While most devices come with an internet browser, a variety of free browsers offer a more secure user experience, better function, and increased privacy than standard issue browsers.
Here’s our ultimate web browser list featuring 10 of the best internet browsers for all platforms, including Windows 11, Windows 10, Mac, and Linux computers to Android devices and iPhones.
- Massive library of extensions.
- Available on all major operating systems.
- Full support for Windows Hello authentication.
- Frustrating update process.
- Scrolling not smooth.
- Limited direct support.
The Firefox internet browser updates regularly with bug fixes, speed improvements, security enhancements, and new features. However, these updates can be frustrating when they automatically start installing when you open the app. Then you have to wait several minutes for the new version to download and install.
Firefox is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android and lets you sync your data between each version through the use of a free Firefox account. The Android, Linux, Mac, and Windows versions of the Firefox browser support a vast library of extensions. The Windows version also supports Windows Hello authentication for enhanced security on compatible websites.
- Strong security and privacy.
- Quickly erase all app data.
- Simple settings screen.
- Limited cloud sync features.
- Lack of history can be inconvenient.
DuckDuckGo is a private internet browser with both mobile and desktop apps. By default, it blocks all forms of online tracking and doesn’t upload your search history to anyone’s servers. If you’re still concerned about your privacy, you can clear all your tabs and data by tapping the flame icon in the main menu.
One particular feature that privacy-conscious folks will appreciate is the security rating that appears next to the current website’s address at the top of the screen. Sites are rated from D to A on their encryption levels and the number of trackers detected. Tapping on this rating opens a full-screen report card, which features an impressive amount of information on how they reached the score.
The browser has light and dark themes and a lock setting that requires Touch ID, Face ID, or passcode to use the app.
- Built-in Cortana integration.
- Bookmarks and browsing history sync between devices.
- Windows Timeline support.
- Browser can freeze on ad-heavy pages.
- Slow to load embedded videos.
- Needs a powerful computer to open many tabs.
Microsoft Edge is the successor to the classic Internet Explorer browser and comes pre-installed on all new on Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices. This browser is heavily integrated into the operating system and is the default app for opening not only web pages but ebooks and PDF files as well.
This web browser also features built-in inking tools for taking screenshots of pages and Cortana for looking up words and phrases. You can also use its voice dictation to have Edge read articles and other web content to you.
Microsoft Edge also saves your bookmarks and browsing history to the cloud. This data can sync to the iOS and Android app versions for consistent user experience and is compatible with Windows Timeline.
- Built-in support for ApplePay and Touch ID.
- Available on all Macs and iOS devices.
- Syncs bookmarks and browsing history.
- Unavailable for modern Windows computers.
- No app on Android smartphones and tablets.
- Limited customization.
Safari is Apple’s first-party web browser for all of its hardware, from Mac computers and laptops to its iPhones, iPads, iPod touches, and Apple Watches. The browser comes pre-installed on all of Apple’s devices and is the default app for opening web pages.
Much like Edge on Windows 10 devices, Safari works well on Apple devices because the same company makes it, and it’s designed from the ground up to run on a specific set of hardware. Safari supports all major Apple features, such as Apple Pay and AirDrop, and can also perform Touch ID and Face ID tasks on compatible Apple devices.
By using iCloud, Apple’s Safari browser can sync browsing history, bookmarks, and passwords between devices. This feature is only useful if you have a lot of Apple devices, though, as there’s no Safari browser for Windows or Android devices.
- Loads Google services quickly.
- Massive library of browser extensions.
- Available on a variety of devices.
- Incognito mode doesn’t completely hide your activity.
- Browser updates have a history of raising privacy concerns.
- Some extensions collect data.
One of Chrome’s strongest points is its availability on a multitude of platforms because you can sync your browsing history and other data across different devices. All you have to do is log into your Google account.
This internet browser is also extremely fast, especially when it comes to loading websites owned by Google such as Gmail and YouTube. While other browsers may take a while to load a YouTube video, Chrome usually starts playing the video almost immediately when on a good internet connection.
- Robust privacy and security features.
- Alternative way to support online creators.
- Beginner-friendly introduction to cryptocurrencies.
- Affects websites’ revenue models.
- Inconvenient update methods.
