Frequently Asked Questions
What is Orion's goal?
We want Orion to be the best browser for Apple devices.
What is Orion's design philosophy?
Orion is fast, privacy-respecting and open to the web, standards and protocols. If you want a browser that just works, is lightning fast, respects your privacy, stays out of your way and lets you get the job done, Orion is for you. It is a browser built for professionals, by professionals.
It is also that one browser that you install for your grandma and the web would just work
for her, on default settings. Enjoy the web grandma!
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
performance and privacy features that Apple (and other
contributors) built into WebKit. We'd like to extend our
gratitude to them.
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 Orion on the same tech stack that Safari is using and then going above and beyond.
To begin with, there is very little Safari users can currently do to influence
browser development and roadmap. With Orion, users are taken seriously and each
user has a voice and a way to directly communicate with the
team behind the product.
Safari features are great to begin with, but they also leave a lot to be desired. Whether a built-in ad-blocker or productivity enhancements, with Orion we are able to provide the users exactly what they need.
If you thought Safari is fast, wait until you experience Orion.
Orion is simply the fastest browser on Mac. We took the same WebKit
core web engine (also used by Safari) and built a lightweight
browser unrivaled in speed around
Orion is also a truly zero telemetry browser, with a built-in
blocker. Orion has the highest possible protection for user's privacy on the web, by default.
And finally, extensions! Orion has native support for Chrome/Firefox
extensions, the largest browser extensions ecosystem in the world. With Orion you will be able to literally one-click install your favorite extensions, without their
needing to change anything. This
makes for a huge difference in what you can do on the web
compared to Safari.
Why use Orion instead of Chrome, Firefox or other
browsers based on Chromium/Firefox?
Orion has superior performance, memory use and battery
efficiency compared to any non-WebKit browser.
Orion is also the first browser to have zero telemetry policy,
meaning it does not "phone home" any data. It also
comes with a native blocker that blocks ads and trackers by
ensuring websites are respecting the privacy of the Orion user.
Orion is, like Safari, built as a native Mac app. It uses native macOS
components to ensure speed, familiar design, look & feel of a Mac app and
the deep integration with native
Finally, Orion takes its users very seriously. We go
as far as not having any telemetry, meaning we
design the product based only on what the users tell us. We are all ears and we are doing this together. Zero telemetry, powered by users!
How fast is Orion?
Orion is as fast or faster than
Safari, because both use the same underlying rendering
engine - WebKit.
Orion is much faster than browsers
using non-WebKit browser rendering engines like Firefox,
Chrome and Chrome clones (Edge, Brave, Opera...).
On top of this, thanks to the native adblocker Orion is simply unrivaled in speed when browsing the web.
We also made a number of tweaks to make Orion feel faster and
more responsive than Safari on slower machines.
How much memory does Orion use?
Orion is a lightweight browser with advanced memory use optimizations. From single tab
optimizations to pinned tab management, our goal is to minimize
Orion's memory footprint.
And if you are a power user, you will be glad to hear that we take great pride in the fact that Orion also has the best memory management
of all contemporary browsers
for closed tabs. On default settings, Orion
will consume 2x-3x less memory compared to mainstream browsers after closing tabs.
How does Orion respect my privacy?
Orion does not ‘phone home’ - that is, Orion does not have any built-in telemetry running
out of the box. Zero. None. Orion is truly and verifiably a privacy-respecting browser.
This is practically unheard of in the modern browser world as
most offer some 'illusion' of privacy.
Most browsers periodically
send requests "home" (some of them
hundreds). All these requests are still a potential privacy
issue as no matter what information is being sent, with each
request sent "home" your IP address (and thus potentially your location)
as well as potentially your browser fingerprint. Telemetry can
also inadvertently expose other PII (personally identifiable
information) or corporate
The only way you can be sure that your privacy is truly
respected, whether you are a consumer or an enterprise, is if
the browser has zero telemetry out of the box.
Use Orion and welcome to the world with zero browser
How does Orion help protect my privacy on the web?
Orion comes with state-of-the-art, native, ad and tracker blocker that blocks
first-party and third-party scripts and requests by default. Orion uncompromisingly blocks all trackers by default.
