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Samsung's Android Browser Offers a Big Privacy Perk Over Chrome 
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Samsung's Android Browser Offers a Big Privacy Perk Over Chrome 

Jacob Kleinman, Gawker Media

Samsung is bringing its smartphone browser to all Android phones (assuming you're running Android 5.0 or up), and it has one big advantage over Google's own Chrome browser. The Samsung Internet app features a built-in ad tracking blocker to keep other websites from following your activity across the internet.

Here's why you might want to consider Samsung Internet as your primary Android browser if you care about privacy.

What Tracking Blockers Do and Why They Matter

You're constantly being tracked online by big companies and small websites alike. Most of that information is used to create targeted ads, while some may be more malicious. Either way, you probably don't want anyone quietly tracking your activity, and that's where these blockers come in. Tracking blockers prevent invisible trackers from seeing what you do, thus keeping your personal information private. That's pretty much it.

Samsung Internet

Even so, they've become a controversial subject in some circles. When Apple updated its Safari browser to limit online tracking it sparked a backlash from digital advertising and marketing companies. In a statement to The Verge , Apple countered that ad tracking has become too widespread, calling it a threat to user privacy.

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Google also has a spotty history when it comes to ad tracking, possibly because the company makes so much of its money from online ads. In Google's Chrome browser, tracking can't be turned off completely unless you switch to Incognito mode . A recent study also found that ad trackers can get around Chrome extensions designed to block them fairly easily.

With Samsung Internet, tracker blocking is enabled by default in Secret Mode. You can also switch it on for regular browsing from the app's settings if you want to keep your activity hidden from trackers at all times.

What Else Does Samsung Internet Have to Offer?

Samsung Internet

Beyond tracker blocking, Samsung Internet supports various ad blockers and includes a special menu for managing all of those extensions in one place. It also features a Night Mode with a dark theme and reduced light for browsing the internet in bed, and a High Contrast Mode with a dark background and bright white text that's easier to read.

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If you're using Chrome on your desktop computer you can sync your bookmarks with the Samsung Internet app. Finally, Samsung included some backend improvements to keep things running smoothly.

Those are all pretty minor features, but Samsung's tracking blocker may be enough to win you over-at least unless Google introduces something similar in a future Chrome update.

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