There are lots of mobile browsers available to Android users, from Chrome to Firefox to Brave, and more. But picking the most secure browser for Android isn’t always straightforward. And even when you do choose one, you still need to secure your network connection.
Third parties can use your browsing activity to generate a profile that follows you around the web. Although these profiles are typically used to deliver targeted ads, Big Tech can also use this information in unauthorized ways. And while Android devices are generally secure, you don’t want to compromise your mobile security by using an unsafe browser. You also don’t want to compromise your browser’s safety by using an unsecured connection.
In this article, we’ll break down how to secure your connection on Android devices and discuss the most secure browser for Android.
Securing your mobile connection
A public WiFi network is a great option when you’re away from home. They’re usually free, and sometimes faster than a home connection. However, these public WiFi networks can be less secure, and leave you more vulnerable to hackers or data theft. Below, we’ll break down a few ways you can secure your mobile connection.
Identify the connection
Whether you’re traveling, studying at a coffee shop, or working remotely, you should always consider the safety of your connection. Whenever possible, ensure that the free WiFi you’re using is the correct one, not a “man-in-the-middle” copycat designed to emulate your legitimate connection and steal your information. You should also make sure only to visit sites that display a secure HTTPS prefix in the URL.
Disable file sharing
Many devices and operating systems have file-sharing options for WiFi connections, making it easy to share project files. But this convenient sharing can also make it easier for someone to intercept and steal your files. You should disable automatic file sharing and connections on your Android (or any other device) any time you’re on a public, non-secure WiFi network.
Use a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) adds an extra layer of security between your computer and the Internet. A VPN encrypts and conceals your browsing activity, even on an unsecured WiFi network. Although each offers varying levels of protection, almost any VPN on a public network is better than no VPN at all.
Perform regular updates
And, no matter how you’re connecting to the web, you should always ensure you’re on the latest version of your device operating system (OS) and browser version. Software companies have professionals who regularly check for security risks, and issue software updates and patches to address these risks. To get the full benefit of these updates and patches, either manually install them or consider turning on automatic updates.
Current options for secure browsers for Android
Now that we’ve shown a few ways you can secure your mobile connection, let’s review some of the most secure browsers for Android users.
Brave automatically upgrades to encrypted HTTPS connections whenever possible. Shields—Brave’s out-of-the-box security layer—automatically blocks ads & trackers, fingerprinting, and more to help you remain anonymous online. And Brave also uses Google Safe Browsing to identify known security threats, and show warnings to users when they attempt to visit dangerous sites or download harmful files.
The Ghostery Android browser offers several safety features, placing it among the top choices for secure browsing. Ghostery uses Firefox Fenix code, which integrates ad blocking and tracker protection. However, while the Ghostery browser also offers a built-in VPN, it doesn’t support extensions and is missing some critical security features available on other browsers.
Dolphin has been a favorite among Android users for several years, winning multiple awards for its speed, pop-up blocking, and many other features. The mobile privacy browser also offers an incognito mode and supports personalized security settings. However, newer, faster browsers have overtaken Dolphin as a preferred choice.
Onion Browser (Tor)
The Tor browser is easy to use, accessible and has developed a loyal following over several years. The browser works by rerouting your connection through several anonymous nodes, making it extremely hard for anyone to track your location or browsing history. Despite these benefits, the process of rerouting your connection also makes the Tor browser slower than alternatives like Brave (or Chrome). And some websites break completely on Tor.
Opera is another popular browser that eliminates intrusive ads by offering a native ad blocker. The browser also has a built-in VPN which adds another layer of security to your mobile browsing activity.
Long known for its privacy search engine, DuckDuckGo now offers a secure browser for android devices. This mobile browser integrates its native search engine, ad blocking, and tracking protection. Like Brave, it also enforces encryption so that the HTTPS prefix is always in use. However, unlike Brave, DuckDuckGo doesn’t offer a native VPN. And DuckDuckGo search results come mostly from Microsoft’s Bing, and feature Bing ads.
Brave is secure and easy to use
Although several options are available, Brave is the only browser that offers a native ad and tracking blocker (Brave Shields), a privacy-first search engine (Brave Search), and VPN. If you’re looking for the most secure browser for Android, Brave’s speed and native security features make it hard to beat.