- Limited extensions.
Brave is a web browser with a strong focus on privacy and security. By default, this internet browser blocks advertising, cookies, phishing, and malware and provides you with advanced options for enabling HTTPS Everywhere and preventing browser fingerprinting.
All of these security options should help give you peace of mind if you’re the type of person to worry about online privacy. These security measures also make web pages load much faster than on other browsers.
What sets Brave apart from other web browsers is its cryptocurrency, the Basic Attention Token (BAT). The Brave browser has an integrated software wallet for storing BAT tokens. You can use these tokens to financially support website owners or online creators when you view their content in the browser. Users can also earn BAT by enabling Brave-run ads during a browsing session.
Brave is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers in addition to iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
- Optional integrated VPN functionality.
- Built-in support for VR videos.
- Uses less traffic than other browsers.
- In-browser ads.
- VPN isn’t automatically on.
- Lacks iOS password integration.
Aloha is a free web browser designed for iOS and Android tablets and smartphones. It has a built-in VPN service in addition to its own Incognito Mode, both of which provide enhanced security and privacy protection. This VPN service also compresses traffic, which means your smart device uses less data while surfing the web.
This mobile internet browser features a fresh visual design with clear, easy-to-understand icons and settings with the option to customize the app’s appearance with a variety of free themes. Aloha also has built-in ad-blocking that stops banner ads and popups from loading on websites.
A couple of VPN settings, such as the ability to use the feature in other apps as well, are hidden behind a paid upgrade, which costs $24.99 annually. The app has ads for the Aloha Premium service; you can remove them by signing up. The ads don’t detract too much from the user experience, though.
- Add any website to the toolbar.
- Numerous customization options.
- Supports Google Chrome Extensions.
- Not available for iOS.
- Not always user-friendly.
- Inconsistent window sizes when selecting links.
Vivaldi is a free web browser that was created in 2016 by some of the minds behind the Opera browser. The program is built on the same Chromium-based technology that powers Google Chrome, which allows you to install almost any extension from the Chrome web store.
The main appeal of Vivaldi is its comprehensive options that let you customize its look and functionality to a degree not seen in rival browsers. First, you can change the browser’s UI colors anytime you want. You can also move the toolbar can to the top, bottom, or sides, and pin web pages to the side for simultaneous browsing. The latter feature is particularly useful if you like to watch YouTube videos or check a social media site while browsing the web.
Vivaldi is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers.
- Allows files usually blocked on iOS.
- Manages local and cloud files.
- Supports PDF and ZIP files.
- UI can be confusing.
- Some functionality requires upgrade.
- Can run slow on older iPhone and iPad models.
Documents by Readdle is a powerhouse of an iOS app designed for both iPhone and iPad users. In addition to featuring web browser functionality, Documents by Readdle also works as a PDF reader, a ZIP file unzipper, a file manager, a media player, an ebook reader, and a one-stop-shop for all of your various cloud storage accounts.
What makes Documents by Readdle a must-download for any iOS user is its ability to download files from the web that other iOS browser apps would block. Documents by Readdle is the perfect app for downloading video files and other media. You can even use it to save YouTube videos to your Camera Roll.
Something advanced users may appreciate is the option to select the browser agent when using the web browser. This setting lets you tell websites which version of a web browser you’re using. Then, if you ever need to test a website in one of those browsers, you don’t have to switch between apps manually.
- Opera USB is a unique idea.
- Extensive library of add-ons.
- Custom wallpapers.
- Can load slowly.
- Many extra features feel redundant.
The Opera web browser launched on Windows in 1996 and is now available on Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and even Java phones.
The desktop versions of Opera support a wide range of add-ons that bring extra functionality to the browser beyond browsing the web. Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp can run within a pinned taskbar on the left side of the screen, and the browser features built-in screen capture functionality as well. How much you use these functions depends on your operating system and preferred apps. If you usually check Facebook Messenger using its app or on your phone, for example, you likely won’t find this feature in Opera very useful.
Of particular note is Opera USB, a fully functional version of the web browser that can be run off of a USB drive on any Windows computer running Windows 7 and up. This rather ingenious creation is perfect if you have access to a computer at work or while traveling that doesn’t allow for the installation of extra programs.