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Ecosia Browser Now Available For Windows And macOS

Image Source: 13_Phunkod / Shutterstock

Ecosia, the eco-conscious search engine, celebrated Earth Day by launching its desktop web browser compatible with both Windows and macOS operating systems.

The browser, which Ecosia claims is solar-powered, produces 25Wh of solar energy every time it’s in use. Ecosia directs all its profits towards planting trees and renewable energy projects, recently hitting the milestone of planting 200 million trees globally.

According to TechCrunch, the Ecosia browser is constructed on Google’s open-source Chromium project, providing a familiar interface similar to Chrome. However, Ecosia’s browser itself is not open-source.

The New Tab page is colorful, enabling users to personalize the background with wallpapers from Ecosia’s tree planting projects.

Users can conduct web searches directly from the tab page and have the option to import browsing history, favorites, passwords, and autocomplete data from other browsers.

The page also features sponsored links for shopping, contributing proceeds to climate projects by Ecosia. While this is a positive effort, there may be concerns regarding user privacy. For more information, users can review Ecosia’s privacy policy.

The new tab page showcases climate impact data like tree plantations and donation amounts, along with quick shortcuts to financial reports and tree planting projects. Users can customize their new tab experience by adjusting various sections in the quick settings panel.

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Default Search Engine

Ecosia is set as the default search engine, but users have the option to switch to Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, or Brave through the settings.

Built-in Ad Blocker

The browser includes a built-in ad blocker that screens ads using lists such as Anti Adblock filters, Easy Privacy Anti Tracker, EasyList, and uBlock filters. Users can also manage the “acceptable ads” feature.

Ecosia browser’s data collection involves sending anonymous browsing usage and crash reports. Users can choose to opt-out of these options in the Privacy and Security settings.

The browser supports extensions from the Chrome Web Store, and for enhanced control over content blocking, users can install the uBlock Origin add-on and deactivate the built-in ad blocker.

Ecosia AI Chat

Ecosia’s browser unveils an AI Chat feature powered by OpenAI, providing chatbot functions that respond to inquiries, summarize text, and store chat history within the browser.

Chat data is stored by OpenAI for up to 30 days for internal and legal reasons. Ecosia AI Chat is accessible on selected browsers and can be accessed from the Ecosia website.

The browser is downloadable for Windows 10 or later and macOS Catalina 10.15 or later from the official Ecosia website. A web installer is available; users should uncheck the option to run the app at startup. Ecosia browser is also compatible with Android and iOS devices.

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While Ecosia browser shares many similarities with Chrome, it may struggle to attract users away from other popular browsers due to a lack of unique features. For individuals valuing privacy, alternatives like DuckDuckGo, Brave, or Firefox might be more appealing.

To successfully draw users towards their browser, developers may need to introduce more innovative and distinct features to set their product apart.

Image Source: 13_Phunkod / Shutterstock

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