Think you know the safest, best web browser?

8 Popular Web Browsers Ranked by How Secure They Are

Photo Credit: Online Privacy Risks by Angel Roxas

Web browsers. We use them on a regular, so much so we don’t even realize they’re there, we perceive them as a given, a tool that comes with the territory of internet access. Still, not all web browsers were created equal. Today, we take the measure of some of the most popular web browsers on the market through a security lens and see which one scores best on the challenge.

Frequency of updates, embedded security tools and features are indicators of a good reliable web browser in terms of privacy. Taking the aforementioned criteria into account, here are the most secure web browsers ranked

8. Internet Explorer

Once upon a time, there was Internet Explorer. An undeniable favorite, holding monopoly in the early ages of the proto-internet, Internet Explorer is today a “deserted”web browser, especially since Microsoft introduced Edge. In terms of updates, Microsoft stopped making major updates to IE, as the focus shifted to its successor.

Securitywise, IE can detect malicious or potentially harmful sites, but is lagging behind on a lot of security features of its competitors.

Privacywise, you can toggle pop up blockers, have a tracking protection feature, preventing listed sites from dropping cookies upon subscribing in advance to a protection list, but that’s mainly about it, as the browser itself is closed-source (packed widgets remain undisclosed and obscure to the “naked eye”).

7. Edge

As the name suggests, the descendant of Internet Explorer really has an edge in terms of speed over what has otherwise become a meme for delayed effects, in general.

In what updates are concerned, Edge updates twice an year on average. That’s still a low frequency on updates, when compared to competitors on the market.

The fact that it runs in a sandbox makes all browser processes contained and the extension support is limited which could potentially limit malicious questionable extensions you may download accidentally.

All in all, privacy and security wise, Edge only ranks at the bottom of the list and it’s still not a very secure browser.

6. Opera

Developed by the person who also created the CSS web standard, Opera is not only an ingenious browser with a cute face, but it is also a staple for privacy oriented web browsers, the poster child of private web browsing. It runs on Google Chromium system, using Google Chrome’s open-source, tweaked to add features of its own.

Updating every 4 to 6 weeks, Opera comes close to a very healthy update frequency, which is once every 3–4 weeks.

From a security standpoint, Opera has integrated fraud and malware protection, has a built-in free VPN, an ad blocker, social messengers like what’s app and facebook messenger, battery saver a VR player among its main features.

The built in VPN however, is known to be tracking logs and bandwidth, so not exactly the best choice for a VPN service as it may actually defeat the purpose of using such a tool.

5. Google Chrome

At almost 80% market share, Google Chrome is leading the rankings for obvious reasons. Those reasons can be summed up to the fact that Chrome is simply a Google product. Just like the web search, YouTube, Gmail or Google Docs, it is only natural that people are naturally drawn to it, considering the dominant role Google is playing in the online world.

There are usually 6 weeks between its updates as Google automatically updates Chrome. Securitywise, Chrome regularly scores the highest on security test and Google is actively requesting hackers to discover vulnerabilities that the company can later improve. Still, the fact that Chrome is owned by Google, the larger than life company, that virtually knows “everything” about its users should serve as a bit of warning, in what privacy is concerned.

The standard Chrome version is closed source, everything (if anything) packed inside the code is therefore obscure. Truth be told, there is also an open-source version of Chrome available.

4. Apple Safari

Safari, the default web browser for Mac is usually perceived as being more secure, since Mac devices are arguably less vulnerable to malware. Chrome’s popularity however, pushed it to a marginal fate similar to that of Internet Explorer.

Updates are irregular, but tend to be on the slow side, as weeks between updates can vary between 9 and 47 weeks.

Despite its irregular updates, Safari does a pretty god job security wise, by running web pages contained, in a sandbox, thus preventing malware to infect the entire browser. Safari also introduced a password manager meant to improve the quality and strength of your passwords.

The only culprit of Safari is the fact that is closed sourced, otherwise making a close to perfect impression in terms of security and privacy.

3. Brave

Brave is the bold, fast-performing, privacy-oriented newcomer dressed in a minimalist attire. The browser updates every 8–9 weeks an its still working towards a version v1.0 for t desktop. Brave offers a fairly customized browsing experience as it allows the user to remove selected data every time the user closes the app.

A default ad blocker and an HTTPS function allows its users to browse unencrypted sites more secure.

2. Mozilla Firefox

Owned by a nonprofit organization, Mozilla it’s the caliber alternative for Chrome, also harboring a more hyped, privacy-focused version: Quantum.

Mozilla is updated by volunteers with a 6 to 10 weeks frequency, making it a bit slower than the competition, but keeping an overall regularity to its updates.

