There are many reasons you may not want to use Google Chrome as your default web browser. If you’re concerned about your digital privacy, you want to stay as far away from Chrome as you possibly can. In this article, we’ll show you a few privacy-focused alternatives that don’t give up anything when it comes to performance.
I began searching for an alternative to Chrome a few years ago. I often found that when running Chrome on my laptop, my laptop would get overheated and Chrome would often crash because of memory usage. It turns out that this wasn’t just specific to me.
So I started looking for other browsers.
As a Mac user, I started trying out Safari, but that didn’t last long.
Then I switched to Firefox, but I constantly had issues after waking my laptop from sleep mode and resuming my browsing session. So that fling didn’t last long either.
I decided to try out Opera, and it worked really well for a while; it was fast and intuitive. And then I found out that it was bought by a Chinese tech company a few years ago. I didn’t think the Chinese would respect my digital privacy any better than Google would, so I gave up on that one too.
Soon afterward I discovered Vivaldi.
Vivaldi is a new browser based on the same engine that powers Google Chrome. However, the folks at Vivaldi have taken a much different approach. They believe that you should be able to customize just about anything you want with your browser. You can change the theme, where things appear in the window (address bar, buttons, tabs, etc), and so many other aspects. This may be a little intimidating to the average internet user, but it certainly gives you a lot of freedom and control over your experience using the web.
Tabs, Tabs, Tabs
Another great feature is the tab management functions. Vivaldi allows you to hibernate certain tabs you may not be using to save your computer’s battery and memory. It also allows you to group tabs together, split the screen between 2 or more tabs, and save all open tabs as a session that you can open back up any time.
For me, this was a game-changer, because I like to keep hundreds of tabs open at one time.
As far as privacy measures go, Vivaldi does not track you while you use the browser, unlike Google Chrome, where pretty much everything you do and type is tracked.
It also allows you to customize a number of settings involving privacy such as which search engine you prefer to be your default.
Overall, Vivaldi is a solid web browser. I have yet to encounter any major issues with it. Because it runs on the same engine as Google Chrome, most Chrome extensions will work with Vivaldi.
If you’re interested in giving it a spin, download it here.
Brave is a relatively new browser that takes security, privacy, and speed very seriously when it comes to browsing the web.
Brave also runs on the same engine as Google Chrome, which brings the benefits mentioned earlier.
Ad Blocking and Speed
What makes Brave different than any other browser out there is that they block ads and trackers by default. Blocking these things allows web pages to load up to 2x faster on desktop and 7x faster on mobile.
Brave also shows you what it’s doing on each site. Here’s a look at what it’s doing on Facebook.
When you open a new tab, the page will show you exactly what it has done for your browsing experience and how much time it has saved you. Take a look at what Brave did for me in just under a week of minimal web browsing.
Because it’s not allowing ads, Brave allows you to reward your favorite content creators with its own digital token called BAT (Basic Attention Token) convertible to USD. It also allows users to opt into advertisements to receive a portion of these micropayments as well.
Brave may not be as customizable as Vivaldi, but it may be faster, has just as good privacy features out of the box, and also offers a mobile app. It’s definitely a browser that you should consider.
If you’d like to try out Brave, download it here.
We at Self Governance Project believe that living an intentional and informed life is the kind of life that brings maximum freedom.
It’s no different when it comes to the internet and digital privacy.
Unfortunately, Google has a near monopoly when it comes to the web browsing experience, which they use to gather data about your browsing habits. Hopefully, that will change as people move to alternatives.
Brave and Vivaldi are the best alternatives out there that I have found that don’t give up anything in terms of performance. I highly recommend that you take either one for a spin.