Use ungoogled-chromium with the extension uBlock Origin.
When choosing a browser, there really are only 2 options. The major browser engines as of the moment are Blink/Chromium, Gecko/Firefox, and WebKit/Apple. If you are using WebKit, you are probably forced to because you are using an Apple device, so let’s pretend that option doesn’t exist.
I evaluate browsers in 3 basic categories: privacy, security, and utility. Firefox and Chromium in the end are web browsers and can do exactly the same stuff, so utility is the same for both. Yes, feature disparity is a thing, but Chromium and Firefox’s individual strengths and disadvantages all level out in the end. So how do these browsers compare in security and privacy?
To put it simply, Firefox is not as secure as Chromium. Firefox has weaker sandboxing and lacks many exploit mitigations. The developers of GrapheneOS even chose to base their browser, Vanadium, off of Chromium due to it having much stronger exploit protection and sandboxing than other options.
In most cases, Firefox has better privacy by default. Firefox is backed by an organization that fights for privacy and freedom on the internet, in stark contrast to Chromium being backed by Google, a company known for numerous privacy violations.
However, a massive caveat in the above statement is that Chromium is open source. Although proprietary Chromium based browsers such as Chrome may be spyware, the open source browser is much better (see more on this later).
Narrowing down on our choices
In my opinion, Chromium is the better browser engine. But Chromium based browsers are plentiful. Which one do I choose? Answering this is very straightforward.
Let’s list the common Chromium based browsers and eliminate them one by one:
Chrome(spyware) Opera GX(spyware) Edge(spyware)
- ungoogled-chromium ✓
My personal favorite Chromium based browser is ungoogled-chromium. It retains the security advantage of Chromium based browsers and strips the Google (or other companies’) spyware.
Other nice Chromium-based browsers:
- Arc — Despite being proprietary, I think it’s still a great browser, and the people running it have made it clear they respect your privacy.
- Brave — Similar to ungoogled-chromium, with additional privacy improvements. If you choose Brave, I would disable the sketchy crypto things. Disclaimer: I do not support the actions of Brave’s CEO
If you are using ungoogled-chromium, follow this guide to be able to install extensions from the Chrome Web Store. Most of these extensions should also support Firefox.
- uBlock Origin
- Your password manager’s browser extension
Nice to have: