UC Browser, owned by Alibaba Group, is one of the most popular web browsers in India. However, not many users know that the web browser has been found with many security gaps in the past and follows questionable privacy practices. In 2015, Citizen Lab published a detailed study that revealed personally identifiable information and precise location of users were sent to Umeng and AMAP — Alibaba’s analytics and mapping tool — located in China. Since the company is based out of China, experts are suspicious that user data might be accessible to Chinese authorities. In this regard, we recently wrote an article on the best Chinese apps alternatives to make people aware of the need to protect their privacy. And in this article, we specifically take a look at all UC Browser alternatives so you can move to a more secure and private web browser.
Best UC Browser Alternatives for Android and iPhone
1. Google Chrome
Google Chrome is generally my top recommendation for users who want a simple and user-friendly browser that does not do shady things like UC Browser. I know there is a fair criticism going around Chrome, but I will come to this later. For starters, Chrome offers you top-notch protection and is regularly updated against security vulnerabilities and harmful websites. Many people prefer using UC Browser because of its “fast download” feature. However, Chrome has also incorporated smart downloading where it splits the file into small chunks to accelerate the download speed.
Apart from that, Chrome can now generate passwords and sync everything to your Google account so you can seamlessly transition from one device to another. Not to mention, Chrome now comes with a dark UI, and dark mode for web content is set to release in the near future. By the way, if you want to test it, you can enable the feature right away from the Chrome Flags page.
Coming to the criticism that Chrome has become spyware at this point, I partly agree with the arguments here. Chrome hosts thousands of tracker cookies and analytics tools to track your behavior and learn about your personality and interests. Google is upfront about it and says this is done to deliver better ads. However, the issue is with third-party cookies and cross-site trackers that store cookies on your device to track and build your profile across the web. To combat this, Google is now offering the option to block third-party cookies (Settings -> Site Settings -> Cookies) which is a step in the right direction.
Further, Google has promised that in the next two years, it will completely phase out third-party cookies. So to sum up, if you are a general user and want a convenient browser that does everything for you then Chrome is a far better choice than UC Browser. However, if you are stringent about your online privacy then you can pick Firefox Focus or Brave browser, which I have discussed below.
If you are an iPhone user then Safari is an obvious alternative to UC Browser. Safari comes with Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) and unlike Chrome, it blocks all third-party cookies by default. It means that no tracker can follow you on the web and learn about your preferences, except for the website you are visiting. ITP on Safari was released three years ago, but earlier, it used to block only some of the invasive cookies. However, after the March update this year, Safari has enabled the feature by default for all third-party cookies.
Basically, there is not even a scope of “a little bit of cross-site tracking”, as put by Apple’s WebKit Engineer, John Wilander. Other than that, Safari now comes with dark mode, download manager, has an excellent reader mode, and more. So, just ditch UC Browser and move straight to Safari on your iPhone. We have published a good article on best Safari tips. You can read it to learn some of its hidden features. Basically, on the iPhone, you don’t have to look any further to make your web experience safer and more private.
Comes pre-installed on iPhone
3. Firefox Focus
As I said above, Firefox Focus is for those users who want strict control over their data on the web. It’s a privacy-oriented browser that puts your online privacy over everything. In that way, it’s the exact antithesis of everything that UC Browser stands for. Run by the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, no user data is sent to any server, not even Mozilla corporation. Firefox is one of the first browsers to completely block third-party cookies by default, much before Safari in 2019. On top of that, Firefox has now enabled encrypted DNS over HTTPS (DoH) to further protect user privacy on the web.
Coming to features, you have night mode, custom tab, stealth mode, one-tap data eraser, etc. And if you are using Firefox on iPhone then you also get the option to unlock Firefox through biometrics. That’s awesome, right? In case, you want to use add-ons too then you can go for the standard Firefox browser. Overall, Firefox Focus is a privacy-first browser and you should replace UC Browser right away if you value your privacy.
4. Samsung Internet Browser
Samsung Internet Browser is a promising new web browser that has quickly risen to popularity in the recent past. It’s also one of the most feature-packed browsers and even brings support for select few add-ons from Galaxy Store. I would say, Samsung Internet Browser is truly a UC Browser alternative because it brings a range of features and yet feels so light. You have got dark mode, native ad-blocker, download manager, font customization, secret mode, autofill functionality, and much more.
On top of that, similar to Safar’s ITP, you have the smart anti-tracking feature which blocks trackers and analytics tools from the website you are visiting. The best part about Samsung Internet Browser is that it’s based on Chromium and that results in great performance. So, if you want a complete package that gives you all the popular features of UC Browser while also protecting your privacy then Samsung Internet Browser is a perfect pick.
Install: Samsung Internet Browser (Android)
5. Microsoft Edge
Of late, the desktop version of Microsoft Edge is getting high praise from the online community for its excellent performance, battery life, and a number of unique features. The newfound interest in Edge comes after Microsoft decided to adopt Chromium for its desktop build. And now, Microsoft has brought the Chromium Edge to all the platforms including Android, iOS, macOS, and of course, Windows. Coming to privacy, unlike UC Browser, Microsoft Edge blocks all third-party trackers which means it prevents trackers from sites that you are not accessing directly. And the best part is that it’s enabled by default.
