CM Secure Browser (aka Cheetah Mobile Browser, aka Clean Master Browser) is the No. 1 search result for "secure browser" in the Google Play store, with millions of downloads for Android (it's also available for iOS). It claims to be the "most private and secure browser in the world." That's a bold statement, especially with open-source alternatives like Orfox available, so we took a closer look at that claim.
Well-integrated usability tweaks: Tap the three dots in the upper right of CM Secure Browser to slide open a side panel for quick access to helpful features. These include as a toggle for night mode, language translation, and forcing the website you're visiting to load its desktop version instead of the mobile version.
Smooth search engine selection: Begin a Web search by tapping the address bar, then select your search engine by tapping the icon in the upper left to see a list of other engines. The default is Yahoo, but the options include Google, Bing, YouTube, Amazon, DuckDuckGo.
Security and privacy settings are not intuitive: In this section of the browser's settings, you'll find toggles for "fraud prevention" and "download protection," but there's no explanation for what these functions mean and not enough information to test their effectiveness in the real world.
No custom search engines: You're limited to the 10 choices in the list, and they do not include popular options like iMDB or Wikipedia.
CM Secure Browser's basic functions and browsing tools are good, but we experienced a noticeable gap between the company's claims and the app's behavior. Monetizing user information is a common way for developers to make money on a free app, but it's not a method you would expect in a product that markets its privacy and security. And it's persistently difficult to characterize the browser's security functions. We know it has a toggle that offers to prevent fraud, and another that says it will protect your downloads, but we don't know what that means in a real-world scenario. If you want privacy and security in your Android browser, an open-source choice like Torfox (in conjunction with Orbot) is much safer and better documented.