Saturday, 12 May 2018

Top 5 Best Web Browsers for Android devices

One of the most important apps for your Android device is your web browser. It can be difficult to decide which browsers to install with so many to choose from. In testing the overall speed, ease of use and built-in features are the key factors that I look at to determine which ones are the best.

I will show you the top five web browsers for Android instead of putting them into the order of preference I would advise you to try each of these on your device and choose the one that best suits your needs. I'll let you know my personal favourite near the end of this article.

Duck Duck Go  Privacy Browser

DuckDuckGo privacy browser for many of the search engine with increased privacy is a popular alternative to Google. If you're concerned about privacy, the browser has several cool features.

It scores individual websites with a privacy grade rating with the range of A to F. it uses forced encryption to protect your data. They block advertising trackers on the sites you visit and of course, their default search engine is DuckDuckGo which won't track your search history.

When you launch the browser you get a clean looking user interface without the clutter found on most browsers. When you're on a website to the left of the address bar is where you can find the letter grade for that site, the site originally had ad grade but was enhanced to a C after their privacy protection was applied to the right of the address bar.

Tapping the flame icon at any time will give you the option to clear all your open tabs and data quickly. If you're a fan of the DuckDuckGo search engine, then I'd highly recommend that you to try out their privacy browser having only been around for a short time. It's quickly becoming one of the best browsers for Android.

Brave Browser

The brave browser released in 2016. One of the developers of brave is a co-founder of the Mozilla project and the creator of JavaScript. It's one of the quickest browsers and they claim to be two to
eight times faster than Chrome or Safari on mobile for loading major news sites by default.

Brave has an Ad Blocker built-in without the need to install an extension. In addition, it can block third-party cookies, block scripts and ensure your connections are always encrypted. It includes HTTPS upgrades when you're on a website tapping the brave icon will show you how many ads and trackers are being blocked along with other information. You also have the option to enable or disable individual controls just be careful turning on block scripts and fingerprinting protection you may find that certain sites don't load properly. In settings, you can change the default search engine.

If you require a browser that feels a lot like Chrome but with more privacy and security features the brave browser just may be what you're looking for.

Puffin Web Browser

Puffin web browser which is a favourite of many counts themselves as a wicked fast browser that can save your bandwidth for those with limited data plans.

When you go to a website puffin uses servers to pre-process and compress data resulting in faster load speeds. Your data is also safe from hackers on unsecured public Wi-Fi because the data sent to Puffin servers is encrypted. When you launch puffin, the start page is a speed dial to quickly access your favourite sites along with other tabs for bookmarks, history, downloads and the settings menu where you can see your data savings.

You can also change the theme by tapping on themes, your choices are light or dark. I find the dark theme is easier on the eyes. When you're on a website this bar will appear in the lower left which includes a virtual gamepad a trackpad along with an on-screen keyboard.

Puffin is great for those of you looking for a quick browser that can also reduce the amount of data that is being used. It's not available everywhere, it's currently blocked in some countries including Saudi Arabia and China.

Opera Mini

If you're familiar with the Opera browser, Opera Mini is a smaller more lightweight option with video compression to save data along with a partial ad blocker just like Puffin.

The speed dial is the default start page on Opera Mini, below your sites is a newsfeed that can be customized to suit your needs. When you're on a website, selecting the upper icon in the lower right you can check how many ads are being blocked for that site. In addition to bookmarks, offline pages and downloads, you can access the settings menu for Opera Mini.

You can change the app layout which gives you different colour options and halfway down the screen is night mode with it enabled it can make reading easier, toggling on the switch just below that can help to reduce eyestrain and there's even a slider to get the lighting just right for you.

Opera Mini is another great option for those of you that are looking for a lightweight data saving browser for your Android device.

Before we get to my favourite browser for Android, here are some others that I really liked that are worth checking out:

  • Dolphin Browser which has tons of cool features.
  • UC Browser Mini which is lightweight and great for older phones.
  • Flinx which loads articles and links in the background for you to read later.
  • Surprisingly, the Samsung Internet Browser is really good.
  • And if you just can't live without Google there is Chrome which probably came pre-installed on your device.

Firefox Focus

My favourite browser right now for Android is Firefox Focus which I prefer more than the normal Firefox browser app. Every session with Firefox Focus is in privacy mode, it has a decent ad blocker and whenever you close out your session your browsing history and cookies are automatically cleared from the app.

In addition to blocking ads, some scripts are blocked too which can make web pages load faster. When you launch the browser, the start page is very clean with no clutter. When you're on a website selecting the menu icon in the upper right will show you the number of trackers being blocked.

Firefox Focus does not allow for bookmarks within the app. If you want to save a site to view later, select Add to Home screen and edit the name then tap on add you could select add automatically or touch and hold to add the site wherever you want it.
In the lower right-hand corner, selecting the Delete icon will close all open site and clear your browsing history. If you're concerned about privacy and prefer a minimalistic browser that is quick and easy to use check out Firefox focus.

What is your favourite browser for Android? Let me know in the comments.

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