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Epic Browser Review: Is It Really That Private?

If you want to keep yourself private while online, your browser will be a good place to start. Some browsers will let you clear your search history, surf with incognito mode, or stop online trackers. One tool that has all these capabilities is a browser named Epic.
The Epic browser was developed by Hidden Reflex, an India software company. It works with Windows and Mac OS. Like Chrome, Epic is based on Chromium, an open-source project by Google. Epic attempts to distinguish itself in a field that’s dominated by Chrome and other popular browsers by advertising itself as a privacy-centric browser, but is Epic really private? Let’s find out in this Epic browser review.

What makes Epic a privacy browser?

In Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers, there is a built-in mode for private browsing which you can turn on or off. Those who use Epic, however, are always in private browsing mode. Every time you close your browsing session, Epic will automatically delete your search history, cookies, and other browsing-related data. This way, you don’t have to worry if you forgot to erase your browsing history manually.

This deletion keeps you from being continually tracked by cookies, and other online trackers.

Epic removes Google services

Hidden Reflex says Epic doesn’t send data to Google. According to Epic’s FAQ:

“Epic by default removes all Google services from Chromium so that your browsing does not go through Google’s servers.”

This means Google-dependent services (like the auto-suggestions in the address bar) are non-existent or locally handled by Epic.

Epic blocks plug-ins

Epic blocks many browser plug-ins. Only a few ones are allowed, like the plug-ins of LastPass and RoboForm password managers. Their comment on plug-ins is:

“While they can be very useful, they represent a very large security and privacy risk, hence Epic only allows a few trusted add-ons.”

Epic has a built-in proxy

Epic has a free service called Encrypted Proxy.  According to Epic, this built-in VPN “protects your browsing history from your ISP & other data collectors and secures you on public WiFi.” If the proxy button is turned on, all your search requests will pass through this proxy service. Servers are located in eight countries—two in the US, and one each in the UK, Canada, Germany, France, Netherlands, and India.
At this time, we can not call it a true VPN as it doesn’t protect against anything you do outside of your browsing. Your torrenting activity, Skype calls, game sessions, and everything else you do outside of your browser will be vulnerable. I recommend that if you’re truly concerned for your online privacy you get an actual VPN, such as one of the top two our team tested and recommends below:
[affilioProvider max=”2″ top=”n” cat=’home’]

Epic’s other privacy features

Here are the rest of Epic’s privacy features:

  • Blocks ads, widgets, cookies, trackers, and tracking techniques like browser fingerprinting, cryptomining, and ultrasound signaling.
  • Never pass referrer data to a destination website which could leak your search terms.
  • Never relay any user data that’s requested by the government.

Epic has stripped off every conceivable feature that could lead to privacy leaks.

Is the Epic browser really private?

Epic says:

“We believe that what you browse and search should be private. What you browse and search is no one’s business but your own. Unfortunately no browser and no one at this point can provide total privacy and that includes Epic.”

Let’s break down a few points on why the Epic browser is not 100% private:

  • While Epic can block many fingerprinting techniques and scripts, it cannot block them all. Plug-ins can still leak your IP address and let other users fingerprint you.
  • Although Epic is permanently on private mode, you should know that private browsing modes aren’t 100% private. Epic only covers things you do inside the browser. For instance, you can easily be exposed if you use torrent clients to download movies.
  • As Epic is based on Chromium, it’s safe to assume that Epic will still behave like a Google product. While Epic claims it removes Google’s services, this isn’t a guarantee that Google won’t collect information. For instance, Epic recommends that you do not log into your Google account. “Google’s new privacy policy allows it to aggregate your personal data across all its services. So if you’re logged into Gmail, then Google can track your searches,” says Epic’s FAQ.

  • The fact that Epic is free (Epic has not explicitly stated how it sustains itself) and isn’t open-source (Epic hasn’t openly released its source codes due to business reasons) evokes many questions. Check out this excerpt from Reddit:

Epic Browser Review - Reddit Excerpt
While Epic has plenty of privacy features, it still contains uncertainties which prevent the browser from becoming a totally private tool. The user above is taking it to extremes, but maybe that’s just what needs to be done here with the issues brought up.

Use VPN for an extra layer of protection

With the uncertainties mentioned in the previous section, you will be better off using a real VPN. Why?

  • A stand-alone VPN will let you use your trusted, old browser or your favorite plug-ins. This way, you don’t need to switch to using the Epic browser.
  • A stand-alone VPN will secure your entire connection; Epic’s built-in VPN will only cover your activities done inside the browser. You can combine Epic with a VPN to get extra protection.
  • Many top VPNs are fast, with minimal effects on Internet speeds, unlike Epic’s built-in VPN which will slow down your connection. With multiple servers in more countries, top VPNs will give you better speed and overall performance. 

In a nutshell, VPNs will give you the privacy, security, performance, and speed you need while you’re online, things you won’t get from using Epic alone. With trusted VPNs, you will get the assurance that your online presence will be concealed, your personal information will be protected, and that you can work around geo-restrictions. Check out our list of the top VPNs that we have thoroughly tested and reviewed.

Bonus: How to install Epic browser

If you still want to use the Epic browser, here are the installation steps:

  1. From Epic’s home page, use the “Download Epic Now” button for installation.

Epic Browser Review - Homepage

  1. Wait for the setup file to download completely. Click on the file to initialize the installation.

Epic Browser Review - Download

  1. Once the installation is complete, you’ll be directed to a Welcome page. Press Continue.

Epic Browser Review - Welcome Page
Epic is easy to install and use, especially if you’re already familiar with Chrome. There is the address bar at the top, plus other familiar icons for Refresh, Redo, Undo, Bookmark, Minimize, Maximize, and Exit. When you open a new tab, you’ll see eight panels where you can store commonly-visited websites. Two panels are already filled: one with “How Epic works” and the other one for Epic’s private search engine.
Epic Browser Review - Fresh Page
You can find Epic’s menu at the corner, indicated with three dots. If you click it and scroll down, you’ll notice it doesn’t have New Incognito Window, History, and Downloads. Beside the menu, you’ll see three other icons: the video downloader, the proxy (for toggling on/off Epic’s VPN), and the umbrella (for additional settings).
Epic Browser Review - Menu
When visiting a website, the browsing experience felt similar to Chrome. One thing that will catch your attention is the notification at the bottom, showing that Epic has blocked a number of trackers.