Security features include malware protection, add-ons warnings, but perhaps the most important things is the fact that Firefox is open-source.

1. Tor Browser

Tor is probably the true rebel out of the bunch. Based on Firefox, Tor was designed to let users access the world wide web via the Tor network, encrypting traffic and bouncing your data across a network of relays composed of thousands of volunteers computers.

Following Firefox’s bug fixes, most Tor updates happen with a frequency of about 2 weeks. Browsing history of users is not tracked by Tor and cookies are cleared after each session. Add the no script policy and privacy features and you will get a pretty safe browsing experience, probably the safest.

Out of bunch, Tor is the most secure web browser, for enhanced security and privacy you can always turn to a VPN. A good VPN will have its own servers and encryption protocols designed for it, reducing possible security failures to a minimum. Free VPN services are often an open door to malware and can be easily used by scammers.

In the FREE vs. PAID matter, its is important to understand that most legit businesses will offer 7 days of free trial, but a free connection on a indefinite period of time is sure to get its profit elsewhere; in ways that can harm your security and defeat the whole purpose of having a VPN in the first place.

We suggest you do yourself a favor and invest a good 5 bucks for a reliable VPN like the dedicated VPN you can get from My or from another reliable provider.

Internet Shutdowns, The Ugly truth

And how you can survive them

Credits: Please Shut Down, illustration by Emmanuel Hyronimus

Internet access is nowadays a fundamental human right coined by the UN Human Rights Council, adopted in 2016 by resolution.


However, not all governments respect it, especially not around elections. Across Asia and Africa several governments tried to silence speech through what is called “an internet shutdown”, where access to certain platforms, especially social media, is either restricted or blocked, altogether.


If you read through the first statements of the 32nd session of the UN resolution, the document outlines the importance of preserving internet access as a fundamental human right, “recognizing that the spread of information and communications technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies”.


So having an open and free online environment is not only a matter of rights, but also a condition for progress.


Not only the right to freedom of opinion and expression, or the right to privacy in the digital age, but also innovation and influencing elections is at stake, in the opposite scenario.


In the case of innovation, let’s take the example of net neutrality. This concept argues in favor of keeping an unobstructed online environment as a sine qua non for online freedom, but also innovation and it sure makes a strong case.


Imagine that broadband providers had the liberty of picking favorites, of deciding which service you may or may not access while using their internet service. They could limit or even block access to some products or services, while creating “fast lanes” for others, thus controlling information flow and traffic. New technologies might never see the light of day.



To go even further, imagine your ISP blocking or limiting access to services like Youtube, when Youtube came to shape 18 years ago. Had that been the case, Youtube as we know it, might not even exist today, or not at the same scale, maybe not at all.


Internet shutdowns on the other hand are a different kind of evil, meaning that they usually happen around or during elections and that they usually don’t last long as the economic costs could quickly spiral into hundreds of millions of dollars. However, no less than 134 internet shutdowns occurred in India alone, in 2018. 2019 recorded 19 shutdowns already in the same country, the most recent, just a few days ago “following the terrorist attack against the militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s (Pulwama district, India, 14th of February 2019) in which 45 CRPF personnel died and many others got injured when a Jaish suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus, Jammu observed a complete shutdown and Mobile Internet services were suspended on 15th February 2019” (source).


So be wary when you hear the “fake news”, national security, public safety reasoning as this may only be a manipulating maneuver to conveniently stop protests from happening and ultimately control elections. And as the saying goes, just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.


Credits: Mindshots VII, illustration, Sergio Ingravalle

Let’s also set some expectations before we go on, you can’t really escape a total internet shutdown.


Not really, but you can always try Firechat. Take the example of the “Occupy Central” movement in Hong Kong protests back in 2014, when the concern that the government might cut reception, made protesters head to Firechat, an app that does not require a network to work, functioning on a peer to peer mesh network. The protesters used Firechat to exchange information, figure out which road was blocked by the police and coordinate. There are limits however in using your phone as a “walkie-talkie” that for the sake of the argument we needed to point out.

Not counting Firechat, escaping a total internet shutdown can be a very daunting task.

For partial shutdowns, however, there are plenty of solutions that you can use in order to overcome limitations.





We’ll list the best that we can think of, below:

1. Become Security Savvy

be aware of the websites you visit and whether they use an SSL certificate, these are the https sites, providing secure browsing while on a particular website.

2. Use a VPN Service like or any other that you trust

a reliable VPN service that keeps your data extra safe, traveling through a tunnel encrypted from end to end, so nobody, not even your ISP will be able to make sense of it, since all your information will go through the VPN server and not your ISP’s. You will also be able to bypass geo-restriction.

