Only a few years ago you could pick any browser, as long as it was Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or Safari on the Mac. In recent times, however, independent developers have popped up with their own variations, built on these opensource frameworks, with mixed results.
Cliqz is a free web browser from a German development team that is based on the Firefox framework but was designed to put the individual, first, with extensive data protection capabilities.
On starting Cliqz you'll notice it looks rather similar to Firefox, but with a custom theme (more about that later). Within the toolbar the Cliqz team has created a drop-down menu where you can immediately see and control web browser tracking, blocking and anti-phishing tools. You can also configure the search engine, whether you only trust HTTPS websites, quickly remove your browsing history and much more.
As Cliqz uses the Firefox framework, you have access to the various add-ons and extensions. But, sadly, what you don't get is a Firefox account and limited synchronisation across devices. You can send and receive open tabs across your devices, but without a Firefox account, your passwords and other login information will be unique to each device and need to be entered each and every time.
Cliqz also doesn't appear to support Firefox themes and includes a bright blue user-interface which appears to be the only option. This looks a little out of place for us on our Mac, particularly if you want to use your browser on an evening - we like the darker theme options you receive with the regular Firefox. On Windows, luckily the title bar will reflect the theme you choose from within Windows.
What's new in 1.28.0 (see release notes for more)?
- Annoying auto-play content is now by default turned off
- By default any new extension you add to Cliqz won’t run in Forget mode unless you specifically allow it
- Cliqz is now also available for enterprise environment
- Added the possibility to Manage Extension Shortcuts from the settings on “Manage your extensions” page
Decent Firefox alternative which puts security first, but we really would miss the Firefox account synchronisation across our devices.