Epic Browser is not the first nor will it be the last Chromium-based web browser that aims to improve user privacy. When Google Chrome was released years ago, third party Chromium-based browsers appeared shortly thereafter that offered most of what Chrome had to offer, but without several of the tracking or privacy-invading features that Google's browser shipped with.
The majority of those browsers are still around, and Epic Browser will have to compete against them and Chrome, and probably other web browsers as well.
The homepage of Epic Browser focuses on privacy, first explaining how you are being tracked on the Internet, and then how Epic Browser helps you protect yourself when you are browsing the Internet.
Epic Browser review
According to that page, it fixes 11 potential leaks that may reveal information about you and your browsing habits to Internet companies such as Google.
- No address bar suggest
- No URL checks
- Auto-translate has been removed.
- No URL Tracker
- Installation ID removed
- RLZ-Tracking number removed
- Default Updater removed.
- Installation time stamp removed.
- No alternate error pages.
- No navigation error suggestions
- No error reporting
In addition to that, it more or less defaults to private browsing mode by preventing the recording of history, caches, passwords, pre-fetching and other features that may reveal information about the user.
That is however still not enough. It clears all browsing data on exit by default, making sure that any information that were needed during the session are removed from the system in the process.
As you may have noticed, this may impact how you work with the browser as you cannot make use of features that you may have come to rely on.
The developers of Epic Browser have added features to the browser that neither Chrome nor Chromium ship with. This includes a one-click US proxy server (powered by Spotflux) that users can make use of to hide their original IP address when they are browsing on the Internet (yes, this includes access to US-only services such as Hulu), integrated ad blocking and tracker blocking, automatic blocking of third party cookies, and automatic use of https versions of websites if provided.
It is interesting to note that Epic will enable the proxy by default on Google to prevent the tracking of your IP address on the site. What more? It blocks the sending of the referral header when you use the search engine so that third party websites do not know what your search term was that led you to their website.
Another interesting feature is the umbrella icon that you can use for quick access to several core features such as ad and third party cookie blocking.
You are probably wondering about downsides of using the browser. The first thing that comes to mind are the features that you cannot use, like spell checking, auto-translation or session restore. Some features are left for the user to decide, like the saving of passwords in the browser, while others cannot be altered in any form or way.
The address bar search provider is set to epicsearch.in. According to the developers, revenue generated here is used to support the browser and services it provides. They furthermore state that the ads displayed here are only based on a user's search query and a rough location check.
It is too early to tell if Epic Browser will make a big splash or remain a niche browser that appeals to a privacy-focused audience.
I wish it would provide users with choice in regards to some of the features as it would improve the browser's usability. It would then be the user's decision to sacrifice some privacy for convenience.
The developers have promised to release the source code of the browser soon. For now though, it is not available.