• Meta Quest 4
  • Google Pixel 9
  • Google Pixel 8a
  • Apple Vision Pro 2
  • Nintendo Switch 2
  • Samsung Galaxy Ring
  • Yellowstone Season 6
  • Recall an Email in Outlook
  • Stranger Things Season 5

The best web browsers for 2024

All web browsers have the same basic function, and yet, the choice between them has always been one of the most contentious in tech history. You have more options these days than ever before, whether you’re looking for the best web browser for privacy , the best for speed, or perhaps something a bit more adventurous.

To help you decide on the best web browser, we grabbed the latest browsers and put them through their paces. Even if some could use a complete overhaul, these options are your best chance for a great online experience.

The best web browser: Google Chrome

Chrome is ubiquitous — and for good reason. With a robust feature set, full Google Account integration, a thriving extension ecosystem (available through the Chrome Web Store), and a reliable suite of mobile apps, it’s easy to see why Chrome is the most popular and the best web browser.

Chrome boasts some of the most extensive mobile integration available. Served up on every major platform, keeping data in sync is easy, making browsing between multiple devices a breeze. Sign in to your Google account on one device, and all Chrome bookmarks, saved data, and preferences come right along. Even active extensions stay synchronized across devices.

Chrome’s Password Manager can automatically generate and recommend strong passwords when a user creates a new account on a webpage. Managing saved passwords and adding notes to passwords is even easier. The search bar, or Omnibox, provides “rich results” comprised of useful answers, and it now supports generative AI capabilities. Favorites are more accessible as well, and they’re manageable on the New Tab page. And it’s now easier to mute tabs to avoid unwanted sounds.

Other updates have included a Dark Mode for Windows and macOS , better New Tab customization and tab group creation, tab hover cards, and an in-browser warning if your password was discovered in a data breach. There’s a price tracking feature that can help locate the best deals. Android users will appreciate the Phone Hub for linking and monitoring their phones. There’s also the ability to quiet notifications, so websites don’t bombard you with requests to enable in-browser notifications.

What’s the bottom line? The Google Chrome browser is fast, free, and even better looking than before. With a thriving extension ecosystem, it’s as fully featured or as pared-down as you want it to be. Everything is right where it belongs, privacy and security controls are laid out in plain English, and the browser just gets out of your way. While it can be a little RAM-hungry at times , Google is working to make it more efficient — like Microsoft’s Edge, Google can now hibernate tabs in the background to stop them from using too many resources.

Overall, Chrome remains the best web browser download for the average user.

And, things are looking to get even better. Google announced some significant upgrades to the browser that haven’t gone live yet, to celebrate Chrome’s 15th birthday . A Material You design language will allow users to customize Chrome’s look and feel and attach themes to profiles to make it easy to tell them apart. The menu system will be revamped to provide easier access to a variety of settings and features including Extensions, Password Manager, Translate, and others. The Chrome Web Store will be redesigned using Material You to be easier to use, and AI will help identify useful extensions. And finally, Safe Browsing will now work in real time to protect against threats.

The best Chrome alternative: Microsoft Edge

In response to the market’s rejection of its original home-grown Edge browser, Microsoft rewrote Edge using the open-source Chromium web browser engine. The new Edge launched on February 5, 2020 , as a separate, stand-alone browser that replaced the integrated version. It became part of Windows 10 with the May 2020 update, although you can still download it for Windows 10 builds prior to version 2004. Of course, it’s the default web browser for Windows 11.

At first glance, the new Edge browser looks and feels like Google Chrome. It prompts you to import Chrome’s bookmarks toolbar and other settings. This is great if you hated the old Edge browser and want to give Microsoft’s new browser another shot. It also supports Chrome extensions , though the browser leads you to the Microsoft Store for add-ons. You must manually load the Chrome Web Store to install anything not listed in Microsoft’s repository.

However, it’s not Chrome with a Windows 11 theme. Microsoft reportedly disabled many features, including Google’s Safe Browsing API, ad blocking, speech input, Google-centric services, and more. In return, the company worked to optimize Edge and reduce its footprint while continuing to add new, Microsoft-oriented features. As of January 2023, Edge is the most efficient browser in terms of memory usage. It also allows sleeping tabs, to let tabs release their resources when they haven’t been used for some time.

Features launched since its release have included the new Edge Sidebar that provides easy access to various tools, more flexibility in managing how Edge starts up, Citations to make it easier for students to cite sources, and various other updates to make the browser more productive. Edge Workspaces lets users organize tasks into dedicated windows, and Microsoft has continuously tweaked various features, like the Edge Sidebar, to make them more user-friendly.

Microsoft Edge also provides simpler privacy settings and security updates. Microsoft Edge uses a graphically friendly interface that displays three security levels: Basic, Balanced, and Strict. With Balanced set as the default, many sites request you to disable your pop-up blocker even though one isn’t manually installed. All in all, we’re very optimistic that Edge is on its way to challenging Chrome as the best web browser.

The best Chromium alternative: Mozilla Firefox

Firefox is the best browser that’s not based on the Chromium browser engine. Mozilla has taken real strides to make its browser a truly modern way to surf from site to site, thanks to efforts like its upgrade to Firefox Quantum , its VR alternative Firefox Reality , and password-free browsing .

It wasn’t too long ago that Mozilla rebuilt the browser’s interface, offering a cleaner, more modern take on what a web browser should be. The changes weren’t just skin-deep, however. There’s some impressive engineering going on behind the scenes.

For example, Firefox Quantum is designed to leverage multicore processors in ways that its competitors just aren’t doing. It was not designed to make a huge difference in your day-to-day browsing, but Mozilla hopes this design will give Firefox Quantum an edge moving forward. By engineering for the future now, Firefox Quantum is in a better position to take advantage of quicker processors as they emerge.

