How to Enhance Privacy in Edge Chromium

Microsoft recently released the new Edge browser based on the Chromium platform. While the browser may look similar to its predecessor, it brings with it an array of new privacy options that are worth exploring.

Understanding Website Tracking

Before we delve into the privacy features of Edge Chromium, it’s essential to understand what website tracking is. Websites often collect information about their visitors, such as user IDs, hardware details, and IP addresses. This information is then used to personalize ads, products, and news. For example, if you search for a smartphone on Amazon, the website will suggest other smartphones based on your browsing history. Additionally, websites may also employ third-party trackers, which share your data with multiple parties, resulting in ads appearing on various platforms.

Blocking Ads and Trackers in Edge Chromium

Edge Chromium comes with built-in ad-blocking and website tracking prevention features. By default, these features are turned on, but the settings can be adjusted to suit your preferences. To access these settings, go to the Edge browser’s “Privacy and services” tab.

Within the “Privacy and services” tab, you’ll find the “Tracking Prevention” option. By default, Edge Chromium is set to a balanced level, which blocks trackers and ads on unvisited websites. However, frequently visited websites can still run trackers. To enhance privacy and block trackers on all websites, select the “Strict” option.

To verify the tracker blocking, open a website and click on the padlock icon next to the URL. A pop-up will display information about the connection, certificate, and trackers blocked on that webpage. Edge Chromium’s Strict mode is particularly effective in detecting trackers, although it may occasionally affect website appearance.

If you have trusted websites that you don’t want trackers blocked on, you can add them to your whitelist. Simply open the intended website, click on the lock icon, and switch the tracking option to “Off.” This will prevent Edge Chromium from blocking trackers on that specific website.

Inbuilt Blocker vs. Third-party AdBlock Extensions

While Edge Chromium’s inbuilt tracking prevention is effective, it may not block ads on certain trusted websites. To address this, Edge Chromium supports extensions, including popular ones like Ghostery and Disconnect. These extensions can provide additional ad-blocking and tracker prevention capabilities.

During testing, Edge Chromium proved to be more adept at detecting trackers compared to Ghostery and Disconnect. However, there were instances where Edge Chromium exempted certain websites, possibly due to whitelisting or the inability to detect trackers.

Best AdBlockers for Edge Chromium 2020

If you’re seeking further customization and control over ad-blocking and tracker prevention, consider using adblocker extensions. Here are two notable options:

1. Ghostery

Ghostery is an open-source adblocker and tracker prevention software. It offers a balanced approach to ad-blocking without interfering with website interfaces. Ghostery also has a premium version that provides additional features such as historical data and stats.

2. Disconnect

Disconnect is another popular blocker extension that can block banner and text ads. Although it is not currently available on the Microsoft Edge Addons Store, you can sideload it from the Chrome Web Store. Disconnect is less resource-intensive but may occasionally affect the appearance of certain web interfaces.

In conclusion, Edge Chromium offers robust privacy features, making it a viable browser option. While it may not be on par with some competitors, such as Brave, its integration with the Windows ecosystem and cross-platform sync capabilities set it apart. With future updates, Microsoft aims to expand Edge Chromium’s syncing capabilities to include open tabs, history, and extensions. As these improvements continue, we may see a significant shift towards Edge Chromium in the future.

Also Read: 25+ Best Microsoft Edge Extensions Inspired From Chrome (2019)