Top 5 BEST Android browser to download for free
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Currently there are so many browsers for Android that it is difficult to make a comparison between all of them. However, I have investigated the most important ones to determine which is the best in every way: in general, speed, security, mobile data consumption, optimization, integration with flash player and other minor features.
Obviously, the applications cited here have all the basic tools for browsing or viewing web pages on the Internet, including browsing in incognito mode and loading the desktop version of a website. The most complete ones have somewhat more advanced functions, such as dark mode, mobile data saving, data synchronization with other devices, reading mode, ad blocker, VPN, support for add-ons or extensions, etc.
Best overall browser
Google Chrome: Perhaps the correct phrase is the most important browser. Although Chrome has useful functions, such as touch to search, image search, data saving, sending tabs between devices, some gesture controls and customization through its flags, it is the most used browser in the world, with a 64.1% market share, well ahead of Safari (17.21%) and Firefox (4.7%). That means all website owners will optimize their pages to work well and load fast first in this browser before others. That includes key web services from Google itself, like YouTube, Gmail, Maps, Keep, etc.
On the other hand, if you already used Google Chrome you will want to have your bookmarks, favorites, passwords, credit cards and the automatic filling of these data on all your devices. For this you will only have to use the Gmail account that you already have, while in other browsers you must create a new account and export, import all this data.
Summary and more details:
- Wide compatibility with web pages.
- You use the same Gmail account for data synchronization.
- Useful features when browsing, such as text search by tapping on it, quick response to simple questions from the address bar, and customization from the flags page chrome://flags
- It is considered a heavy browser, with high RAM consumption.
Puffin Browser: Virtually all benchmarks say so. For example, in Peacekeeper, one of the most popular benchmarks for browsers, Puffin for Android got 5349 points, Firefox 1469, Opera 1323 and Chrome 1256. I mean, Puffin Browser is on a totally different level when it comes to speed. The rest are practically similar. However, in practice I have noticed that this Puffin potency is not always consistent.
Summary and more details:
- Load pages faster than any other browser, thanks to the use of cloud computing. A powerful remote computer does the heavy lifting of loading all the elements on the page and sends you the result.
- Impressive data savings based on browsing statistics. It allows you to control the quality of the displayed content, including images, to save more or see in better detail.
- Built-in flash support. This is a defunct feature in most Android browsers.
- Cursor type control, as if using a PC mouse, and game controller type to navigate web pages. This can be very useful for playing flash games in this browser.
- It has a high consumption of RAM memory. It can slow down the device.
- Boring, outdated interface.
Whichever browser you use, if you want the pages to load faster, try activating its data saving mode. It also activates the ad blocker, if you have one.
Mozilla Firefox: Firefox isn’t just project-based Chromium, which already guarantees security and protection against threats on the web. Unlike Google’s Chrome, it is ALL open source, code that has even been audited. Firefox has also been the foundation of other privacy-focused browsers, such as the robust TOR.
To improve your privacy when browsing, you can activate the options “Do not track” and “Protection against tracking”, but you can also enter the screen about:config to change aspects much more technical, which include the deactivation of WebRTC to protect your IP or block the browser’s fingerprint to avoid being identified. With the help of plugins like HTTPS Everywhere you can force a secure connection with every website. This is a built-in feature by default in Brave Browser, another browser focused on security and privacy.
Summary and more details:
- The best privacy without sacrificing conveniences like speed, anti-malware or anti-phishing protection.
- Only 11 add-ons available in the Android version.
- A simpler alternative is Duck Duck Go Browser, where there is no space for Google as a search engine.
The one that consumes the least data
Puffin Browser: Currently all “top” browsers have a data saving mode, but the one that has called me the most in this section is the same Puffin Browser, which says it can “save up to 90% of your bandwidth.”
So far in my statistics I see a 61% savings, a really impressive value, although it does not give me details about the data saved. In advanced data saving options there is the option to adjust the transmission quality Y image resolution. By default it is “medium”, so if I set it to “low” it is likely that I can improve the indicated savings.
One of the most data-intensive things is images and ads on web pages. To block advertising and not upload images at all, both, Opera, Firefox, Dolphin Browser Y Lightning Browser there are three alternatives.
Lightning Browser: If your cell phone is slow, probably changing the browser will not solve the problem. Perhaps your best option is to use the default browser or that came from the factory on the device. If you insist on a lightweight option, there is unfortunately not much to choose from.
Lightning Browser is perhaps the most redeemable thing left, along with Naked Browser. They are not the prettiest, but they can help a bit with storage space, RAM consumption and battery. Lightning even integrates an ad blocker and no-image option, which can improve page load and performance.
Integrated flash player
Although the development of Adobe Flash was suspended back in 2011 for mobile browsers, there are still apps that support this technology, necessary to watch animation, graphic content and flash-based online games. That is the case of the aforementioned Puffin Browser, perhaps the best browser with integrated flash, which is pre-activated. You can even watch flash in full screen, previewing video ads.
Dolphin Browser It is sold as a flash compatible Android browser, but strangely in my case it has not passed Adobe’s flash test. Neither did UC Browser, Next Browser, or Lightning Browser, which had this capability. There are also other dedicated options like FlashFox or Photon Flash Player on the Play Store.
One of the great strengths of Google Chrome is the open source project Chromium, on which this browser is based. But he’s not the only one. Virtually all famous browsers start with Chromium: Firefox, Opera, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Brave Browser (from the co-founder of Mozilla), Vivaldi (del ex-CEO of Opera) o Kiwi Browser. Each one with particularities that may interest you.
For example, Kiwi Browser allows you to install Chrome extensions on Android, including those available in the Chrome Web Store. Opera comes with a Integrated free VPN. Your version Opera Touch, have a blocker of the cookies notice that appear on the web, as well as “My Flow”, to share links, images and notes between the cell phone and the PC.
Beyond Chromium there are also interesting alternatives, such as Samsung Internet, which you can install on any device (even if it’s not Samsung). Be careful with this option because you can notice it faster and more fluid than Google Chrome. With your Samsung Pass system you can log into websites using the fingerprint reader only.
Finally I want to mention a special browser that I used for many years and that I could mention as the most productive: Link Bubble (Google Play). Unfortunately they discontinued its development and no alternative, be it Flynx, Flyperlink, Chromer or Dolphin Float was able to convince me, especially due to their lack of integration with Pocket. With this browser you put the links to load in a small bubble at the edge of the screen, in the background. This allowed you to continue doing other tasks while loading and you could review your already loaded links without having to wait.
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