Some Firefox strengths include privacy protections with SmartBlock anti-tracker support, improved password syncing across devices, enhanced readability, integrated breach alerts, and a Protections Dashboard that provides a summary of how Firefox protects your privacy behind the scenes. WebRender improves the graphics performance on Windows PCs with Intel and AMD CPUs.

Recent updates include easier download management, captions, and subtitle support on YouTube, Prime Video, and Netflix videos watched in picture-in-picture mode, HDR support in macOS, and the ability to edit PDFs with text, drawings, and signatures. Firefox can also recognize text from an image, which is copied to the clipboard when selected. Finally, Firefox Colorways provides new options for optimizing how Firefox looks on-screen.

Beneath those changes, Firefox remains a comfortable, familiar standby. It’s a capable browser with a deep catalog of extensions and user interface customization. While managing settings across platforms isn’t as seamless as Google Chrome , the mobile browser app lets you share bookmarks between devices when using a free Firefox account.

There’s a bit of a fringe benefit, too. Since it’s been around longer than Chrome, some older web apps — the likes of which you might encounter at your university or workplace — work better on Firefox than they do on Chrome. For that reason, it never hurts to keep it around.

Overall, Firefox is more privacy-centric than Chrome and comparably fast, but its feature set isn’t quite as expansive elsewhere. If you like the sound of this, download the Firefox browser today.

The most innovative web browser: Opera

Another venerable browser and popular alternative, the Opera browser shares much of Chrome’s DNA and deserves its place as one of the best web browsers. Like both Edge and Chrome, Opera is built on Google’s open-source Chromium engine and, as a result, they all have a very similar user experience. Both feature a hybrid URL/search bar, and both are relatively light and fast.

The differences appear when you look at Opera’s built-in features. Where Chrome relies on an extension ecosystem to provide functionality users might want, Opera has a few more features baked right into the browser itself. It introduced a predictive website preload ability, and an Instant Search feature isolates search results in their separate window while the current page fades into the background, letting users more easily focus on the research task at hand.

You can install extensions from the Opera Add-ons store , which are just like Chrome extensions. Similar to Google’s browser, you’ll find useful tools like Giphy, Amazon Assistant, Avast Online Security, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and more. If Chrome’s wide variety of extensions is important to you, then Opera becomes an intriguing alternative. It might just be one of the best browsers for quickly navigating web pages.

Opera also features a built-in “Stash” for saving pages to read later. There’s no need to sign up for a Pocket or Evernote account to save a page for later reading. Similarly, Opera features a speed-dial menu that puts all your most frequently visited pages in one place. Google Chrome also does this, but only on a blank new tab. Finally, Opera has a built-in unlimited VPN service, making it a more secure browser option.

The biggest changes came with Opera 60 and Reborn 3, a complete revamp that brought a new borderless design, Web 3 support, and a Crypto Wallet, allowing users to prepare for blockchain-based sites. With version 69, Opera became the first browser with a built-in Twitter tool, and the company has added others as well including Instagram and TikTok. Just click the icon on the toolbar, log in to your account, and tweet away right from within the slide-out menu.

Other recent advancements include Lucid Mode, which sharpens video playing on a variety of platforms, supports emojis instead of web links, and other enhancements. The Opera Sidebar adds new functionality much like Edge’s Sidebar, allowing quick access to various Opera features. And Opera Aria adds new generative AI capabilities built right into the browser.

You can see that we’re well into hair-splitting territory, which is why it’s important to remember that your choice of browser is, more than any other service or app you use each day, entirely dependent on your personal preferences — what feels most right for you. The Opera web browser has a unique look and feel, and it combines some of the best features of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

Alternative browsers

While the preceding browsers will meet most users’ needs, other alternatives exist for anyone looking for something different. This section is for those who have a more niche preference in web browsers  or want to try something new.

Apple Safari

If you use Apple devices exclusively, Safari is already your default browser. It’s also significantly faster than in the past, surpassing Chrome in its quickness. It’s integrated into iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, and you’ll likely get better battery life thanks to Apple’s in-house optimizations and the underlying hardware.

Safari also focuses a great deal on privacy and security. If you want to minimize how you’re tracked and whether Big Brother is looking over your shoulder, then Safari is a good choice. If you also use an iPhone and/or an iPad, then using Safari on your Mac will make for the most seamless transition between platforms. Open websites on an iPad or iPhone are carried over to macOS.

Safari is not offered outside the Apple ecosystem.

Vivaldi Browser

The Vivaldi browser is truly unique. No two Vivaldi users will have the same setup. When you run it for the first time, you’re guided through a setup process that lays out your browser in a way that makes sense for you. You choose where your tabs and address bar go and whether you want browser tabs displayed at the top of the page or in a separate side panel. This is a browser built from the ground up to deliver a unique user experience, and for the most part, it succeeds. Vivaldi 2.0 enhanced the customization features and made them easier to access.

This browser excels at customization, and you can choose from a variety of tasteful themes that don’t feel dated or out of place on a modern PC, in addition to the aforementioned UI choices. It also has some standout privacy-enhancing features, like its team-up with DuckDuckGo to make the non-tracking search tool the default option when in privacy mode.

Finally, recent updates added more powerful tab management, enhancements like Web Panels that make for smarter browsing, and (as mentioned) even more powerful customization options. Other new updates include a built-in ad blocker, a built-in tracker blocker, a clock in the Status Bar, a new Notes Manager, and a Break Mode for pausing the internet while keeping the browser open.

Brave Browser

One of the most unusual browsers around is Brave — or, perhaps, it’s Brave’s business model that’s the strangest. Brave blocks all ads on all web pages by default, which makes it arguably the fastest browser around. Ads are a huge portion of how many websites make money — block these ads, and suddenly the most important web financial tool is eliminated.

That’s where the Brave Rewards program comes in. Users receive Basic Attention Tokens (BATs) when they view alternative ads that Brave places in the browsing stream. Users can pass along a portion of their tokens to publishers. As of January 2021, there were over 70,000 websites that supported BAT-based transactions through the Brave browser, including Wikipedia, The Guardian, WikiHow, MacRumors, and more.

