Privacy-Friendly Alternatives

To make life easier on the user to follow along, I recommend using the Privacy Redirect Extension on browsers and the Untrack Me app for Android. Here is the link the Chromium and Firefox extension if you wish to do so. Now, here is the list of the websites, alternatives, proxies, and front-ends you can use to more privately browse the web and consume content.

Search Engines

The primary search engine used is Google at google.com . While this is a good search engine, some users might be concerned about the data collection practices and privacy implications of Google usage. There are plenty of alternatives.

Social Media

Social Medias have been an almost essential part of everyday life for the past couple years. A random person you meet has one, two, or more of the following social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit and more. For certain users, who may or may not have an account, there exist privacy-respecting front-ends for some of these websites.

For Twitter we have Nitter, a front-end that requires no Javascript and has no Ads. It comes with a dark theme as the default, does not allow Twitter to fingerprint you via IP or JS, and integrates of a lot of the original functionality. You will not be able to leave a like however.

For Instagram we have Bibliogram, another privacy respecting front-end. There is also Barinsta for Android if you need to view images, but not post anything.

For Reddit, many users choose to use Libreddit, or Old Reddit. There are also various Reddit front-ends for users who do not want to use the official app on android. This includes Slide and Stealth, both available on the F-Droid app store.

Google Maps, Translate and Mail

Due to these having few alternatives and all being Google products, I will place them together.

Browsers and Extensions

The Modern Browser Landscape

In 2021, there are three types of browsers that dominate the market. These are Chromium based browsers which use Blink, such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, the Webkit based browser Safari, and Mozilla Firefox, which uses a Quantum browser engine. The most used browsers in the world today are Google Chrome with over 70%, Safari, Firefox and Edge.

While I probably didn’t need to tell you all of that, it sets a good foundation for understanding where the focus is for browsers. Nowadays, most websites and web apps aim to be compatible with chromium based browsers as they hold the majority share in the market. Due to this, compatibility with Safari and Mozilla Firefox could be seen as a secondary priority. The underlying web rendering engines and processes are different, so extensions work differently between these types.

Safari, even though its share is relatively limited, is absolutely dominant in the Apple ecosystem so developers aiming to target Apple users must account for them using the Safari browser. This is not the case with Firefox, as there is no system in which it is dominant, except perhaps GNU/Linux and its various distros as it comes preinstalled. Even then, some users opt to install another browser such as Google Chrome.

The Modern Extension Landscape

Extensions must be developed and then brought into the different browser markets via the Chrome Web Store for Chromium browsers, the Firefox Add-Ons store for Mozilla Firefox, and the App Store for Safari.

These extension stores all have different categories for finding applications to help you streamline your browsing experience, whether that be managing your documents, blocking adds, or some other use case. Extensions are most common on the the Chrome Web Store, but usually each extension has at least a Firefox counterpart.