Best Browsers For Ubuntu You Should Try in 2020

by Pratik

Ubuntu comes built-in web browser – Mozilla Firefox, but it’s far from perfect. For instance, it can’t run H.265 video codecs so at times you end up with an error on YouTube videos. Secondly, Google Apps like YouTube, StreetView, Gmail are based on deprecated or old APIs which causes it to run slower on non-chromium browsers. So in case, you experience all these errors and you are looking for a browser, here is the list of best browsers for Ubuntu.

Best Browsers For Ubuntu

1. Brave

Brave is the recent addition to the array of browsers for Ubuntu. It is built on top of Chromium so it has all the usual Google Chrome extension-support and Chrome flags available. Apart from these, Brave features an inbuilt ad-blocker, a third-party tracker disabled, and fingerprinting protection. But, my favorite feature is the Private Window. Brave automatically switches to the DuckDuckGo search engine when you hit Incognito. Moreover, you also get a Private Window which works on Tor. Just in case, you didn’t know Tor jumps you through 3-different Tor servers so you stay anonymous on the Internet.

What’s good?

  • Based on chromium with built-in ad-blocker and hence performs way better
  • Private mode with DuckDuckGo search engine
  • Alternative Private mode based on Tor servers
  • History sync with cross-platform browsers
  • Doesn’t require sign-in for the sync to work

What’s not?

  • No option to customize the search engine in Private mode
  • Password manager stores password in plain text

Download Brave

brave browser private mode with Tor

2. Vivaldi

Vivaldi is quite similar to Brave on a broader level but has multiple distinctions when it comes to settings and features. You can set up quick dials for favorite websites on the sidebar. Moreover, when you point at a tab, it opens a small overview window so you can quickly gaze and make out the web portal opened inside. The most highlighted feature is that you can set up different search engines in both regular and Private mode. Unlike Brave, Vivaldi requires you to sign in for the cross-platform sync to work. My favorite feature is the setting up of the automatic clearing of browser history periodically.

In the recent Vivaldi 3.0 update, there is an inbuilt tracker blocker as well as a clock-widget at the bottom.

Vivaldi also remembers the tabs last opened when you close the browser. This has saved me multiple times when I accidentally close my entire browsing session. Both the browsers are available for Android and iOS, you can make a better judgment after reading the article on Brave vs Vivaldi.

What’s good?

  • A skinned version of chromium with different themes and controls
  • Custom search engines for both regular and private window
  • Quick overview while hovering over the tab
  • History, bookmark sync across multiple devices (sign-in on Vivaldi forum required)

What’s not?

  • Password manager stores password in plain text

Download Vivaldi

vivaldi start page - best browsers ubuntu

3. Min Browser

Min Browser, as the name suggests, is a minimal browser for Linux. However, unlike Epiphany, it doesn’t have any additional features like history sync, web apps, etc. It’s built for the readers to provide them a smooth seamless reading experience. You open a webpage in the min browser and hit Ctrl+Shift+R to switch to the reading mode. It removes all the media, ads, pop-ups to provide you a plain-text reading experience.

What’s good?

  • Reading and focus mode for a better reading experience
  • Inbuilt ad and third-party tracker blocking
  • Customizable shortcuts

What’s not?

  • Based on older chromium variant so susceptible to old bugs

Download Min

reading mode in min browser

4. Falkon

Falkon is the latest browser edition from the popular KDE suite of apps. The browser is the modern reincarnation of the popular QupZilla browser. The interface feels much better than Konqueror. My most feature is the native password manager. While most of the browsers store passwords in plain text, Falkon provides you the option to save it in an encrypted format. However, the encryption password is not recoverable so be careful with what you choose as a password. By default, the search results in Falkon are provided by DuckDuckGo.

Similar Brave, Falkon comes with an inbuilt adblocker called AdBlock as an extension. However, there are quite a few extensions available for Falkin compared to the Chromium browsers.

What’s good?

  • Multiple theming options to make the interface look like Chrome, Linux, Windows, or Mac
  • Local Password manager with encryption
  • Native ad blocker via browser extensions
  • Flash media support enabled by default

What’s not?

  • A limited number of extensions available for the browser

Download Falkon

home page of falkon web browser by kde

5. Tor

Any browser list wouldn’t be complete without the Tor browser. Tor has unique functionality and has always been the flag bearer of private browsing. The Tor browser functions on top of a community-driven Tor network. So unlike a normal web browser, when you hit a web search on a Tor browser, it bounces the search via 3 different Tor servers. This keeps your location, IP totally anonymous from your ISP and the Internet. By default, Tor always opens up in a private mode and your searches disappear as soon as you close the browser.