3. Use encrypted messaging apps like Signal or any other that you trust

use encrypted messaging and voice-calling similar with Telegraph or Wire.

New Year’s Online Security Resolutions

12 Months in Retrospect

2018 this gotta staaahp!

Credits: Low Meiling, Dreamer

Fighting the urge of posting yet another facebook post reading “2018, this gotta staaahp!” as I reminisce this year in all its glory is something I can definitely shake. Or can I? Looking back at 2018, as cliche as it may be if you do that in late December, means you too have been sucked by the new year’s resolutions current. So try not to fight it as it swallows you whole, after all, making resolutions kind of makes sense.

Facebook Scandal

Starting with Facebook scandal in April and following with net neutrality repeal in May, 2018 was ringing alarm bells in online security and rightly so with a double sworded twist, both on the technology and law enforcement standpoints. Digital privacy concerns culminated however this summer, when both Russia and China decided to ban VPN services, thus preventing government censorship to be undermined by virtual private networks any longer or by other anonymous browsing tools.

In spite of the orwellian scenario, it’s not yet clear how the censorship ordeal will play out in 2019 and there are still a lot of VPN services that still work in China and Russia.

The EU Copyright Directive

The link tax, censorship machines and the so called posible balkanisation of the web, happening this fall at the request of the EU Copyright Directive raised a lot of concerns under three articles that seemed to have control of informational flow at stake. If passed in January of next year, in the current form, the bill might damage the way we use the internet and online freedom of expression in a major way.

Failing to redefine these articles, might lead to permanent surveillance, damaging the open and free internet as we know it with great implication on innovation, proving that sometimes the road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions.

Net Neutrality

Just as in the case of net neutrality repeal in the USA, these articles of the EU directive are seen as enemies of innovation. Advocates of net neutrality argue in the favor of keeping an unobstructed online field as a vital part of innovation. Their concern is very valid and should be a cause worth fighting for all of us.

New Year’s Security Resolutions in 2019

In the sharing, internet economy, data is the currency, an informational and economic asset capable of traveling the speed of light in a vacuum, when going through state of the art optical fibers. Able to operate at 99.7% the speed of light according to researchers at the University of Southampton in England. (source: Extreme Tech)

The digital world is now creating tangible value from big data so expect internet privacy to take an even more prominent route in the future.

Nowadays, security must come in layers, not only in the corporate environment, but on a personal level also.

Here are a few things you might want to consider for an overall improved security of your online privacy and data.

Get a VPN service for all your devices:

The number one thing you need to get in line with is having a VPN connection. It’s really simple to use and just like that poof! your data travels through an encrypted tunnel, safe from prying eyes and encrypted all the while. You basically need to pay a monthly subscription and rock on. It’s important that you don’t chose a free VPN as free VPN services are sure to get their profits elsewhere and it’s usually on your broadband expense. So avoid using unreliable free services that offer protection, but are in fact jeopardizing it.

Taking hold of your own digital footprint requires savvy, educated users, that know their rights and are not willing to compromise when it comes to their own privacy.

It’s easy to understand why more and more people resort to using a VPN service, rather than letting their information “fly” to unknown servers where they can be stored indefinitely.

Password Managers

Another simple step you can take to ensure your passwords are strong and that you have them all in order. Passwords managers are not written in stone, so naturally they can be hacked, but is far less likely to have your password hacked than it is to have one and the same password for multiple platforms and have your data compromised by relying on your memory alone.

2Factor Authentification

We know it can be annoying to have an extra layer of access when you’re in a hurry, but remember you will not be prompted with a 2fact auth method if you don’t switch devices often.

Back Up

Back up is the most obvious security measure that you can take, but people are often just not doing it. Regardless if you back up locally on a hard drive or in the cloud, you can do the extra mile and encrypt everything before backing up your data and you can be certain that your data is safe or that you can at least do a roll back to the most recent version previously saved.

Taking a few measures to securely navigate the valley of post-truth are of the essence in fearing no evil. Keeping our heads clear and taking action to protect the digital environment we expose ourselves to on a daily, without having to go to extreme lengths to do so, is the way to go in 2018.

Having a VPN in place is the smart approach to getting around all this. Think at a VPN as the middleman between you and the internet, where your ISP can only see a bunch of encrypted traffic. And since your VPN knows as much as your ISP would, it’s very important to choose a reliable one with a zero log policy and a strong encryption.

Services like will offer you a self-managed VPN platform, delivering fast, secure and reliable VPN service . This platform caters to a wide demographic through three channeled directions: Personal, Dedicated and Business, so it makes for a wonderful choice for corporate or personal use at the same time. Whatever provider you may chose, remember that the smart approach is to use a VPN service that you feel is the best match for you. Until then, stay smart, use a VPN!