FAQ

What do you believe in?

We believe that what you browse and search should be private. Your searches and browsing are no one’s business but your own. It’s as simple as that.

Why should I worry about my browsing and searches not being private?

Your searches and browsing history reveal a lot about who you are. They are being bundled with your offline data like your purchases,location, credit history, and personal identity and this data is sold on data exchanges every single day. It can and is being used to determine if you can get health or life insurance, what price to charge you at online stores, when you apply for a job, and much more. Imagine searching for “getting out of speeding ticket” one day and then seeing your car insurance rates go up a few months later. Or searching for “could I have diabetes” then applying for health insurance policies only to find all of them won’t cover “diabetes related illness.” Beyond that, privacy is essential to freedom of thought. If you know you're under surveillance, you're significantly less likely to research or express minority views. Writers around the world are already reporting chilling self-censorship effects from government surveillance. Your browsing and searching is personal and valuable, protect it.

Are companies really using my searches and browsing to determine if I get a job or health insurance or other things?

Yes. The Wall Street Journal reports that “Websites Vary Prices based on User Information” so for example Kim and Trude who live a few miles apart saw a 10% difference in the price quoted online at the same website for the same product! (link) . Offline data is being merged with online data and sold to insurance companies and others. The CEO of a data analysis firm that analyzes online data for insurance companies admits to buying junk food or hamburgers with cash to avoid being labeled as unhealthy (link). Those are just two examples. There are many, many more reported by the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and many other publications.

Why should I use Epic?

When you use the Epic Privacy Browser, you get privacy in a fast, simple browser. Have a fabulous browsing experience and gain privacy over what you browse and search. Protect your browsing and searches from hundreds of companies and governments.

How does Epic protect my privacy?

Epic does several things to protect your privacy. Epic by default removes all Google services from Chromium so that your browsing does not go through Google’s servers. When you visit a search engine, Epic routes that request through a proxy server so that they can’t track you by your IP address. You can also manually turn on Epic’s built-in proxy anytime (it’s the icon at right in the address bar). Epic removes referer data from the http header of search sites that may leak your search terms. Epic blocks thousands of trackers and widgets from tracking your browsing and searching across the internet.Epic has an encrypted data preference so whenever possible, Epic connects you securely. This protects you from general surveillance and when you’re on a public WiFi network. Epic always blocks third-party cookies and sends a do-not-track me signal. Epic never collects any data about your browsing or searches. Epic services such as auto-fill in the address bar are local so that what you’re typing is never sent to any server. Epic is always in private browsing or incognito mode so that after you close Epic, all your browsing data and data stored on your system by websites are deleted.

Should I close Epic regularly?

Yes!! Please do!! It’s important to close Epic regularly because this “cleans” Epic out. Epic does allow first-party cookies and HTML5 data storage and a few other things without which most websites wouldn’t work, so it’s important to “clean” your browser out of all that data regularly. Epic is always in private browsing mode, so when you close Epic it deletes all stored data – unlike other browsers no other effort on your part is required.

Should I log into Gmail when I use Epic?

If you’re doing searches via Google in Epic, then we would strongly recommend you not log into Gmail while using Epic. 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.

Where is Epic based? Which investors are backing Epic?

The team behind Epic is jointly based in the United States and India. The company is domiciled in the U.S., and our software development team operates out of Bangalore. Graham Holdings (formerly the Washington Post Company) and a small group of angel investors are backing us.

Does Epic provide total privacy?

Unfortunately no browser and no one at this point can provide total privacy and that includes Epic. Epic provides as much privacy as possible while still offering a fast, normal browsing experience – excellent protection from the general surveillance that is occurring. The two privacy issues in Epic are our encrypted proxy and plugins. Plugins can leak your actual IP address as well as enable others to fingerprint you -- for maximum privacy, you can in Epic's settings set plugins to click-to-play. We've enabled plugins as we found usability is poor without them enabled. When you use Epic's encrypted proxy, all of your browsing does pass through our encrypted proxy servers. Please note we never log any browsing history or website visits and have said as much to every single request by governmental agencies who've requested data from us.

Is Epic like my current browser (chrome, ie, firefox)?

Yes, but better. Epic is private and probably even faster. Epic is built on Chromium which is the same base as the Google Chrome browser. Since Epic blocks a lot of tracking scripts and other requests, web pages usually load up faster in Epic. Epic is always in a private browsing or incognito mode, and has additional privacy protection to protect others from tracking your browsing and searches.

What about just using private browsing or incognito mode?

