strongly recommend the use of Ungoogled Chromium for most users at this time, because of a lack of official builds and updates from the developer. We strongly believe that auto-updating apps are key for maintaining security, lest you browse the web with outdated builds of your browser which may be susceptible to any number of live exploits.

Project Website

Anti-Recommendations

Google Chrome

Chrome is completely controlled by Google, and taps into your browsing history to track you across the web and serve you targeted advertisements. Because of Google’s interest in increased ad revenues, Google Chrome offers no privacy protections out of the box compared to Firefox, and has taken anti-consumer steps to block common extensions like adblockers. It's best to avoid this browser at all costs.

Chromium

Without signing into a Google Account, the open-source builds of Chromium do relatively well in terms of security and privacy. However, Chromium still does have a number of integrations with Google hardcoded into the source, and because it is designed to be as user-friendly as possible, it operates in a way that compromises transparency and user-control. And, Chromium is still directly developed by Google, who have attempted to introduce anti-consumer measures in the past as mentioned in the Google Chrome section.

Brave Browser

Despite being widely touted as a privacy-friendly Chromium browser, we have a number of concerns with Brave’s business practices and future business model that prevents us from recommending them. The Brave team has publicly stated they do not want to be associated with privacy-focused groups like PrivacyTools (PrivacyTools PR #657), which causes us to believe the Brave team does not wish to be under too much scrutiny from the privacy community as they continue to develop their product (Reddit discussion).


Additional Mobile Recommendations

Bromite

Bromite logo Bromite is a Chromium-based browser with privacy and security enhancements, built-in adblocking and DNS over HTTPS support; it includes patches from ungoogled-chromium and other privacy-focused projects. More info can be found on the official website.


Onion Browser

Onion Browser logo Onion Browser is an open-source browser that lets you browse the web anonymously over the Tor network on iOS devices and is endorsed by the Tor Project. Warning: there are certain anonymity-related issues with Onion Browser due to iOS limitations.


DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser

DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser logo DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser is an open-source web browser that has built-in ad and tracker blocking and utilizes ToS;DR to rate the privacy policies of the sites you visit.


Browser Fingerprinting - Is your browser configuration unique?

When you visit a web page, your browser voluntarily sends information about its configuration, such as available fonts, browser type, and add-ons. If this combination of information is unique, it may be possible to identify and track you without using cookies. EFF created a Tool called Cover Your Tracks to test your browser to see how unique it is.

Test your Browser now

You need to find what most browsers are reporting, and then use those variables to bring your browser in the same population. This means having the same fonts, plugins, and extensions installed as the large installed base. You should have a spoofed user-agent string to match what the large userbase has. You need to have the same settings enabled and disabled, such as DNT and WebGL. You need your browser to look as common as everyone else. Disabling JavaScript, using Linux, or even using the Tor Browser Bundle, will make your browser stick out from the masses.

Modern web browsers have not been architected to assure personal web privacy. Rather than worrying about being fingerprinted, it seems more practical to use free software plugins to regain control. They not only respect your freedom, but your privacy also. You can get much further with these than trying to manipulate your browser's fingerprint.

Related Information


WebRTC IP Leak Test - Is your IP address leaking?

While software like NoScript prevents this, it's probably a good idea to block this protocol directly as well, just to be safe. Note: This disables browser-based call functionality that is used for webapps like Discord, Hangouts, Jitsi, etc.

Test your Browser now

How to disable WebRTC in Firefox?

In short: Set "media.peerconnection.enabled" to "false" in "about:config".

Explained:

  1. Enter "about:config" in the firefox address bar and press enter.
  2. Press the button "I'll be careful, I promise!"
  3. Search for "media.peerconnection.enabled"
  4. Double click the entry, the column "Value" should now be "false"
  5. Done. Do the WebRTC leak test again.

If you want to make sure every single WebRTC-related setting is really disabled change these settings:

  1. media.peerconnection.turn.disable = true
  2. media.peerconnection.use_document_iceservers = false
  3. media.peerconnection.video.enabled = false
  4. media.peerconnection.identity.timeout = 1

Now you can be 100% sure WebRTC is disabled.

Test your Browser again

How to disable WebRTC in Safari?

Safari is far stricter with WebRTC than other major browsers, and it does not leak your IP address in its default configuration. If you'd like, you can follow these steps just to double-check your browser:

  1. Choose "Preferences" under the Safari menu in your menu bar.
  2. Select the Advanced tab and check the "Show Develop menu in menu bar" box.
  3. Exit Preferences and open the Develop menu in your menu bar.
  4. In the drop-down menu, open the "WebRTC" submenu and ensure "Enable Legacy WebRTC API" is unchecked. If it's grayed out, even better.

