The iOS App Store is filled with third-party browsers which are quite good. Some browsers make your browsing secure by stopping online trackers from tracking your browsing habit. Some offer an easy to use interface for fast web browsing, while others are lashed with a wide range of features coupled with a ton of customizations so that you can have a full-on web browsing experience. In a nutshell, the browser war had never been so cut-throat before. But just in case you seem a bit spoilt for choice and are unable to find the right browser that can cater to your needs, we’ve got you covered with the 15 best iPhone browsers you can use in 2020.
Best iPhone and iPad Browsers You Should Use in 2020
So, where does your priority lie? Is it having a pretty smooth web browsing? Or is it shielding your personal information while browsing the web anonymously? To make your job of finding a better browser a tad straightforward, we’ve divided this lineup into two sections. While the first one consists of overall highly-rated web browsers for iOS, the second one comprises the privacy-focused iPhone/iPad browsers. Oh yes, we’ve also picked out the ones that offer free VPN so that you can securely surf the web in public places. Now that you know what’s coming, let’s get started!
1. Google Chrome
Google Chrome took the web by storm when it launched back in 2008 for the desktop. Since then, it has matured a lot and emerged as the most popular browser. If you swear by Google’s ecosystem, which most of us do, Chrome can sync all your bookmarks and history across all your devices. It can also sync your open tabs if you’re signed in using the same Google account on multiple devices, à la Safari hand-off. Chrome can also translate web pages on the fly, so you never have to worry about your foreign language anxiety (learning foreign languages can be cool, though!).
Chrome also has a pretty nice voice search feature built in, so you can search the web via your voice. The user interface is pretty slick — featuring tabbed browsing, an easy way to switch between bookmarks and history, and an incognito mode. The Omnibox doubles as an address bar and a search bar, followed by favicons of your recent websites.
If you’re looking for a fast and no-nonsense alternate web browser for iOS, Google Chrome is a great option. The only feature I miss from Chrome on Android is the Data Saving Mode, which couldn’t be built into Chrome for iOS due to Apple’s restrictions. I also miss Reader mode from Safari/Firefox while browsing on Chrome.
Download Google Chrome (Free)
2. Mozilla Firefox and Firefox Focus
Mozilla pioneered the web browser revolution even before Chrome arrived on the scene. Similar to Apple and Google, Firefox allows you to sync all your passwords, history, open tabs and bookmarks across all your devices with a Mozilla account. Firefox for iOS offers all the goodness from Firefox on the desktop, like private browsing and throws in some iOS-specific tricks.
One, you can share a link from Safari to Firefox as a workaround for Apple not allowing to change default browser on iPhone. Secondly, it secures all your saved logins with TouchID. Firefox also has an inbuilt reader view, which removes all the distractions on a web page and lets you focus on the reading experience. Third, it also has a standalone privacy focused browser — Firefox Focus, which blocks any web trackers and also erases all your history.
If you use Firefox on the desktop, the decision to use it on iOS should be a cakewalk. Firefox’s privacy focused browser, Firefox Focus, is pretty barebones, though. The browser literally comprises of just an address bar, sans the history, bookmarks or even tabs. It is also slower than the regular Firefox browser — but such is the trade-off you’ve to make to put privacy first.
3. Opera Touch
While Opera Touch is nowhere near as feature-rich as Chrome or as efficient as Safari, it’s more than handy to let you browse faster. And that too without hogging a lot of resources, unlike Chrome. The app lets you search both using written text and voice. Times when you are on the go and don’t find it convenient to type text, the voice search can come into play in letting you search comfortably. Not to mention, it also has a pretty smart barcode scanning feature so that you can scan a barcode on a product and look it up online.
In terms of protection, Opera Touch offers end-to-end encryption to your data. So, you can trust this web browser to shield your sensitive information against prying eyes. Moreover, it also features a built-in ad blocker so that you can block intrusive ads to speed up web browsing. Considering these notable features, Opera Touch is one of the best iPhone browsers you can use today.