What’s in it for users? Simply put, if you’re not waiting for ads to download along with website content, then your web experience will feel much faster. Brave performs no user tracking, making it ideal for private browsing as well.

Tor Browser

The Tor Browser is a version of Firefox that serves one very specific purpose: A simple entry point for The Onion Router, or Tor .

Tor is software combined with an open network aimed at making you invisible by routing your traffic through several anonymous servers. While it’s not foolproof, it’s very difficult for someone to identify you when you’re properly configured and using something like the Tor Browser to surf the web — especially if combined with a VPN .

There are many legitimate uses of the Tor Browser and the Tor network. It’s a good choice for people who live in countries with repressive governments, as well as journalists and activists. The dark web is also one of the destinations for people using Tor, which includes many nefarious and illegal sites.

In any event, if you want to remain completely anonymous while surfing the web, the Tor Browser and network are for you. If you want a more mainstream alternative, Opera includes a VPN component, but it’s far less private.

Avast Secure Browser

Avast Secure Browser first arrived as the Opera-based Avast Safezone Browser in 2016 as part of the Avast Antivirus paid bundle. It was revised and rebranded in 2018 as a free stand-alone product based on Chromium. Originally the “SafeZone” aspect kicked in when users visited websites to make purchases or manage money.

Avast Secure Browser provides several built-in tools to protect your data and privacy. These include an anti-phishing module, fingerprinting and online tracking prevention, an ad blocker, and a Webcam Guard tool to control which websites can access your camera. The Hack Check tool will determine if your info was leaked in a data breach.

Avast Secure Browser is a stand-alone download for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. The desktop version doesn’t include an integrated VPN but instead directs users to download the company’s separate SecureLine VPN software. The listed Bank Mode — part of the Avast Free Antivirus client — flips on when users load a banking website.

Best web browser features — what to look for

Benchmark tests.

Notice we don’t include Safari in our main comparison. Apple’s Safari web browser is unavailable on Windows, Android, or Chrome OS, so we removed it from our primary list.

Most browsers are compatible with web standards and handle performance with relative ease. A casual user probably won’t notice a difference in the rendering speed between today’s modern browsers, as all six are much faster and leaner than those of a few years ago.

We ran the following benchmarks on a desktop with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X processor, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe solid-state drive, and Windows 11. All browsers were clean installs of the most current production versions as of January 2023, and all were run at their default settings.

First, JetStream 2 is a JavaScript and WebAssembly benchmark. It tests how quickly a web browser can start and execute code, and how smoothly it runs. Higher numbers are better.

Notice how all three Chromium-based browsers outperform Firefox. In fact, there’s very little difference between them, while Firefox’s performance is quite poor by comparison.

The next test we ran was Speedometer 2.0 . It measures how responsive a browser is to web applications by repeatedly adding a large number of items to a to-do list. Higher numbers are better.

Here, Opera led the pack, with Chrome and Edge running nearly neck to neck. Firefox came in last here with a relatively low score.

Finally, we tested how much RAM each browser uses, both with no tabs open and then with 10 tabs open accessing the same popular sites. We made sure that each browser had no extensions running, and we let each browser settle in before looking at its memory use. For the test with 10 tabs open, we averaged memory use when all the tabs were opened and then five minutes later to account for any variability.

It’s not a scientific test, but it should be sound enough to give you an idea of which browsers are the most and least efficient in terms of taking up your RAM. We found Opera to use the least amount of RAM when first opened, barely ahead of Edge, while Chrome used the most. Edge used the least with all 10 tabs loaded by a significant margin, a third or less than the other browsers. Chrome used the most with all 10 tabs open, and Firefox and Opera weren’t far behind.

Security and privacy

The most valuable tool for secure and private browsing is user discretion, especially when you consider that every web browser has encountered security breaches in the past. In particular, Internet Explorer and Chrome’s reputations for protecting users’ security and privacy credentials are spotty at best.

Chrome, Safari, Vivaldi, Opera, and Firefox all rely on Google’s Safe Browsing API to detect potentially dangerous sites. Thanks to constant updates, Mozilla, Chrome, and Opera all make constant security improvements. Microsoft disabled this API in Edge.

All browsers offer a private session option, too. Private sessions prevent the storage of browsing history, temporary internet files, and cookies. Browser support for Do Not Track remains spotty.

Mozilla made some strides in differentiating itself from others with a real focus on privacy in recent years. It even debuted a Facebook Container  in 2018 to make it harder for the social network to harvest user information.

Frequently asked questions

Do you need to use a VPN when browsing the web? 

You do not have to use a VPN when browsing the internet. However, a VPN can be a good tool to use as it protects your privacy and data by creating a secure and encrypted data tunnel between your browser and a VPN server. In turn, that server creates a secure and encrypted connection between it and the target website.

As a result, the website can’t identify you personally, nor can it see your true geological location or internet address. Not even your ISP knows where you’re surfing or the device you use with a VPN enabled. Some VPN services are free while others require a subscription. We have a list of the current best VPN services .

Which browser is most used in the world? 

Google Chrome leads the web browser market with a 64.68% share, according to Statcounter . Apple Safari follows with 18.29%, Edge at 4.23%, Mozilla Firefox at 3.01%%, and Opera at 2.25%. Internet Explorer is still in use with 0.81%, while Microsoft Edge “Legacy” is fading out at 0.32%.

What are the best ad blockers to use for your browser? 

We have a guide on the best ad blockers for Google Chrome , but here’s a short list:

  • AdBlock and AdBlock Plus
  • AdGuard (Chrome only)
  • CyberSec by NordVPN
  • Poper Blocker (Chrome only)
  • Stands Fair AdBlocker (Chrome only)
  • uBlock Origin (Chrome and Firefox only)

What is browser fingerprinting and how can you prevent it? 

