Safari is a pretty good browser, but it falls shorts in several aspects. For instance, not all sites perform optimally, and it doesn’t feature the best tab management options. Thankfully, there are plenty of Safari alternatives for iPhone and iPad that are fast, secure, and feature-rich.
Moreover, with the ability to change the default browser in iOS 14, you can use your favorite one conveniently. Want to know what my choice is? Keep reading as I review some of the most popular iPhone browsers.
1. Google Chrome
I love Google Chrome so much that I did a detailed comparison with Safari to explain my reasons. Primarily, the stand-out feature is the seamless sync across devices, thanks to signing in with your Google account.
You can access recently opened pages, bookmarks, and favorites on any device that you’re signed into. For instance, I use Google Chrome across my iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android device, and Windows PC, and my data syncs across all to ease my workflow. This cross-platform support makes it the best for those who work on multiple devices.
Of course, there are loads of other attractive options such as efficient tab management and incognito mode for privacy.
- Impeccable cross-platform sync
- Great tab management features
- Built-in Google Voice Search to avoid manual typing
- Mighty Google Translate to convert web pages from one language to another.
- Data saver mode automatically compresses the web pages for faster loading
- Incognito mode which does not record history, cache, and cookies
- Tracks user data
- Hogs resources
2. Firefox and Firefox Focus
This one’s a close second to Chrome and boasts a similar clean UI. One of the most notable features is that it automatically blocks image(s) to reduce sites’ loading time. Of course, it’s pretty good at blocking ads and popups, too, for your safety.
For more privacy, you can go for the Firefox Focus browser, in which stealth mode is always on. It seamlessly blocks many common web trackers without needing to meddle with the settings.
- Private Browsing Mode makes sure that none of your online activities are being recorded.
- Enhanced Tracking Protection is known to block all harmful trackers, including crypto miners and fingerprints.
- Syncs passwords, bookmarks, and history across devices
- You need to create a Firefox account to allow data to sync
- No tracking protection in Private Browsing mode.
3. Microsoft Edge
Long gone are the days of Internet Explorer. Microsoft has created one of the best browsers in the form of Edge. It has a straightforward UI with many helpful features such as private tabs, swipe gestures, translate webpages, etc.
I especially appreciate the picture-in-picture functionality for video on most sites, including YouTube. I also love using the “Read aloud” feature that reads the text to you at the tap of a button.
Further, it comes with Adblock Plus built-in to block unwanted ads. The downside is that the default search engine is Bing, but you can easily change this to Google, Yahoo, etc.
- Minimal resource consumption
- Tracking Prevention to stop third-party trackers from accessing your browsing activity.
- Built-in Ad-Block Plus to stop intrusive ads
- InPrivate browsing Mode
- Immersive Reader Mode allows for a distraction-free experience.
- Password Manager to handle all your saved passwords
- You must have a Microsoft Account to make the most of the features.
- Sync is a bit slow
- Interface and navigation could be more responsive
4. Brave Browser
Here’s the best Safari alternative that puts privacy first. It blocks all ads by default that considerably decreases the page load time. Brave claims to be three times faster than Chrome while putting less strain on your device battery.
But, if ads are blocked, how do websites make revenue? Well, Brave supports publishers by compensating them at the end of each month, depending on your interaction with websites. Further, with HTTPS Everywhere, you can rest assured that you’re only visiting safe sites.
Moreover, you can also use TouchID/FaceID to unlock this browser. And there’s also an in-built Private VPN that allows you to hide your actual IP address and browse anonymously.
- Best security and privacy features
- Speedy browser
- In-built VPN
- Less resource consumption
- Data sync is a bit complicated to setup
- Payment methodology needs to be simplified for more developers and publishers to be on board.
Here’s another top browser for those concerned about privacy. It doesn’t log any of your activity, so you can freely browse without worrying about how your data will be used.
The interface takes inspiration from Google Chrome and is a breeze to navigate. Like Microsoft Edge, this browser’s highlight is how it lets you play YouTube and other videos in picture-in-picture mode. This is incredibly handy when you want to watch something while also carrying on with other tasks on your phone.