To do this we combine WebKit's Intelligent
Tracking Protection and "Easy Privacy"
list (using content blocking).
Ads on web pages have made consumption of content unbareable,
are insulting the intelligence of users and in some cases source of malware. Yet 99% of browsers do not block ads by default. We can not ignore
Orion uncompromisingly blocks all ads out of the box.
To do this we are using WebKit's native content
blocking functionality (to ensure maximum speed and minimum
impact to page rendering latency) and an optimized content blocking database. Orion's native ad-blocking successfully blocks 99.99% of all ads, including YouTube ads, both on desktop and mobile.
How does Orion support Web Extensions?
Early in development we made a (faithful) decision to natively support the Web Extensions API.
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 with each day.
On top of that, we built advanced security features that allow you to control
what each extension can do, giving the user control that goes beyond what Chrome and
Firefox offer. For example, you can allow
the web 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.
How does Orion handle uBlock Origin in tandem with
its native content blocker? What should I use?
Orion's built-in content blocker is about 90% as efficient as uBlock Origin
while being 3x faster (as it uses WebKit's native content
blocking feature). We designed it to be a great choice for most users and if it
works well for websites you visit, there is no need to install uBlock
For power users who require the extra mile provided by uBlock
Origin, we recommend disabling Orion's content blocker
globally (in Preferences->Website Settings->Content Blocker) as
the two will be trying to do the same thing. We also recommend leaving Orion's tracking protection
because this uses WebKit's built-in ITP (very fast, machine-learning based
tracking prevention that complements uBlock
Origin to provide best results).
I found that the "1Password (requires the desktop application)"
extension does not
autofill properly. What can I do?
Technically the issue is not on our end. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org and request them to support Orion
their desktop app. If enough paying cutomers do so, they are
likely to support a new browser their users prefer.
In the meantime, you can
still use 1Password by installing their web extension.
Should I use Chrome or Firefox version of the
extension in Orion?
Orion supports both Chrome and Firefox extensions. Usually they
are very similar, but sometimes the extension developer might have put
extra effort in one of the versions, for example because they
prefer that browser over the other.
Take advantage of the fact that you can try both and use the one
that works better for you. Orion is the only browser in the
world that gives you this choice!
Help! A site is not working!
Orion features something called the "compatibility mode", found
under website settings icon in your toolbar. Turning it on will
do several things like disable your currently running extensions
(which are the most common cause of problems) and remember the
setting for this website so it works when you visit it in the future.
If the site still does not work, you may want to test the site in Safari
(because it uses the same web rendering engine - WebKit)
and if it works there, please report the problem to us via our
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. Browse the web distraction-free!
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%.
Orion also features native Vertical Tree-style Tabs if you
prefer your tabs this way.
And there is much more...
Why is no search engine set by default in Orion?
As a browser committed to respecting your privacy, we decided not to set any search engine by default. Otherwise, the moment you start typing in location bar, we would have to leak your IP address and browser fingerprint to the search engine to get suggestions.
Instead, Orion will ask you to set your favorite search engine on your first use of
the location bar.
Can I transfer my Safari passwords to Orion?
We are working on this, you can expect to see this feature soon.
What macOS versions are supported by Orion?
We currently support macOS 10.14, 10.15, 11 and 12. We plan to
also add support for 10.13 in the future. Intel and Arm64
optimizations are automatically applied on your first run of
Does Orion have a mobile app?
Yes, Orion iOS app is also in beta. You can sign up by following
a link in #welcome channel on our beta discord. iPadOS app is coming
Will Orion for iOS also support web extensions?
Yes, we have preliminary support for some web extensions on iOS.
Wait, are you sure? No browser on iOS can use
Orion can and does. Remember when we told you that we
painstakingly ported hundreds of web extension APIs to run on
top of WebKit? That same WebKit runs on your iOS.
However, unlike on desktop,
Apple does not let us modify it, so we are limited in the scope
extension APIs we can support, but those extensions that work,
work out of the box, same as on desktop. And you can one click install them from Chrome or
Here is a screenshot of "Dark Reader" (a popular web
extension) running in Orion on iOS.
Is Orion open-source?
