In the era of Internet, we spend most of our time in browsers. It is surely worth to spare some time on finding a so-called perfect web browser. It is easy ha? Because we already know a few browsers that respect users' privacy and security like Google Chrome. Wait! What! No! No doubt Google security is top-notch (acc. to someone. IDK who actually?) but there is no word Privacy in Google's dictionary and if there was then they must have been removed by now. So, jokes aside. Ya, there are few web browsers which really respect user Privacy and Security. Some of them are Mozilla Firefox, Brave, Chromium, Tor etc. There are some other browsers also like Waterfox, Bromite etc. but I never saw someone using them. So there could be some research and community support issues. But now we have a new player in the league LibreWolf which is a kind of competition killer in the market. So, let's discuss Brave Vs LibreWolf.
Brave vs LibreWolf, Why Not Firefox?
Ya, Mozilla Firefox is a goat I mean the greatest of all time, and it should be because Firefox was the first major player in the league of Security, Privacy and even in Open-Source. Firefox is still the most used open-source web browser in 2022.
Firefox offers great privacy and security features which I don't have any objection to. But you have to enable them and that's the problem for most people around the world. They don't change their default setting which somehow makes it impractical to have these features in a browser. But that's not the only problem. People from the Open-Source community aren't happy with Mozilla Firefox, not because of default settings or fewer features but because of the suffix of Firefox or the parent company of Firefox Mozilla.
Hey! How many people even touch their default settings of browsers 10%, 20% or maybe 30%?
Mozilla Corporation is the parent company of Firefox and one of the biggest names in the Open Source community. But in the last few years, they have taken pretty bad and conversational decisions which lead millions of users away from Firefox.
So, Reasons for Firefox is out
- Not So Secure By Default
- Sometimes Bad Steps Hurts
- It's Bloated Just Bloated
Although Firefox provides extreme customization to control your Privacy and Security if you can edit it then it's the best browser I would say, but it's still bloated 😝
Brave, Privacy by default
Let's talk about the king of privacy-focused browsers these days. Brave has gotten a lot of attention since 2020. Due to BAT, Basic Attention Token. Of course, that's not true. This browser has gotten a lot more features than just BAT (A Crypto Token). Brave was my go-to browser for the past 2 years, and it never let me down since then. Issues with Brave browsers are very straightforward and fall under a very niche market of tech-savvy people. Brave is bundled with great security and privacy features by default that also includes crypto bloat. Some forks including myself don't like it because most people don't use them just like Pocket in Firefox.
If you want to see something which is more bloated than Firefox then have a look at Brave. Telemetry in Brave is enabled by default. Which has to be turned off manually. And, Brave browser is so much into Web3 sites which I think makes unnecessary connections with them. Chromium-based browsers use Blink as a browser engine for rendering webpages which is part of the Chromium project under Google. This way Google is creating a monopoly in the Web Browser market and in the end this can be used against people's rights to freely surf the internet.
So, Things you might not like in Brave
- It's Over Bloated
- Telemetry Has To Be Off Manually
- Unnecessary Connections To Crypto Sites
- Fingerprinting Blocking Is Not So Good (Extreme Privacy)
- Use Of Blink Which Supports Chrome Market Monopoly
Many Kudos To Brave
LibreWolf - Privacy, Security and Freedom
A fork of Firefox focused on privacy, security and freedom. That's it. Ya! That's it. If you wanna know more just hop over to their site librewolf.net. I'm not kidding. LibreWolf's home page can tell you everything you wanna know. Simply put
- No Ads
- No Telemetry
- Enhanced Privacy
- Open Source
I found only LibreWolf which recommends extensions to enhance privacy and security even it comes with uBlock Origin preinstalled. LibreWolf removes all the Telemetry of Firefox, including bloated features like an in-built password manager, pocket etc. LibreWolf also disables insecure settings and features against user freedom (DRM). It does clear all the caches and history on exit by default. LibreWolf has the best documentation and faqs sections. I've gone through their whole doc which was very informative to me.
I recommend LibreWolf's documentation to everyone. It shows what a browser should look like and gives you a better understanding of Privacy, Security and Freedom.
LibreWolf doesn't recommend a private window because it is already private. They also stay up-to-date with Firefox. LibreWolf claims that they push every new update of Firefox in LibreWolf within 3 days and even within the same day if there are any potential security issues. Their business model is also completely different which I've discussed in the Business Model Of Browsers Section.
So, I mentioned all the important points and I just wanna say LibreWolf is now my daily driver for browsing the Internet. I highly recommend just having a look at the features list of LibreWolf.
Now, Reasons not to use LibreWolf
- Few Sites May Break
- Latest merge of Firefox Updates in LibreWolf could take 3 days
- No Automatic Updates (On Windows, We have to download LibreWolf on every new release)
There are no reasons not to use LibreWolf for any Privacy and Telemetry concerns.
