Frequently Asked Questions
What is Orion's goal?
We want Orion to become the best browser for Mac.
What is Orion based on?
Orion's rendering engine is WebKit and Orion shares much of the same technology
used in Apple's Safari. This means Orion inherits all
privacy improvements and performance optimizations that Apple (and other
contributors) built into WebKit.
Why does Orion not use Chromium or Firefox browser
frameworks like many other browsers?
Because WebKit is the fastest, most energy efficient
browser rendering engine on macOS. And since we want to build the best browser
on macOS, we use the best base.
Through independent tests over and
over, it has been proven that WebKit has both best rendering
performance and effect on battery life. Also, WebKit comes
loaded with privacy-protecting features like Intelligent
This does come with a slight
drawback - we have to build the rest of the browser from
scratch. But hey, it also gives us the opportunity to innovate.
Why use Orion instead of Safari?
Let us first acknowledge all the efforts Apple put into making
Safari great, truly one of the best browsers you could use on
macOS. We are basing our decision to release Orion for Mac
exactly because we believe that Apple is on the right track with macOS
and that it has a bright future. We also think there is room to do certain things
differently when a web browser is concerned.
First, there is very little Safari users can currently do to influence
browser development and roadmap. On the other hand, we thrive on user feedback. We thrive
on letting the users directly shape the product. We wanted a browser where each
user will have a voice and a way to directly communicate with the
team behind the product.
Second, there are the browser features. While Safari is great to begin with, we could
never expect it to have certain features
that we believe a modern browser should have (like a built-in
adblocker, as ads have become today what browser pop-up windows were in
And finally, extensions! Orion has native support for Chrome/Firefox
extensions. With Orion you will be able to literally one-click install your favorite extensions, without their authors
needing to change anything. Orion has been built with a
foundation for native support for Web Extensions API and this
makes for a huge difference in what you can do on the web with
your own "user agent".
Why use Orion instead of Chrome, Firefox or other
browsers based on Chromium/Firefox?
Orion has superior performance, memory use and battery
efficiency thanks to lightweight design and use of WebKit.
Orion is also the first browser to have zero-phone-home policy,
meaning it is the ultimate privacy-respecting browser. It also
comes with a native blocker that blocks ads and trackers by
ensuring websites are respecting the privacy of the Orion user.
Finally, Orion is, like Safari, built as a native Mac app. It uses native macOS
components to ensure speed, familiar look & feel and deep integration with native
How fast is Orion?
Orion is as fast or faster than
Safari., because both use the same underlying rendering
engine - WebKit.
On top of it, Orion comes with a native adblocker and is probably
unrivaled in speed when browsing the web.
We also pay special attention to UI
responsiveness and stress-test Orion on
an old 1.1GHz 4GB Macbook
Air (aka "slowest Mac we could find"), making sure it stays the fastest
How does Orion respect my privacy?
Orion does not ‘phone home’ - that is, Orion does not have any built-in telemetry running by default. Zero. None.
We rely on our community of users to tell us what we are
doing good and what we can do better. Automatic updates and
crash reports are opt-in. And we do not have any ads to serve
you. Orion is truly and verifiably a privacy-respecting browser.
This is practically unheard of in the modern browser world.
Major browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Brave...) periodically
send requests "home", usually for benign reasons. For example to check for updates, A/B test
configurations or in case of Brave to serve appropriate ads. These requests are a potential privacy
issue as no matter what information is being sent, with each
request sent "home" the browser
company will get your IP address (and thus potentially your location)
and can also fingerprint your browser. Depending on their
business model and terms you accepted, this could be used in a
way you would not expect.
Most modern browsers are sending not one, but
requests, transferring megabytes of data, usually without the
even knowing (you may have sometimes noticed slow browser start
times because of this). Even if the browser code is open source, the
code that listens and receives this data on company's servers isn't, so you have no way of
knowing what is done with your data. Some browser companies openly admit to
profiling their users, some deny it, but the
only way you can be sure that your privacy is truly respected is if
the browser sends exactly zero requests home. Zero requests -
zero worries - full privacy guranteed.
Use Orion and move to a world with no browser
How does Orion defend against online tracking?
Orion comes with a native ad and tracker blocker that blocks
first-party and third-party scripts and requests by default. Most
browsers do not block any content by default. Some come with
tracker blocking. Orion blocks all trackers by default.
To do this we use WebKit's Intelligent
Tracking Protection (using machine learning, like Safari) in combination
with the popular "Easy Privacy"
list (using content blocking).
99% of browsers do not block ads by default. Some like Brave do,
but are still letting some ads by default (such as Google ads). Orion blocks all ads by
default. To do this we are using WebKit's native content
blocking functionality (to ensure maximum speed and minimum
impact to page rendering latency) in combination with the popular "Easy
for ad blocking.
We designed Orion with the 'grandma test' in mind. We wanted a
browser that you could install for your grandma and the web would
just work. Orion would make her browsing
experience fast and enjoyable, interface simple and clean and do all that out of the
box, with default settings.
Enjoy the web grandma!
How does Orion support Web Extensions?
Early in development we made a (faithful) decision to natively support Web Extensions API
on top of WebKit.
This is the same API shared
by browsers like Chrome and Firefox and what makes their
extension eco-system so powerful. We believe that users who
want to use WebKit on macOS should also be able to tap into this same
eco-system. So we
decided to build it, painstakingly porting hundreds of APIs that
were never meant to work
WebKit, one by one. Took us a few years but here we are!
At this time Orion supports about 70% of Web Extensions
APIs and we are adding more support with each day.
We also built advanced features that allow you to control
what each extension can do beyond what Chrome and
Firefox have originally. For example, you can choose to allow
an extension to run only on certain websites.
Wait, are you saying I can run uBlock Origin and
other Chrome/Firefox extensions in Orion?!
Yes! Crying when you experience this for the first time is optional.
Does Orion have unique features?
Yes! This is one of the reasons we started building it in the
first place. There are so many untapped opportunities for innovation in
modern browsers. We are very excited to have a platform to
build upon now. Here are just a few examples of what we already
Focus Mode allows the
user to completely remove toolbars when browsing the web. Orion's Low Power Mode is similar to native iOS feature on
phones and extends battery life on your laptop by reducing
browser's power consumption up to 90%.
And use the native Vertical Tabs if you
prefer your tabs this way. And much more...
Can I transfer my Safari passwords to Orion?
We are working on this, you can expect to see this feature soon.
Is there an iOS version planned?
Yes, we are working on Orion for iOS. Coming soon.
Will Orion for iOS also support web extensions? :-)
Wait and see ;-)
Is Orion open-source?
Not yet, but we plan to. At this moment we want to focus
all our resources on creating the
best browser on macOS, a gigantic task at hand. You can still
contribute as a beta tester through our Discord.
Will Orion support feature xyz?
You tell us! We are all ears and if enough people are for or we
hear a compelling argument from just one person, then yes.
Who is behind Orion?
Orion is being built by Kagi company.
Kagi's founder is Vladimir Prelovac, a
Silicon Valley entrepreneur and the tech-industry veteran. Kagi
has secured $4M in initial funding.
Kagi's other product is an ad-free search
engine, currently also in private beta.
© 2021 Kagi - Better Web for our
Kids. All Rights Reserved. WebKit and the WebKit logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.