These are our currently recommended desktop web browsers and configurations. In general, we recommend keeping extensions to a minimum; they have privileged access within your browser, require you to trust the developer, can make you stand out, and weaken site isolation.
Tor Browser is the choice if you need anonymity, as it provides you with access to the Tor Bridges and Tor Network, along with settings and extensions that are automatically configured by the default security levels: Standard, Safer and Safest.
The Tor Browser is designed to prevent fingerprinting, or identifying you based on your browser configuration. Therefore, it is imperative that you do not modify the browser beyond the default security levels.
For further information about the Tor Browser, we suggest taking a look at the manual.
You should never install any additional extensions on Tor Browser, including the ones we suggest for Firefox. Nor should you manually enable HTTPS-only mode or edit
about:config settings. Browser extensions and non-standard settings make you stand out from others on the Tor network, thus making your browser easier to fingerprint.
Tor Browser is the only way to truly browse the internet anonymously. When you use Firefox, we recommend changing the following settings to protect your privacy from certain parties, but all browsers other than Tor Browser will be traceable by somebody in some regard or another.
These options can be found in → Settings → Privacy & Security.
Enhanced Tracking Protection¶
- Select Strict Enhanced Tracking Protection
This protects you by blocking social media trackers, fingerprinting scripts (note that this does not protect you from all fingerprinting), cryptominers, cross-site tracking cookies, and some other tracking content. ETP protects against many common threats, but it does not block all tracking avenues because it is designed to have minimal to no impact on site usability.
Sanitize on Close¶
If you want to stay logged in to particular sites, you can allow exceptions in Cookies and Site Data → Manage Exceptions...
- Check Delete cookies and site data when Firefox is closed
This protects you from persistent cookies, but does not protect you against cookies acquired during any one browsing session. When this is enabled, it becomes possible to easily cleanse your browser cookies by simply restarting Firefox. You can set exceptions on a per-site basis, if you wish to stay logged in to a particular site you visit often.
- Disable Suggestions from the web
- Disable Suggestions from sponsors
- Disable Improve the Firefox Suggest experience
Search suggestion features may not be available in your region.
Search suggestions send everything you type in the address bar to the default search engine, regardless of whether you submit an actual search. Disabling search suggestions allows you to more precisely control what data you send to your search engine provider.
- Uncheck Allow Firefox to send technical and interaction data to Mozilla
- Uncheck Allow Firefox to install and run studies
- Uncheck Allow Firefox to send backlogged crash reports on your behalf
Firefox sends data about your Firefox version and language; device operating system and hardware configuration; memory, basic information about crashes and errors; outcome of automated processes like updates, safebrowsing, and activation to us. When Firefox sends data to us, your IP address is temporarily collected as part of our server logs.
- Select Enable HTTPS-Only Mode in all windows
This prevents you from unintentionally connecting to a website in plain-text HTTP. Sites without HTTPS are uncommon nowadays, so this should have little to no impact on your day to day browsing.
Firefox Sync allows your browsing data (history, bookmarks, etc.) to be accessible on all your devices and protects it with E2EE.
The Arkenfox project provides a set of carefully considered options for Firefox. If you decide to use Arkenfox, a few options are subjectively strict and/or may cause some websites to not work properly - which you can easily change to suit your needs. We strongly recommend reading through their full wiki. Arkenfox also enables container support.
Brave Browser includes a built-in content blocker and privacy features, many of which are enabled by default.
Brave is built upon the Chromium web browser project, so it should feel familiar and have minimal website compatibility issues.
- We advise against using the Flatpak version of Brave, as it replaces Chromium's sandbox with Flatpak's, which is less effective. Additionally, the package is not maintained by Brave Software, Inc.
Tor Browser is the only way to truly browse the internet anonymously. When you use Brave, we recommend changing the following settings to protect your privacy from certain parties, but all browsers other than the Tor Browser will be traceable by somebody in some regard or another.
These options can be found in → Settings.
Shields' options can be downgraded on a per-site basis as needed, but by default we recommend setting the following:
- Select Prevent sites from fingerprinting me based on my language preferences
Select Aggressive under Trackers & ads blocking
Use default filter lists
Brave allows you to select additional content filters within the internal
brave://adblockpage. We advise against using this feature; instead, keep the default filter lists. Using extra lists will make you stand out from other Brave users and may also increase attack surface if there is an exploit in Brave and a malicious rule is added to one of the lists you use.
(Optional) Select Block Scripts (1)
- Select Strict, may break sites under Block fingerprinting
- This option provides functionality similar to uBlock Origin's advanced blocking modes or the NoScript extension.
Social media blocking¶
- Uncheck all social media components
Privacy and Security¶
- Select Disable Non-Proxied UDP under WebRTC IP Handling Policy
- Uncheck Use Google services for push messaging
- Uncheck Allow privacy-preserving product analytics (P3A)
- Uncheck Automatically send daily usage ping to Brave
Select Always use secure connections in the Security menu
Sanitizing on Close
- Select Clear cookies and site data when you close all windows in the Cookies and other site data menu
If you wish to stay logged in to a particular site you visit often, you can set exceptions on a per-site basis under the Customized behaviors section.
Disable built-in extensions you do not use in Extensions
- Uncheck Hangouts
- Uncheck Private window with Tor (1)
- Uncheck WebTorrent
- Brave is not as resistant to fingerprinting as the Tor Browser and far fewer people use Brave with Tor, so you will stand out. Where strong anonymity is required use the Tor Browser.
InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is a decentralized, peer-to-peer network for storing and sharing data in a distributed filesystem. Unless you use the feature, disable it.
- Select Disabled on Method to resolve IPFS resources
Under the System menu
- Uncheck Continue running apps when Brave is closed to disable background apps (1)
- This option is not present on all platforms.
We generally do not recommend installing any extensions as they increase your attack surface. However, uBlock Origin or AdGuard may prove useful if you value content blocking functionality.
uBlock Origin is a popular content blocker that could help you block ads, trackers, and fingerprinting scripts.
We suggest following the developer's documentation and picking one of the "modes". Additional filter lists can impact performance and may increase attack surface, so only apply what you need. If there is a vulnerability in uBlock Origin a third-party filter could add malicious rules that can potentially steal user data.
Snowflake allows you to donate bandwidth to the Tor Project by operating a "Snowflake proxy" within your browser.
People who are censored can use Snowflake proxies to connect to the Tor network. Snowflake is a great way to contribute to the network even if you don't have the technical know-how to run a Tor relay or bridge.
You can enable Snowflake in your browser by clicking the switch below and leaving this page open. You can also install Snowflake as a browser extension to have it always run while your browser is open, however adding third-party extensions can increase your attack surface.
torproject.org. Alternatively, visit this page.
Snowflake does not increase your privacy in any way, nor is it used to connect to the Tor network within your personal browser. However, if your internet connection is uncensored, you should consider running it to help people in censored networks achieve better privacy themselves. There is no need to worry about which websites people are accessing through your proxy—their visible browsing IP address will match their Tor exit node, not yours.
Running a Snowflake proxy is low-risk, even moreso than running a Tor relay or bridge which are already not particularly risky endeavours. However, it does still proxy traffic through your network which can be impactful in some ways, especially if your network is bandwidth-limited. Make sure you understand how Snowflake works before deciding whether to run a proxy.
Terms of Service; Didn't Read¶
Terms of Service; Didn't Read grades websites based on their terms of service agreements and privacy policies. It also gives short summaries of those agreements. The analyses and ratings are published transparently by a community of reviewers.
We do not recommend installing ToS;DR as a browser extension; the same information is also provided on their website.