Epic (web browser)

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Epic
Epic icon.png
Epic Browser 38.png
Developer(s)Hidden Reflex
Initial releaseJuly 15, 2010; 11 years ago (2010-07-15)
Stable release
87.0.4280.88[1] /
December 3, 2020; 7 months ago (2020-12-03)
EngineWebKit
Operating systemWindows, macOS, Android, iOS
LicenseProprietary[2]
Websitewww.epicbrowser.com

Epic is a privacy-centric web browser. It was developed by Hidden Reflex (a software product company founded by Alok Bhardwaj, based in Washington, D.C., US and Bangalore, India) using Chromium source code.[3] The Epic Web site says that it is always in "private browsing mode", and exiting the browser deletes all browser data. During browsing as little as possible is stored. Epic developers removed all Google tracking code and binaries from the chromium source code to compile a clean executable, and blocks other companies from tracking users.[4]

The browser has no connection with Epic Games, or with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a civil liberties group.[5]

History[edit]

Epic was released on August 29, 2013, with some features for Indian users specifically. The browser integrated widgets such as social networking, chat clients, and email facilities.[6][7][8][9]

Features[edit]

Epic's default configuration takes a proactive approach to ensuring that session data (such as cookies, history, and cache) are removed upon exit. The browser includes a proxy service that can be enabled by the user, and is automatically enabled when using a search engine. Other features, such as preferring SSL connections and always sending a Do Not Track header, further advance privacy.[10]

Ad and user activity trackers are blocked by default by the Epic browser, which prevents users being tracked. The browser also blocks cryptocurrency miners from running on the user's system. The browsers' fingerprinting protection blocks access to image canvas, font canvas, and audio context data.[11] WebRTC IP Address Leaking is also blocked by default.

The Epic Proxy service can relay connections through any of eight countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, Netherlands, India, and Singapore. The company claims it to be encrypted, and also DNS requests through it.

Supplementary services found in the Chromium browser that send data to external servers, such as address bar suggestion and installation tracking, are removed in Epic to reduce the scope of potential data leakage.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

Computer World published an article on Epic in July 2020. The article describes many of the features claimed by Epic, such as blocking of ads, tracking, referrer header data, and "fingerprint", proxy/VPN. As Google's servers are not used, functions such as auto-suggest in the address box and language translation are either handled by Epic locally, or not available. The article says that the Epic FAQ warns users not to sign into their Gmail account: "if you're logged into Gmail, then Google can track your searches". Very few Chrome add-ons are supported; the Epic FAQ points out that, while useful, many "represent a very large security and privacy risk, hence Epic only allows a few trusted add-ons". Some sites do not work with Epic; in those cases the IE Tab add-on will open the page in Internet Explorer. The article points out that the browser does not have a business plan, so, despite being launched in 2013, it may not last. According to owner Hidden Reflex, the company was working on a way to sustain itself, perhaps offering premium privacy services, sponsors on the new tab page, and private search sponsors.[12]

While Epic is not open source software as such (although it uses open-source Chromium), the company says on their Web site that "All of Epic's code is visible and auditable by anyone ... If you would like to audit any files, please let us know. We have released many files to developers"[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Download Epic Privacy Browser for PC". epic-browser.en.softonic.com. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  2. ^ "Epic Browser Terms & Conditions". Hidden Reflex. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  3. ^ "Epic Privacy Browser". Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  4. ^ "Epic Privacy Browser Features. Epic is a secure chromium-based web browser that protects your privacy online". www.epicbrowser.com. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  5. ^ "Custom Chrome Browser Promises More Privacy, No Tracking".
  6. ^ Sharma, Ojas (July 15, 2010). "Indian Startup Launches Epic Web Browser". PC World. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  7. ^ PRWeb/Hidden Reflex. "Hidden Reflex Launches New Epic Privacy Browser To Confront Growing Anxieties About Online Privacy". Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  8. ^ PTI. "Epic: first web browser for India launched". The Hindu. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  9. ^ "First Browser with an Indian Origin – Epic". Techtree.com. Archived from the original on July 18, 2010. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  10. ^ a b "How Epic Protects You". Epic Privacy Browser. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  11. ^ "Epic Privacy Browser Features. Epic is a secure chromium-based web browser that protects your privacy online". epicbrowser.com. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  12. ^ Gregg Keizer (July 3, 2018). "What is the Epic browser (and what makes it different)?". Computer World.
  13. ^ "Epic Privacy Browser FAQ. Epic is a secure chromium-based web browser that protects your privacy online". Epic Browser. Retrieved August 21, 2020.

External links[edit]