Private Browsing or Incognito Mode doesn’t stop anyone from tracking you. It prevents someone from looking at your browser's history and knowing what you browse, but it won’t protect your browsing and searches from being tracked. Your browsing history is still easily accessible via your dns cache even upon Incognito window close. When you search or browse in Incognito Mode, that data is generally going to Google’s servers and hundreds of data collectors can continue to track you.

What about using privacy addons in my Chrome or Firefox?

Using privacy addons is in general not advisable simply because addons can access all your browsing, searches and almost everything you type in your browser typically. That’s why we block addons – they represent a huge privacy risk. Moreover, many so-called privacy addons do in fact collect your entire browsing history and have a business model in which they sell data. So addons may and often do actually reduce your privacy by sending all your browsing data to their servers and themselves even selling that data or releasing it to third parties. We’ll also note there are in Chrome several tracking techniques built-in which Epic removes, and at present no set of add-ons for any browser provides the full set of protection you get while running Epic.

Why does Epic block almost all Addons or Extensions?

Addons or browser extensions are dangerous in terms of your privacy. Browser addons and toolbars for Firefox, Chrome and other browsers can and many do send all your browsing through their servers and even more personal data. Addons can access just about everything you type and do in the browser. While they can be very useful, they represent a very large security and privacy risk hence Epic only allows a few trusted Addons.

How is Epic built on Chromium? Isn’t Chrome also built on Chromium?

Chromium is an open source project led by Google and is the base of the Chrome browser. All the code in Chromium is free to use by anyone and it itself was created by Google as well as from a great deal of other open source code from KDE, Apple, Mozilla and others.

Why worry about data collectors?

Your searches and browsing can and are being used to determine if you get health insurance, auto insurance, car insurance, a job and much more. Imagine searching for “getting out of a speeding ticket” and seeing your auto insurance rates go up later on. Or subscripting to Weight Watcher’s magazine and being denied health insurance. The upcoming industry of ‘Big Data’ into which billions of dollars are being poured has designs to use your personal data in such controversial ways.

What’s the difference between Epic and Tor?

TOR is a network that helps provide anonymity to browse the internet. You can get a TOR browser which is a version of Firefox which accesses the TOR network and has various privacy protections. TOR is an innovative product and effort, and very useful when you suspect you’re being actively tracked and must have the highest possible level of privacy at the expense of browsing speed and website functionality. For most users in their day-to-day browsing, Epic can be a more natural choice since Epic is a browsing experience similar or even faster than your current browser and Epic supports Flash – all the while providing great privacy. Please note neither the TOR network nor the TOR browser can be considered secure as researchers have found a small minority of TOR nodes run by malicious groups.

How does Epic’s built-in proxy protect my IP address?

Epic has a built-in proxy that automatically turns on whenever you visit a search engine. You can optionally turn the proxy service on anytime via clicking on the icon at the far right of the address bar. Using the proxy will route your browsing through a different IP address effectively hiding your actual IP, but Epic does support Flash which websites can potentially use to gain your actual IP. Other plugins can also leak your actual IP so for maximum privacy, via Epic's settings, set them to click-to-play.

Who powers Epic’s proxy service?

We run all the servers ourselves at present.

How can I uninstall the Epic Privacy Browser?

Windows users, please use the Windows Uninstall Programs. For Mac users, simply drag the Epic Privacy Browser icon into your trash icon.

How does Epic protect against browser fingerprinting?

There is no agreed-upon way to prevent browser fingerprinting or device fingerprinting at this point. There are many fingerprinting techniques which a solution would need to protect against. While we are working on a more thorough solution, at present Epic provides good protection against known fingerprinting scripts by simply blocking those scripts. Epic also directly blocks the most prevalent fingerprinting method, image canvas data access.

If Epic is free, how will the company sustain itself?

We're working on it. We hope to offer premium privacy services and private search again.

Is Epic Open Source?

All of Epic's code is visible and audit-able by anyone. We have not been able to release openly all our source code due to certain business reasons (it's taking considerable investment to keep this project going), but it has absolutely nothing to do with our commitment to transparency nor to open source software. We love open source software and Epic is built on open source Chromium. If you would like to audit any files, please let us know. We have released many files to developers who needed help -- so if you want to see any files or need any, just write us. Chromium which Epic is built on is open source software which anyone can immediately download and audit. No one has written us regarding auditing chromium, but we'd love to hear ideas on how as a community we can continue to make sure Chromium is safe and private. If you have any questions, please write us.