Since I’m switching to Linux for my “daily driver” computer, I figured it was a good time to evaluate which browser to use. Firefox seems like the obvious choice, since it’s what many Linux distros include, but is there another that would be better/safer? I figure your browser is the gateway to everything you do online. Shopping, paying bills, filing taxes, everything. So I’d hate to go all in on one and find out there’s anything sketchy about it.
Just figured I’d see if there was some kind of consensus out there.
I’m no expert so take this with a grain of salt, but from what I understand Chromium based browsers are slightly more secure than Firefox. If you care about privacy too though, Firefox (and in particular it’s fork Librewolf) is an excellent choice after changing some settings. Brave is a Chromium browser that is also considered privacy friendly.
What is probably just as important as your browser of choice is that it is up to date. Usually soft forks like Librewolf are slower to update, since they have to wait for the Firefox update and then modify it.
And some repositories don’t update their software as quickly as others. Flathub is usually very up to date from my experience, so I would recommend installing the flatpak version of whatever browser you choose. Flatpaks also come with some security benefits due to sandboxing, although I don’t know how big a difference that would make when it comes to browsers.
Edit: I might add that I personally use Firefox because I think it is dangerous that Chromium is almost a monopoly at this point. That gives Google a lot of power and we already see signs that they are willing to abuse that power by making ad blocking harder.
Hardened firefox or firefox derivative.
I use Firefox Beta personally because the wayland support is better.
Firefox almost exclusively since I can easily harden it to the degree I want, also the proliferation of Chromium based browsers is just bad for the end user.
One browser I strongly urge people not to use is Brave. They have a wonderful marketing campaign, cultish followers, and a long history of “mistakes” that have affected people’s privacy adversely. When I say “mistakes” I mean intentional attempts to monetize users data, which were only stopped when they got caught, at which point they would simply mea culpa and move to the next scheme to monetize. Short answer, it is simply a browser that cannot be trusted much like the modern Opera.
Now I am going to sit back and time how long it takes for someone to come and defend Brave…because it always happens…
This. This is the exact reason why I stick with Firefox, regardless of the platform I am running.
With Chromium-based browsers becoming the “new Internet Explorer”, Google has started forcing standards that are more hostile towards users. One recent example would be WebExtension Manifest v3, where Google limits a lot of features that allowed privacy-focused extensions to work.
We all know what happens if one entity is responsible for the vast majority of browsers in the market. ActiveX was shitty enough, and we don’t want the history to repeat itself. I do not want Google to get a firm grip on future web standards for this very reason.
Therefore, I’d argue that any Chromium-based browsers (Chrome, Edge, modern Opera, and of course, Brave) are untrustworthy at this point. Just use Firefox, maybe hardened versions of it with privacy extensions.
I personally use Waterfox, as it’s basically Hardened Firefox with a few tweaks. There aren’t a lot of differences between it and LibreWolf to my understanding, so if one works for you, the other would probably also be fine. Being forks of Firefox, they are naturally going to be a few days behind on implementing Firefox’s security patches, but I’ve found that they update quite quickly regardless, so that’s likely of little concern.
If I ever need to use a Chromium-based browser (some very old, outdated, or certain government sites won’t work perfectly with Firefox), I honestly just use pure Chromium. It’s pretty easy to update on Linux compared to Windows (I had find a separate Chromium updater PowerShell script on GitHub and have it automatically run occasionally to actually get updates on Windows since Chromium doesn’t support auto-updates), but on Linux you would easily update it the same way as anything else. There’s also Ungoogled Chromium if that’s your preference.
Firefox, since the beginning.
Brave. Used to be Firefox until Mozilla stopped caring about it, and now it sadly languishes despite the insane amount of money Mozilla could be throwing at it.
I’m still rooting for Firefox as browser diversity is essential.
Brave just has its act together. You can turn off all the crypto junk, they have their own search which is awesome, and they are supporting Linux all the way to arm64.
Gnome Web is another that I hope keeps getting attention.
And then far off, but super awesome: Ladybird.
I find the best ad blocker is my hosts file. Just set the URL to the local host address and all the adverts go away. Things like googleads have a whole heap of servers so when you find the first one put in a heap of entries with the incrementing server number.
Works wonders for me and you don’t need any download add-on that can be mangled.
Here is what I have put in mine …
A hosts file isn’t enough for me. Especially with more and more sites trying anti-adblock scripts and being increasing hostile. I need uBlock Origin. And its element hider is great for reducing annoyances and clutter on sites you frequent.
Vivaldi, for me. It’s just the absolute power user’s browser. Has every feature and them some. Has probably pioneered 70% of features other browsers are getting these days.
If vivaldi didn’t exist, I’d probably use floorp
I’ll also vouch for both of these. Floorp (Firefox-based) had some great UI in my opinion, and Vivaldi (Chromium-based) could be customized to all hell! All the customization and extra features (such as a built-in email client) cause a bit of extra bloat, though. But if you do most of your work through the browser, Vivaldi’s a great option!
The problem with Firefox is they dont seem to care about PWAs and SSB, two features I use. I use Vivaldi because it has those features but also hasn’t done the sus things Brave has recently done. Yes, Vivaldi isn’t FOSS, but I’ll take that over a company whose browser isn’t going to last the way they’re currently developing it.
I hope GNOME Web gets better too.
As above, whilst Firefox is great, I will never understand Mozilla’s stance on PWAs and their refusal to support them. So chromium based browsers are my only choice. Plus Mozilla themselves aren’t exactly making all the right decisions themselves lately.
Best privacy Browser: GitHub - mullvad/mullvad-browser: Privacy-focused browser for Linux, macOS and Windows. Made in collaboration between @torproject and @mullvad
Test by a security expert (german): Mullvad Browser: Datensendeverhalten Desktop-Version – Browser-Check Teil22 ⋆ Kuketz IT-Security Blog
The security auditor deems only LibreWolf to be comparable. I tested both and confirmed, that Mullvad has a better fingerprinting protection.
If you can read german or translate the site, you can see evidence and explanations, …
…why Chrome is only an option for exhibitionists looking for a big brother watching their every move.
…that Firefox has bad defaults, but can be configured to be privacy friendly unlike Chrome.
…exposing Brave having some bad defaults, and phoning home to its maker instead of Google.
…revealing Vivaldi as unable to free itself from Google entirely.
…showing Waterfox going in the right direction, but not far enough.
…confirming Ungoogled Chromium to be the most privacy friendly chromium-based browser.
Thorium, I’m using it on Windows, but it is available for many OSs, fast!
TOR, and if that really is not an option, Firefox with noscript, Decentraleyes, privacy badger and uBlock Origin installed. If I can’t get around a requirement for something chrome based (IE6 days seem to be back again ), then Brave is the last failover for me.
Firefox for everything I can, if I have to use a Chromium browser then Edge
Might be of interest to some
And for your convenience: Get Firefox for desktop — Mozilla (US)