The Aloha Browser is one of the up-and-coming new browser apps for mobiles which targets one of the most important aspects of modern browsing — privacy. The Aloha Browser is the only browser (to our knowledge) that comes with a built-in VPN and encrypts user data at all levels. 

Sounds great, but how does it perform? In this article, we’ll introduce you to the Aloha Browser, cover its many features, and give you a final verdict of whether we think it’s worth using. 

Table of Contents

    What Is the Aloha Browser?

    Aloha is a web browser available on the Google Play Store (for Android 4.4 and up) and on the App Store (for iPhone or iPad with iOS 9.0 and up). So far, it’s had over 5 million downloads and has a rating of 4.4 stars. There’s also a desktop PC version currently in early access. 

    Aloha uses the Aloha Find search engine which is based on Google, though without the data collection and tracking. 

    What Are the Main Features of Aloha?

    Aloha is packed with features. Like a normal browser, it offers web search, bookmarks, and the typical browser features. Here, we’ll take a deep dive and explain each of Aloha’s unique features, how they work, and how good they are. 

    Simple, Easy-to-Use Interface

    The UI is essentially the same as any browser. There’s a search bar and a series of quick links. As you scroll down, there’s a list of suggested content such as recent news and a few non-targeted advertisements (in the free version). 

    In the search bar, there’s an icon to activate the VPN and another to utilize the built-in QR reader. 

    Free Unlimited VPN 

    Aloha’s main marketing point is the built-in free VPN that can be turned on with the tap of a button. 

    The VPN provides a strong layer of security through military-strength encryption (256-bit). It also lets you access sites that may be blocked in your region, something many users find useful. 

    As with all VPNs, you can only trust them as far as you can trust the company creating them since they are able to actively monitor and log your activity. Aloha claims that their VPN doesn’t log your activity. 

    To activate the VPN: 

    1. Open Aloha.
    2. Click the shield icon at the left of the search bar. 
    1. In the pop-up, hit OK
    1. Tap and hold the shield icon again to change VPN location or change settings. 
    1. Tap the shield icon again to turn the VPN off. 

    Passcode or Fingerprint Lock

    An added layer of security, the passcode locks the browser so that prying eyes can’t access it. This is helpful when it comes to preventing your kids from accessing sites that they shouldn’t (such as buying themselves a brand new present from Amazon). 

    To turn on the passcode lock:

    1. Press the Settings icon at the top-right of the main screen. 
    1. Select Privacy.
    1. Toggle on Passcode.
    1. Enter your passcode and confirm it. 

    AdBlock

    Aloha mobile has built-in AdBlock, preventing many ads from appearing, and cutting the ad network code and trackers to prevent them from building a user profile or targeting you. 

    Weirdly, the free version of Aloha still features adverts, and they come by default as personalized ads which do track you. The premium version of Aloha offers a completely ad-free experience. 

    You can enable AdBlock in Settings > AdBlock.

    Tracking Protection

    Aloha provides tracking protection and claims to not track your activity online, unlike other major browsers like Google and Safari. This includes searches, data usage, downloads, location, and websites you visit. 

    Aloha does send diagnostic and error reports by default, but it’s opt-out. Frustratingly, by default, Aloha also allows personalized adverts with their “trusted partners”. For a browser that claims to put privacy and security above all else, this is an odd move. 

    To opt-out of these tracking services:

    1. Open Settings > Privacy.
    1. Scroll down and toggle off Personalized ads, UX improvement program, and Crash reporting

    Support for Downloading Files and Video

    A welcome feature of Aloha is that it allows you to download almost any files and video to your device. In fact, it’s one of the only browser apps that let you do this. 

    Private File Vault

    The Aloha browser comes with an integrated file and download manager. With this, all downloaded files are stored securely with the option to lock specific folders with a password. 

    Media Player with Chromecast Support

    Aloha’s full-featured media player is able to play movies, music, virtual reality content, and supports Chromecast functionality. 

    Premium Features

    The premium version of Aloha offers a few extra features which improve the overall browsing experience. These include: 

    • Premium VPN — always on, faster servers in more countries
    • No advertisements
    • Advanced file management — parallel downloads, faster downloading, ZIP support

    Aloha Premium costs $2.99/month or $24.99/year. 

    Downsides of the Aloha Browser

    Overall, the Aloha browser is a decent choice if you want to keep your data private and secure. But, there are a few things that could be better. 

    • The browser is a little slower than many of its competitors, like Chrome or Firefox. But, the lack of speed is primarily due to the VPN connection. 
    • Aloha isn’t open source. If you’re an average user, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, many experts recommend open source software as it allows you to review exactly what the program is doing and whether it’s as private and secure as the developers claim. 
    • As of version 3.10.2, Aloha actually uses four trackers despite claiming not to. However, you can opt-out of Personalized Ads under Privacy which may disable at least two of these trackers. 

    Is Aloha Right For You?

    Overall, Aloha is a decent mobile web browser if you’re looking for free, more private, and secure browsing. Though, there are plenty of alternatives that protect your privacy like DuckDuckGo, Privacy Browser, Bromite, and the Brave Browser. 

    If you’ve used Aloha, let us know what you think of it in the comments below. 

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