Websites want to know everything about you: Your tastes, your habits, and where you like to surf. When you load a website, it quietly runs scripts in the background that collect information about you and your device. The operating system, the web browser, all installed extensions, your time zone — all of this information is strung together to create a “fingerprint,” which in turn can be used to trace you across the internet via cross-site tracking.

Avast provides a detailed explanation and outlines various forms of fingerprinting. For example, the “canvas” method forces the browser to draw an image or text in the background, without the user knowing, to determine the operating system, web browser, graphics card, installed drivers, and the current font style. Device fingerprinting determines all internal and external device components.

As your fingerprint is tracked across the internet, this “profile” can be sold to data brokers, who then resell the data to advertisers. It’s a more silent means of gathering information about you versus using cookies that require your consent. The problem is, browser fingerprinting is still perfectly legal.

The best way to prevent browser fingerprinting is by randomizing and generalizing data. Third-party software like Avast AntiTrack does this by inserting “fake” data when website scripts try to collect your information. However, this tool allows scripts to continue running in the background so the website doesn’t “break.”

Many browsers offer some type of anti-fingerprinting protection. These include Avast Secure Browser (see above), Brave Browser (randomization), Mozilla Firefox (blocks fingerprinting scripts), and Tor Browser (generalization).

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Mark Coppock

Mark has been a geek since MS-DOS gave way to Windows and the PalmPilot was a thing. He’s translated his love for technology into a marketing, consulting, and freelance writing career aimed at helping people use technology to enhance their lives. At Digital Trends, he reviews laptops and desktops, including the latest from HP, Dell, Lenovo, Apple, and more, and writes news and easy to understand how-to articles about the computing industry as a whole.

When he’s not writing, you’ll find him reading and watching science fiction, taking photos with his family, and obsessing over Indiana University basketball.

Laptop Reviews

Best Budget Laptops Best 2-in-1 Laptops Best Business Laptops Best Laptops Under $1,000

With Independence Day coming up fast, 4th of July deals are popping up all over the place. And fortunately, if you’ve been looking for a great midrange laptop to bring to work or school, there are numerous 4th of July laptop deals to choose from. In fact, we found a particularly great one at Best Buy that we can’t help but discuss.

While the sale lasts, you’ll be able to score the Acer 15.6-inch Aspire Vero for only $400. Not only will you save $230 off the normal price, but you’ll be the proud owner of a new, fast, and reliable Windows laptop!

While you could always build a gaming PC from scratch, that can take a lot of time and effort, especially for those who don't really have a lot of tech-savvy and don't want to fuss around with costly parts. Luckily, there are a lot of excellent pre-built gaming PCs on the market that you can check out, especially since many of them have a lot of discounts and sales going on. That's why we've collected some of our favorite desktop computer deals and put them below, with many of these, bar the more entry-level ones without some compromises, being able to play the best PC games on the market.

Once you've grabbed a pre-built, check out gaming monitor deals for a chance to save on a nice display. If the machine you pick up needs some upgrades, you can save with GPU deals, SSD deals, and RAM deals. Best gaming PC deal for entry-level gamers CyberPowerPC Gamer Master Gaming Desktop -- $650, was $700

Chromebooks might have a hard time competing with Windows laptops and MacBooks, but that doesn't mean they don't have their place. We've reviewed hundreds of laptops over the years, testing for important qualities like performance, battery life, and display quality — and we've found that Chromebooks consistently excel at performance and reliability.

You can find Chromebooks from Google, HP, Lenovo, Acer, and many other branss, and we've dug through them to put together this roundup of the best Chromebooks on the market. They're incredibly accessible devices, and for the right person, a Chromebook can be the best laptop in terms of value.

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Compared: Safari vs. Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Edge on macOS in 2022

Mike Peterson's Avatar

Safari vs. Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Edge on macOS, compared.

firefox chrome or safari

The truth is, the perfect browser doesn't exist. Each of the four most popular macOS browsers has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, just based on the engine that's used for web rendering, and what the developers of the big-four have prioritized.

While the best browser for the individual varies on use case, and which websites behave the best on any given browser, there are a series of benchmarking tools that can measure performance on synthetic tasks.

Browser benchmarks

We tested each browser on three different testing platforms: JetStream 2, Speedometer, and MotionMark.

JetStream 2 is a JavaScript-benchmark that scores browsers based on how quickly they can start and execute code, which translates to faster JavaScript performance. Since JavaScript is used on most web browsers, it's a good test of snappiness for code-intensive sites.

MotionMark is a graphical browser testing suite that measures the ability to render complex web pages. Think a page that has complicated graphics and animations. A higher score results in smoother transitions and animations.

Speedometer 2.0 determines the responsiveness of a browser when running web applications. Among the three, it's the truest option for testing real-world performance across many popular websites and online services. A good example is adding tasks to a to-do list in a web app.

JetStream 2 browser benchmarks

Chrome came out on top in JetStream 2 testing, while Safari took second place.

MotionMark browser benchmarks

Safari was the fastest in MotionMark benchmark testing.

Speedometer browser benchmarks

Speedometer testing showed off interesting results, with Firefox and Edge coming in first and second, and Safari in last place.

Different testing platforms result in different scores, so your own mileage may vary. Safari was the best for graphical performance, for example, but its responsiveness lagged behind others. Choose what specific metrics are most important to you.

For Mac users, Safari is an institution. It's the default browser on Apple platforms and is generally lightweight and efficient. As you'd expect for an Apple product, Safari also emphasizing privacy while you browser online.

From the very first boot on a new Mac, Safari is instantly available and configured for easy, private browsing. That makes it the best choice for the most non-technical among us, since you won't need to download and install anything. Safari "just works" out of the box.

It also features the tighest integration across Apple's other devices and systems. You can use Continuity to easy hand-off your browsing between your Mac and any iPhone or iPad you have around. If you need to buy something with Apple Pay , you can authenticate purchases with Face ID or Touch ID.

