Data is a vital part of any company or website now. There are many technologies that enable tracking of it’s user behavior as well as their usage statistics. A good experiment to verify this is to go to Amazon, Flipkart or any other e-commerce website and search for some product and click any of the result and view the item. After that, browse to any other website or blogs and pay attention to the advertisements being shown on these sites. There is a very high chance that the ad is based on the search you made on the e-commerce portal.
Companies have already moved towards using tracking tech to target users and in turn make them purchase products or services. This is where browsers like Brave and Focus from Firefox comes in.
Here, we will explain what such browsers have to offer and how it can help prevent breach of user’s privacy through tracking.
Available on Windows, Mac and Linux, the browser is aimed to make all communications anonymous. The browser connects itself to a private Tor network(similar to a VPN in simple terms) through which all the data transfer occurs. This makes it safe from any person or bots to capture data through traffic analysis of the network.
How Tor Works
Tor network is a maze network for numerous interconnected nodes. When you are connected to such a decentralized network, the data you send, will be passed through numerous nodes before reaching the destination. So the network sniffer will not be able to find the source of the request.
The browser is based on the Firefox browser with it’s own modifications. One major downside to using Tor is that the data transfer will be slower than a traditional connection. This is mainly due to the network’s infrastructure.
Other than that, the browser can also be run from a USB drive using its portable version.
Comodo Dragon is a chromium based browser that adds its own privacy oriented features. It includes features like domain filtering, Comodo’s SecureDNS and some other tracking prevention methods.
It is available to download on all major desktop platforms. If you have Comodo Internet Security installed on your machine, then the browser can also integrate with it to scan all content for virus.
There is also a Firefox fork of the browser called as Ice Dragon with the same features.
It also blocks ads thereby preventing the use of 3rd party cookies in the website. The browser also forces the sue of HTTPS technology and has come up with its own fingerprinting prevention mechanism to make use that users cannot be tracked and identified.
The browser took the center stage for a lot of controversies as there were many websites whose earnings were solely dependent of ads shown on the page. Many media sites also were against it for the same reason.
As a user, I would say the browser does a really great job at what it says. The browser is available on all major platforms, on both desktop and mobile.
The additional benefit from using it is that the pages load much faster. Wondering how? Since the ads and cookies are being blocked, there is no need to load that extra data along with actual content. On an average, pages load 1.4 times faster than Google Chrome. Interesting, Brave is also developed on top of the open source chromium project.
Focus from Firefox is relatively a new player in the game. The browser supports only mobile devices. Initially, it was launched for iOS devices and recently the Android version was also launched. The browser is based on the idea that there should not be any relation between two browsing sessions. For this reason, the browser also doesn’t support for tabbed browsing.
Once your browsing session is complete, the history and other information associated with it are erased completely. It offers features like removal of ad trackers, analytics trackers, social trackers, other content trackers and web fonts, any of which can be disabled in the settings page.
After using it for two weeks, my only downside is that since the data is completely erased, there is no benefit of caching. The second time you load a page, there would be no resources in the cache (actually there is no cache mechanism itself). This would increase the page load time and data usage(although it is acceptable in today’s video era).
Apart from that, the browser also provides notification if you forgot to delete the browsing data, which I think is cool.
Which browser to use?
If your are the geeky one, the best option is to go for Tor browser. It is the most high-rated privacy oriented browser out there. Other than that, all other browsers do a great job in prevention of tracking. Personally I a big fan of Brave, which I am using for the past year. It does what it promises to. Its your time to decide now.