There are a lot of browsers out there that claim to be all about security. The latest is a team-up from the Tor Project and the makers of Mullvad VPN. The Mullvad Browser (which is different from the Tor Browser, also very much a thing) is focused on your “digital fingerprint,” or rather, it’s focused on trying to make that disappear.
While a conventional VPN can hide your IP address and make it appear that you’re connecting through a different server, and the Tor network does something similar with its distributed “onion” routing, advertisers have created much more complex means of tracking web users both individually and in groups. This goes far beyond cookie files: A combination of browser agent, language, plugins, even browser permissions and installed fonts can help identify you to a potential advertiser, and track your activity all across the web.
The Mullvad browser does its best to obfuscate this information. It doesn’t report back to the developer for performance information. It takes out some of the most common web APIs. It changes the dimensions of the reported web page to keep your screen resolution hidden. Yes, it even restricts the available number of fonts. While the browser doesn’t actually use the Tor network, it was developed in conjunction with the Tor team, with the aim of using a conventional VPN service for security instead.
Combined with other precautions, like using the Mullvad VPN (which is also our pick for the best privacy VPN service of 2023!) and built-in ad blocking with uBlock Origin, the aim is to make a browser as airtight and privacy-focused as possible. While the Mullvad VPN is a paid service, the browser is a free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux.