Are you a UC browser fan? Its user-friendly app is one of the best you can download on your Android device. And in terms of usage statistics, the Alibaba-owned browser is easily the most popular in the Android market after Google Chrome. In the last few years, though, there have been numerous privacy concerns with the UC browser app. If you’re looking to make a change, or if the app is been banned in your country, check out this list of UC browser alternatives.
Why the UC Browser Is Popular
There are many reasons UC Browser has remained popular with mobile users worldwide: Fast page-loading speeds, lightweight applications, and a unique customized experience. You get a bird’s eye view of your system resources, such as RAM and CPU. The app was notably the first to gather essential tasks, such as WhatsApp messaging and document conversion into the browser window. A neat download section imports all your stuff from social media feeds while sorting it based on images, videos, and documents.
But there are a few features that can be frustrating to end users. The intrusive ads at every flick of a page can easily ruin your browsing experience. Moreover, there have been way too many user privacy concerns with UC Browser. The app has been flagged by the NSA, Edward Snowden of Wikileaks, and several anti-malware companies, and more.
1. Opera Mini Browser
Opera Mini is one of the most well-known mobile browsers with rich functionalities for power users. It syncs well with your Opera account and delivers high speeds through a seamless network of Opera data centers around the world. You can choose from light, dark, and auto themes and go for a normal or very private browsing that leaves all trackers behind. This app is the original version of Opera in the Play Store, but there are a few more from the Opera family you should check out as well.
- With over 500 million installations, Opera Mini is one of the closest substitutes to the UC Browser in terms of scale.
- it has super-fast surfing with data-saving features.
- Covers a full spectrum of browsing features, such as offline reading, ad blocking, and a download video tab.
- The news content on Opera can feel annoying and is difficult to disable.
- The application may freeze when multiple tabs are open.
2. Samsung Internet Browser
Probably the closest thing to UC Browser when it comes to interface and features, Samsung Internet Browser is user-friendly, reliable, and provides an uncluttered browsing experience. You can change search engines (Bing, DuckDuckGo, Google), sync bookmarks between devices, receive entertainment recommendations through a “For You” section, access Samsung Cloud, and link the browser with a Samsung Galaxy Watch.
- Privacy and security features, such as protected browsing, content blockers and anti-tracking.
- Functional battery and data-saving functions, just like UC Browser.
- Compatible with the entire Samsung Galaxy multiverse.
- Too many navigation buttons can be intrusive on a small phone screen.
- Features don’t work that well with non-Samsung Android phones.
3. DuckDuckGo Browser
DuckDuckGo is one of the best Web search engines for genuine anonymity and privacy. Its Android browser does not disappoint, either. The app blocks trackers and operates only secure connections with HTTPS everywhere. Each site you visit gets a Privacy Grade (A-F) so that you can verify how secure you are. We know how unsafe it can be when your personal data keeps building up on your browser. DuckDuckGo offers a handy “fire” option, which instantly clears your tabs and browsing history.
- Interface is minimal and uncluttered.
- Founding member of Global Privacy Control, which aims to protect users by asking advertisers to limit the sale of personal data.
- A “fireproofed” websites option for frequently-visited site does not delete cookies once you clear everything.
- The browsing interface can feel outdated at times and can’t handle Web3 content very well.
- For all the claims of privacy, DuckDuckGo can’t open Onion links.
4. Brave Browser
Brave Private Web Browser is a security- and privacy-focused browser, making it a good alternative to UC Browser. Additionally, the Brave browser can automatically redirect unsecured pages to HTTPS using HTTPS Everywhere, while also blocking ads and other trackers. For additional privacy, you can’t go wrong with traceless browsing and no passwords being recorded. Brave also has built-in data optimization techniques.
- A full-fledged web browser with no compromises in features.
- Visible saving of data and battery.
- Personalized private search, script blocking, and third-party cookie blocking.
- Can feel RAM-intensive, especially with videos and heavy downloads.
5. Puffin Web Browser
If all you need is super-fast web browsing, then Puffin is the way to go. It claims to be “wicked fast,” which is more than just a cute tagline. Compared to all the other browsers in this list, Puffin seems to load web pages really very fast, thanks to its in-house compression algorithms. The workload is shifted from the user device to the cloud servers. This way, the resource-hungry web pages can load really fast on your phone.
- Claims to save up to 90 percent of your bandwidth on your browsing activities using cloud access.
- True incognito mode blocks all permissions, including camera and mic, and autocleans all browsing activity.
- All connections are auto-encrypted to protect users in public Wi-Fi networks.
- Is the only Android browser with a built-in gamepad.
- Only web browser that still supports Flash content with its own collection of Flash games.
- When there are multiple tabs open, Puffin eats up a lot of memory.
- There is limited functionality, as speed is the sole focus of the app.
- The browser is blocked in many countries, such as China, UAE, and Saudi Arabia.
6. Dolphin Web Browser
This has always been a popular Android browser, and now it comes with advanced features. Dolphin Web Browser closely replicates UC Browser with a multiple tabs bar, superfast downloads, battery saver, PDF converter, and personalized search. Additionally, it allows you to block ads with a built-in ad blocker. One of the best things about Dolphin is its gestures-based browsing: to visit a favorite website, you only have to draw something on your screen.
