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When Google Chrome turned 10 years old, it launched a new version of its browser, Chrome 69. While there are some cool new features, it also added a bit of a privacy issue by automatically signing you into Chrome when you use a Google account on any site. It might be time to look beyond Chrome…
Right now, Chrome is the most popular browser in the world, on both desktop and mobile. But even after 10 years, it has its share of problems. Chrome still hogs a lot of memory and resources, it continues to be a privacy nightmare, and there are other issues because of which you should seriously think it’s time to break up with Google Chrome.
So which browser should you consider as a good alternative for Chrome? Here are some of your latest and greatest options.
Vivaldi 2.0 (Windows, macOS, Linux): New and Improved, With Chrome Extensions
Vivaldi, made by one of the co-founders of Opera, has gained a lot of supporters since it launched in 2016. The company has now released a major update, Vivaldi 2.0, with a bunch of new features that should be enough reasons to switch to Vivaldi.
The biggest improvement is in tab management, the bane of the modern browser. Vivaldi now lets you have a vertical tab bar, shift the address bar to the bottom, and customize every part of the look and feel of the browser. There’s even a split-screen view now to look at two tabs side-by-side, while the famous Vivaldi sidebar can now float anywhere on the screen. And it still works with all of Chrome’s extensions.
Vivaldi has also focused on privacy, adding encryption to its data syncing. It’s a big step away from Google’s new system of signing you into the browser.
Apart from these highlights, there are plenty of improvements under the hood that make the browser faster than ever before. The video above should give you anything else you need to know about the new features in Vivaldi. Install it, use our favorite tips and tricks for speed and productivity, and it’ll be your favorite browser in no time.
Ungoogled Chromium (Windows, macOS, Linux): Chrome Without Google
Chrome is based on the open-source Chromium project, which several other browsers are based on. If you like Chrome but don’t like how it forces you to incorporate privacy-violating Google into your life, this is the browser for you. Ungoogled Chromium’s motto is: “Bringing back the ‘Don’t’ in “Don’t be evil.” Perfect, right?
Ungoogled Chromium removes all of the Google-centric features and under-the-hood tracking in Chrome. For example, the powerful Chrome omnibox is no longer a search box for Google, it uses DuckDuckGo by default. But the bigger changes are behind the scenes, where the browser won’t communicate with Google servers constantly, telling them about your browsing patterns.
When you actually use the browser, it feels remarkably a lot like Google Chrome. All your favorite Chrome extensions work perfectly too. The only thing you’ll miss is syncing between your mobile and desktop browsers since Ungoogled Chromium isn’t available for phones.
Keepsafe Browser (Android, iOS): PIN-Protected Private Browser
Keepsafe has earned a few fans for its privacy-focused apps, like Keepsafe Vault to hide or store pictures privately. It has a new app now, Keepsafe Browser, to similarly protect what you do on the internet.
The biggest privacy protection measure is a simple PIN password lock. So even if you let someone borrow your phone, they can’t snoop on your browsing history. It also disallows screenshots while the app is open. Apart from that, Keepsafe Browser has the basic privacy-protecting features you expect, like blocking trackers, an incognito mode (which is called “Secret Tabs” here), and basic ad-blocking for malicious ads.
Keepsafe Browser also has a Pro mode, starting at $10 per month for VPN support and the ability to use Keepsafe Vault. I don’t think that is worth it though. You’re better off getting one of the best VPN services instead, which works across platforms.
Falkon (Windows, Linux): Fast, Lightweight KDE Browser
QupZilla, one of the best open source browsers you can find, is no more. It has been turned into a new project, Falkon, which will improve on the classic KDE browser.
Falkon’s claim-to-fame is that it is light and fast. Install and fire it up, and you’ll know why in a second. It feels much faster than any other browser you have used, especially in the interface. These days, page loading speeds are almost the same in every browser, so that doesn’t matter. And Falkon is lightweight, which is a major respite from Chrome’s persistent RAM problems.
Right now, there is no macOS version and the developers suggest that due to a few problems, it won’t be coming for some time.
Otter (Windows, macOS, Linux): Old-School Classic Opera Recreation
One of the best alternatives to Chrome is Opera, especially after all the changes that Opera has had in the recent past. But if you like the old version of Opera more, Otter is looking to recreate that.
Otter actually looks and feels a little dated, but that’s the point. If you’re missing classic Opera features, you’ll love it. For example, you can get the view you see in the screenshot above, where multiple tabs become their own windows inside the browser. You can also get vertical tabs in Otter’s sidebar.
There’s a lot to like about Otter and its QtWebkit rendering engine. It might not be for everyone, but old-school users will love the nostalgic feel.
Download: Otter for Windows, macOS, or Linux (Free)
Note: To get the right version of Otter, click the latest folder in the link above, and then download EXE for Windows, DMG for macOS, and AppImage or zipped files for Linux.
Try Chromium to Go Beyond Chrome
Apart from Vivaldi and Ungoogled Chromium, there are several other browsers based on the same Chromium project. With almost all of these, you can use Chrome extensions too. It’s a good way to get rid of Chrome while still retaining the features and add-ons you love.
It can be difficult to figure out which Chromium-based browser is right for you. Try this handy list of Chromium alternatives to Chrome which tells you the major differences between them.