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Chrome vs Brave vs DuckDuckGo: Secure browser comparison

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  • 6 min read

Web browsers are the basic tools we need to access the internet from any device. While there are plenty of browsers available for all different purposes and use cases, not all of them focus on a user’s privacy, often trading convenience for user tracking to help fuel the ad industry that drives the internet today. 

In this article, we’re comparing Google Chrome, arguably the most popular browser in the world to DuckDuckGo and Brave, two privacy focussed browsers that do a much better job of anonymising your internet footprint. 

Watch the secure browser comparison between Chrome, Brave and DuckDuckGo in English or Hindi below or continue reading the aritcle.

Also read: Chrome vs Edge vs Firefox: Which browser should you pick?


What’s wrong with Google Chrome?

Let’s start with Chrome. Google’s browser is widely used and has many features that make browsing easy and convenient. However, Chrome is known to collect a lot of user data, and it is not considered the most secure browser in terms of privacy.

Although Chrome has some built-in security features such as phishing and malware protection, it’s worth noting that Google has a business model that relies on collecting user data, so the browser is optimised for Google’s services and ads.

Photo: Hadrian / Shutterstock.com
Photo by Hadrian / Shutterstock.com

You can adjust Chrome’s settings to limit data collection and protect your privacy, but these options are buried deep in the settings menu and may not be immediately obvious to most users. It still dominates the market, with a 65.4% market share as of January 2023. 


What about the Brave Browser?

Brave is a privacy-focused web browser that is built on the same engine as Chrome, called Chromium. This means that most tools and extensions compatible with Chrome will work flawlessly on Brave, essentially giving it the same useability and convenience as Chrome. As of January 2023, Brave had 57.55 million monthly active users and 20.81 million daily active users.

What’s different here is how Brave tackles search and tracking across the internet. It blocks ads and trackers by default and also offers features such as HTTPS Everywhere, which encrypts web traffic and fingerprinting protection to help prevent websites from identifying you. It also offers a built-in private browsing mode, which is designed to leave no trace of your browsing activity.

In addition to these security features, Brave also offers other useful tools such as free and protected video calls, the ability to create private content playlists across the internet, built-in IPFS integration, onion routing with Tor, custom filter lists and even a customisable news feed, all right within your browser. 

Brave also uses a technique called ‘fingerprinting’ which locks your browser to the device’s hardware and software configuration. This means your internet activity can’t be traced back to you without the physical device you’re using the browser on. The major drawback of using this method is that it doesn’t allow you to sync your data across devices, something that Chrome and most other Chromium-based browsers do. 

Finally, Brave also has a rewards program that pays users to view ads. These are first-party ads that directly contribute to your favourite websites while also paying you in BAT cryptocurrency. 

Do keep in mind that this doesn’t make you anonymous to your ISP, or anyone else snooping in on your Internet traffic. Brave only anonymises your in-browser traffic. That means any websites you visit or searches you make won’t be tracked. 


How does DuckDuckGo fare?

DuckDuckGo’s browser also forces HTTPS encryption and blocks third-party cookies by default, giving you a higher level of security and privacy. While it doesn’t have as many features as Chrome or Brave, with three billion monthly searches and six million monthly downloads, there are a number of reasons why you’d want to use DuckDuckGo’s browser.

DuckDuckGo’s browser isn’t built on an existing rendering engine like Chromium, for example. Instead, it uses OS-provided rendering engines. This means that a lot of unnecessary things are stripped away giving the user a simple and fast browsing experience without any additional weight. 

It’s also worth pointing out that DuckDuckGo is available as an extension to most popular browsers. This means you can just add the DuckDuckGo extension in Chrome or Edge and have all the supported security features right in whatever browser you were using without having to deal with the hassle of switching browsers which can be a painstaking thing for a lot of people. 

DuckDuckGo’s protection lies somewhere in between the convenience that Chrome offers and the protection that Brave gives. You do see ads, but they aren’t based on your search history or a profile that the search engine has been building on you. They also don’t follow you across the internet and are simply related to whatever it is you’re searching for. 

At its core, DuckDuckGo is a search engine, largely sourcing its results from Bing and does make its money by showing you ads. It anonymises your data to remove any personal identifiers and search ads on DuckDuckGo are based on the search results page you are viewing, not on you as a person. Even if someone gets their hands on your data, they won’t be able to link it back to you. 


Which one should you pick?

The browser you end up choosing largely depends on your workflow and privacy preferences. Chrome is the default choice for a majority of users who trade away privacy for day-to-day convenience. Considering just how many people use Google services every day, that’s not an unreasonable choice. 

That said, if you’re looking to protect your privacy, both Brave and DuckDuckGo are excellent options based on how far you want to go. Switching to an entirely different browser can be a bit of a hassle and sometimes even an inconvenience, but that’s the cost you bear for being anonymous online. 

Also read: Google Chrome vs Firefox vs Samsung Internet: Which browser is best for Android?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: yadullahabidi@pm.me.

  • lenauvokane says:

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