Browser Reviews

I get to sound like a Youtuber from an unboxing video! Fun times. Let’s get started.

The Situation

I wanted to test something other than the default browser, Firefox. Plus, I was kinda bored one evening and did not want to start my homework.

GNOME Web/Epiphany

I started out by looking into GNOME Web (aka Epiphany), which is supposed to be lightweight and amazing. TL;DR: it wasn’t.

First off, install Epiphany by typing in the following commands (this is on Ubuntu):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install epiphany-browser

Pros

Cons

Overall, I wasn’t really a big fan; no pun intended, but the fans were running a bit too much. The main reason why I didn’t go with Epiphany was probably the weird hissing sounds my laptop started making. I cleaned up afterwards by getting rid of the repo and by uninstalling Epiphany.

Chromium

This (obviously) had the same look and feel as Chrome. A lot of apps cater to Chrome, so they work on Chromium (especially when they don’t cater to Firefox). For example, MS Teams works fine from Chrome when it keeps crashing on Firefox. I do have Chromium installed. I think it does something with HTML5, but installing it helped Rapid Miner work on my Arch set up.

Tor/Onion Browser

I heard about Tor through the DuckDuckGo newsletter (which gives the average human a pretty decent intro to privacy). I’d heard fairly good things about the Onion Browser, that it would give the user more privacy and that it was FOSS.

Yeah, I tried to make it my default browser, but I ran into one fundamental issue: it was far too slow for me. The performance drawback was a bit too much to bear, so I moved on. On my mobile devices, this was my only issue. However, on my laptop, the additional concern I had is that I had to launch the application from an executable every time. I wasn’t sure that the program was exiting correctly, since when I ‘X’-ed out the application, the command prompt would not return on its own.

Opera

I installed Opera using the Ubuntu Software app, and not through command line.

Pros

Cons

It also gives you an option to enable VPN:

  1. Go to Settings -> Advanced and double click Advanced
  2. Go to VPN and turn on “Enable VPN”
  3. Go to the top of the search bar; you’ll see the letters “VPN” in a light grey. Click on that, so that it becomes blue. This will let you pick the location.

Update: as of September 2020, I’m back to Firefox.

Update: as of June 2021, I also have Chromium installed.