Puffin is a cloud browser for Android, iOS, Linux (Raspberry Pi), and Windows devices. The cloud rendering of web content for display on users screen makes it the fastest browser for consumer usage. You connect to a server and the domains you type are rendered on the server forwarding the visual display on your screen. The workload of browser render is transferred to the cloud infrastructure and you get to enjoy fast web browsing. Here are 7 things we daily use Puffin Browser for:
1. Faster web page access
Puffin browser is really fast. It accomplishes this by using cloud resource to render the content. Website rendering is a process which converts an HTML/CSS/JS code into displaying a proper page layout, animation and interaction. Webpage rendering is a resource-intensive process. Puffin does this rendering on the server making it independent on your devices’ capacity. This is something you have to test yourself to believe.
The infrastructure behind the server processes the heavy load and displays the content on your screen. The server is more powerful and has better internet bandwidth than any household device or a smartphone. This capacity makes it render websites significantly faster than your local browser which heavily depends on your internet and your devices’ processing capacity.
2. Access geo-blocked content
The Puffin browser uses access servers which render the site for you. The cloud servers are located in the United States and Singapore. While I’ve rarely seen the Singapore server used, it is available and running. The server in the United States serves most of the users. If Puffin connects you to US server, this allows you to use US specific services like Pandora(desktop mode on mobile), Netflix, Hulu, e.t.c. without a VPN or proxy. As Puffin’s server address masks your computer’s internet location, the sites serve you content as the masked location.
Puffin does forward your real IP address through X-Forwarded-For header, but only a few sites use this information to detect your real location. Google search is one of the sites that can detect your location based on your real IP address.
3. Multi layer sandboxed browsing from any device
Many browsers use sandbox to separate the web and it’s access to your devices. They still use technologies that constantly interact with each other. New technologies are being implemented on browsers as we speak. New technology with unknown vulnerabilities, Vulnerable Plugins and Extensions can allow exploits to run on your device without your knowledge.
The Puffin browser renders the webpage through their cloud servers. Doing so limits your device’s exposure to threats like malware and crypto miners. Browser vulnerabilities are also sandboxed in a remote environment preventing it from affecting your device. So you can browse any site without the worry of getting infected.
Downloading files are a different story . The files you choose to download can be malicious and cause a problem on your device. Be careful about where you download your from files from on the Internet.
4. Data Saver customization
Puffin has a built-in static data compression mechanism implemented to save data usage on your end. The images served on the first-page render are of lower quality compared to the original image. Often pages are littered with images we never take notice of. For these, we do not require high-quality images on every page. Lower quality images lower your data usage and let you enjoy your data package a little while more.
On a smartphone with small screens, it doesn’t even make much of a difference. As high-quality images are resized to relatively lower width so losing a bit of quality is not a big compromise. You can also shake your device to reload the content with original quality images without messing with any settings.
5. Download files to cloud on-the-go
If you are on a data network, you are most likely to be hesitant to download a big file. Puffin browser can download files directly to your cloud storage like Google Drive. So you can have it ready for download and use when you reach home or work.
Puffin allows you to download 1 GB of the file to your Google drive storage. This allows you to be prepared when you’re out and about. You will need to authorize Puffin to access your Google drive and modify it for saving files and documents.
6. Flash Player for site that don’t change
Puffin is one of the last available smartphone browser that runs Flash content. Since many games and sites still run flash based content, you won’t miss out on the old game for nostalgia.
7. Mouse and configurable Game-pad
If you want more control over the web content and games, you can even pop open a mouse or a game-pad. The game-pad will help you play NES and other simulated games with more control. The controls even work when they are full screen. If you need to configure the keys to any other key, you can do that by pressing the setting gear icon when the game pad is active.
The mouse can be used to use tricky feature like hover on a link. Since smartphones use tap a a click, you can sometime find it hard to get menus working on some sites.
The video player on Puffin browser also has basic gesture control like dragging your finger on right or left to seek forward and back.
extra. Adblock (Pro version)
Puffin allow users of their pro version to block ads on all the websites it visits. This makes the web pages load faster and without distractions. The Adblock, however, is a global toggle and you can not whitelist or blacklist sites based on your preferences. You have to toggle the adblock option in the settings in order to block or unblock ads completely.
Puffin Browser is great if you want a fast browser for casual browsing, research, and accessing geo-blocked sites. Since you are using a remote server to access sites and enter logins, privacy can be a little sketchy to measure. As with any cloud service you use, you should take precautions on the level of privacy it provides. It may not be wise to use it for banking transactions and your social media. Most high security sites take login from a new location as a security threat and can lock your account requiring additional verification. And it is not clear what Puffin logs about your browsing history and logins, so it’s better to use it as a general purpose browser than for security and privacy.
Let us know what you think in the comments section below.