Ditch Chrome - Use THESE Instead!


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHwIyR6ca4o
4 Likes

I usually pre-install, and suggest folks use Brave, on their computers. Its Standard protection is decent, doesn’t break sites, and it’s easy to migrate over from Chrome. The syncing is pretty cool, too. As much as I love, and personally use Librewolf (mostly), I wouldn’t trust the average user to use it. MicroSoft started forcing updates, for a reason. Most people I know, don’t update, nevermind actually look for an update. Brave configures itself to check, and install updates, regularly within the Scheduler.

Because I’ve got most of the folks I run tech-support for (outside of work), onto Brave, it also makes it easier to help when issues happen. I already know their browser is up-to-date, and I already know the GUI.

2 Likes

“Mobile is just restricted to a basic firefox with maybe an extension or two”

I’m not sure this is entirely true as Mull for Android is available on Fdroid and enables many features from Tor Uplift project and preferences from the user.js Arkenfox. Providing a similar experience to Librewolf except as a mobile browser. I think this would have been good to mention.

1 Like

From a product usability perspective, I want to vouch for Microsoft Edge and Vivaldi. I know that of course they’re not going to be as private as Firefox or Brave, but I still want to shine a light on them.

The first browser that I used when I started caring about browsers years ago was Vivaldi. The browser is and has always been a power user focused product. They have tab grouping years before it showed up in Chromium and they have all kinds of features like giving you two rows of tabs if you want or crazy statistics for how you use your browser. I think it’s very neat. From a privacy perspective all you really have to go off is their privacy policy, but otherwise it’s one of the craziest and most unique browsers you’ll come across.

After using Vivaldi for a long time, a friend told me that Microsoft Edge stopped sucking after they moved over to Chromium, and by golly he was right. It was the snappiest Chromium browser I had every used and also brought along some neat features. The privacy settings are prob not great, but the product was nice to use.

3 Likes

If you pay attention closely, that section was actually demoed with Mull. (Check out the pop up at the end of that section) The only reason mull isn’t formally mentioned is because this video’s target audience is people who are just casual Chrome users. Even the explanation of downloading a new App Store is beyond this video’s audience, (mull is not on the Play Store AFAIK) and Mull is not available for iOS.

1 Like

On a personal level, same. I have had incredible luck with the Chrome > Brave switch. People genuinely seem to prefer Brave after the switch.

2 Likes

Happy to see LibreWolf Recommended. IMHO Its a tie between LibreWolf and Brave TBH.

I’d say LibreWolf is kind of the more DIY option because of no automatic updates (at least on Windows which most people use)

Brave is mentioned as spyware read it here Brave - Spyware Watchdog

It is not Spyware. If you actually read down to the bottom of the site it says;

'Not spyware related, but worth noting

Anti-privacy search engine by default’

The main things are, it uses Google as a default search engine and has telemetry, which can both be turned off.

So, before you make bold claims like that, gather information from multiple (trusted) sources and read everything thoroughly.

1 Like

This site spreads consistent misinformation and doesn’t quite have the most nuanced approach to privacy/security that we’re looking to have on Techlore. You’re free to share it, but I doubt it’ll invoke great discussions here.

This is actually out-of-date anyway, as Brave has almost universally migrated to their own search engine by default. Even if it was true, is Firefox also “spyware” for also having Google as a default? I don’t think it’s a good decision, but it doesn’t mean something is spyware. Terribly extreme way of looking at projects which puts projects like Firefox/Brave in similar boats privacy-wise to Chrome, when they actually do add real value to things and mark massive improvements for end-users.

This black/white thinking is bad on so many fronts, and leads to things like BadWolf appearing to be a better option than other (probably) better browsers for most people. Or Otter Browser?

I really think the best place right now to have honest & objective discussions between pros/cons of browsers is https://privacytests.org/ - which the core missing context is:

  • non-default settings/features (Ex. Firefox can also block ads and match Brave if you install UBO)
  • structural differences (like browser engines and possible long-term concerns behind engines like Chromium)
  • browser use-cases
  • Speed of security updates and trustworthiness of the teams (or dare I say individuals?! behind projects)(Personal note: But I’m no longer using any software managed by 1 person for anything remotely sensitive. Just a personal decision I’ve made after seeing projects fall weeks/months behind on security updates.)
  • features (How browsers sync cross-device, or if there is IP address spoofing in privacy windows like Brave, or if Firefox performs better when set to strict mode, etc.)

