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Desktop Browsers

These are our currently recommended desktop web browsers and configurations for standard/non-anonymous browsing. If you need to browse the internet anonymously, you should use Tor instead. In general, we recommend keeping your browser 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.

Firefox

Recommendation

Firefox logo

Firefox provides strong privacy settings such as Enhanced Tracking Protection, which can help block various types of tracking.

Homepage

Downloads

Warning

Firefox includes a unique download token in downloads from Mozilla's website and uses telemetry in Firefox to send the token. The token is not included in releases from the Mozilla FTP.

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 SettingsPrivacy & 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 DataManage 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.

Search Suggestions
  • 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.

Telemetry
  • 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.

HTTPS-Only Mode
  • 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

Firefox Sync allows your browsing data (history, bookmarks, etc.) to be accessible on all your devices and protects it with E2EE.

Arkenfox (advanced)

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

Recommendation

Brave logo

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.

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Downloads
  1. 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

Brave includes some anti-fingerprinting measures in its Shields feature. We suggest configuring these options globally across all pages that you visit.

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://adblock page. 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
  1. 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
  • Uncheck Private window with Tor (1)

    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.

  1. 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.
Extensions

Disable built-in extensions you do not use in Extensions

  • Uncheck Hangouts
  • Uncheck WebTorrent
IPFS

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
Additional settings

Under the System menu

  • Uncheck Continue running apps when Brave is closed to disable background apps (1)
  1. This option is not present on all platforms.

Brave Sync

Brave Sync allows your browsing data (history, bookmarks, etc.) to be accessible on all your devices without requiring an account and protects it with E2EE.

Additional Resources

We generally do not recommend installing any extensions as they increase your attack surface. However, uBlock Origin may prove useful if you value content blocking functionality.

uBlock Origin

Recommendation

uBlock Origin logo

uBlock Origin is a popular content blocker that could help you block ads, trackers, and fingerprinting scripts.

Repository

Downloads

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.