Apple Safari

Safari also features some strong privacy protections, including mechanisms aimed at mitigating cross-site tracking and ad targeting. It features a built-in password manager that allows you to save and store passwords — with easy autofill options — across your Apple devices.

As an Apple-made product, Safari is the most convenient option on this list for Mac users — particularly those who own multiple Apple devices. It's also a good choice for the privacy conscious, though it isn't the fastest and it doesn't yet have a strong extension marketplace.

  • Default Mac browser with effortless setup
  • Strong privacy protections
  • Integration with other Apple products
  • Not the fastest or most responsive browser in some testing
  • Lackluster support for add-ons and extensions

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is a massively popular browser, and a particular favorite of those who routinely use extensions to customize their web experience. It's the most-used web browser in the world, and it's faster and more RAM-efficient than it used to be. Chrome is even currently speedier than Safari on macOS.

The browser also has one of the world's most extensive list of add-ons, plug-ins, and extensions. From plugins focused on online privacy or to video content downloaders, there are around 190,000 extensions in total to choose from. You can also choose from a number of different themes and customization options.

Google Chrome

Intelligent Google-made features include automatic site translations and deep integration with the company's online tools and services — so it's great for those who rely on Gmail, Google Docs, or another Google service. Syncing between Google apps on different devices is also top-notch.

However, Google is a data company that relies on collecting information about its users. While the company has taken steps to bolster its privacy reputation, it's still a company that makes money on harvesting data. Those who are particularly privacy-conscious will probably want to look elsewhere.

It's hard to go wrong with the world's most popular web browser, particularly with its seamless workflow features and customization options. However, if you are even slightly concerned about online privacy, you may want to go with another option.

  • Simple to learn, fastest option in some cases
  • Syncs your Google account across other devices
  • Extensive list of extensions and add-ons
  • It's Google — so not that private
  • Is a RAM and CPU hog

Mozilla Firefox is one of the only popular and mainstream browsers to have started life as an open source project. It's still a free and open source browser with a hefty focus on privacy and security, which could make it a good fit for those who want a Google Chrome alternative.

Because of its open source nature, users are free to explore Firefox's code — and they do. The browser doesn't have any hidden secrets or data-harvesters. It also features some excellent built-in privacy and security protections, including Enhanced Tracking Protection and an extensive list of customizable permissions.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox was also the first browser to actually offer third-party extensions and add-ons. Although it might not have as many extensions as Google Chrome, you'll still find a hefty list of options ranging from privacy add-ons to customizable themes for your browser.

Although Firefox has some cross-platform integration between its app and built-in Pocket support, it isn't as seamless as Chrome or Safari. If speed if your primary concern, it's also important to note that Firefox isn't the fastest browser by most metrics.

Users who want an open source browser or are committed to Mozilla's mission of keeping the internet open and free will find a browser after their own hearts here. For the average user, however, another browser on this list might be a better fit.

  • Completely free and open source
  • Extremely customizable with extensions, themes, etc.
  • The best option for hardcore privacy
  • Not the fastest or most RAM efficient
  • Synchronicity isn't as robust

Microsoft Edge is the spiritual successor to Internet Explorer that was first released in 2015. Originally HTML-based, Microsoft overhauled the browser to be based on Chromium, which is the same underlying software used to make Google Chrome.

As such, Microsoft Edge is now much more competitive than it used to be. It's far from a Google Chrome clone, but you should expect a similar level of performance from it. Some users believe that Microsoft Edge even feels snappier than Chrome on a Mac.

Microsoft Edge

Because it's Chromium-based, Microsoft Edge also has a list of extensions similar to Chrome. It also sports a number of unique features, such as a "Collections" ability that lets you save information like text or webpages to a built-in notebook. There's also a vertical tab bar, a built-in read aloud feature, and an easy native screenshot tool.

It's a solid option for anyone that doesn't like Safari and wants an alternative to Google Chrome because of privacy reasons. If you use a Microsoft account like some use a Google account, then Edge might also be a solid option.

  • Snappy, lower RAM and CPU usage
  • Unique features like Read Aloud and Collections
  • Good performance in most metrics
  • Can be slower than Chrome in terms of pure performance
  • Syncing isn't as strong as Safari or Chrome

The perfect browser doesn't exist, but you can pick and choose what you need

There's no clear answer for what the "best" browser on macOS is. However, some browsers are better suited to specific tasks than others.

When it comes to smooth JavaScript execution, Chrome is in the top spot with Safari a close second. Safari, according to the MotionMark testing, handles complex web pages better than any other browser.

Firefox, interestingly enough, may be the fastest when it comes to general everyday web apps.

Of course, there's also the issues of extension support, privacy, and synchronization across other devices. Many of the browsers are evenly matched on these metrics, but some excel in specific areas like privacy or cross-platform integration.

But, unlike on iOS, you aren't effectively stuck with one browser core technology. These four browsers, and several more, are available on macOS, and can be run in parallel.

While we don't recommend running all four unless you're a web developer or unit case tester, two or three different browsers can be run at-will, if any given browser doesn't handle your work case well.

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Battle of the Browsers: Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Safari

If you’re in search of the most efficient web browser, you’ve landed on the right page. We’re here to offer a comprehensive comparison of the top web browsers, dissecting their speed, security, and unique features. Our goal is to assist you in making an informed choice that perfectly suits your browsing needs. 

Web browsers are more than just a tool for accessing the internet. They’re the gateway to the vast and diverse world of the web. Whether you’re into online gaming, shopping, reading, or working, it’s the quality and performance of your browser that can make all the difference. Hence, choosing the right one matters more than you think.

Introduction: The Battle Begins

Welcome to the battlefield of web browsers, where speed, security, and unique features determine who rides to glory and who bites the dust. If you’ve ever pondered over which browser to use or wondered how they stack up against each other, you’re in the right place. Let us dive deep into this exciting duel, comparing the top contenders and laying out the nitty-gritty, one detail at a time. 