Not yet, but we plan for it to be when we are ready to receive the benefits of open-sourcing Orion. Creating something as big and ambitious as Orion (which includes forking WebKit, porting entire WebExtensions API and writing
a browser from scratch) is challenging enough for a small team like ours. We can not afford any other overhead - and properly maintaining an open source project takes time and resources. If you want to contribute, the best way to do that is to become a beta tester.
How can I trust my private information with Orion if it is not open-source?
"Open-source is trustworthy" is a common misconception when your private information is in question. For example, right now there is a major tech company, whose browser is open-source, and
yet the same company has created the largest ad/tracking network in the history
with this browser playing a signficant role in it. Another major tech company, whose browser is closed-source
(and using WebKit like Orion) is on the forefront of the privacy-aware practices and technologies in its
products. This means that in practice there is no correlation between product being open
or closed source and it respecting your privacy
(rather, this correlation may actually be inverse).
If you want to know if you can trust a browser company with your
data, you have to ask yourself these two basic questions:
Even if the browser is fully open source, what is done with your data on their servers (the part that really matters) is
always closed-source. For example, most modern browsers (excluding Orion) send hundreds of requests 'home'. Each of those requests contain private information like IP address and your browser
fingerprint, in addition to any other data they send. No
browser vendor has open-sourced the code that processes this
- Does this browser collect
and transfer data?
- How does this browser make money
for its maker?
The only way to truly know that the browser is protecting your private information, is if the browser sends zero unwanted requests anywhere. This can be verified by
launching a network proxy (Charles
Snitch are good choices on macOS) and checking if your browser is sending information anywhere.
With Orion, there will be zero unexpected requests in your network traffic log because Orion is truly a zero telemetry
browser, meaning it doesn't collect or send any data from the
Secondly, business model defines incentives. Companies producing popular, free, open-source browsers also 'magically' make
millions and even billions dollars in revenue, so that revenue must be coming from somewhere. Understanding
browsers' role in that chain of revenue will help you understand if
that browser can really be trusted
with your private information.
With Orion, you are using a browser that is verifiably respecting your privacy,
does everything it can to protect your privacy on the web by default and has a business model that aligns our interest with
yours, never needing or collecting your private information.
How will Orion make money?
We will either make Orion paid (remember how we used to pay for software products, even beta versions of anticipated products ) ; or Orion will be free
with a paid version offering advanced features; or Orion will be free but a part of another premium product that we are making.
In any case, one thing is clear: All funding for Orion will come from its own success as a product. We are not building Orion to be just another browser for Mac, we are building it to be
the browser for Mac. The one every power user would want to use. And the one that you install for your grandma because the web will just work.
We have no interest in making a popular browser and monetizing it with ads/tracking/data. That is not why we started this project for, nor is something we would ever consider falling back to. The purpose of Orion is to be a product you will love and appreciate for its
product experience, craftsmanship and attention to detail. If Orion can not deliver on that promise or sustain its own development for what ever insurmountable reason, it will be the end of it.
What does "Orion is open to web, standards and protocols" mean?
We are thinking about the web browser in the context of being your 'user agent'. Therefore, browser's job is to make the web accessible to you
(in any way you wish to consume it) and it should be as unobtrusive and as
capable as possible in the process. The focus of the experience is always on the user and their
needs, as we understand that you want to use the web, not the browser.
For example, web is a collection of different protocols, not just 'http' and 'https'. We want to support as many as we can, including FTP which is being phased out in many browsers or the new Gemini protocol.
Simply put, we believe that the browser should remove all the obstacles for the user in accessing the web in any way that works the best for them.
Are you hiring?
Yes. If you think you can write a browser for Mac, send your CV
while C++ experience (for WebKit) is a bonus.
Orion is being built by Kagi.
Kagi's founder is Vladimir Prelovac,
Silicon Valley entrepreneur with a track record of executing ambitious
ideas that go beyond conventional wisdom. Kagi
was founded in 2019 with $4M in seed funding.
Kagi is also building a privacy-respecting web search
engine, currently in private beta.
© 2021 Kagi - Better Web for our
Children. All Rights Reserved. WebKit and the WebKit logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.