Download Opera Touch (Free)
Safari may seem pretty obvious on this list, as it’s built into iOS. But make no mistake, Apple’s in-house browser is a very capable web browser, and can leverage some of the best features of the Apple ecosystem. For instance, iCloud keychain can store and sync passwords across all of your Apple devices to avoid the hassle of typing in your passwords every time. The stored passwords are protected with Touch/Face ID on the iPhone. If you own a Mac, the hand-off feature allows you to sync open tabs on iPhone and Mac, so that you can work seamlessly.
Furthermore, if you use Apple Pay, you can easily make payments from the comfort of your iPhone. Then there’s Safari’s Reader Mode that brings you de-cluttered web pages and makes them easier for reading.
Safari, of course, is built upon Apple’s design guidelines from ground up, which means that it is easy to use. Apple doesn’t allow a global setting to change default apps, which means that you will encounter Safari every time you open a link from default apps like Mail. Safari hits the nail perfectly if you’re looking for all the browsing basics, leveraging other Apple services. If you’re looking for fancy features from a browser, give Safari a pass and continue reading.
5. Microsoft Edge
If I were to pick a web browser that can take away the crown from Chrome or at least come very close to it, I would pick out Microsoft Edge. Powered by Chromium engine, Edge works pretty fast unlike before. Since it’s built on chromium, the Mac version supports Chrome extensions which is awesome. It’s also highly customizable and super-fast. If you like to customize your web browsers for improved performance, you would really appreciate Microsoft’s web browser. For a personalized experience, the app automatically syncs all of your favorites, passwords, and saved data across devices to make your web browsing seamless.
Download Microsoft Edge (Free)
6. Maxthon Cloud Web Browser
Maxthon Cloud Web Browser app is a lightweight iPhone browser app with a ton of awesome features like a native ad-blocker, a note-taking tool, and more. Since it’s a cloud-based web browser, Maxthon lets you sync your data across both Apple as well as non-Apple devices. So yes, you can expect your data ready to be used at all times.
Some other noteworthy features of the browser include a night-mode for using the browser at night time and the ability to install extensions for increasing the productivity of the browser. The extensions center for Maxthon is filled with a ton of cool extensions that can help you make the most out of the browser.
Download Maxthon Cloud Web Browser (Free)
7. Dolphin Browser
Long time Android users might be familiar with Dolphin browser, as it was one of the first browsers to bring gesture-based navigation. The iOS counterpart is equally capable and brings a lot of features to the table. Perhaps its headline feature, Dolphin allows you to set custom gestures to open a certain website, or to manage other Dolphin-specific features.
Dolphin Connect is Dolphin’s answer to synchronize bookmarks and history. It also has an inbuilt QR code scanner and support for night mode. There’s a switch to enable ad-blocking, though it’s disabled by default. It supports custom themes and allows you to secure the browser start-up with TouchID. There’s also a Dolphin Sonar feature, available as an in-app purchase, which lets you search, share and navigate by shaking your iPhone.
If you like the idea of drawing “F” to open Facebook and if gestures are how you roll, you should definitely check out Dolphin browser. New users may feel a little overwhelmed on first use due to lots of features but you will get used to it pretty soon. After all, it has everything that you could ask for in a mobile browser.
Download Dolphin Browser (Free)
8. Aloha Browser
If you are a privacy nerd who’s on the lookout for a web browser with built-in free unlimited VPN then Aloha Browser is the way to go. Yes, it’s a browser app that focuses on privacy and hides your footprint on the internet. As far as the user experience is concerned, the interface is pretty straightforward and it looks very similar to something like Google Chrome.
A couple of noteworthy features of Aloha browser includes an ad-free web surfing environment, an in-built VR player that lets you play VR videos and more. You can also choose to opt for a premium version of Aloha and get an advanced set of features. But either way, you can’t go wrong with Aloha and we highly recommend trying to as an alternative to something like Safari or Chrome if you want something new.