The Need for Speed 

When you’re navigating through the vast realm of the internet, a few extra milliseconds can feel like an agonizing stretch. That’s why fast browsing speed is paramount. We’ve taken the leading web browsers through rigorous speed tests to find the crème de la crème for you. 

In this corner, we’ve got Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge, to name a few. Our tests showed significant differences between them. Google Chrome, known for its zippy speed and reliability, stood out in terms of raw browsing speed. Firefox followed close behind, displaying impressive consistency and speed in loading high-data websites, while Safari scored top marks for quick load times on Apple devices. Last but not least, Microsoft Edge demonstrated admirable speed, slightly lagging behind the pack. 

Security: Your Shield against the Dark (Net) 

Avoiding the perils of the internet requires a strong shield — robust security features. Each browser we reviewed has its unique approach to ensure your digital wellbeing. 

Google Chrome has the Safe Browsing feature, which displays warnings about potentially dangerous sites and downloads. Firefox, on the other hand, counters threats with its Enhanced Tracking Protection, blocking third-party tracking cookies by default. Safari offers robust protection against harmful sites and phishing attempts, while Microsoft Edge employs Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for real-time protection against security threats. 

The Feature-Rich Battlefield 

Amid the clamor of speed and security, let’s not forget the unique features that might tip the scale for you. 

  • Google Chrome’s vast collection of browser extensions enhances its utility.
  • Firefox’s privacy-focused browsing mode gives you control over your data.
  • Safari’s Reading List feature lets you save webpages for offline reading, a boon for data conservation.
  • Microsoft Edge’s ‘Read Aloud’ tool, built to improve accessibility, can narrate webpages aloud, making it easier for visually impaired users.

The battlefield of web browsers is vast and dynamic. As technologies advance, so do these titans. Stay tuned as we continue to monitor their evolution, ensuring you have the latest intel to make an informed decision. After all, knowledge is power!

Chrome: The Lightning Fast Giant

Roaring through the internet, Google Chrome holds the coveted position as the world’s most popular web browser. It’s speedy, armed with a robust feature set, and baked into the ecosystem of Google-powered devices. This racing giant of a browser is renowned for its rapid page load times, vast library of extensions, and strong support for progressive web apps. However, let’s dig deeper into what makes this browser stand out. 

Speed and Performance 

Chrome’s most significant selling point lies in its speed. Known for its swift startup time and quick page loading, it offers users a smooth browsing experience. Whether you’re flicking through social media or delving into research, speed isn’t an issue for Chrome. Thanks to the browser’s V8 JavaScript engine, even content-heavy websites load briskly. 

Feature-Packed and Customizable 

The browser also shines when it comes to functionality and customizability. With a deep reservoir of extensions available on Chrome Web Store, users can customize their browsing experience to fit their unique needs. From ad-blockers to productivity tools, the possibilities are almost endless. Plus, Chrome’s simplistic design and clean layout make the customization process straightforward and user-friendly. 

Sync and Compatibility 

Another notable advantage of Chrome is its compatibility. Regardless of the device you’re using – whether it’s a PC, a smartphone, or a tablet – Chrome delivers a consistent and seamless browsing experience. Add to this, the ability to sync your bookmarks, history, and preferences across all devices by simply logging into your Google account is a blessing for tech multi-taskers. 

Resources and Security 

However, Chrome isn’t without its drawbacks. The browser is known for its high resource usage, which can significantly slow down your device if you have multiple tabs or extensions running. On the other hand, Chrome continually receives security updates which makes it one of the most secure browsers available today. It’s built-in malware and phishing protection offers additional security layers while you browse. 

  • Chrome is known for its speedy performance and quick startup times
  • The browser offers a vast array of customizable features and extensions
  • Across different devices, Chrome provides a seamless browsing experience
  • An added benefit is the browser’s compatibility; it works equally well on different platforms
  • Chrome receives frequent security updates and has built-in malware protection

Safari: Apple’s Streamlined and Resource-Friendly Choice

Are you an Apple aficionado? If so, you’ll enjoy their proprietary browser, Safari. Built into every device Apple makes, from iPhones to iMacs, it is elegantly streamlined and designed for low resource use. But that doesn’t mean it skimps on features or quality. Let’s dive in and see what it brings to the table. 

Efficiency and Speed 

Safari is well loved for its sleek performance. Many users testify that it feels significantly faster than other browsers when used on Apple devices. This is due in large part to its unique Nitro JavaScript engine, which radically speeds up browsing. Furthermore, Safari also does a fantastic job when it comes to battery life. It’s designed to be incredibly power-efficient, letting you browse longer without recharging. 

Security and Privacy 

In terms of security, Safari is a reliable choice. It automatically identifies and blocks suspicious and harmful websites, ensuring your browsing experience remains secure. As for privacy, the Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature helps limit trackers from profiling your behavior. Plus, with Safari, you can easily access privacy reports to see just who’s been blocked from tracking you. 

Ease of Use and Features 

One of the key strengths of Safari is its user-friendly interface. The start page can be easily customized to include your favorite websites, and there’s a handy sidebar for reading lists and bookmarks. Furthermore, the browser boasts a range of useful built-in features. From Apple Pay, making online shopping a breeze, to seamless integration with other Apple devices via iCloud, Safari takes convenience to another level. 

However, one potential downside is that it lacks the vast selection of extensions found in other browsers like Chrome or Firefox. That might limit its appeal if you’re a power user who likes to tailor their browsing experience with specific tools and add-ons.

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Firefox: The Versatile and Secure Choice

When it comes to versatility and robust security, Firefox often springs to mind. This Mozilla-created browser has built a name for itself on user privacy and a collection of tools designed to keep you secure as you browse the internet. Firefox is not only a sturdy choice for security, but its variety of features and customization options also make it a truly appealing choice for numerous internet users. 

