Best Private Browsers for iOS Users: Our Top 8 Picks
With cybercrimes becoming an increasing threat, more and more of us are searching for ways to protect our online privacy. From using VPN services to switching to more secure mobile browsers and search engines, we are doing what we can.
Data privacy is an important factor for many users, iOS users included. As you most likely know, some of Apple’s privacy and data encryption features are top-notch, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cautious.
By using an unsecured web browser, you risk exposing your personal information. This is why you should strongly consider opting for a private browser. Whether it’s the Onion browser, Firefox, or any other browser listed below, ensure it comes with all the privacy features you need.
If you aren’t sure which private web browser is the best out there, take a look at our list and decide for yourself. Not an iOS user? See best private android browsers.
Best private browsers for iOS
1) Brave browser
This open-source and completely free web browser was created to enable an entirely private browsing experience. It blocks ads and has the ability to block trackers. Its HTTPS Everywhere and script-blocking features provide the most secure browsing possible. Also, according to tests conducted by PCMag, “Brave was the only browser for which the EFF tool reported a randomized fingerprint.”
Brave has several built-in features that only add to its privacy, such as a built-in password manager, browser playlists, private windows, installing IPFS nodes quickly, easy access to the wallet, night mode, a VPN service, and more. With plenty of blocking features, it’s also much quicker than many other web browsers, claiming to be 3 times faster than Chrome.
Overall, Brave is one of the top contenders to be considered the best private browser for iOS. Some find its native advertising model and blockchain focus off-putting, but these functions can be disabled in the settings.
2) Avast Secure browser
This next privacy-focused browser provides a secure connection and features full data encryption. The Avast Secure browser boasts various security features that are enabled by default, including ad-blocking, anti-phishing, and anti-malware features.
Avast is an excellent choice as an iOS browser for those who want to secure their personal information and online activities from trackers. Its bank mode option safeguards your sensitive information when shopping or doing online banking, while the band mode option hides passwords and other personal information.
The only issue that has consistently been brought up is that this web browser collects some anonymized data about its users. Fortunately, you can disable this data collection in the settings menu.
3) Firefox Focus
Firefox Focus is yet another open-source private web browser often chosen by privacy conscious users. It deletes your browsing history every time you close the browser window. Featuring a private browsing mode, Firefox Focus provides ad blocking, tracking protection, password management, and add-on support.
With its user-friendly interface and long-established reputation, it’s no wonder that Firefox Focus is among the most popular web browsers. Some people are wary of the fact that Firefox Focus collects anonymized usage data and shares it with its third-party marketing vendor, a company called Adjust.
This is nothing like the kind of data collection perpetrated by something like Google Chrome, though, and it can be disabled in the settings.
4) DuckDuckGo privacy browser
One of the most popular browsers in the US, DuckDuckGo is arguably also one of the most private browsers available. Its privacy features include encrypting connections and hiding your IP address, blocking advertising trackers, and ensuring your browsing history remains private.
It also provides users with a privacy grade for each website they visit, making it easier to judge which sites are safe and which are best avoided.
As for its cons, users point to the lack of advanced privacy settings and no virus or malware protection. Still, with the ability to load web pages twice as fast as Safari, many internet users opt for this alternative web browser app.
5) Safari browser
This next mobile browser is a bit controversial. Given that Apple has faced allegations of collecting user data in the past and with Safari being the default browser, it’s possible that some users may not be enthusiastic about using it.
Still, just because it’s a mainstream browser doesn’t mean it’s all that bad. When you use Safari, your online safety is enhanced through sandboxing. This process isolates open tabs from one another, effectively preventing any unauthorized data access or malicious code from spreading to other tabs or taking control of your browser.
As for its privacy features, Safari uses Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) which works to safeguard users’ privacy by limiting advertisers’ ability to track them across different websites. Finally, Safari comes with a built-in ad blocker that helps keep away all those annoying advertisements.
6) Aloha browser
Every privacy-respecting web browser brings something different to the table. This is no less true of Aloha, a private browser app that has some pretty cool features.
As far as privacy protection goes, the Aloha browser has a free, unlimited VPN, ad blocking, and a private mode that allows you to browse privately, with no browsing history being logged.
As for additional features, Aloha comes with a built-in media player with VR support, the ability to secure your pictures, videos, and files with a passcode or fingerprint, and, as a cherry on top, an easy-to-use interface.
Unfortunately, even the best things have their cons. In the case of Aloha, it’s the fact that it isn’t open-source and that it’s reportedly slower than its competitors.
7) Private Browsing web browser
As the name implies, Private Browsing is a privacy-focused iOS web browser that features an interface that strongly resembles the Safari browser. It’s compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
This private browser features a built-in ad blocker and password manager. Many users also appreciate how little storage space it takes up.
Its downside, according to some, is that it lacks some additional, privacy-enhancing features that other browsers have.
8) Onion browser
Possibly one of the most well-known open-source private browsers available, the Onion browser was created to ensure anonymous browsing and tracking protection when accessing the Tor network (commonly referred to as the dark web). Routing connections through the Tor network makes it nearly impossible to track and identify your online activities.
Regular updates mean it’s up-to-date with the latest security patches to provide you with the best private browsing experience. Additionally, it features iOS integration, making it that much easier to use.
Although usable for browsing the clearnet (the regular internet), this browser is really designed with The Onion Router (Tor) network in mind.
Why is it important to use a private browser?
When you browse the web, your internet service provider, the websites you visit, and other parties are able to track your activity. The most concerning are data brokers and people search sites that scrape the internet searching for personal information. They can collect your personal details and find ways to monetize them. In this process, your private data becomes exposed, increasing the risk of falling victim to scammers and hackers.
The two best ways to ensure online safety are to use private browsers, both on your desktop and phone, and to get your data removed from the aforementioned data brokers and people search sites.
Once you switch to private browsing, spend some time sending opt-out requests to these third-party entities. This may sound easy, but it’s actually a very time-consuming process. So if you don’t want to spend countless hours writing removal requests, you’ll want to consider subscribing to Incogni.
Incogni is an automated personal information removal service that sends opt-out requests on your behalf. Incogni takes care of the entire process without you having to lift a finger. And at the end of the day, you can be sure your personal data is being taken off the market.