The best web browsers for privacy 2024

The best web browsers for privacy offer greater confidentiality than ever before – but which is best for your needs?

Wednesday, 6 March, 2024

There’s a high likelihood that future generations will look back on the age of social media and unfettered web browsing with a sense of disbelief.

Our enthusiasm to embrace digital technologies has seen us surrendering vast troves of personally identifiable information (PII) willingly – and occasionally gleefully.

Think of the fad for ‘checking in’ to venues on Facebook – basically announcing to everyone from burglars to stalkers where we were at any given moment, and what we were doing there.

After wilfully sharing our innermost thoughts and habits with overseas companies only too willing to resell this information to us, consumer privacy is finally rising up the agenda.

And for many people, the cornerstone of personal privacy involves their preferred web browser.

This isn’t just a gateway onto the surface web. It’s also where we store the bookmarks for preferred sites, the cookies that identify us, the passwords that authenticate us, and so on.

Yet web browsers aren’t free because their owners are benevolent. They’re free because they’re tracking our every move, while allowing third parties to do likewise through a panoply of cookies.

If you don’t want to be bombarded with adverts in two weeks’ time about a product you Googled yesterday on behalf of a friend, you need a browser prioritising privacy.

Below, we profile the best web browsers for privacy, while explaining how to maximise your anonymity on each one.

And we start with a platform that designed to do precisely that…


Developed by the American military and part-funded by the CIA, the Tor browser randomly pings individual data packets around the world to make third-party snooping near-impossible.

On the downside, it can take several seconds for a webpage to load. On the upside, only you will be able to see its contents once it does eventually arrive.

Tor also has the unique advantage of being a gateway to the Dark Web – which, as we’ve previously discussed, offers far more than cryptocurrencies and adult content…

Google Chrome

A measure of the growing consumer backlash against data acquisition is Google’s controversial decision to turn off publisher cookies in its Chrome browser this year.

It’s a hammer blow to entire sections of the media, which rely on consumer tracking to sell the advertising which often funds their entire business models.

Yet Chrome has much to offer, from its history-deleting Incognito mode to an Enhanced Safe Browsing mode which aims to protect against malware, compromised websites and password breaches.


While Chrome focuses on speed, Opera’s primary focus has been on safety and privacy. It’s always listed among the best web browsers for privacy, and with good reason.

It has an integrated ad-blocker, an anti-tracking tool and two tiers of VPNs, alongside crypto mining protection and a dedicated wallet for cryptocurrency transactions.

Even the add-ons are privacy focused, with the first page of extension results including a proprietary ad blocker and the LastPass password manager utility.


Another web browser to put privacy ahead of other factors is Brave, which uses Chromium codebase to ensure rapid browsing speeds and all the usual bookmarks and tabs.

Alongside this, Brave minimises unnecessary requests to third-party websites, blocks cross-site trackers and fingerprinting, and offers an integrated VPN plus HTTPS connection upgrades.

Users can set Brave to block logins via social media accounts, auto-delete JavaScript cookies after a week, and limit access to device hardware. It even contains a built-in Tor integration.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox makes this list because it’s a non-profit with no interest in plundering user data for monetary gain. Its open-source code also means anyone can view Firefox’s software at source.

It uses fingerprint blocking techniques familiar from Tor, while its standard tracking prevention blocks tracking from the likes of social media or cookies.

There’s also a ‘strict’ mode and a private browsing mode, while an integrated VPN enables you to connect up to five devices at once.

Neil Cumins author picture


Neil is our resident tech expert. He's written guides on loads of broadband head-scratchers and is determined to solve all your technology problems!