Security Features Superior 

Firefox takes your online protection seriously. As the internet becomes a more dangerous place, replete with hackers and malware, Firefox stands as a bulwark against these nefarious elements. For example, Firefox offers automatic updates to ensure you’re using the latest, most secure version. It also has a robust pop-up blocker to stop annoying or potentially harmful pop-up windows and ads, and it regularly updates its phishing and malware protection to guard against the latest threats. 

Customizable to Your Heart’s Content 

No two internet users are alike, and Firefox understands this. Through its extensive personalization features, you can tailor your browsing experience to your own individual needs and preferences. For example, you can customize your toolbar to have the features you use the most, organize your bookmarks, and tweak a multitude of settings to fine-tune your browsing experience. Plus, Firefox boasts a plethora of extensions and add-ons, so you can augment your browser with the functions and features you find most useful. 

Dedicated to Privacy 

In an era where personal data becomes increasingly valuable, Firefox adopts a hardline stance on privacy. Unlike some browsers that sell your data to advertisers or third parties, Firefox keeps your information private. They also include features like ‘Tracking Protection’ to avoid ad trackers, and a private browsing mode that doesn’t store history or cookies. 

Cross-Platform Delight 

Whether you prefer the comfort of home with a desktop computer or the portability of a smartphone, Firefox has got you covered. The browser’s cross-platform compatibility ensures you can browse safely and seamlessly on any device of your choice. It also offers syncing capabilities, allowing you to access your bookmarks, history, and tabs from any device. This makes Firefox an excellent choice for those juggling their online activities across multiple devices.

Safari: Apple’s Sleek and Efficient Option

Imagine a web browser that’s clean, efficient, and designed to operate seamlessly within the Apple ecosystem. That’s Safari for you — Apple’s sleek and snappy browser that integrates effortlessly with your other Apple devices. Bundled with various unique features, superior performance, and a high concern for security, it’s a browser choice you might want to consider. Let’s dive in further to find out more about Safari. 

Sleek Design and User-Friendly Interface 

Safari grants an intuitive browsing experience with its uncluttered and streamlined design. Its top bar has been optimized to maximize screen space and minimize distractions. Moreover, the browser interface adapts color dynamically to match the site being visited, giving an immersive web experience. In addition, Safari encompasses functions like the sidebar, featuring bookmarks, Reading List, and Shared Links to add to the user’s convenience and enhance productivity. 

Performance that Matches Apple’s Reputation 

Given that Safari is tuned to work best with Apple hardware, it exhibits extraordinary performance. Safari’s JavaScript engine — ‘Nitro’ — aids rapid page loading, making it faster than most other browsers on Mac. Besides, the energy-saving technology integrated into Safari ensures your browsing doesn’t drain your battery life, assuring longer browsing sessions without needing a power source. 

Security Features and Privacy 

Safari leads the pack in terms of security and privacy protection. It blocks third-party cookies by default, and grants options to control which sites can access your device location, camera, microphone, etc. Safari’s cross-site tracking prevention feature extends its commitment to privacy. Additionally, it offers a unique privacy report, providing visibility into how websites treat your privacy, and how Safari protects you. 

Device Sync and Ecosystem Integration 

With Safari, your browsing experience flows smoothly across all your Apple devices. Thanks to the iCloud integration, bookmarks, history, open tabs — everything is synced across your Apple devices, making your browsing consistent and seamless. Moreover, the handoff feature allows you to commence your browsing on one device, and continue on the other effortlessly. 

  • Safari has an elegant, uncluttered design for easy navigation.
  • Nitro engine enables fast page loading and efficient battery usage.
  • Security features include third-party cookie blocking and cross-site tracking prevention.
  • iCloud syncing and the handoff feature supports continuation of browsing across devices.

Speed Test: Which Browser Comes Out on Top?

Hold on tight, because we’re shifting gears into a full-throttle speed comparison of your favored web browsers. In a world that craves snappy responses and instant gratification, the fleet-footedness of your browser can make all the difference to your online experience. So, which one comes out on top in the cyber relay race? Let’s find out! 

Sprinting Through The Start Line: Initial Load Time 

Initial load time matters, it’s the first impression your browser makes. In these early milliseconds, Chrome sprints ahead delightfully, followed closely by Firefox. Unfortunately, Safari has a difficult time catching up due to more stringent system requirements and slower startup times.

Lappind Pages: Tab Load Speeds 

When it comes to handling multiple tabs, again, Chrome shines with its rapid-fire tab loading, offering a seamless multitasking environment. Firefox also performs admirably here, demonstrating intricate resource management skills. Safari, while a tad slower, still offers an optimized, efficient multitasking experience for Mac users. 

Under The Hood: JavaScript Performance 

The engine driving a large part of your browsing operation is JavaScript. In terms of raw computational JavaScript power, Chrome steals the limelight again, though Firefox’s commendable performance should not be overlooked. Safari, despite its streamlined approach, lags slightly behind in this technical head-to-head. 

  • Chrome takes the lead due to its high-speed V8 JavaScript Engine.
  • Firefox is hot on Chrome’s tail, employing its SpiderMonkey Engine to keep up the pace.
  • Safari, with its Nitro JavaScript engine, does a decent job, but it’s not quite at the forefront of this race.

Speed tests are close races, with no clear ‘one-size-fits-all’ winner. Chrome might seem like the frontrunner, but don’t discount Firefox’s robust performance and Safari’s resource-efficient approach. It’s all a matter of where you place your priorities.

Security Features: Protecting Your Online Experience

Navigating the curious world of the internet safely calls for vital defence mechanisms to counteract lurking threats. These threats can range from potent viruses to the omnipresent specter of digital spying. This is where the role of security features in web browsers comes into play. They are the knights that preserve your online expedition from the risky underbelly of the digital universe.

