We rely on our phones for everything from communication to commerce, and that means security and privacy are critical on your Android device. No Android browser can guarantee your security if youmore
We rely on our phones for everything from communication to commerce, and that means security and privacy are critical on your Android device. No Android browser can guarantee your security if you go to risky websites or advertise too much personal information on social media. But a secure browser can offer more protection for your info and online activity than Chrome or the standard Firefox browser can.
Orfox is a variant of Mozilla Firefox, which should be familiar to desktop users. Google Chrome and Apple's Safari have an effective duopoly on mobile devices, and that's too bad, because Firefox and Orfox have a lot to offer. However, we'd argue that a Web browser alone can't create a reasonably secure user experience, because browser security and privacy depend on the path you take across the Internet from your phone to your destination site, and depend on how much personal information you share online (knowingly or otherwise). That's where Orbot comes in.
Opera is a mobile browser based on the Blink engine, which Google uses for its mobile and desktop versions of Chrome. While the Chrome browser dominates on Android and Safari rules iOS, Opera for Android carves out some space for itself, thanks to features like a built-in ad blocker, easy access to multiple search engines, text wrapping, and the ability to force a website to load the desktop version of its layout. Unless you really need the prediction service or in-browser casting, it's honestly difficult to recommend Chrome over Opera this point, at least on Android.
Lightning Web Browser for Android empowers security and privacy to a degree that overshadows most browsers that market themselves as security-focused. It is one of the few fully open-source Android browsers, and it makes its money through a paid version, rather than from built-in ads or selling user data. In fact, the paid version (a pretty reasonable $1.50) comes with a built-in ad blocker. Lightning Web Browser is a very impressive technical effort from a small indie developer. It's open source, Tor-aware, and supported through purchase of the premium app rather than monetizing your usage data. These three elements go a long way toward establishing trust and peace of mind. Browsing feels light and fluid in Lightning, and it has a variety of options to customize and safeguard your overall experience. If that variety extended to the ad blocker, Lightning would arguably be one of the best browsers on the market. Instead, we still have to give a slight edge to Mozilla Firefox, thanks to the Android version's ability to use almost all the major add-ons of desktop Firefox.
Mozilla Firefox for Android competes with many mobile Web browsers, chiefly Google Chrome, which is preinstalled on most Android devices, giving Chrome a much larger market share. That's unfortunate, because Firefox for Android has a number of interesting and unique features, such as support for add-ons, data syncing without a Google account, and the ability to integrate search engines that Chrome won't. Firefox's support for add-ons on Android allows you to refine your browsing experience to something meaningfully better than the experience that Chrome -- or any other mobile browser that we've come across so far -- can provide on Android. The advantage is so distinctive that it's hard to make a case for Chrome as your default choice. This edge is softened by the Firefox add-on catalog listing items that aren't compatible with the mobile version of the Web browser, but fortunately the most popular ones usually work on both platforms. Since Firefox is completely free to use (as are its add-ons, though donations to the developers are welcomed), you can judge for yourself with minimal investment.