- Streamlined interface with well-placed navigation buttons allows for a smooth surfing experience.
- Very intuitive, tabbed browsing with fast loading sites.
- Battery and data-saving capabilities.
- Many users have reported frequent crashes when keeping multiple tabs open in Dolphin.
- Updates can be messy, but Dolphin developers are doing their best to patch them right away.
7. Firefox Focus
Firefox Focus by Mozilla is a very basic and lightweight browser that purely focuses on your privacy – nothing more and nothing less. In fact, Firefox Focus doesn’t even have basic features, like bookmarks, form filling, homepage shortcuts, etc. The Mozilla browsers are members of the Global Privacy Control (GPC.) If all you need is a reputable and secure browser that protects your privacy and don’t mind the lack of features, then Firefox Focus is the way to go.
- All your browsing history is completely erased when you exit the browser.
- Blocks all kinds of trackers: social, analytics, advertisements, content.
- Additionally, the app won’t let you or other apps take screenshots and hides the browsing page when switching between apps.
- Blazing fast browser with zero crashes and bloat.
- Limited functionality, such as the lack of bookmarks, that may not meet the expectations of many users.
8. Via Browser
If you want slightly more features than Firefox Focus and DuckDuckGo but the same crash-free experience, give Via a spin. Despite its minimal, uncluttered layout, the browser app lets you do pretty much anything UC Browser does. A prominent QR scanner rests at the top of the homepage. With a Resource sniffer, you can find everything there is about a website. The night mode helps conserve battery, and you can add bookmarks, run new scripts, and so much more.
- Feature-packed browser with a minimal interface; the best combination you can find.
- No crashes or bloat.
- There is an image-blocking feature to save mobile data costs.
- Some advanced functionality missing: for example, the browser can’t save screenshots on its own.
9. Opera Touch
Another brilliant browser from the Opera family, Opera Touch has a futuristic design which may work well for future versions of the Internet, such as Web3. It has one of the most beautiful user interfaces with a Fast Action Button that gives direct access to instant search. You can connect Opera Touch to your computer with an Opera browser, which is a superb way to transfer data from your phone to your computer. If you’re looking for a modern browser with all the latest features, Opera Touch touches on all the criteria.
- Best browser for sharing data across desktop and mobile devices: minimal yet feature-rich.
- Complete mobile browser in terms of functionality: private multi-tabbed modes, a separate downloads section, night mode, and battery saver.
- The browser has advanced safety, such as protection from cryptojacking.
- Switching between tabs can be a bit annoying due to very limited visibility from a different tab.
10. Microsoft Edge Browser
Microsoft Edge has made a name for itself among the best desktop browsers and is the second most popular browser in that segment today. Its mobile version recreates many of those capabilities to bring a high speed and secure and privacy-centric experience. The browser works well with all Microsoft apps, such as Office, Skype, and Bing, and has been optimized for Android. One of its best features is text scaling, which none of the other browsers in this list have: you can zoom in to make text more readable, causing less strain on the eye.
- A clean, clutter-free mobile browser.
- Option to not associate your Microsoft account with the browser.
- Search privacy function with InPrivate search in Bing.
- Ad blockers and Microsoft Rewards points are offered to those who want to benefit from them.
- Fast and crash-free experience that works best with multiple tabs open.
- Android user interface isn’t nearly as feature-rich as its Windows desktop version.
- Doesn’t sync very well with Google’s app ecosystem.
11. Opera Crypto Browser
Here’s something truly great for Bitcoin and Ethereum traders. If you’re looking for a dedicated crypto browser that understands your Web3 experience needs, Opera has brought one for you. As it belongs to the Opera family, it’s a really secure browser for cryptocurrency mining protection, preventing your transaction screenshots from being saved. You can view all your non-fungible tokens (NFTs), portfolio balance, assets, and, of course, send and receive them through dedicated menu options.
- Complete cryptocurrency-oriented browser with all essential trading features supported.
- Comes with Opera browser standard security, such as pop-up blockers, tracker and analytics blockers, and more.
- Futuristic interface that is comfortable to the eye.
- Annoying news updates at every turn that will only be enjoyed by those who are addicted to learning about cryptocurrency trends.
- The app is still a work in progress, with many future updates possible.
12. Tor Browser Alpha
Most regular browsers cannot help you access dark web content, as you need to open Onion links in the browser window. Tor is the only browser that gets you past this restriction. There are quite a few Tor browser apps in Google Play, but Tor Browser Alpha is really the best among them. It has a full set of Tor features, such as Bridge enabling, configuration bridges, and changing nodes. Apart from Onion links, you can also view normal browser content.
- Completely official Tor browser for the Android marketplace, optimized for Android devices.
- Highly secure and private; can help you get past local ISP restrictions.
- Works without crashing or freezes.
- Font rendering could be better.
- Difficult to change Tor relay servers.
The above-stated Android apps are some of the best UC Browser alternatives you can currently find on Google Play. Having said that, for those who would prefer sticking to the original UC Browser, it’s still a great choice for low-end mobile devices and slow Internet speeds but downloading it is a bit risky. However, there are many tools to protect your Android device from security and privacy breaches. To discourage hackers, try your hands at self-penetration testing.
Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio @ Pexels
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