Besides, you have features like content blocker, private mode, night mode, reading list, and more. MS Edge also comes with data syncing across all your Microsoft devices, be it your password, saved address, or autofill information. In addition, the best part about Microsoft Edge is that you can continue web browsing from your computer to smartphone seamlessly. To sum up, Microsoft Edge is a promising web browser for smartphones and a far more secure alternative than UC Browser.
6. Brave Privacy Browser
Brave is another alternative to UC Browser that you should seriously give heed to. Built on the foundation of privacy, safety, and fast performance, Brave is earning applause from all quarters. Similar to Firefox Focus, Brave blocks third-party trackers by default and protects you from anyone tracking on the web. In addition, it blocks malicious scripts on websites keeping your smartphone resource-free which translates to better battery life. The best part about Brave Privacy Browser is that it comes with HTTPS Everywhere extension that is popular for switching insecure websites to HTTPS.
Apart from that, Brave features a built-in ad blocker, private bookmark, popup blocker, and more. The unique bit about Brave is that it has something called Brave Rewards. Since you are blocking all kinds of ads by default, you are depriving the platform to monetize its content. So Brave lets you support your favorite content creators by allowing privacy-respecting ads on the website. At the end of the month, the rewards are sent to the content creator. That’s cool, right? To put it straight, Brave is a modern browser that has all the protection you need and also lets you help the platform you love. So go ahead and replace UC Browser with Brave without any second thoughts.
Kiwi is a relatively new web browser, but a far better alternative than UC Browser. It’s built on the same premise as Brave and Firefox Focus. And it brings some unique features that you are absolutely going to love. The browser looks and feels very similar to Chrome (thanks to the Chromium base), but has all the extra features that you want on Chrome. To start with, Kiwi can block third-party cookies and invasive trackers. It has Cryptojacking protection which blocks scripts from using your device to mine crypto-currency. Further, Kiwi has a powerful popup blocker and comes with many adblocking services.
But that is not all. Kiwi is hugely popular for Chrome extension support. You can basically install Chrome extensions on your smartphone. How awesome is that? What’s more, you can disable AMP pages by Google (I hate it!), block annoying notifications on the website, get pure AMOLED dark mode, and much more. Simply put, Kiwi is one of the best web browsers that has made a mark with its extension support and stands as a capable alternative to UC Browser.
Install: Kiwi (Android)
If you were using UC Browser for its innumerable features then you will find yourself at home on Opera. Similar to UC Browser, it offers a ton of features but also respects your privacy. Opera blocks all third-party trackers and intrusive ads that may hamper your browsing experience. Now, it has also added an option to block annoying cookie and privacy dialogs that you get every time you visit a webpage. And if you liked reading personalized news on UC Browser then Opera also offers AI-curated news just for you.
Further, there is customizable night mode, password management, private browsing, text wrap feature for a great reading experience, and more. Not to mention, Opera also brings a dedicated download manager with faster speed and file management features. Finally, it offers a built-in VPN to anonymously browse the web and it does not cost a dime. So to sum up, Opera is a perfect UC Browser alternative and I am sure, you won’t be disappointed.
Vivaldi is another promising web browser from the house of Opera Software, but it’s much more privacy-focused, hence a suitable alternative to UC Browser. It comes with an integrated ad-blocker that blocks video ads, pop-ups, intrusive banner ads, etc. And just like other browsers in this list, Vivaldi strips off websites from trackers and analytics tools. The notable feature of Vivaldi is its user interface. You can customize it whichever way you want: you can get a desktop-style tabbed layout or use the traditional mobile interface. The tabbed layout surely makes it easy to navigate and manage the open tabs.
Apart from that, Vivaldi features a built-in Notes tool that you can use to quickly jot down new ideas and thoughts while browsing the web. Furthermore, you can take a full-length screenshot of a webpage or snap the visible area, as per your requirement. All in all, Vivaldi brings something fresh to the table and you can give it a shot in place of UC Browser.
Install: Vivaldi (Android)
DuckDuckGo is popular for its privacy-friendly search engine, but it also offers a dedicated web browser for smartphones. It’s built on the same foundation of stringent privacy protection that it espouses on its search engine. It can block all the hidden third-party trackers and also lets you know the major advertising network behind the tracker. Basically, you will know who’s trying to track you. DuckDuckGo also forces websites to use encrypted connection just like the HTTPS Everywhere extension so your data always remains safe from prying eyes.
Not to mention, you can search for anything privately on its search engine and none of your queries or metadata will make it to any server. The best part about the DuckDuckGo browser is that it gives a Privacy Grade rating to websites so you can know how well you are protected on the website. To conclude, if you want complete privacy protection on the web then DuckDuckGo is the best app browser out there– laughably better than UC Browser.
Protect Your Privacy With The Best UC Browser Alternatives
So those are our picks for the best UC Browser alternatives that offer all-around privacy protection from trackers and invasive cookies. It goes without saying that none of the browsers listed here have any affiliation with government agencies around the world. So unlike UC Browser, your web activity will not fall into the hands of preying authorities. Anyway, that is all from us. If you found the article informative then do comment down below and let us know.