So while it’s still not perfect, it forms a foundation of an honest discussion to help people find the right browser for them, rather than just “it’s spyware”

Just to finish this out, you can actually run the tests on PrivacyTests on your own browser with your own config to directly see how you stack up against the rest (it’s open source), which can solve a lot of these potential differences and exceptions if you’re looking to run the tests yourself on custom browser configs.

3 Likes

That is exactly why I said,

As when I downloaded Brave, the default search engine is their own.

The site is filled with clickbait and misinformation (as you said). It literally says at the bottom of the page, ‘Not spyware related’ while also using the title ‘Brave is spyware’

My bad, misread what you said!

2 Likes

Don’t worry about it!

I wonder why Firefox or it’s alternatives is recommended and pushed as the “private” browser.

Here are some of my criticisms of Firefox; feel free to correct me-

  1. Has poor security; RLBox used to confine only with like 5-6 processes; uses a fork of jemelloc(mojemalloc); No Sandbox on Android and Linux. Keep in mind these can’t be fixed with “hardening” or by a group of freelancers, it requires a massive code rewrite which can be done I guess by hiring devs but I guess Mozilla is too busy paying it’s CEO. When people state that “Oh Firefox is only a little bit insecure than Chrome, I get to keep by privacy” they don’t understand the security on Firefox. The security issues are almost endless, but I tried listing some of it.

  2. Tracks it’s users.. Doesn’t use a ad blocker unlike Brave. Gets it’s funding from Google.

Using some bootleg version of Firefox like LibreWolf, Waterfox, Pale Moon or so called more private alternative don’t help. It’s adding another party to the mix which is a bad idea even if the group has good intentions ( Debian’s Chromium, Ungoogled-Chromium, Fedora’s Chromium ).

Last notes: Firefox being open source doesn’t help here. Millions are lines are added everyday and is hard to audit every single line of code. There may as well be a line of obfuscated code which sends your data to the Ruskies. Something like this would be found by analyzing the network requests. The product being open source doesn’t help in this case. See “Hypocrite patches” on your favorite search engine.

I would recommend Microsoft Edge (Best security on windows; offers JIT-less browsing) and Brave on WIndows , Safari on MacOS and IOS and Brave/Vanadium on Android. Ditch Firefox if you wanna stay secure and private.

1 Like

If you want to stay more private Edge isn’t the best. Brave would be a better option.

It doesn’t add another party to the mix. In Librewolf’s case, they don’t collect any data. It is basically a pre-hardened Firefox with telemetry off.

There are 3 things you misunderstood.

  1. A fundamentally insecure Browser cannot be “hardened”.
  2. Even if the group has good intentions the group may fuck things up with the said browser.
  3. Yes it’s adding another group to the mix cause you have to trust Librewolf devs to not do anything sus. That’s adding trust.
  1. I did not say it would secure the browser. A hardened browser will improve privacy.
  2. It is the same as, Brave could do something bad to their browser but, they most likely won’t.
  3. You have to trust some things in this world, without trust you will get nowhere. What you shouldn’t do is trust services or companies 100%.

Are you suggesting that I start trusting the works of individuals and communities who basically cannot be held accountable if they do something nefarious? You should trust no one providing you a software on the Internet (The Qubes approach) and always do background checks and audit the software before downloading stuff.

Makes you more fingerprintable so it harms your privacy rather than improve it. Doesn’t exactly help with the security situation as discussed above. Also Privacy don’t mean shit without Security. If a hacker has an RCS on you how exactly are you private?

No. I am not suggesting that.

I am saying that you need have some trust in your life.

That is a good habit to have. Even though I say you need to have some trust in your life, never trust anything or anyone 100%.

If you do it right it makes you less fingerprint-able. For example, I hardened Firefox and got way better results once I checked with coveryourtracks.eff.org. If you do it wrong though it will make you stick out.

Even though I got way better results after I hardened Firefox, it is still not perfect. Brave is a better option though as you will have a randomised fingerprint. The best option though, is the Tor Browser.