What is Yandex? Is it Safe Enough for Private Browsing?

Justice Ekaeze  - Tech Expert
Last updated: June 4, 2024
Read time: 12 minutes

Learn to discover everything about the Yandex browser, whether it is safe to use, and how secure this browser is.


Yandex is one of the most secure online browsers with several impressive features. It is owned by a Russian company that prioritizes users’ privacy. The browser has many security features that a top-notch browser should have, but almost everything on the internet is vulnerable unless you take necessary safety measures. Those include:

  • Use a super-reliable VPN service like NordVPN.
  • Get your suitable premium antivirus software.

Read our complete article to learn more about this Russian-based browser and how safe it is.

browser website

In today’s world, where everything is becoming digital, browsers exist as gateways to the digital universe. There are several big guns in the industry today, ensuring users tap into the expansive resources online. One of the top browsers that makes web surfing possible is Yandex Browser. But why should you pick this browser over other familiar names like Chrome or Mozilla Firefox?

This article explains the Yandex Browser’s features and capabilities, exploring its impressive features, determining whether it’s safe to use, and outlining its security protocols and features.

What is Yandex Browser?

What is Yandex Browser?

It is a Chromium-based web portal and search engine developed by Yandex, the largest Russian multinational technology corporation. Like every web browser, it is a software application that allows users to access and view websites, images, videos, and other online content. You can use the internet service on virtually all mobile and desktop platforms.

The browser relies on the Chromium project, just like Google Chrome. Hence, if you’re conversant with Chrome’s features, you can easily navigate Yandex. Also, the browser is compatible with Chrome extensions.

Is Yandex Browser good?


Yandex Browser offers all the features and functionalities you’ll find on other top secure web browsers available today. We’ve established that it relies on the Chromium project, just like Google Chrome. Hence, it’s a perfect alternative to Chrome in terms of functionality.

However, a couple of security concerns have stemmed from the use of Yandex. Research and thorough investigations have revealed that Yandex, the company that developed the browser, is closely associated with the Russian government. This has caused many users to question the privacy and security the browser guarantees.

Is Yandex Browser safe?

Is Yandex Safe

It utilizes multiple security features to ensure users don’t suffer security attacks or breaches while using the browser. Some of these features include DNSCrypt, DNS spoofing protection, and auto HTTPS support when connected to public networks.

However, privacy issues on the Yandex Browser are still a major cause of concern. Feedback from several users revealed that the browser keeps a record of their search queries and sends them to the Yandex server for evaluation.

Also note that this browser is a closed-source project, so you cannot access the source code and cannot monitor its background operations.

After skimming Yandex’s terms and conditions, some internet users argued that the browser had acquired all the permissions required to collect users’ data and use it as they desired. They claim that Yandex can also send users’ data to the authorities if necessary. However, Yandex’s affiliation with the Russian government has scared many internet users. Most people are skeptical about using the browser.

Despite these concerns, Yandex still remains a strong and reliable gateway for accessing the internet. Its DNS assures a decent level of safety. However, you may use another web browser if you’re not convinced your data is safe and protected with Yandex Browser.

Is Yandex download safe?


There’s no reason to fear malware or virus infiltration while using or downloading the the browser. We conducted several tests, and the antivirus detected no virus or malware. Hence, downloading the Yandex app is safe.

However, while it is not malicious, privacy concerns still exist. The browser can send users’ data to third parties or the government.

Privacy concerns with Yandex

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A report by Zach Edwards, a researcher from Me2B Alliance, explains how Yandex gathers user information. Zach revealed that Yandex harvests information using AppMetrica, a software development kit (SDK).

Following the operations of Google, Me2B discovered that Yandex collects users’ information using their:

  • Network data
  • IP address
  • Device details

Although Yandex clarified that it collects only a few data points and that the information is not personalized, the fact is that it collects users’ data and stores it in Finland and Russia. To assure users that their privacy is secured, Yandex announced that it cannot identify or locate users using the information it gathers.