I won't stretch this topic much, but it is really important to understand how a particular application is making any profit. This gives an idea of how any product is being linked to Big Tech. This can help you to define your threat model. For Example - If any privacy-focused project is being funded by Microsoft then there are chances something hideous is going on. Or, They should mention why they are being funded by Microsoft?
Firefox is a product of Mozilla. So let's see how Mozilla is making its payments.
Mozilla's major revenue comes from Search Partnerships in Firefox. Have you ever thought about why Privacy and Security focused browser's default search engine is Google (in most of the region) because the major part of their revenue comes from Google. You may be thinking why will Google give them a big chunk of money just to change Firefox's default search engine? So, the answer to this question is, that Google wants to be everywhere and secondly how many people actually change their default settings this can give an idea that How many people even touch their default settings of browsers 10%, 20% or maybe 30%?
Mozilla also generates its revenue from Donation and Subscription plans for its other products.
Brave has the most stable revenue generation model among other privacy-focused browsers because its revenue stream is distributed in different places.
Brave's main revenue comes from Advertisements but their Ads model doesn't allow tracking.
Affiliate Commission from sites that are shown on their home page and some other places.
Brave also offer products like VPN, and Talks as Subscriptions.
I don't know exactly about their Search Partnerships because recently they have changed their default search engine from Brave Search to Google.
LibreWolf's business model is very straightforward because there is no business. LibreWolf even doesn't accept donations. And, this is their statement on this We don't want to deal with the administration required to properly handle donations. If we don't need funding, we won't risk becoming dependent on it. And also: no donations mean no expectations. This means that people working on LibreWolf are free to move on to other projects whenever they want. It feels free ha?.
You can support LibreWolf by contributing to the codebase or being a part of the community, so you can help others. If you're even using LibreWolf then it is also supporting them which will encourage LibreWolf developers to keep this project up-to date.
Extension For Most Browsers
I said most browsers not all because I don't recommend them in TOR Browser due to fingerprint ability and other reasons.
uBlock Origin: Just install it now.
Decentraleyes: Protects you against tracking through free, centralized, content delivery.
Browser Testing Sites
- In the permissions section go to each setting and block the new requests
- Set Do Not Track to Always
- Enable DNS over HTTPS Under Network Settings
- ☐ uncheck to Ask to save logins and passwords for websites
- ☑ Check to Delete cookies and site data when LibreWolf is closed
- All the above from LibreWolf section
- Change Default Search Engine to a privacy-conscious search engine, like DuckDuckGo
- Set Enhanced Tracking Protection to Strict
- ☐ uncheck everything under Firefox Data Collection and Use
If you want LibreWolf like privacy and security then you can set up your own custom settings user.js from Arkenfox GitHub repo.
Step By Step
user.js Setup Tutorial
- Turn off Show autocomplete suggestions in the address bar
- Set Trackers & ads blocking to Aggressive
- Turn on Upgrade connections to HTTPS
- Set Block fingerprinting to Strict, may break sites
- Turn off Auto-complete searches and URLs
- Turn off Allow privacy-preserving product analytics (P3A)
- Turn off Automatically send daily usage ping to Brave
- Turn off Automatically send diagnostic reports
- Goto clear browsing data, under on exit check everything
- Turn on Clear cookies and site data when you close all windows
- Turn on Send a ‘Do Not Track request with your browsing traffic
- Under Site and shields settings click on every permission setting and block them completely
- Change Search Engine to a privacy-conscious search engine, like DuckDuckGo, Brave Search
- In Auto-fill section uncheck everything
You can't achieve the same level of privacy as Firefox And LibreWolf on a Chromium-based browser but it's still a lot better than Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge etc.
People sometimes think these settings gonna break the site, but they don't in most cases so use them. I use all three browsers. LibreWolf is my main browser for most of the tasks.
If any site break on me in LibreWolf due to hardening security then I try that in Firefox (Firefox With User.js In My Case). There is another reason I use Firefox because I wanna support it so Mozilla always continues its development in future.
In the end, I only use Brave when any site isn't optimized for Firefox (which is awful, even from the developer's point of view). And sometimes for its in-built TOR functionality.
Just start using anyone out of Firefox, LibreWolf and Brave can really level up your Privacy and Security game. I've already discussed How do I use them? in Personal Tip section. Of course, You don't need to follow the same. But you guys have to start changing browsers' settings. I think we should also support non chromium-based browsers like Firefox. LibreWolf seems alot of potential I really loved it. If we support these privacy-focused browsers then they could do much better. LibreWolf is also featured as Best Privacy Software & Services in 2022 on PrivacyTools.io. If you are a newbie or don't know anything about IT and you also care about your Privacy and Security then sites like PrivacyTools.io can really help in that. They continuously update the list of Privacy respecting software on their sites. That is it for today, Thanks for reading 👋!