VPNs (virtual private networks) allow people to browse the web anonymously by encrypting your information and routing it through your VPN’s private server rather than your ISP. As VPNs continue to grow in popularity, some browsers are now offering their own built-in VPNs.
There are some VPNs out there, such as NordVPN, that offer extensions for some browsers, but the concept of operating a VPN directly through your browser is a relatively recent phenomenon.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more popular browsers with built-in VPNs to see what kind of security features they offer in comparison to using a traditional VPN such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN or Cyberghost.
Opera is already used by millions of people all over the world but it also offers its users a VPN. Is it worth dropping Chrome, Safari, or Firefox for, though?
One of the biggest benefits of using Opera as a browser is its security features are already implemented within the browser, which means unlike Chrome, you won’t have to install a variety of extensions or plug-ins to browse the web anonymously or block annoying advertisements.
Opera works by adding another layer of protection to your browsing experience by hiding your location with a virtual IP address, as well as blocking many of the cookies that would normally track you online.
Like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, Opera is also completely free. It works well with public and private networks but unlike a traditional VPN, you can’t connect to private servers and any country of your choice as a result. At the time of writing, there are three regions available you can connect to: America, Europe, and Asia.
Epic Privacy Browser
Epic is a private and secure web browser that boasts many of the same features that Opera offers. You can block ads through the browser without an extension, crypto mine, and put a stop to companies tracking you online with cookies.
Epic blocks the maximum number of tracking methods possible without compromising your browsing experience as some websites do operate quicker using tracing. These tracking methods include (as well as cookies): IP addresses, HTML 5 storage, Evercookies, Flash cookies and fingerprinting scripts, and functions like image canvas data access to protect you.
Ultimately, everything that Epic offers minimizes the risk of your ISP (or someone else) selling your information and data to third parties.
UR Browser protects your privacy with a powerful suite of tools that ultimately gives you control over who sees your information online.
It’s free and easy to use, and as it allows you to block ads, trackers, and cookies, the majority of websites you access will load quicker as a result. In addition to keeping your information secure via its built-in VPN, the UR browser has alerts set for dangerous websites, a built-in virus scanner that checks all of the downloads made through the browser, and an automatic HTTPS redirect.
No information is sent to Google, and the UR website even goes as far as to list alternative search engine suggestions for added online protection.
Is Using a VPN Browser Enough to Keep Me Safe?
We’re always skeptical of anything that’s offered for free. While using a VPN browser is a safer way of browsing the web in comparison to using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, they don’t offer the same levels of security and protection you’d get routing all of your traffic directly through a VPN.
VPN browsers don’t allow you to connect to private servers all over the world, so as well as being unable to bypass geo-blocks, your information won’t be encrypted either. That’s not to say that built-in VPN browsers don’t offer useful protection, they do – but you should always use one of these browsers, Opera for example, in addition to using your VPN – not instead of.
Another thing you may want to consider is using an extension offered by some of the larger VPNs to browse the web more securely. ExpressVPN, NordVPN, PureVPN, and many more offer a handy browser extension that can be used in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
This allows you to connect to your VPN remotely through your browser rather than having to connect through your router – perfect for if you’re using your device in a remote location.
We wouldn’t advise against the use of a browser with a built-in VPN, but we would encourage you to exercise caution if you’re not using the browser alongside the use of a traditional VPN.
With new browsers popping up every day, not all of them offer the same levels of protection as other browsers – and especially VPNs – despite claiming to do so.