Forbes - Innovation

Quit Google Chrome For One Of These 3 Privacy-Friendly Alternatives

Google Chrome has too much scale and power. With over 2 billion users, the Chrome browser dwarfs even its closest rivals, despite being owned by one of the most-data hungry companies in the world.

There has long been a movement to ditch Google Chrome, but many people end up going back to the browser, simply because it functions well and many apps are optimised for it. But recent moves by Google—such as the delayed but widely believed to be privacy-infringing FLoC update—are pushing people to say it: Enough is enough, it’s time to quit Chrome.

So what are the alternatives? It depends what you want from your browser: two of the options I suggest are Chromium based. This means they use the same browser engine as Google Chrome and share many of the same characteristics, without the Google ownership and data sharing across Google’s wider services estate.

Firefox

Firefox is the number one alternative if you want to ditch Chrome, and that’s because of its privacy ethos. Firefox is owned by Mozilla, a non-profit, so it doesn’t need to perform tracking to serve you ads. The browser comes with numerous privacy features and functionality, blocking trackers by default, and there are even guides available on how to switch from Chrome to Firefox.

Brave

The Brave browser is Chromium based so you get the Chrome-like experience but without the trackers—Brave blocks tracking by default. The browser does show you ads, but from its own ad network which is not individually targeted. Brave Rewards basically pays you to show you “privacy-respecting” content and ads. Brave can run Chrome extensions, so the switch shouldn’t be too difficult, and the browser is actually supposed to be faster than Chrome. 

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Microsoft Edge 

Microsoft’s Edge browser has enjoyed a new lease of life after being relaunched and enriched with a number of features, including functions that help protect your security and privacy.

Yes, it is owned by Microsoft, but Edge is also highly functional partly because it integrates into Microsoft’s other apps and services (if a little invasively at times). There are steps you can take to make it more private, and quite simply, it’s not Chrome but it is Chromium based, so it is the ideal tool for business users who need tools optimised for the browser engine. 

Finally

There you have it—a number of options to help you ditch Google Chrome without losing the experience you expect. If you are an Apple user, I recommend Safari—which blocks trackers by default—in combination with a Chromium based browser if and when you might need it. Firefox is a firm favorite of mine too, so why not try out a few and see which one you like best?

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