The web browser is perhaps the most important app on any computer or phone today. These five alternatives to Chrome do some things differently and provide a unique web experience.
Chrome is the king of browsers these days. With Brave and Vivaldi providing some great alternatives to Chrome recently, you might wonder what other browsers are going to bring to the party. Well, quite a bit. Some focus on security, some on productivity, and others on cutting the clutter or unique features like text to speech. There’s something for everyone.
1. Sidekick (Windows, macOS, Linux): Browser Made for Productivity and Teams
The new Sidekick browser claims to be designed for productivity and work. This includes a bunch of features that solve daily annoyances for working professionals and some team-oriented features for companies.
To reduce distractions, Sidekick allows you to pin regularly used apps to a sidebar. Ideally, these should be apps you use often throughout the day, like Slack, Zoom, or email. There’s also a universal search within the browser, which will search for a keyword across apps, your cloud drives, browser history, and open tabs.
One of the most useful features is multiple account support. You can sign into Sidekick with different accounts (like personal and professional) and seamlessly switch between them for various apps.
For teams, Sidekick features easy collaboration features like sharing bookmarks, tab collections, or documents. You can also securely give passwords for shared accounts. Sidekick also includes built-in tools for quick video meetings.
The paid versions of Sidekick unlock additional features, but the free version is a good test for a team of up to five. Even otherwise, Sidekick can be a great browser for solo users.
2. Avast Browser (Android, iOS): Secure Browser with VPN and Adblock
Image 1 of 2
Image 2 of 2
Avast is most well-known for its free antivirus program. Keeping with the idea of privacy and security, the company has launched a new Avast web browser for mobile, which comes with built-in free VPN services and other features to protect you.
By default, Avast enables ad-blocking on all sites and a robust do-not-track system, without having to install any add-ons. It also uses a secure DNS, with the default set to Cloudflare but you can switch to one of the other options like OpenDNS, Google, Tenta, or Quad9.
In the setup, Avast asks a few questions to configure the browser to be safe and secure for you. It also includes a media vault to save downloads privately, such that they don’t show up in your phone’s downloads folder. You can also password-protect the browser,
The default free VPN doesn’t let you choose which country to set it from. If you want to choose the country, you’ll have to upgrade to Avast Pro, which unlocks other features too, like system-wide VPN.
3. Min Browser (Windows, macOS, Linux): Minimalist, Distraction-Free Browsing
Min is a desktop browser with a clear intention of reducing distractions and increasing focus. In Chrome or Firefox, the many open tabs can overwhelm you, while extensions knock on the door of attention. Min removes all the fluff for a minimalist, distraction-free browsing experience.
The biggest change you’ll see is in how tabs are handled. You won’t see tabs and the address bar separately in Min, as it takes a design cue from mobile browsers. Like mobile browsers, the tab color also changes to match the site’s header, thus further masking it.
Open tabs can be grouped together into Task Groups, so you don’t feel overwhelmed by having way too many tabs. You can also use the default DuckDuckGo search engine to search for text within all tabs.
Like any modern browser, Min has a few privacy and security features up its sleeve. It has built-in ad-blocking, tracker-blocking, and a password manager. It’s all open-source too.
Download: Min Browser for Desktop (Free)
4. Iridium (Windows, macOS, Linux): Privacy-Friendly Chrome Without Google
Google Chrome is a great browser, but Google doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to privacy. If you’re concerned about how much information Google is getting through your Chrome browser, but don’t want to ditch Chrome altogether, try Iridium.
Iridium is built on Chromium, the same base as Chrome. The difference is that Iridium strips out all the ways that Google can get your data through the browser. Simply put, it’s a privacy-friendly version of Chrome.
The browser looks and behaves just like Chrome, with a few differences. You can’t sign into Google, which means you can’t import all your bookmarks and history that way. Iridium can install extensions from the Chrome Web Store, but they won’t auto-update.
By default, Iridium blocks third-party trackers and deletes data like cookies after every session. It also replaces Google search with Qwant by default, but you can switch to DuckDuckGo for a privacy-friendly search.
There are a bunch of more technical changes under the hood, which you can check on Iridium’s website. The open-source browser shares every detail online.
5. Surfy (Android, Windows): Text-to-Speech to Listen to Any Web Page
Image 1 of 2
Image 2 of 2
Surfy is a web browser with one distinct claim to fame: it reads out any web page through text-to-speech. While it’s available for both Android and Windows, the Windows version is more intended for use on tablets or other touchscreens.
The text-to-speech function relies on your phone’s built-in tech, or you can download custom text-to-speech engines and Surfy will use those. The cool part is that you can start reading out a page and then switch to another tab, while Surfy continues to read. You can also pause, rewind, and fast forward.
Surfy has a few other neat features, like an app dock for your favorite websites. You can also swipe through tabs, which is a handy feature that many other browsers don’t have. And Surfy can be password-locked too.
Make Chrome Better With Extensions
If none of the browsers in this list are convincing you to jump ship from Chrome, don’t worry. There are other options. You can rely on great Chrome extensions and themes to customize Google’s browser for your convenience.
But ideally, try and move beyond the influence of Chrome. There are enough solid alternatives apart from those mentioned above. Brave is increasingly gaining popularity as the best step away from Chrome, so try it out.
Want to stay secure online? You need to start with your browser. Try one of these secure browsers to manage your online safety.
About The Author