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I put browsers in this section since they are universal across operating systems and they're the gateway to a person accessing the web. Each browser has good and bad qualities and to give you some perspective, I use about six different browsers and rotate them around depending on what I need to do.

What you use would usually depend on your threat model, but for most people, it'll' be what they prefer to use. As long as your browser is up to date, it shouldn’t matter hugely between different choices, though I don’t recommend going to some seedy website that has a download for some odd browser. For the standard options that work well, there’s Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Chromium, and Brave. Then there are more niche offerings like Waterfox, Librewolf, Pale Moon, Tor, etc.

Many people are becoming more aware of the browsers they use and what the browsers are doing. If you have a focus on privacy, you definitely don’t want a big tech browser. No matter how much you try to make the settings on it private, it will be phoning home information about what you are doing within the browser. On the other hand, let’s say you are content with using Windows and are logged in with a Windows account; you might as well use Edge. If you use Microsoft Defender Application Guard (more about this in the Windows hardening guide), you will have the most secure experience with it over any other browser in Windows.

Now if you want a private experience out of the box and want ads to be blocked, you could use Librewolf. This is an excellent browser choice for privacy enthusiasts. It’s a fork of Firefox, is locked down out of the box with great hardening selections, and uses uBlock Origin by default. Mullvad Browser is also an excellent choice. If you want something a little more mainstream but still private and with ads blocked, you could use Brave. You’re probably starting to see here that research will go a long way. I can’t give a one size fits all approach here, since it will vary massively depending on what you want.

There are some general recommendations I can give. A lot of browsers usually have some sort of telemetry enabled and some general annoyances, like having sponsored links. Every browser is set up differently, so if you take a few minutes to click around in the settings of the browser you choose, you can select and deselect what you see fit. One thing I think is an absolute necessity is a good ad blocker. Currently, there is only one that I recommend, which is uBlock Origin. There are people that like other options like ABP, uBlock, and so on. To emphasize, the only one I recommend at this time is uBlock Origin.

There are two big reasons you should be using one. First, a lot of malware spreads through ads, some of which aren’t even visible to the user. Even in recent months, there have been massive malware campaigns that infected people because advertisers are greedy and seem to let anyone run whatever ad they want. Second and my personal outlook, ads have ruined the modern web experience. I couldn’t tolerate using the internet without one. Everywhere you look is just a massive pile of garbage clogging up sites and social feeds. The world is more distracted than ever, people are more miserable than ever, attention spans are in the toilet, and yet advertisers keeping finding more ways to show them. If you haven’t used one before, prepare for an amazing experience when you do start.

Browser Recommendations

I'll give you some specific browser recommendations and why I recommend each one. Feel free to choose whatever you want though, because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter that much if you're using an adblocker.

Mullvad Browser

I've tested this one a lot and it's my number one pick from a security and privacy perspective. There are a couple hiccups here and there, e.g. some CAPTCHAs have a problem working with this browser. There's also a grey outline around the edges of the browser, which is because of canvas blocking, which is a fingerprint protection method . Overall though, this browser is a really solid choice. It also comes with uBlock Origin and NoScript installed. There's nothing in the settings that needs to be configured further after install. It's a plug and play browser.


This is another excellent browser and I would place it right along with Mullvad Browser. This is slightly different in a few ways. First, it doesn't have quite as much fingerprinting protection (so no grey outline on the browser window). It comes with uBlock Origin preinstalled and the settings have already been hardened. It also supports containers, which you can use by right clicking the new container tab at the top of the window. If you can't get past a CAPTCHA with Mullvad Browser, you will likely be able to get past it with this browser. LibreWolf does have issues with websites working every once in a while, so you may want to have another option installed just in case.


This is another excellent option for a home user. If you wanted a browser that works well out of the box and already has adblock enabled, and also don't want to deal with website breakage, this is the browser for you. There are things that could be considered a minor annoyance with it, like having some sponsored junk on the new tab window and the crypto feature that's built in, but overall, it's a great option and the extra features are easily disabled.


Firefox is an okay browser out of the box, but it needs some tweaks to make it really good. It doesn't come with an adblocker, so that's something I recommend taking care of right away. It also does allow some telemetry, which should be disabled as well. Also, there are some sponsored links on the new tab page (which can be removed). After some tweaking, this is just as good of an option as Brave, and almost as good as LibreWolf and Mullvad.


Before anyone loses their minds, this is a niche case. If a person doesn't care as much about privacy, this is a good choice for someone on Windows Pro edition. Edge can use something called Microsoft Defender Application Guard (MDAG). It runs Edge inside of a Hyper V container, which massively increases the security of it. There are options that can be configured, such as if you wanted to allow copy and paste to work. If you're going to use MDAG though, you might as well keep it at maximum security settings.