Aloha Browser is one of the upcoming new browser apps for mobile phones that targets one of the most important aspects of modern web browsing – privacy. Aloha Browser is the only browser (to our knowledge) that comes with a built-in VPN and encrypts user data at all levels.
It sounds great, but how does it work? In this article, we will introduce you to Aloha Browser, cover its many features, and draw a final conclusion on whether we think it is worth using or not.
What is Aloha Browser?
Aloha is a web browser available on Google Play Store (for Android 4.4 and above) and above App Store (for iPhone or iPad running iOS 9.0 or later). To date, it has had more than 5 million downloads and has a 4.4-star rating. There is also a desktop PC version currently in early access.
Aloha use Aloha Find Google-based search engine, although there is no data collection and tracking.
What are the main features of Aloha?
Aloha is packed with features. Like a regular browser, it offers web search, bookmarking, and typical browser features. Here, we’ll dive in and explain each of Aloha’s unique features, how they work, and how good they are.
Simple interface, easy to use
The user interface is basically the same as any browser. There’s a search bar and a bunch of quick links. As you scroll down, there’s a list of suggested content like recent news and a few untargeted ads (in the free version).
In the search bar, there is an icon to activate the VPN and another to use the built-in QR reader.
Free VPN Unlimited
Aloha’s main marketing point is the built-in free VPN that can be turned on with the click of a button.
VPNs provide a strong layer of security through military-strength (256-bit) encryption. It also allows you to access websites that may be blocked in your area, which many users find useful.
As with all VPNs, you can only trust them to the extent that you can trust the company that made them because they can actively monitor and log your activity. Aloha claims that their VPN does not log your activity.
To enable VPN:
- Open Hello.
- Click shield icon to the left of the search bar.
- In the pop-up, press ALRIGHT.
- Press and hold shield icon again to change VPN location or change settings.
- Touch shield again to turn off the VPN.
Password or fingerprint lock
An extra layer of security, cryptographically locks the browser so prying eyes can’t access it. This is useful when preventing your kids from visiting websites they shouldn’t (like buying yourself a brand new gift from Amazon, for example).
To enable passcode lock:
- Click Setting at the top right of the home screen.
- Option Privacy.
- Turn on Code.
- Enter your passcode and confirm it.
Aloha mobile integrates AdBlock, prevents multiple ads from appearing, and cuts ad network code and trackers to prevent them from building user profiles or targeting you.
Oddly enough, the free version of Aloha still has ads, and they are set by default to be personalized ads that follow you. The premium version of Aloha offers a completely ad-free experience.
You can enable AdBlock in Setting > AdBlock.
Aloha offers tracking protection and claims not to track your activity online, unlike other major browsers like Google and Safari. This includes searches, data usage, downloads, location and the websites you visit.
Aloha sends error reports and diagnostics by default, but it refuses. Sadly, by default, Aloha also allows personalized advertising with their “reliable partner”. For a browser that claims to put privacy and security first, this is an odd move.
To opt out of these tracking services:
- Open Setting > Privacy.
- Scroll down and off Personalized advertising, User Experience Improvement Programand Report problem.
Support downloading files and videos
A welcome feature of Aloha is that it allows you to download almost any file and video to your device. In fact, it’s one of the only browser apps that allows you to do this.
Private file storage
Aloha browser comes with a built-in download and file 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 that can play movies, music, VR content, and supports Chromecast functionality.
The premium version of Aloha offers several additional features that improve the overall browsing experience. Including:
- Premium VPN – always on, faster servers in more countries
- no ads
- Advanced file management – parallel downloads, faster downloads, ZIP support
Aloha Premium costs $2.99/month or $24.99/year.
Disadvantages of Aloha browser
Overall, Aloha browser is a suitable choice if you want to keep your data safe and secure. However, there are some things that could be better.
- This browser is a bit slower than many of its competitors, like Chrome or Firefox. However, the lack of speed is mainly due to the VPN connection.
- Aloha is not open source. If you’re a casual user, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, many experts recommend open source software because it allows you to review exactly what the program is doing and whether it is as private and secure as the developers claim.
- As of version 3.10.2, Aloha really use four trackers although the assertion is not. However, you can opt out of Personalized Ads in Privacy, which may disable at least two of these trackers.
Is Aloha Right For You?
Overall, Aloha is a suitable mobile web browser if you are looking for free, more private and safer browsing. Even so, there are many alternatives that protect your privacy such as DuckDuckGo, Privacy Browser, Bromite and Brave Browser.
If you’ve used Aloha, let us know what you think of it in the comments section below.