How to disable WebRTC in Google Chrome?

WebRTC cannot be fully disabled in Chrome; however, it is possible to change its routing settings (and prevent leaks) using an extension. Two open-source solutions include WebRTC Leak Prevent (options may need to be changed depending on the scenario), and uBlock Origin (select "Prevent WebRTC from leaking local IP addresses" in Settings).

What about other browsers?

Chrome on macOS and Internet Explorer do not yet implement WebRTC.


Recommended Browser Add-ons

uBlock Origin: Block Ads and Trackers

uBlock Origin: Block Ads and Trackers logo uBlock Origin is an efficient wide-spectrum blocker that is easy on memory, and yet can load and enforce thousands more filters than other popular blockers out there. It has no monetization strategy and is completely open source. Advanced mode allows for dynamic filtering. Dynamic filtering allows for extended blocking similar to NoScript and uMatrix (E.g. medium or hard) blocking.


HTTPS Everywhere: Secure Connections

HTTPS Everywhere: Secure Connections logo HTTPS Everywhere enables encryption of your connections to many major websites, making your browsing more secure. It is a collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


Decentraleyes: Block Content Delivery Networks

Decentraleyes: Block Content Delivery Networks logo Decentraleyes emulates Content Delivery Networks locally by intercepting requests, finding the required resource, and injecting it into the environment. This all happens instantaneously, automatically, and no prior configuration is required.


ClearURLs

ClearURLs logo ClearURLs will automatically remove tracking elements from URLs to help protect your privacy when browsing through the Internet.


xBrowserSync

xBrowserSync logo xBrowserSync synchronizes bookmarks across devices and browsers with end-to-end encryption. Data is encrypted and decrypted on the device, no one but you can read it. No registration is needed, just enter a randomly generated id or QR code on all devices. Different servers are available, and it can also be self-hosted.


Worth Mentioning

Additional Functionality

Terms of Service; Didn’t Read: Be Informed

Terms of Service; Didn’t Read: Be Informed logo Terms of Service; Didn’t Read is an addon that believes "I have read and agree to the Terms of Service" is the biggest lie on the web, and wants to fix it by grading websites based on their terms of service agreements and privacy policies. It also gives short summaries of those agreements. The analysis and ratings are published transparently by a community of reviewers.


Snowflake

Snowflake logo Snowflake is a new pluggable transport from the Tor Project. If you have an uncensored connection, running this extension volunteers your connection to be used as a Snowflake proxy to help users unable to connect to the Tor network. Your IP will not be visible to the sites users visit using your proxy, as this extension will not make you an exit node. If your access to the Tor network is blocked, this extension will not assist you, and you should use the Tor Browser instead. Note: This add-on does not work with WebRTC disabled.


Persistent storage management

Desktop

Temporary Containers

Temporary Containers logo Temporary Containers allow you to open tabs, websites, and links in automatically managed disposable containers. Containers isolate data websites store (cookies, storage, and more) from each other, enhancing your privacy and security while you browse: Enhance your privacy in Firefox with Temporary Containers.


Firefox Multi-Account Containers

Firefox Multi-Account Containers logo Firefox Multi-Account Containers allow you to create containers for specific websites. These containers are isolated from eachother. This add-on can be used in conjunctiuon with Temporary Containers to allow persistent logins to websites you specify.


Android

ETag Stoppa

ETag Stoppa logo ETag Stoppa Prevents Firefox from storing entity tags by removing ETag response headers unconditionally and without exceptions.


Cookie AutoDelete: Automatically Delete Cookies

Cookie AutoDelete: Automatically Delete Cookies logo Cookie AutoDelete automatically removes cookies, lingering sessions, and other information that can be used to spy on you when they are no longer used by open browser tabs.


For Advanced Users

uMatrix: Stop Cross-Site Requests

uMatrix: Stop Cross-Site Requests logo uMatrix gives you control over the requests that websites make to other websites. Many websites integrate features which let other websites track you, such as Facebook Like Buttons or Google Analytics. uMatrix allows 1st party scripts in its default configuration. If you want the default functionality of NoScript consider blocking 1st party scripts everywhere by default. This addon has been discontinued.


CanvasBlocker

CanvasBlocker logo CanvasBlocker allows users to prevent websites from using some Javascript APIs to fingerprint them. Users can choose to block the APIs entirely on some or all websites (which may break some websites) or just block or fake its fingerprinting-friendly readout API.