The only caveat is that since Tor bounces the connection via 3 different servers, it hampers the speed. I wouldn’t recommend Tor for media streaming or real-time activity.

What’s good?

  • Keeps you anonymous across the Internet by bouncing your search via the Tor network
  • Always opens in private mode
  • Automatic history deletion as soon as you close the browser

What’s not?

  • Poor performance while media streaming, webRTC, etc

Download Tor

tor browser download page for multiple OS - best browsers ubuntu

6. Opera

Opera is another Chromium and blink engine based browser but still stands different due to the barrage of features provided within. Foremost, it offers a free built-in VPN with no data limit. Secondly, it features an inbuilt ad-blocker and even disables third-party trackers. The most outstanding feature is the integration of a cryptocurrency wallet. You just have to download the Opera Android or iOS app and next link your crypto wallet. Further, when you link it with the desktop app, it lets you purchase and sell cryptocurrencies directly. Currently, Opera only supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, and TRON tokens.

What’s good?

  • Inbuilt ad and third-party tracker blocker
  • Inbuilt VPN
  • Native cryptocurrency wallet for purchasing and buying cryptocurrencies
  •  PIP built-in for all media streaming sites
  • Battery saver mode to extend browsing time
  • Quick side tiles to access favorite websites

What’s not?

  • VPN is inherently proxy-based rather than actual VPN

Download Opera Browser

home page of opera browser

7. Firefox

Firefox is the default browser and comes built-in with Ubuntu. While there might be reasons to jump ships but Firefox is still one of the best browsers available apart from Google Chrome. For privacy, Firefox provides a lot of features like disabling third-party trackers, fingerprinting-protection, crypto mining protection, etc. With the release of Firefox 70.0, Mozilla has further strengthened privacy by introducing enhanced tracking protection.

Firefox has a lot of add-ons or extension support. However, I have always faced problems with media streaming due to poor video codec support.

What’s good?

  • A privacy-focused web browsing experience with Firefox life focus
  •  Inbuilt third-party tracker blocking and fingerprinting protection
  • Huge add-ons support
  • Sync history, bookmarks across multiple devices and platforms

What’s not?

  • doesn’t support hardware media keys
  • cannot playback H.265 videos
  • cannot set different search engine for Incognito

Download Mozilla Firefox

firefox lifefocus in mozilla firefox - best browsers ubuntu

8. Qute Browser

Qute Browser is a minimal terminal-based browser written in Python and PyQT5. It is the ideal browser for people who need minimal overload for testing web apps. With the simplest of commands, you can open the browser in a vim-like interface.

qutebrowser https://www.example.com

It can handle video and HTML5 content. You can also view the page source which comes in handy while debugging or troubleshooting the interface. Apart from these, you can also check out other terminal-based browsers like Vimb and Surf.

What’s good?

  • Terminal-based web browser to test web apps and portals
  • VIM based interface with the ability to view page source
  • Can render videos and HTML5 content
  • Built-in ad-blocker

What’s not?

  • Not enough debugging tools

Download Qute Browser

techwiser website on qute vim based browser

9. Beaker Browser

The Beaker browser is a technological experiment based on peer-to-peer protocol. In case you are not aware, the peer-to-peer protocol promotes decentralized storage where anyone can host and share data. More of, how the BitTorrent works. Now, the Beaker browser also lets you create your own website and host it to the dat community. I tried making one with the tools available within Beaker and it worked fine. Any website hosted on the dat protocol will have its code open to the users in a GitHub-style code view.

Additionally, you can also host files and ask people to download it. Obviously, even they have to use the Beaker browser. Since it’s based on chromium you can install browse other websites. But, it doesn’t feature other chromium features like extensions, google account sign-in, cross-platform sync, etc.

What’s good?

  • Peer-to-peer connection browser based on dat protocol
  • Option to host your website and files without a server on a peer-to-peer model
  • Multiple people can seed files and transfer over dat protocol
  • Good for people who want to test out websites and share files over a community

What’s not?

  • A lot of dat sites are still unavailable
  • Most of the chromium features like extensions and sync not available
  • The browser has weird scaling issues

Download Beaker Browser

beaker_browser - best browsers ubuntu

Edge chromium

After all teasers and sneak peek, Microsoft declared that they would be coming up with a Linux-based Edge Chromium. The launch date is, however, tentative but nonetheless, it’s good to see Microsoft apps coming to Linux. Back in Windows, I used a lot of Microsoft apps like To-Do, One Note, Sticky Notes, Mail, etc and I miss those apps on Ubuntu. Edge Chromium could just be the start of all these apps entering Linux.

Best Browsers For Ubuntu

For more issues or queries, let me know in the comments below.

Also Read: How to Share Screen And Media on Ubuntu 19.10

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