No Browser Is Perfect

As a Linux and Android user, trying to find the right browser is tough. While I wish I could have it all (in one browser), no browser is perfect.

Below you will find my summary of the strengths and weaknesses of what I consider to be the top four contenders on Linux and Android: Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Brave.

Chrome/Chromium on Linux


  • Does media codec's for you: H.264, AAC and MP3
  • Supported by most sites that offer HTML5 Video
  • Has Flash support through its Pepper Plugin API
  • Plentiful Chrome Extensions, like uBlock Origin, HTTPS Everywhere
  • Desktop Shortcuts and Apps, like Signal
  • Strong security, process isolation; exploits are rare:
    • Results for Pwn2Own 2016, number of successful exploit attempts:
      • Apple Safari: 3/3 (100% Success)
      • Microsoft Edge: 2 /2 (100% Success)
      • Google Chrome: .5/2 (25% Success)


  • Many users report heavy RAM and CPU utilization

Chrome/Chromium on Android


  • Speed
  • Syncs with Chrome Desktop
  • Has Google Cast support for HTML5 Video
  • Updated simultaneously with Chrome Desktop


  • All extensions are disabled; can't install uBlock Origin
  • Can't set default search engine to DuckDuckGo

Firefox on Linux



  • Poor security:
    • Add-ons all share global JavaScript namespace
    • Not a contender (i.e. worthy target) in Pwn2Own competitions
  • Many users report heavy RAM and CPU utilization
  • No built-in Flash support

Firefox on Android


  • Most Add-ons available for Firefox mobile
  • Easy search engine customization: DuckDuckGo available by default


  • Slower than Chrome, others
  • Firefox reloads tabs every time users switch back to the app with multi-tasking/task-switching in Android

Opera on Linux


  • Opera Private Windows have built-in VPN service (with no logging)
  • Plenty of extensions
  • Built-in ad-blocking
  • Fast
  • Synchronization works just like in Chrome


  • No built-in Flash support

Opera on Android


  • Speed
  • Syncs with desktop browser
  • Data Compression saves on mobile data


  • Can't set default search engine to DuckDuckGo
  • All extensions are disabled

Brave on Linux


  • Fastest page-load speeds in the industry
  • Replaces ads with Brave-network preapproved ads by default
  • Can opt-out of all ads (built-in ad-blocker, tracking-blocker)
  • 3rd-party cookies blocked by default
  • HTTPS Everywhere built-in
  • Built-in support for 3 password managers: Brave, 1Password, and Dashlane
  • In the future, you will get reimbursed in Bitcoin for allowing ads; can set browser to redistribute your ad reward to your top 20 sites automatically


  • No extensions yet (it's quite new still)
  • No built-in Flash support

Brave on Android


  • Tabs load in the background; Bubbles visible as floating icon in foreground displaying progress
  • Very fast page-loading
  • Search engine customizable
  • HTTPS Everywhere built-in
  • Ad-blocking, tracking-protection built-in


  • No extensions yet

Best Use Cases for Each Browser


  • Best for General Linux Desktop Browsing, due to built-in Flash and media codec support, plus many great extensions and desktop apps. Strong security model enhances browser reliability.


  • Best for Android Mobile Browsing with Extensibility, with add-ons for ad-blocking (uBlock Origin), search engine customization, HTTPS everywhere, Bluhell Firewall, I don't care about cookies, etc.


  • Best for Zero-Configuration Private Desktop Browsing on Linux due to built-in VPN.


  • Best for Fast, Ad-Free Android Mobile Browsing with strong privacy-protection. Pair with a VPN app/service such as Private Internet Access for even better privacy.

In an Ideal World...

In order to create my own "perfect browsing experience" for Android and Linux, I would integrate the following features from each of the browsers:

  • the speed, ad-blocking, and privacy-enhancing features of Brave,
  • the mobile and desktop add-ons from Firefox,
  • the built-in VPN from Opera,
  • and the Flash-support and desktop apps from Chrome

And we could call it BraveChromeOperaFox !

Or maybe LionFoxChromera ? ( It would be quite a beast, after all... ; )

Let's ping some people and see what happens!