Firefox: Privacy Related "about:config" Tweaks

Preparation:

  1. Enter "about:config" in the firefox address bar and press enter.
  2. Press the button "Accept the Risk and Continue" [FF71+] or "I accept the risk".
  3. Copy and paste each of the preferences below (for example "webgl.disabled") into the search bar, and set each of them to the stated value (such as "true").

Getting started:

privacy.firstparty.isolate = true
A result of the Tor Uplift effort, this preference isolates all browser identifier sources (e.g. cookies) to the first party domain, with the goal of preventing tracking across different domains. (Don't do this if you are using the Firefox Addon "Cookie AutoDelete" with Firefox v58 or below.)
privacy.resistFingerprinting = true
A result of the Tor Uplift effort, this preference makes Firefox more resistant to browser fingerprinting.
privacy.trackingprotection.fingerprinting.enabled = true
[FF67+] Blocks Fingerprinting
privacy.trackingprotection.cryptomining.enabled = true
[FF67+] Blocks CryptoMining
privacy.trackingprotection.enabled = true
This is Mozilla's new built-in tracking protection. One of it's benefits is blocking tracking (i.e. Google Analytics) on privileged pages where add-ons that usually do that are disabled.
browser.send_pings = false
The attribute would be useful for letting websites track visitors' clicks.
browser.urlbar.speculativeConnect.enabled = false
Disable preloading of autocomplete URLs. Firefox preloads URLs that autocomplete when a user types into the address bar, which is a concern if URLs are suggested that the user does not want to connect to. Source
dom.event.clipboardevents.enabled = false
Disable that websites can get notifications if you copy, paste, or cut something from a web page, and it lets them know which part of the page had been selected.
media.eme.enabled = false

Disables playback of DRM-controlled HTML5 content, which, if enabled, automatically downloads the Widevine Content Decryption Module provided by Google Inc. Details

DRM-controlled content that requires the Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight NPAPI plugins will still play, if installed and enabled in Firefox.

media.gmp-widevinecdm.enabled = false
Disables the Widevine Content Decryption Module provided by Google Inc., used for the playback of DRM-controlled HTML5 content. Details
media.navigator.enabled = false
Websites can track the microphone and camera status of your device.
network.cookie.cookieBehavior = 1
Disable cookies
  • 0 = Accept all cookies by default
  • 1 = Only accept from the originating site (block third-party cookies)
  • 2 = Block all cookies by default
network.http.referer.XOriginPolicy = 2
Only send Referer header when the full hostnames match. (Note: if you notice significant breakage, you might try 1 combined with an XOriginTrimmingPolicy tweak below.) Source
  • 0 = Send Referer in all cases
  • 1 = Send Referer to same eTLD sites
  • 2 = Send Referer only when the full hostnames match
network.http.referer.XOriginTrimmingPolicy = 2
When sending Referer across origins, only send scheme, host, and port in the Referer header of cross-origin requests. Source
  • 0 = Send full url in Referer
  • 1 = Send url without query string in Referer
  • 2 = Only send scheme, host, and port in Referer
webgl.disabled = true
WebGL is a potential security risk. Source
browser.sessionstore.privacy_level = 2
This preference controls when to store extra information about a session: contents of forms, scrollbar positions, cookies, and POST data. Details
  • 0 = Store extra session data for any site. (Default starting with Firefox 4.)
  • 1 = Store extra session data for unencrypted (non-HTTPS) sites only. (Default before Firefox 4.)
  • 2 = Never store extra session data.
beacon.enabled = false
Disables sending additional analytics to web servers. Details
browser.safebrowsing.downloads.remote.enabled = false
Prevents Firefox from sending information about downloaded executable files to Google Safe Browsing to determine whether it should be blocked for safety reasons. Details
Disable Firefox prefetching pages it thinks you will visit next:
Prefetching causes cookies from the prefetched site to be loaded and other potentially unwanted behavior. Details here and here.
  • network.dns.disablePrefetch = true
  • network.dns.disablePrefetchFromHTTPS = true
  • network.predictor.enabled = false
  • network.predictor.enable-prefetch = false
  • network.prefetch-next = false
network.IDN_show_punycode = true
Not rendering IDNs as their Punycode equivalent leaves you open to phishing attacks that can be very difficult to notice. Source
Looking for TRR, DoH or ESNI?
They have moved to our DNS page.

Firefox user.js Templates

Related Information


Privacy Guides is a socially motivated website that provides information for protecting your data security and privacy.

Unless otherwise noted, the original content on this website is made available under a CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

This content was made available by the Privacy Guides team and contributors. Get involved! | Open an Issue | Privacy Policy | Website Terms & Notices