The best browser choice that blends usability, security, privacy, and user freedom is Mozilla Firefox. The author of this post is in no way affiliated with, or compensated by the Mozilla Foundation.

Why Browser Choice Matters

  1. A browser has access to some of your most sensitive information, including emails, passwords, and browsing history. It is important to be able to trust the developer of the browser not to misuse your information, and it also important for the browser to be secure from third-party compromise.

  2. Browser choice determines the future of the internet, and there are only really three ‘browsers’ to choose from. While there are dozens of browser applications such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, and Microsoft Edge, virtually all browsers use one of three HTML rendering engines. In 2018, Microsoft Edge abandoned their rendering engine and adopted Google’s Blink. Safari uses Apple’s WebKit and is only available on Apple devices. Mozilla Firefox and its Gecko rendering engine is the only independent browser remaining.

If only one company controls browser market share, websites have to be made to their specifications. Even now, it is easy to imagine other companies wondering if it is worth to the development cost to make their site meet formal, non-proprietary standards or if they should just develop their sites for Chrome. Here is a good article on this topic, but one example is fears over whether Google could ban certain kinds of browser extensions such as adblockers.

Security and privacy

Google has been sued for tracking users in ‘Incognito’ mode. Google also uses Chrome to promote AMP, which has its own issues.

However, the biggest difference between Chrome and Firefox is that Google depends on Chrome to support their advertising business, while Firefox is produced by a non-profit focused on privacy and flexibility. In practice, Firefox tends to protect your privacy by default such as by blocking some third-party trackers unlike Chrome.


Firefox’s built-in features are nicely complemented by these extensions. I recommend that everyone use uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger, and a password manager. As of February 2021, these extensions can also be used on Chrome and most other browsers.

uBlock Origin. uBlock Origin is a content blocker that is most commonly used to block intrusive ads.

Privacy Badger. Privacy Badger is an extension made by the EFF. It checks for websites that seem to be tracking you and automatically blocks new requests to those resources.

A password manager. It’s outside the scope of this post, but the best single thing that most people can do to improve their personal security is to use unique, strong passwords and a password manager. Bitwarden is one, but there are many.

NoScript. NoScript is one of the strongest security precautions an individual user can take: it blocks JavaScript and other plugins and prevents many attacks on your browser such as XSS and clickjacking. However, it breaks many websites and requires constant exceptions. Feel free to check it out, but I don’t recommend it for non-technical users.