Download Aloha Browser (Free)
9. Puffin Browser Pro
When you talk about the top-notch web browsers for iOS, missing out on an efficient web browser like Puffin Browser Pro wouldn’t be a good idea. Probably the best part about it is the ability to shift the workload from the resource-limited devices to cloud servers. As a result, even the most resource-hogging websites can run smoothly on your iPhone and iPad. In terms of security, the Puffin Browser provides strong encryption to all traffic from the app to the server to safeguard the data against hacking. What’s more, the app uses a proprietary compression algorithm to reduce up to 90% of your bandwidth on regular web browsing. So, unlike most other web browsers, it won’t gobble up a ton of mobile data on your iOS device.
Download Puffin Browser Pro ($4.99)
Privacy-focused iPhone Browsers
All the above mentioned browsers are great when it comes to speed and usability, however, they are not the most private browsers. If you are someone who is worried about their online privacy and tired of getting tracked and served the same ads on every website, you can use the below mentioned privacy focuses best iPhone browsers to browse the net securely.
10. Brave Browser
Brave browser is one of the best privacy focused browser on the market and it is also blazing fast. While most other browsers require you to configure settings or install third-party extensions to help protect your privacy, Brave does it all by default. It brings privacy and security features such as HTTPS Everywhere (encrypted data traffic), script blocking, cookie blocking, and private tabs. It also blocks ads, poop-up windows, and more. Since it doesn’t load all the scripts that show ads and track you, it even increases your browsing speed. This is one of the best iPhone browsers when it comes to privacy and you should definitely check it out.
Download Brave Browser (Free)
11. DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser
If privacy sits right at the top of your agenda, look no further than DuckDuckGo. Yeah, you read that right! This privacy-focused web browser offers enhanced encryption so that your personal information will stay safeguarded against hacking or data trackers. By blocking all the hidden third-party trackers the app ensures your browsing session remains private and away from the eyes of data trackers. Moreover, DuckDuckGo also offers some cool customizations to let you accelerate browsing.
Download DuckDuckGo (Free)
12. Private Browser – VPN Proxy
Download Private Browser – VPN Proxy (Free)
13. Ghostery Browser
Ghostery browser is a lightweight web-browser which blocks all social trackers, scripts, and other general trackers. The browser brings powerful ad blocking and tracker protection capabilities and will effectively protect you from getting tracked online. There is a Ghost mode which offers further privacy protection by preventing the websites you visit from appearing in your browser history. It is also very good at protecting users from phishing attacks.
It also has DuckDuckGo as its default search engine for added privacy. That being said, in my usage, I found Ghostery browser to a little low on features and a bit slower than Safari. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that bad that you will notice. Still, I felt that it was a bit slower and you should know it before you decide to go with it.
Download Ghostery browser (Free)
14. Tor VPN Browser
If you are looking for an unlimited private access to the internet, then Tor VPN browser is the way to go. It’s the only app in this list that features both VPN + TOR, and it lets you choose between the speed and ease of use of VPNs tunnel connection.
Besides an unlimited tunneled access to the internet over the tor network, this browser also detects and blocks pop-ups, automatically deletes cookies, cache and third-party data on application exit. It’s, however, worth pointing out that most of its features are hidden behind in-app purchases pay wall. But, it’s the price you’ll have to pay for a secure internet access.
Download Tor VPN Browser (Free, in-app purchases)
15. Onion Browser
Onion browser is also a free and open-source Tor-powered web browser for iOS. Just like Tor VPN Browser, Onion browser also lets you access the internet safely at no extra cost. Onion browser lets you access the internet over Tor and protects your privacy from website tracking.
Onion browser also secure your traffic from insecure wireless networks and ISPs, and lets you access .onion sites that are only accessible over Tor.
Download Onion Browser (Free)
Best iPhone Browsers You Need to Use
As you have seen, there’s no shortage of web browsers on the iPhone — whether you are looking for a customizable one or one focused on privacy. It all boils down to personal preference, really. I’d love to hear what exactly do you look for in a mobile browser and which is your web browser of choice on the iPhone? Also if we missed any browser that deserves to be on this best iPhone browsers list, let us know in the comments section below.