I have spent an absurd amount of time and energy just testing and re-testing tons of different browsers over many years. I used Opera up until 2012, when the last version was released and they killed it. Was forced to switch to the grossly inferior Firefox for years, until Mozilla made it impossible to keep using it by constantly harassing their users in an extremely hostile manner. For the last couple of years, I've been running Pale Moon, hating every second of the unbearably sluggish and crappy browser which makes my monster PC feel slower than a 486, crawling on its knees for many seconds per page load of YouTube/Reddit/Twitch/many others.

I have waded through every "list of browsers" online and carefully evaluated every single one listed in all of them. I just cannot find anything that isn't ~100% software cancer. Eventually, I wrote down exactly why they are so bad in a list, because I almost couldn't believe it myself. It seems too insane even to me that there isn't one single usable browser in the year 2021. And yet, here is my list, complete with a rating:

Browser            Score Comments
Tor Browser        1/10  Firefox fork. Hardened. Only meaningful for .onion websites in practice and thus not a "general" browser.
Pale Moon          1/10  Old Firefox fork. Much less horrible than Firefox privacy-wise, but still awful in numerous ways. So unbearably slow that all the trashy "modern" websites will take many seconds of waiting per page load and constantly lock up your system. Also extremely "fiddly" to set up.
Waterfox           0/10  Firefox fork. Sold out to a sketchy, spammy company in late 2019. Avoid.
Vivaldi            0/10  Chrome skin made by the authors of the original Opera browser. Full of reliance on Google spy cancer services. Zero support for proxy configuration.
ungoogled-chromium 0/10  Google Chromium "minus Google cancer". Unfortunately, they don't provide trustworthy binaries for Windows, so it cannot be used anyway: "These binaries are provided by anyone who are willing to build and submit them."
SeaMonkey          0/10  A very strange and bloated browser "suite", powered by Firefox but with a very Netscape Navigator-like "classic" UI. No support for sensible adblocking (uBlock Origin), making it useless in practice.
Safari             0/10  Runs only on Macs. Was only available for Windows between 2007–2012. Thus doesn't even qualify.
Opera              0/10  Chrome skin. Complete cancer. The original Opera project ended in mid-2012 and has nothing to do with this garbage.
Links              0/10  Basically just a software in-joke. Completely useless in practice for any website created after the year 1995.
K-Meleon           0/10  Stone dead project. No proper release since 2015. HTTP-only website which seems like it's going to go offline forever at any moment. Not a "serious" browser by any measure.
IceCat             0/10  GNU-ified Firefox fork. Untested because it's not available for Windows: "Note that building binary packages for Windows and MacOS currently requires nonfree software, so we no longer distribute binary packages for those platforms."
Firefox            0/10  100 % spyware cancer since early 2020, after years of active, deliberate mismanagement by the fully compromised/blackmailed/overtaken psychopaths at Mozilla.
Edge               0/10  Chrome skin. Full of Microsoft spying and cancer. Absolute garbage.
Chromium           0/10  Google Chrome, renamed. It's not in any way stripped from Google spying/cancer. It's just Google Chrome. And made very difficult/confusing to download. Avoid just as much as Chrome.
Chrome             0/10  Pure Google spyware cancer. Completely unusable.
Brave Browser      0/10  Chrome skin full of spying and cancer. Run by lying scumbag scammers who modify URLs in their favour and much more evilness.
Basilisk           0/10  Another, very strange Firefox fork by the Pale Moon developers. Explicitly not stable: 'Basilisk is development software. This means that it should be considered more or less "beta" at all times'. Feels very unfinished. No "uBlock" ad-blocking extension easily installable from within the browser.

Note: I have not included various browsers which I know of but which aren't even worthy of being in that list, such as Internet Explorer (legacy) or various Chinese "skins" on top of it.

Ideally, I want something which:

  1. Is both free of charge, has no ads and is open source.
  2. Is actively developed by a dedicated team of trusted, privacy-focused enthusiasts.
  3. Is very fast.
  4. Supports a proper proxy configuration like old Firefox and Pale Moon. Not a useless OS-based one like Vivaldi.
  5. Supports uBlock Origin or equally aggressive ad blocker. (No "AdBlock" which allows "some" ads.)
  6. Supports fully separated "profiles".
  7. Runs on Windows, macOS and Linux.
  8. Has sane defaults.
  9. Allows me to remove any bloat, for example customize the context menu. (Pale Moon does not.)

I seriously don't understand how "powerusers" and programmers browse the WWW these days. If they are using any of the browsers mentioned in my list with a "0" score, I don't know what to say. But it's probably the case...

  • 2
    Your point 3 can not be achieved because it is not a fault of the web browser but of the web designer creating such fat web sites. Regarding point 4 I don't understand why you wrote "old Firefox". I have not noticed a change to the proxy settings in Firefox in the last years. What about WebKit based browsers? If you dislike and distrust everything and everybody you should build your own webbrowser.
    – Robert
    Nov 14 at 17:49
  • @Robert While I agree that website makers are both incompetent and (in the case of the ones I listed) downright deliberate in making them sluggish in anything but Chrome/Chrome skins, I sadly do not control those websites and thus cannot change them to use proper code. Also, about "old Firefox", Mozilla removes useful stuff all the time, so I assumed that the proxy configuration would be gone by now.
    – Wymond R
    Nov 14 at 17:56
  • 3
    You have asked a question that has no feasible answer. First, I'm surprised your question hasn't been deleted by now for all of the derogatory statements made in your browser "score" system. You could have simply created a list of browsers you have used over the years without all of the comments. Several people you called "psychopaths" have been long time friends of mine and I assure you they are not psychopaths. I suggest you remove your comments and create a reasonable list of requirements. Code of conduct is here: softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/conduct
    – Grimdari
    Nov 15 at 22:32

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