The company also revealed its strict internal system for handling governments and how it dec

Exploring Yandex search engine

Exploring Yandex search engine

The search engine Yandex.ru became public in Moscow during the Softool exhibition on September 23, 1997. Initially, Yandex was created by CompTek before it became independent in 2000.

Since its operation in 1997, Yandex has remained committed to helping businesses and internet users experience a smooth and seamless online experience. As of 2023, it has established about 30 branches globally. It was also listed by NASDAQ in 2011. NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) is an association of international electronic companies. It facilitates stock exchanges in about 50 countries.

The developers, Ilya Segalovitch, Arkady Borkovsky, and Arkady Volozh, were inspired to create Yandex because all the web browsers at the time only supported the English language. The word “Yandex” is a combination of two words, “Ya,” which means “I” and “Index.”

Services and key features of Yandex


It has several built-in features and also offers other distinct services, just like Google. Some of these services include:

  • Yandex Search
  • Yandex Disk (cloud)
  • Yandex Translate
  • Yandex Slovari (dictionary)
  • Yandex Music
  • Yandex Games 
  • Yandex Images 
  • Yandex Videos
  • Yandex Maps
  • Yandex Mail
  • Yandex Go (taxi and delivery in collaboration with Uber)
  • Yandex Maps
  • Yandex Money
  • Yandex Direct (advertising)
  • Artificial intelligence (self-driving cars) 
  • Smart home technology 
  • Alice (voice assistant)
  • eCommerce 
  • App analytics

Due to the restrictions established by the Russian government, Google may not be able to compete with Yandex and its other versions in Russia. The next section explains the edge Yandex has over other web browsers.

Yandex vs. other web browsers

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Yandex’s two major competitors are Google and Bing. On the global stage, Yandex has a market share of about 1.83%, Bing has a market share of 3.11%, and Google has 91.55%. Meanwhile, Yandex has a 65.85% market share in Russia, Google has about 32.66%, and Bing has 0.95%.

Examine the table below to explore some of the similarities and differences of these web browsers.

Rank in Russia as of 202325
Rank globally in 2023103129
Image search optionsSize, Type, Layout, Color, FormatSize, Usage Rights, Time, Color, TypeLayout, Color, Size, Type, Wallpaper, Format
Priority languageRussianEnglishEnglish
Language Translation Very effective with Eastern European languages.Works well with several languages.Most effective with Central Canadian languages.
Maps or NavigationGreat coverage in Russia and decent operation in other regions.Brilliant coverage in different parts of the world, especially Europe.Fair coverage in different countries. 

Continue reading to understand more about Yandex’s services in Russia.

Yandex and the Russian digital landscape


It is a major contributor to Russian technological development. Its launch marked the beginning of technological advancement and technology-related jobs in Russia.

Here are a few facts that show how well Yandex Browser is invested in the Russian technological industry.

  • Filters out unwanted information and ads so that users enjoy a smooth online experience.
  • Prioritizes Russian texts and language.
  • A Russian company, so it resonates better with local internet users.
  • About 52% of Android users in Russia prefer Yandex Browser to other web browsers.

Optimization pages for Yandex

web browsers engines

Like every other software, you may need to optimize the Yandex Browser to improve your experience. Individual internet users and businesses can also optimize the pages to align with their branding.

In this section, we’ll explain why optimizing Yandex pages is vital and provide tips on how to do it.

Reasons to optimize in Yandex

1. Yandex Browser uses a geotargeting system.

You may notice that your search results differ if you enter the same query in different locations. This usually occurs because Yandex uses a geotargeting system that favors local destinations over foreign ones. The system enhances location-based resource exposure.

2. Yandex has the highest market share in Russia.

Developed in Russia, Yandex prioritizes Russian internet users. It gives locals access to an expansive bank of information and ideas. Hence, if you don’t reside in Russia, you may need to optimize the web pages to enhance your experience.

3. Yandex has a mobile-friendly user interface.

As technology advanced and the use of mobile phones became widespread, Yandex had to release a mobile version so that internet users could use the service on their mobile devices. Released with the Vladivostok label, the mobile version gave mobile phone users access to the internet. They can now view images, videos, and layouts in the appropriate orientation and size.

