5 Simple Ways to Choose the Best Mobile Browser for You

Sandy Writtenhouse 13-09-2016

Choosing a browser for your mobile device, whether Android or iOS, can be just as important as the one you pick for your computer. And for those constantly on the go, it can be even more critical. So, which one do you choose? If your head spins from the variety of mobile browser options, then ask yourself these five questions.



Do You Need Computer Syncing?

If you use Apple products across the board and are happy with Safari, then this is an easy one for you. But for people who like to mix it up with an iPhone and Windows computer or an Android phone and a Mac, then having a browser that syncs likely means a bit of exploration is needed.

Even though mobile browsers like Dolphin and Puffin Mobile Browsing: Are Puffin and Dolphin Better Than Safari? What could the mobile browsers Puffin and Dolphin have to offer that would make them better than Safari? Read More offer great features, their limitation is that they are currently only usable on mobile devices. This leaves you choices such as Firefox, Chrome, and Opera Mini (Safari is not available for Android). Each of these three broadly-used browsers offers a free account setup and options to sync Stay in Sync: Access All Your Browser Data From Any Device How can you make the process of switching devices more efficient, so that you can easily pick up where you left off? Read More .

Syncing on Chrome iOS and Opera Android

So, if you need to access your bookmarks and other items no matter where you are, what computer you have, or which device you are using, keep this in mind when making your browser choice.


Is Security Number One?

If security is your main concern, then consider Ghostery Privacy Browser. Known for its private browsing, this app includes individual tracking control, the ability to disconnect from trackers, one-click clearing of cookies and cache, and secure searching with DuckDuckGo.

Ghostery Browser App on Android

Another secure browsing option Brave Browser for Mobile: Your Privacy & Security Tested So how does Brave on Mobile stack up to its competitors, such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Puffin? This article examines Brave's features, performance, and its security and privacy. Read More for iOS users is the Onion Browser. This Tor-powered tool provides anonymous browsing, IP address clearing, the blocking of cookies, and the disabling of scripts. For Android users not interested in Ghostery, CM Security Browser might be the one for you. With fraud protection and an anti-virus engine, the app is speedy and runs well.

If security is number one for your mobile browser choice, then you have wonderful options from companies that realize just how critical safety, privacy, and secure browsing are on your device.


Do You Like Extra Features?

While most browsers have the standard features that you would expect, others ramp it up a bit with useful extras. Firefox, Chrome, Opera Mini, and Safari all offer a private browser tab, bookmark ability, sharing options, and site history.

Of those with additional features that can be quite attractive to users, Dolphin is one of them. This browser offers a gesture-drawing feature that provides quick access to websites and frequently-used actions. Puffin offers a customizable display along with its own set of optional add-ons. Opera Mini provides fast access to scan a QR code from the URL field and a night mode. And of course, each of these has the same basic browser features you need.

Dolphin on iOS and Puffin on Android Mobile Browsers

If you are only interested in the most basic browser features, then any of these browsers makes a good choice. But, if you are looking for that little extra or specifically one of the mentioned features, then you know which option is for you Which Mobile Browser Do You Currently Use? [MakeUseOf Poll] There are plenty of mobile Web browsers out there to try, but which do you currently use for browsing on the go? Welcome to this week's MakeUseOf Poll. Read More .


Are Aesthetics Important?

For many people, the look, feel, and ease-of-use of their browser is crucial. Perhaps the plain appearance of Safari on your iOS device What's the Best Browser for iPhone? 7 Apps Compared Safari is a fine browser for iPhones, but it's not the only option. Check out the best iOS browsers for something better. Read More is simply unpleasing to you. At the same time, maybe Puffin on your Android device has just a bit too much.

Safari on iOS and Puffin on Android Mobile Browsers

If you are more concerned with syncing than look and feel, Firefox or Chrome are likely your best options. But, if you really prefer colors, wallpapers, and themes, then either Dolphin or Puffin is the right browser for you. If you find yourself somewhere in the middle, Opera Mini offers a slight customization option with simple colors.

Dolphin on iOS and Puffin on Android Mobile Browsers


So, if aesthetics are important in your browser choice, then this provides another simple way to make your decision.

Do You Have a Favorite Already?

