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It's important to notice that because web browsers and the services they access are built on top of using the spyware protocol HTTP, they CANNOT respect your privacy. But beyond that, because we have to use web browsers, it's useful to list them by how much spyware they have in them. This purpose of this article is not to rate each web browser in a vaccum, like articles on this website that focus on one specific web browser, but rather to compare all of the web browsers that have been rated on this website against each other. These things will be taken into account while rating the browsers: privacy by default, usability, effort that has to go into "debotnetting" the browser, plus how much the developers respect you.
The only two browsers that fully satisfy all the criteria. Ungoogled-chromium has been designed with privacy in mind since the beginning, while IceCat has always cared about it - but only in the new version (60.2) has finally removed all spyware. There has been no indication of misconduct by either developers so far. As for usability - they have access to all the essential addons, and that's the main issue here.
Otter, Falkon and Qute slightly fail the usability criteria - though they do have in-built adblocking, it is not as thorough as uMatrix. Others addons are also not available, though the support is planned. There has been no misconduct by either developers so far and they are fully focused on privacy, sending no unsolicited requests. Iridium, on the other hand, has access to all the addons but includes Google SafeBrowsing by default, and the developer has kind of dismissed the issue - though it can be easily disabled. Sphere Browser does not send any unsolicited requests, however the default homepage, as well as the downloads page, contains analytics.
Now, I've called it a "Mid" tier - but the browsers listed here are lightyears behind the above, so watch out. All three contain significant spyware issues - though not as much as the later browsers. There has been at least some misconduct by the developers - including blocking certain addons and justifying it, treating users like babies who can't deal with auto-updates disabled, as well as pretending to care about user privacy when you're not. PM and Brave, despite lacking full addon support, at least have something over their parent browsers (old FF UI and in-built privacy protections, respectively); Waterfox has nothing, so shouldn't be used. A guide for disabling all Pale Moon spyware exists on this site, and in theory you could disable Waterfox spyware, but you CANNOT disable all of the spyware found in Brave.
These browsers shouldn't be used at all, but they are not in the lowest tier since something small saves them. There is probably no corporation that has fooled its userbase more and for longer than Mozilla. Pretending to be your friend, it has for years ruined the customizability, privacy, and usability of its browser. The marketing team was, and still is, in full swing trying to spin every one of its shitty decisions positively. Vivaldi does the same but has less resources and hasn't existed for so long. The amount of spyware in both these browsers is massive - FF has the most, but it can all be disabled through an user.js script; however, this creates significant usability issues in locking you down to the settings contained in it (for example, not being able to change your startpage). Vivaldi has less spyware in it but some of it is impossible or is very tough to disable; they are also not fully open source. Anyway, being fully open source - plus having the user.js saves FF from the lowest tier, and not so much spyware saves Vivaldi.
These browsers are unashamedly designed to collect as much information about the user as possible (all are rated EXTREMELY HIGH by the site). Only SRWare Iron has it's source code availible, and all the developers have mistreated their users (complete disregard for privacy and / or false advertising) for a long time. Not much to say - avoid like the plague.
This article was last edited on 12/12/2018
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