Alternative Browser Alliance
How times have changed! When the original version of this site was launched, the second "Browser War" was in full swing. Internet Explorer was dominant, Safari hadn't yet jumped off of MacOS-only, and Firefox and Opera were the scrappy alternatives trying to claw control of the structure of the web away from Microsoft and ensure it remained open, and not just another way for Microsoft to extend their desktop OS monopoly. The main goal was to encourage Firefox and Opera proponents to focus on IE rather than trying to tear each other down.
Now, Google Chrome dominates access to the web. Even alternatives like Microsoft Edge (odd to consider it an "alternative" when it's pre-installed on Windows!), Opera and Brave use the same underlying code. Firefox is the only major alternative that isn't built on Chromium or WebKit. Mobile access through smartphones and tablets matter as much, if not more, than desktop computers. And the biggest concern is no longer Microsoft's Windows monopoly, but privacy vs. targeted advertising by way of surveillance and user tracking, a space currently also dominated by Google.
(One thing that hasn't changed is the danger of having a single engine for malware to target most web users. It's just Chromium now instead of Internet Explorer.)
- We still recommend Firefox on all the platforms it's available on. Yes, including your phone!
- We recommend Vivaldi as a replacement for Opera, which was acquired by a global conglomerate in 2016 and has been implicated in sketchy corporate behavior. Vivaldi was launched by former Opera staff including its co-founder, and aims to be a more user-centered browser built on the same core as Chrome and Opera, but better privacy.
- We can't recommend Chrome anymore because (a) it's no longer an "alternative" in any sense and (b) Google is leveraging its dominant market share to shore up their advertising market share.
For further recommendations and other reading about web browsers, privacy, and user control vs. surveillance-as-a-business-model, check out some of these resources: