Post by (PeteCresswell)
I have read a couple reviews and am still not clear on whether it
would be a step up from Chrome for me.
I haven't played with that one. Don't see the point. You can check but
I suspect that it will install a separate instance of a Chrome variant
in a different folder and with separate registry entries. Avast's
secure web browser is a Chromium variant. If you don't like it then
later uninstall it; however, I wouldn't rely on it being more secure
without testing that claim. Other so-called secure web browsers that
I've trialed have not proven more secure versus what I can do with the
standard variant of the web browser.
There is nothing (well, little) the so-called "secure" web browsers can
do that you cannot do by configuring the web browser yourself. All they
do is start (install) with a default set of options that are different
than for the standard (um, non-secure) installation. You can lockdown
the web browser just as well yourself. Some web browsers are far more
configurable than others; for example, you can do a hell of a lot with
Firefox's about:config than with Chrome's user settings & chrome:flags.
Because Avast's secure web browser is a variant of Chromium, and because
that web browser doesn't have many user- or program-configurable
options, the source code must be modified to "secure" the web browser.
They probably fixed it by now but the point is that you can do the
lockdown yourself, especially if you move to Firefox.
There are some settings in web browsers that will aid in improving
security, like having it purge ALL it local data upon its exit. Firefox
has that option. Chrome does not, so you need to get an extension that
performs that function. However, unless Chrome is configured to allow
background web apps to continue running after its exit (a security issue
since the extension is using external ancilliary software that runs
outside the web browser's processes), purge-on-exit is not allowed in
Chrome. However, and without using ancilliary software, some extensions
will purge Chrome's local data upon starting Chrome; i.e., they can
cleanup when you load Chrome. Since the local data is unused until the
next session in Chrome, whether you purge-on-exit or purge-on-load makes
little difference. I simply use a shortcut in a Windows taskbar toolbar
to Ccleaner ("ccleaner.exe /auto") to perform the web browser cleanup
after exiting Chrome, plus I have it scheduled to run in the wee morn
hours. An extension just makes sure it happens on every exit or load of
the web browser.
The point is that you need extensions with Chrome to get it to have the
same functionality as Firefox. Hell, you even have to install an
extension to get newly opened tabs to have focus (instead of
backgrounded), something Chrome users have been asking since Google came
out with Chrome and has been available as a tab option in Firefox since,
I do use Chrome as my primary web browser and Firefox as the secondary.
That is because Mozilla had such a huge moving target with all the basic
changes they made in Firefox over the last year. Now that Firefox has
stabilized a bit, I might go back to it. However, just go through the
options and chrome:flags already available to lockdown Chrome (and
Firefox although you use about:config instead of chrome:flags). There
are LOTS of online articles how to lockdown both web browsers. I have
doc folders with saved copies of articles for both.
My suggestion: don't waste time getting a "secure" web browser. Figure
out how to lockdown the one(s) you already have.