Moreover, Aloha claims to load webpages two times faster using hardware acceleration. Simultaneously, there is also a paid version of the browser called Aloha Premium that boasts even more advanced features such as an in-built VPN to browse anonymously and safeguard your privacy.
- Ad-free browsing experience
- In-built VR player allows you to enjoy VR videos
- Picture-in-picture / background play for videos
- Fast and secures
- Need to pay for full features
Price: Premium subscription starts at $2.99
6. Opera Browser
This iOS browser app has undergone a complete overhaul in recent times. One of the highlights of this is the Fast Action Button. This is inspired by Apple’s Control Center, and a single tap is enough to invoke quite a few functionalities such as refreshing the tab, closing it, or opening a new one.
Further, the ‘Flow’ feature allows you to link the device’s browser with its desktop version. You could then easily exchange the desired data from either end. It also comes with a built-in QR Code scanner, which blends well with its Flow feature.
Lastly, its ad and popup blocker ensures an immersive browsing experience.
- Ad-blocker and cryptocurrency mining protection
- Easy to use
- Fast Action Button for easy one-hand usage
- Lack of bookmark management
- No online data sync
7. DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser
This is the leading name among the most secure web browsers for iPhone and iPad. It gives equal attention to both privacy and customizations. Moreover, what makes it stand out is that it has a built-in search engine that doesn’t hog or track your data the way Google does. It is consistently scaling up to offer a better browsing experience.
Further, a badge beside the address bar shows the privacy grade of each website you visit which helps you stay safe and instantly gauge the site’s reliability.
- Blocks all third-party trackers by default
- Private search engine compared to Google
- Enforce Encryption makes sure that you always land upon the HTTPS version of a site rather than the HTTP (if available).
- Privacy scores from A to F for each site
- TouchID/ FaceID lock
- Detailed customization settings are time-consuming
- The default search engine is DuckDuckGo and cannot be changed
This one’s quite a new browser, and it’s exclusively for mobile. The advantage of this is the gesture-based interface that makes it a pleasure to use on your iPhone or iPad.
For example, when you search online, swiping left and right loads each search result so you can quickly find the site you need.
Further, when you find something you like, you can tap the Menu icon and choose from several options. These include adding it to your bookmarks or Pinterest-style Collections, using the Find on Page feature to locate specific text, saving images, or even opening the page in Safari.
Moreover, there are plenty of privacy options such as ad-blockers, force HTTPS, passcode protection, etc.
- Free VPN
- Gesture control
- Solid privacy controls
- Mobile-only, so cannot sync with your computer
- Need to pay for premium for advanced features such as faster VPN servers
Price: Premium starts at $1.99 per month
9. Yandex Browser
Yandex browser is all about safe and secure browsing. It reduces data usage and speeds up page load time with its special Turbo mode.
Its uniqueness lies in its ability to change the look of tabs using preset background designs or photos from your device. Pretty neat when you’re bored of the plain look of other browsers.
The browser also offers you recommended content, including news, articles, and videos based on your interests. You can also access all your favorite websites and bookmarks on any of your devices with a Yandex account.
- Voice search in multiple languages, including Russian, Turkish, and Ukrainian.
- Customized look and content to
- In-built ad blocker
- Fast and secure
- Some websites don’t display correctly
- Need to create a Yandex account for sync
This one’s more of a search engine than a full-fledged browser, but it’s the best choice if you care about the earth and sustainability.
For approximately every 45 searches you do, Ecosia plants a tree. Given how we are all constantly searching for things, this is an easy way to do something small for the planet.
For more information about their work and transparency, you can check out the Projects tab at the browser’s bottom. However, since Ecosia is primarily a search engine, it lacks many essential features such as tabs and privacy controls.
So, it would be preferable to use this within another browser at the URL ecosia.org.
- Uses search revenue to plant trees
- Save your favorite webpages
- Clean, beautiful look
- Search results not as accurate as Google
- Not a full-fledged browser
With so many options, you can find a Safari alternative that perfectly fits your unique needs. Which browser do you love using on your iPhone or iPad? Share your preference with me in the comments below.