Browser Comparison Table

All of the available browsers have each of their own faults as documented in the table below.
These tables primarily cover the default/out-of-box settings unless otherwise noted. Recommend settings to change are noted at the bottom of the page.
While DivestOS includes a Gecko based browser for privacy reasons, Chromium based browsers have many security advantages. It is up to the user to choose their preference.

Fennec based browsers should not be considered for use, as upstream no longer receives security updates. Please use a Fenix based browser instead.
Fennec F-Droid is Fenix based, not Fennec based despite its name.

Both lists are sorted by order of coverage. Only browsers marked with a ★ are actually recommended.
For more detailed privacy related technical information please reference the PrivacyTests website.
Extra reading on mobile browsers, an overview of fingerprint-resistance approaches, an in-depth security comparison of the leading engines, a fun webcomic against the Chromium monoculture, as well as why content blockers are critical for security.
Release comparisons are also available for Firefox and Chromium.

Disclosure: Mull and Mulch, noted below, are projects of DivestOS.
Disclosure: DivestOS helps maintain `Fennec F-Droid` and additionally has small contributions (commits) to others such as Firefox, FOSS Browser, and Lightning.

Last updated: 2024/04/23


What is per-site process isolation?

Per-site process isolation is a powerful security feature that seeks to limit exposure of a malicious website/script abusing a security vulnerability.
Firefox calls per-site process isolation Fission and is enabled by default on desktop. Fission is not yet enabled by default on Android, and when manually enabled it results in a severely degraded/broken experience. Furthermore Firefox on Android does not take advantage of Android's isolatedProcess flag for completely confining application services.
Standalone Chromium based browsers strictly isolate websites to their own process.

The lack of per-site process isolation means a successful exploit is likely able to gain more access (to other site data/browser settings/passwords) without needing a second exploit. It would still need an Android system/kernel exploit to further escape the system sandbox. It is an important hardening feature, but the browser isn't completely insecure without it assuming it is up-to-date and that you aren't on the receiving end of targeted/zero-day attacks. Furthermore (in Chromium) with isolated renderer processes there is still some inherent attack surface of the main process that can allow a single exploit, just like in Firefox.

What is per-site data isolation?

The goal of per-site data isolation is to prevent say a third party script from being able to store data and use that to track you across many websites, instead any data set will be keyed to the website it was set from. This concept is further detailed here.
Firefox calls per-site data isolation `dynamic first party isolation` (dFPI). Firefox and Focus enable dFPI by default.
Chromium calls per-site data isolation (network) state partitioning and is not enabled by default.

What is Safe Browsing?

Safe Browsing is a collaborative service offered by Google since 2005 that blocks known malicious websites in real-time. Both Chromium and Firefox based browsers require a Google API key to download the databases, many forks do not include these. Chromium-based browsers on Android require real Google Play Services to be available for the "Standard protection" mode to function, however the "Enhanced protection" mode appears to always function even without Play Services or an API key. Gecko-based browsers on Android do not require Play Services to function. You can test its operation on this page here and you can manually lookup a website here.
Safe Browsing in Chromium-based browsers is also far more effective/functional, especially in the "Enhanced protection" mode, however it comes at the cost of privacy concerns.
Regardless of the availability, users should additionally use a protective DNS like Quad9 (dns.quad9.net) or DNS0 (zero.dns0.eu) and a strong content blocker if available.

Anything else I should know?

  • CFI enabled: Vanadium, Mulch
  • MTE enabled (if capable device): Vanadium, Mulch
  • Quantum resistant key agreement: Vanadium, Mulch, Mull

Full Fledged Browsers

Gecko Based Browsers

Note: uBlock Origin is not included by default and must be installed by the user. No other extensions are recommended per the reasoning here.

NameFree and Open SourcePer-Site Data Isolation (Privacy)Per-Site Process Isolation (Security)Fingerprinting Protection (Privacy)Content Blocker (Privacy/Security)Forced HTTPS (Privacy/Security)JIT State (Security)Safe Browsing (Safety)Maintained (Security)
MullYes: 1, 2, clearStrongNoStrongBasic + uBlock OriginYesDisabledNoWithin two days
Tor BrowserProprietary Libraries: GMSStrongNoStrongestuBlock Origin (see note)YesDisabled on Safer+NoWithin a week
Fennec F-Droid (Fenix)Yes: 1, 2, clearStrongNoBasicBasic + uBlock OriginNoEnabledNoWithin a week
FirefoxProprietary Libraries: GMSStrongNoBasicBasic + uBlock OriginNoEnabledYesYes
Firefox Focus/KlarProprietary Libraries: GMSStrongNoBasicBasicYesEnabledYesYes
IceravenProprietary Libraries: GMSStrongNoBasicBasic + uBlock OriginNoEnabledYesWithin a week
WaterfoxProprietary Libraries: GMSStrongNoBasicBasic + uBlock OriginNoEnabledYesWithin a week
Icecat (Fennec)YesNoNoNouBlock OriginNoEnabledUnknown4+ years behind

Chromium Based Browsers

NameFree and Open SourcePer-Site Data Isolation (Privacy)Per-Site Process Isolation (Security)Fingerprinting Protection (Privacy)Content Blocker (Privacy/Security)Forced HTTPS (Privacy/Security)JIT State (Security)Safe Browsing (Safety)Maintained (Security)
BraveProprietary Libraries: GMSStrongStrongStrongStrongNoEnabledIf GMS availableYes
CromiteYes: 1, clearStrongStrongEnhancedBasic + Adblock PlusNoDisabledNoWithin a week
VanadiumProprietary Libraries: GMSEnhancedStrongNoBasicYesDisabledEnhanced: Yes, Standard: NoWithin a day
MulchProprietary Libraries: GMSEnhancedStrongNoNoYesDisabledEnhanced: Yes, Standard: NoWithin two days
ChromiumProprietary LibrariesBasicStrongNoNoNoEnabledEnhanced: Yes, Standard: If GMS availableYes
BromiteYes: 1StrongStrongEnhancedBasicNoDisabledNo16+ months behind

WebView Browsers

These browsers must be combined with an up to date WebView provider to be secure.
If you are on stock/OEM version of Android or have Google Apps installed, you are likely using the Google/Chrome WebView with extra telemetry.
While WebView browsers utilize the Chromium WebView, they cannot offer any per-site process isolation.
Using any WebView-based browser is largely not recommended as they are inherently limited due to the WebView merely being a widget for adding web content to an app and are not intended to create a full browser experience.
Safe Browsing is available if Google Play Services is installed & available, if the WebView provider supports it (most do), and if both the user and the app have not opted-out of it.

NameFree and Open SourcePer-Site Data Isolation (Privacy)Fingerprinting Protection (Privacy)Content Blocker (Privacy/Security)
Privacy BrowserYesVery basicNoBasic
FOSS BrowserYesVery basicVery basicBasic
DuckDuckGo BrowserYesVery basicNoStrong
LightningYesVery basicNoBasic
JellyYesVery basicNoNo

Recommend Settings to Change

Some of these settings may not be available or may already be set depending on browser.
The cowboy 🤠 emoji is used to denote settings recommended for advanced/less annoyed users.

Mull/Fennec F-Droid/Firefox/Iceraven

  • Homepage > Sponsored shortcuts > Disabled
  • Homepage > Thought-provoking stories > Disabled
  • Homepage > Sponsored stories > Disabled
  • HTTPS-Only Mode > Enable in all tabs
  • Enhanced Tracking Protection > Strict
  • Enhanced Tracking Protection > Tell websites not to share & sell data > Enabled
  • Site permissions > DRM-controlled content > Blocked
  • Delete browsing data on quit > Enabled & check all boxes below 🤠
  • Add-ons > uBlock Origin > Add (& Allow in private browsing)
  • Add-ons > uBlock Origin > Settings > Filter lists > Ignore generic cosmetic filters > Disabled (but leave enabled if you have less than 4GB of RAM)
  • Add-ons > uBlock Origin > Settings > Filter lists > Enable/check all non-regional lists > Save & Update
  • Add-ons > uBlock Origin > Settings > Filter lists > Custom > Import > Add the following > Save & Update
  • ----
  • Data collection > Usage and technical data > Disabled
  • Data collection > Marketing data > Disabled
  • Data collection > Studies > Disabled

Firefox Focus/Klar

  • Privacy & Security > Block ad trackers > Enabled
  • Privacy & Security > Block analytic trackers > Enabled
  • Privacy & Security > Block social trackers > Enabled
  • Privacy & Security > Block other content trackers > Enabled
  • Privacy & Security > Block potentially dangerous and deceptive sites > Enabled
  • Privacy & Security > HTTPS-Only Mode > Enabled
  • Privacy & Security > Send usage data > Disabled
  • Privacy & Security > Studies > Disabled

Tor Browser

  • Security Level > Safer
  • Usage of uBlock Origin may provide privacy and security benefits but it and other changes are not recommended by the Tor Project.

