With all the hype surrounding the recent security flaw in Internet Explorer, I started searching for a more secure browser. While I like Chrome, I find myself customizing it to meet my almost freakish security standards. I fully believe users should have as much control as possible over their own online privacy and I finally found a browser that delivers – WhiteHat Aviator.
I’m not sure how I missed hearing about this the moment it came out, but I can honestly say, I’m impressed. The site itself boasts the browser as “the Web’s most secure and private browser.” It’s a pretty big claim, but once you delve into the features, it’s more or less true. While no browser is 100% secure, every little bit helps.
What Makes It Special
Think of WhiteHat Aviator as the best Chrome could possible be. It’s created by WhiteHat Security Labs, an expert in online security. All the security features are already enabled so you don’t have to go searching through the settings. You also don’t need to install numerous extensions to stop unwanted access from malicious sites, block annoying ads and stop tracking. It’s all built-in.
It’s built upon Chromium, which is the same foundation that Google Chrome uses. Essentially, if you know how to use Chrome, Aviator should be a breeze to get used to. That makes it perfect for both tech junkies and casual users alike.
Most browsers require you to have the latest operating system or only support a few versions of each OS. Aviator is one of the most compatible browsers I’ve ever seen. It’s fully compatible with Windows 98 and up and all Intel based versions of OS X. So if you still love your old 98 or XP machine, you’re covered.
Since it’s based on the same source code as Chrome, you’re free to download and use any extensions in the Chrome Web Store. Not only is it extremely secure, but highly customizable. I was thrilled to discover I could still use a few of my favorite writing extensions and have built-in security.
A Cleaned Up Google
My first impression of Aviator is it’s a cleaned up version of Google Chrome. All that pesky tracking, advertising and data collection disappears. WhiteHat isn’t out to make a fortune off of you like Google. Instead, they’re focused on security. The official site even states that they don’t partner with any advertisers or try to sell any click data. Instead of the usual Google search default, DuckDuckGo is the default search provider.
A Few Potential Problems
While I’m not really concerned with this one, some users might be put off that Aviator is a few versions behind Chrome. Some of the newest features you enjoy in Chrome aren’t available yet in Aviator. Since I’m mainly concerned about keeping my data more secure and stopping the constant tracking, I can live without the absolute latest and greatest.
Another issue some users have mentioned is the default ad blocking. Many sites make their money by displaying ads. I don’t mind when ads aren’t obtrusive, but the pop-ups, auto play videos, custom ads based on the sites I recently visited and flashing ads annoy me to no end. However, the feature is easily disabled, so it’s not a big deal. You can choose to use it or not. For sites I have to use that I know have highly obtrusive ads, I turn the feature on. For other sites, I turn it off to help support them.
Give It a Try
WhiteHat Aviator is completely free, so you have nothing to lose by trying it out. Download it and give it a test run. If you’re truly concerned about your online security, I’m guessing you won’t want to go back to any other browser.