All web browsers support some privacy features, some more than others, but none protects users 100% against all privacy threats; it’s the epitome of the tests that PrivacyTests runs on a regular basis.
PrivacyTests is a free website that regularly runs tests to check privacy features and browser protections. The organization checks desktop and mobile browsers, development versions of browsers, and private browsing modes of browsers.
If you look at the test results, you’ll notice that chromium-based browsers don’t work very well. Google Chrome is a great example of a browser that fails most tests. Other Chromium-based browsers, including Edge, Opera, and Vivaldi, don’t fare much better in their default configurations.
In fact, the only two Chromium-based browsers in the tests that perform better are Brave and Ungoogled Chromium.
Firefox protects users better than Chromium-based default browsers, but LibreWolf and Tor still offer better privacy protections; this will change once Total Tracking Protection is enabled for more users. Safari does better than the default selection for Chromium-based browsers, but it also doesn’t offer good protections for the most part.
Test results improve when you examine the browser’s private modes and how they protect users. Often, tracking protection features are automatically enabled when these modes are used.
Chromium-based browsers get a few extra protections, but Chrome and many other Chromium-based browsers are still inferior when it comes to overall privacy protection. The best performing browsers are Brave, LibreWolf and Tor, followed by Firefox and Safari.
On Android, Chromium-based browsers that use the default configuration are again the worst from a privacy perspective. Google Chrome is not a good choice for this. Other browsers, including Brave, Firefox Focus, Tor, and Bromite, top the list. Firefox does better than Chromium-based browsers, as does DuckDuckGo.
On iOS, browsers are more limited, but Brave, DuckDuckGo, and Firefox Focus offer the best protection.
Finally, nightly build tests show that Brave and Tor perform best, followed by Firefox and Safari. Edge does better than Chrome Canary, Opera, and Vivaldi.
All web browsers have privacy weaknesses. Even Brave and LibreWolf, the three browsers that work best on the desktop, lack protections in some areas, but they do much better than all other browsers.
You can click on a test to learn more about it; this can help you determine if this is a potential problem. Clicking on a browser-specific test result displays information about expected data and returned data.
Internet users can improve privacy, for example by modifying the default configurations or by installing privacy extensions.
The website is run by Arthur Edelstein, who became an employee of Brave after the site was created, according to the site’s About page. Edelstein claims the site is run independently from Brave and is “unrelated to Brave’s marketing efforts”.
Now you: How does your browser perform in comparison? Did you make any changes to it that improved privacy?