The search engine’s mobile version ensures on-demand and hassle-free access to the internet.

4. Yandex supports combining the web page with its other services.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, Yandex is not restricted to web services. It offers diverse services, including advertising, maps, games, and translators. Businesses can utilize these services to ensure growth in content visibility and sales. Once they list their businesses or services on Yandex, internet users can see your products and get directions on how to get them.

Apart from Russia, Yandex is popular in other countries like Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and Ukraine. Internet users from these countries often prefer using Yandex to other web browsers. Hence, while internet users in Russia will most likely see local business content online, they must optimize their web pages so that users from other countries can access them.

6. Yandex has an English version.

Yandex has expanded beyond Russia and now offers services for English-speaking countries. Its browser has an English version that replicates the original. Businesses can utilize this version to expand their operations beyond Russia.

Tips for Yandex optimization

Business and website owners can follow the tips below to optimize their websites on Yandex.

1. Release high-quality content

Businesses must prioritize uploading high-quality content on their website to rank high on users’ search results. Yandex’s algorithm sorts search results and arranges them according to the quality of the content and how engaging and informative they are. Internet users often stay longer or frequent websites with informative content in audio, video, or written form.

If you specialize in written content, you must use proper SEO strategies to improve your website’s ranking.

According to research, about 68% of internet users begin their online experience using a web browser. A factor that enhances a smooth and seamless online experience is quality and well-placed backlinks. The SEO system on Yandex pays more attention to quality rather than quantity when it comes to backlinks. It’s more about the traffic that these backlinks drive to websites.

3. Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly

Yandex has a mobile version, meaning users can access mobile-friendly websites on their mobile phones using Yandex. Research shows that about 80% of internet users use their smartphones for accessing the internet as of 2023. That’s why website owners must ensure internet users can open their websites on mobile phones.

4. Pay attention to your site’s potential in local SEO

Typically, Yandex’s geo-targeting system influences the search results. Hence, businesses must consider their website’s local SEO strategy to understand how to curate and direct their content. For example, if a website’s target audience is in Canada, it must incorporate information and details that pertain to customers in that region.

5. Evaluate the website’s commercial edge

Yandex examines various websites and prioritizes only those that are potentially beneficial. This style of operation compels website owners, especially e-commerce sites, to publish only engaging and quality content.

Yandex Browser examines the following elements to arrange commerce websites in the order of their commercial importance:

  • Website’s design and interface
  • Company’s contact details
  • Payment and delivery options
  • Products’ shipping and price range
  • Company’s credibility
  • Business’ return policy
  • Product description and listing
  • Company’s customer service

6. Utilize mature domain age

You may discover that older domains have advanced technologies that function well on Yandex. Businesses may experience better ranking when their domain or website ages or grows. Hence, many businesses buy older domains to rank high on Yandex.

How to download and install Yandex


You can download the Yandex browser from the official website on your computer or mobile device. Head over to the website and tap the “Download” button to get the installation file on your device. Then, start the installation process like you would for any other app.


You can use the Yandex delivery service to deliver small parcels to different locations. Once you enter the recipient’s contact details, Yandex will notify them so that they can track the package in transit. You can process payments via Google Pay, Apple Pay, or bank cards.

Although Google is popular in Russia, it’s not the most-used web browser. Most Russians prefer using Yandex because of its many location-based perks.

Yes, you can. Although Yandex was developed in Russia, it is not restricted to Russians. You can edit the language to English, Turkish, Ukrainian, or Indonesian.

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About the Author

Justice Ekaeze

Justice Ekaeze

Tech Expert
50 Posts

Justice Ekaeze is a freelance tech writer with experience working for specialized content agencies. Justice has acquired extensive content writing experience over the years. He’s handled several projects in diverse niches but loves the cybersecurity and VPN sectors the most. His friends call him 'the VPN expert.' In his free time, he likes to play football, watch movies, and enjoy a good show.

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