Zoho Corporation has introduced a privacy-centred browser, Ulaa built specifically to help users secure their personal data and activity by providing a solution that universally blocks tracking and website surveillance. Ulaa means journey or voyage in the Tamil language of Southeast Asia.

The Ulaa web browser comes equipped with features that allow for privacy customisation, built-in user profile modes, and integrated productivity tools while keeping user data safe and private. Users can also sync browsing sessions between devices to use multiple devices for the same browsing session.

“Privacy continues to be an uphill battle in the world of internet browsers because the model is broken – browsers are offered by vendors with ad-based business models so the incentive to gather, sell, or buy user data is significant. This is meant to leave little room for users to guard their privacy, becoming accustomed to sacrificing it in the name of access or convenience,” Zoho chief evangelist, Raju Vegesna said.

“With Ulaa, users don’t have to compromise their privacy to browse the web, which unfortunately has become a surveillance minefield. Zoho’s commitment to privacy and a privacy-centric business model allows us to offer a conflict-free, privacy-centric browser who value their own privacy and their kids’ privacy.”

Ulaa was developed to protect against tracking and surveillance and is rooted in three main areas:  

  1. Privacy

Ad and data tracking blockers prevent unauthorised push notifications, pop-ups, and time tracking. Existing browsers use time trackers or idle monitors to power recommendation algorithms and browser suggestions, which ultimately feeds that data back to the software provider and the companies that pay them for user data.

Ulaa does not track or share user data with any third parties. DNS prefetching is prohibited, so data cannot be cached, as are motion sensors that track mouse movement and clicks.

Typically, browser IDs can be used to track users even after they have signed out of the browser. Ulaa has a multi-ID model, which is frequently refreshed, making it impossible to correlate a signed in user to a browsing session; adds an extra layer of protection from tracking software.

In addition to privacy customisations, anonymised user data and stats, geographical data isolation, end-to-end encryption, and privacy reports, Ulaa disables the API that allows websites to connect and communicate with devices connected to a computer’s network.

2. User Modes

Ulaa users can toggle between five unique modes based on their desired browsing experience, with each mode completely isolated from others, offering protected browsing experiences unique to the specific mode, and keeping browsing sessions separate from other users.

Personal Mode can be where users do online banking, music, video streaming, or shopping. They can view their browsing history, search records, favourite pages, and cookie data without having to sign in to Ulaa. This mode enables secure logins into user accounts, prevents ads, and maintains online privacy.

Work Mode can be dedicated to work functions and automatically pull in the apps, websites, and browser extensions that a person uses most for work. Users are protected from intrusive ads, possible phishing attacks, and more.

Developer Mode is designed for professional web developers and testers with a suite of developer tools and suggested extensions in the browser. This mode allows users to ensure their websites are compatible with different browsers and devices and offers the ability to test new features and develop cross-platform applications.

Kids Mode provides a safe online space for children to browse, learn, play fun games, and explore content online. It comes with native content filtering that protects children from accessing inappropriate content, as well as Parental Control features. It comes equipped with ad-free entertainment and learning games and apps.

Open Season Mode comes with no privacy restrictions. With disabled ad blockers and tracking blockers, this mode enables access to all websites including zero-restriction sites without hindrances of UI or feature breakages.

3. Productivity

Ulaa comes equipped with tabs management options to view all open tabs in one place to be grouped and organised. Users can easily switch between tabs, close tabs that are no longer needed, or move tabs to a different mode or a new window.

Ulaa also comes with integrated apps that boost productivity, including Zia Search for existing Zoho users, and Zoho Notebook, a dedicated note-taking space that works across all tabs to jot down ideas, reminders, or important information without leaving their browsing session.

Ulaa includes Annotator, a new, built-in feature that allows users to screen capture a page or a page section, add annotations directly to web pages and images, and easily share edits and notes. 

To coincide with Zoholics, Zoho’s flagship event, the company also announced a series of upcoming products and integrations, including the availability of public beta for Zoho Publish, Zoho Tables, and Zoho Solo, aimed to help solopreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs start, build, and run their operations.

Zoho is also announcing critical investments tailored to mid-market and enterprise businesses across go-to-market services, new products, platform extensibility, AI, and privacy and security, to transform the enterprise customer experience.

In its latest commitment to enable businesses to tap into Artificial Intelligence (AI), Zoho revealed execution plans and ongoing investment in AI, beginning with the launch of 10 generative AI Zoho application extensions and integrations, powered by ChatGPT.