Mulch/Vanadium/Cromite/Chromium

  • Privacy and security > Clear browsing data > At Startup > Check all boxes below 🤠
  • Privacy and security > Safe Browsing > Standard protection
  • Privacy and security > Safe Browsing > Enhanced protection, at the cost of potentially reduced privacy 🤠
  • Privacy and security > Always use secure connections > Enabled
  • Privacy and security > Cross-origin referrer policy > Disable cross-origin referrer
  • Privacy and security > WebRTC IP handling policy > Disable non-proxied UDP
  • Privacy and security > Send a "Do Not Track" request > Enabled
  • Privacy and security > Preload pages > No preloading
  • Privacy and security > Close (all open) tabs on exit > Enabled 🤠
  • Site Settings > Motion sensors > Blocked
  • Site Settings > JavaScript JIT > Blocked
  • Site settings > Protected content > Blocked
  • Site settings > Auto-verify > Disabled
  • Navigate to chrome://flags > Darken websites checkbox in themes setting > Enabled > Relaunch
  • ----
  • Google services > Help improve Chrome's features and performance > Disabled
  • Google services > Make searches and browsing better > Disabled
  • Privacy and security > Ad privacy > Ad topics > Disabled
  • Privacy and security > Ad privacy > Site-suggested ads > Disabled
  • Privacy and security > Ad privacy > Ad measurement > Disabled

Brave

  • Brave Shields & privacy > Block trackers & ads > Aggressive
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Auto-redirect tracking URLs > Enabled
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Upgrade connections to HTTPS > Require all connections to use HTTPS (strict)
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Block Fingerprinting > Fingerprinting blocked (strict, may break sites)
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Prevent fingerprinting via language settings > Enabled
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Forget me when I close this site > Enabled 🤠
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Clear data on exit > Enabled 🤠
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Allow Facebook logins and embedded posts > Disabled
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Allow Twitter embedded tweets > Disabled
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Allow LinkedIn embedded posts > Disabled
  • Brave Shields & privacy > WebRTC IP handling policy > Disable non-proxied UDP
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Safe Browsing > Standard protection
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Allow sites to check if you have payment methods saved > Disabled
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Unstoppable Domains > Resolve Method > Disabled
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Ethereum Name Service > Resolve Method > Disabled
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Ethereum Name Service > ENS offchain lookup > Disabled
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Solana Name Service > Resolve Method > Disabled
  • Brave Shields & privacy > IPFS Gateway > Disabled
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Block cookie consent notices > Enabled
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Block 'Switch to App' Notices > Enabled
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Send a "Do Not Track" request > Enabled
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Close tabs on exit > Enabled 🤠
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Allow privacy-preserving product analytics > Disabled
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Automatically send diagnostic reports > Disabled
  • Brave Shields & privacy > Automatically send daily usage ping to Brave > Disabled
  • Brave News > Disabled
  • Brave Wallet > Default Ethereum wallet > None
  • Brave Wallet > Default Solana wallet > None
  • Brave Wallet > Display Web3 notifications > Disabled
  • Brave Leo > Show autocomplete suggestions in address bar > Disabled
  • Site settings > Protected content > Blocked
  • Media > Widevine DRM > Disabled
  • Appearance > Brave Rewards icon > Disabled
  • Appearance > Brave Ads > Disabled
  • New Tab Page > Show Background Images > Disabled
  • New Tab Page > Show Sponsored Images > Disabled
  • New Tab Page > Show Top Sites > Disabled
  • Brave Rewards > Show Ads when Brave is not in use > Disabled

Lightning

  • Ad Block Settings > Block ads > Enabled
  • Privacy Settings > Block 3rd party cookies > Enabled
  • Privacy Settings > Clear cache on exit > Enabled 🤠
  • Privacy Settings > Clear history on exit > Enabled 🤠
  • Privacy Settings > Clear cookies on exit > Enabled 🤠
  • Privacy Settings > Clear web storage on exit > Enabled 🤠