Here are four private browsers that are (almost) completely anonymous.
1. Tor Browser
Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux
The network aims to protect a user’s location, browser history, personal data, and online messages from any person or bot that’s performing network traffic analysis.
How It Works
Network traffic analysis is arguably the most powerful weapon in a data collector’s armory. It can track your behavior and interests for advertising companies, it can lead to price discrimination on online shopping sites based on location, it can even reveal your identity to people who might want to silence or harm you.
Basic encryption techniques don’t protect you against traffic analysis. Data sent over the internet has two key aspects: the payload and the header.
And that’s when Tor comes in. It sends your internet traffic through so many individual relays and tunnels that the header is nonsensical to traffic analysis tools. In simple terms, instead of going directly from A to B, the network sends your traffic on a maze-like route through many locations.
A sniffer looking at a single point on that route has no way to tell where the traffic originated or where it’s going.
To access the Tor network, you need to use the Tor Browser. It’s so secure that the US Navy uses it for intelligence gathering. Tor is also used by law enforcement organizations who want to visit websites without leaving government IP addresses in the site’s log.
You don’t need to install any software on your machine; the browser is a portable app that can live on a USB stick. It means you can use the service regardless of what computer you’re working on, even if it’s in a public location such as a library or university.
2. Epic Browser
Available on: Windows, Mac
Epic Browser doesn’t use a specialized onion network, but it does immediately disable lots of the most common ways your privacy is comprised when you’re surfing the web.
For example, it doesn’t save your history, there’s no DNS pre-fetching, it doesn’t allow third-party cookies, there are no web or DNS caches, and there’s no autofill feature.
When you close your session, the browser automatically deletes any associated databases, preferences, pepper data, and cookies from Flash and Silverlight.
3. SRWare Iron
Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android
If you’re a Google Chrome user, SRWare Iron will be familiar; it’s based on the open-source Chromium project, so a lot of the on-screen visuals look very similar.
The main difference between Chrome and SRWare Iron is data protection. Experts have criticized Chrome for its reliance on a “Unique User ID”; every time you start a session, Google is alerted to your data usage.
SRWare strips out the usage of an ID along with other Chrome privacy concerns such as search suggestions.