Whether you have experimented with different browsers or have only used one, often times the choice comes down to basic, personal preference. As the browser wars continue Which Browser Is Best? Edge vs. Chrome vs. Opera vs. Firefox The browser you're using right now may not be the best one for you. The browser arena changes so frequently that your conclusions from comparisons made last year may be completely wrong this year. Read More on computers, there are Firefox fans who will never veer from it just like there are Chrome enthusiasts who would never think of switching.

Love Web Browsing

If all else fails and you are concerned with syncing, security, features, and aesthetics all equally, then stick with what you know. If your current mobile browser provides the results you need and the options you want, then perhaps you need not look any further.

Mentioned Browsers

If you are interested in trying one of the mobile browsers mentioned, here is a list with pricing and direct links to download them:

  • Safari is available by default on iOS.
  • Chrome (Free) — Android | iOS
  • Firefox (Free) — Android | iOS
  • Opera Mini (Free) — Android
  • Puffin Web Browser — (Free) Android | iOS
  • Puffin Web Browser Pro — Android ($0.99) | iOS ($3.99)
  • Ghostery Privacy Browser (Free) — Android | iOS
  • CM Security Browser (Free) — Android

What’s Most Important in Your Mobile Browser?

There are still many other mobile browser choices aside from the ones mentioned here. But, hopefully these examples and simple questions that you can ask yourself will help you find the best one for you.

Is there one criteria that sticks out when you look for a mobile browser? Is security number one or are you all about the features of the browser? Feel free to share your comments and suggestions below with our other readers!

Image Credit: Sdecoret and Carlos Amarillo via

Related topics: Dolphin Browser, Google Chrome, Mobile Browsing, Mozilla Firefox, Opera Mini, Safari Browser.

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  1. Kelsey Tidwell
    October 2, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Wow...I grin when I think of all the many, many browsers I've tried on Android. And just about all of them more than once. I'm really a browser junkie. I like throwing several on my phone and gradually culling them down to The One Great Browser. At least the one great browser until the next round of updates come out and I have to try them all over again lol.

    My criteria is fairly simple. I want high security, so no Chinese browsers. Sorry UC and several others (Dolphin? Are you blushing?). I just can't get the trust level up high enough. Even if I were a Chinese person in China I wouldn't want to use a Chinese browser. So after it's all over with I usually end up with Firefox because of what I perceive to be better privacy.

    That being said, I'm currently using Opera Mini Beta (I always use Beta versions if available) on my Android which to my best knowledge is a browser now owned by a Chinese corporation. I should feel hypocritical but I don't because Opera now furnishes free VPN by way of its Opera VPN app, effectively letting me hide in one of six nations. Plus, Opera has a great data saving feature (pair that up with Opera Max to knock your bandwidth to the floor), and it's light (currently a touch over 22Mb compared to always-over 100Mb for Firefox) and fast. I was always a closet Opera lover even way back on the several flip/candy bar feature phones I had back when black leather Reebok high tops were cool. Opera always felt cutting-edge with quirky features nobody else was doing. It's finally gotten to a level of maturity where I can actually do everything I need to with it.

    I felt for a long time that Firefox was closer to my ideals because of the non-profit aspect, security, and add-on ability (wasn't Chrome supposed to allow that eventually too?), but as far as a browser on my phone goes, I've realized that I like light and fast as opposed to full-featured but bloated. And dang if Opera Mini doesn't have all the features I need when you hook up the VPN and data saving apps.'s also got built-in ad blocking.

    As far as the syncing aspect of several big players, it's not a thing for me now either. Due to all the security breaches going on I stopping syncing passwords a while back. I set up browser details and features differently per device, so I don't need to sync all of that either. The only thing that's easy to miss having is a tab-syncing feature like with Chrome and Firefox and yes, Opera. But for that I simply save tabs to Pocket. Almost every browser I've ever tried has a Pocket add-on. It's my Universal Translator between all my different devices and all my different browsers.

    Happy day!

  2. HildyJ
    September 13, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    One thing you didn't mention is add-ons, especially an ad blocker. Firefox provides this (although the number of add-ons is less than full Firefox) so I can browse ad free on non-whitelisted sites.