Not chrome and not Firefox: best browser for Android?
October 25, 2020 2:06 AM   Subscribe

Can't use Chrome because Google. The latest big Firefox update is unintuitive and clunky. What's the best Android phone alternative that isn't going to give all my information away, track me, and has ad-blocking abilities? I tried the DDG browser but do I need a separate ad-blocker?
posted by humuhumu to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Can you describe what you find unintuitive and clunky in FF? It might be adjustable in the settings, or at least help people provide recommendations that are different in those respects.

(But personally I'd give FF another try, because of the privacy and security addons and because I can't think of another major browser maker I trust to not try to make me their product. However, there are some niche FOSS browsers that you can find on F-Droid that might meet your needs, like the imaginatively-named FOSS Browser. I've not tried it myself, though.)
posted by trig at 3:30 AM on October 25, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I use on Android, iOS, Win, Mac as a VPN so it works for the full system, not just one browser.

Blocks ads and other bad stuff, I can add/remove sites to the blocking and it's very easy to disable for sites that you just want to unblock for a moment.

It is free for up to 300,000 DNS queries a month which at 10,000 a day is very generous.

Good details on installing it at their site.
posted by I shot a fox in Skyrim and it made me sad at 4:52 AM on October 25, 2020

You could try the Ghostery browser.
posted by slkinsey at 5:16 AM on October 25, 2020

Best answer: I don't actually use it on Android (because I've not been using my phone at all, for reasons), but the Android version of Vivaldi, my preferred desktop browser does all this, and is far more polished than pretty much anything else in that would do this. It uses the Blink engine, provides good privacy: it doesn't track you and has built in blocking of 3rd party tracking.
posted by ambrosen at 5:38 AM on October 25, 2020

Best answer: Firefox focus is small, and runs UBlock Origin. As fast as I could want
posted by scruss at 5:52 AM on October 25, 2020

Best answer: You could give Brave a try. It has built in adblocking and other features that have made it my browser of choice for macOS
posted by tip120 at 6:37 AM on October 25, 2020

It's possible to install an older version of firefox as well. I'm in the same situation as you and this is my planned remedy.
posted by fake at 7:37 AM on October 25, 2020

I use brave on android - it does what you want ( and does not do what you don't want ). That said, after seeing these answers I might try out some other options just for comparison's sake
posted by metadave at 7:52 AM on October 25, 2020

I like Opera.
posted by 8603 at 7:54 AM on October 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I ended up with Brave because it basically runs exactly like Chrome except that it blocks ads. That said, I think some of the things the company has done have been a bit sketchy, so it's worth shopping around.
posted by selfnoise at 7:56 AM on October 25, 2020

I agree the new Firefox is... challenging. The Duckduckgo browser is great and based on the old Firefox, at least for now.
posted by quarterframer at 8:33 AM on October 25, 2020

I like the F-droid version of Firefox: Fennec. They're open about tracking, and it can be disabled.
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:45 AM on October 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sorry, here's a clickable link:
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:26 AM on October 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

For those recommending Brave, be aware that their BAT program sends money to alt-right websites.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 11:09 AM on October 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

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