SSL/TLS Protocol Protection 

These are cryptographic protocols that provide communication security over networks, such as the internet. While SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the predecessor, most modern web browsers now primarily use TLS (Transport Layer Security) for more robust security. Both Chrome and Firefox are equipped to ensure website communications are secure and tamper-free by warning the user when a website’s SSL certificate is not trusted.

Sandboxing: Staying Ahead of Threats 

Sandboxing is a technique that isolates applications, preventing malicious or malfunctioning programs from damaging or snooping into your system. For example, Google Chrome is well reputed for its effective sandboxing technique. Each tab in Chrome operates as a separate process on your operating system. These individual processes are confined to their sandboxes so they can’t interact directly with your operating system or other processes.

Phishing and Malware Protection 

Phishing protection is fundamental to browser security as it helps to shield your personal and financial information from prying eyes. Web browsers, particularly Chrome and Firefox, employ real-time phishing detection. They check websites against a frequently updated list of phishing and malware sites, and present warnings if these sites are encountered.

Private Browsing and Tracking Protection 

While not a defence against external threats, privacy measures do protect your data from being harvested by companies. Private browsing, for example, allows you to explore the internet without storing local data that could be retrieved at a later date. Firefox’s ‘Enhanced Tracking Protection’ blocks many common forms of trackers right out of the box, offering a level of privacy not usually found in other browsers.

  • Google Chrome: Chrome’s Incognito Mode allows users to browse privately, leaving no trace of the browsing experience on their device.
  • Firefox: In addition to its private browsing mode, Firefox offers a comprehensive ‘Privacy and Security’ settings page, which lets you control your data and privacy in more detail.
  • Safari: Apple’s browser also includes a private browsing feature and intelligent tracking prevention to protect users from invasive ad tracking.

Privacy Matters: How Each Browser Handles Your Data

The online world is a treasure trove of information, but with this wealth of data comes the ever-growing concern of privacy. Each web browser has its unique approach to handling your personal information, and understanding these can greatly influence your choice of which to use. How a browser respects your privacy could potentially be a defining factor in determining the most suitable one for you.

Google Chrome: Observing Your Habits 

Google Chrome is notorious for its extensive data collection practices. It monitors your habits and uses this data to inform its algorithms, often leading to highly personalized ad experiences. While this can feel invasive, it can also streamline your browsing. There are options to limit data collection, but this may affect the browser’s functionality. 

  • Collects extensive data on user habits
  • Uses data to inform ad generation
  • Options to limit data collection are available

Safari: Prioritizing User Privacy 

Safari, under Apple’s jurisdiction, prioritizes user privacy. It blocks cross-site tracking by default and encrypts your data to prevent unauthorized access. This secure environment, however, comes at the expense of strict third-party cookie policies and limited customization options. 

  • Blocks cross-site tracking by default
  • Encrypts data for added security
  • Enforces strict third-party cookie policies

Firefox: The Privacy-Centric Choice 

Firefox is a popular choice for privacy enthusiasts. The browser’s Enhanced Tracking Protection offers a high-level of defense against tracking cookies. It doesn’t sell user data and allows comprehensive control over your privacy settings. Its advanced features, however, may seem overwhelming to casual users. 

  • Offers Enhanced Tracking Protection
  • Doesn’t sell any user data
  • Provides comprehensive controls over privacy settings

User Interface: Aesthetics and Navigation

A compelling user interface is the gateway to a pleasant web browsing experience. The interplay of aesthetics and navigation can profoundly shape the overall usability and accessibility of a browser. We’ll delve deep into how Chrome, Safari, and Firefox present their user interfaces, focusing on their visual design, arrangement of features, and navigational ease.

Visually Pleasing: The Aesthetics at Play 

When it comes to design, each browser has a unique approach. Chrome’s modern and minimalist approach emphasizes a neat, clutter-free space. Safari, synonymous with Apple’s sleek aesthetic vision, adopts an elegant, sophisticated look. Firefox, while maintaining simplicity, favors a more colorful and lively interface that’s visually appealing. 

The Blueprint: Arrangement of Features 

The organization of browser options, menus, and tabs can significantly impact users’ browsing efficiency. Chrome’s layout is straightforward, featuring a prominent URL bar and easily accessible features. Safari organizes its favorite websites elegantly and offers an easy-to-access reading list. Firefox sorts its features and settings in one easily accessible dropdown menu, ensuring smooth navigation. 

A Smooth Sail: Navigation Ease 

Intuitive and easy navigation is just as crucial for a great browser experience. Chrome offers easy switching between incognito and regular tabs and effortless bookmark management. Safari integrates its search and URL bar for simpler use and provides an eye-catching display of your most visited sites. Firefox boasts efficient tab management with a visual overview of all open tabs and a quick search feature. 

Customizability: Making it Your Own 

Lastly, the ability to personalize your browser enhances usability. Chrome stands out with its extensive theme library and customizable toolbar. Safari allows users to personalize their start page and integrate Siri suggestions. Firefox outshines with its flexible toolbar and wide range of unique themes.

Extensions and Add-Ons: Enhancing Your Browsing Experience

One of the distinguishing features that dramatically affect your browsing experience are the nifty extensions and add-ons. They’re like little software programs which improve the standard functionalities, giving you the ability to tailor and enhance your browser according to your needs. Whether you need an ad-blocker, password manager, language translator, or an extension for quick access to your notes — there’s something out there for everybody. But remember, the efficacy and range of these tools can vary greatly across different browsers. 

Enhancing capabilities: The role of extensions and add-ons  

Imagine having miniature software right inside your browser, enhancing its capabilities, and making your online sessions more efficient. That’s exactly the purpose of extensions and add-ons. They bring new features and improve existing ones, making most mundane tasks quicker and more straightforward. For instance, save articles for later reading with Pocket, or manage multiple tasks with the Todoist extension. The options are virtually endless. 

Comparison: Which browser offers better extensions? 

In the world of browsers, quantity and quality of available extensions can significantly influence your choice. Chrome boasts a vast library, characterized by Google’s intensive vetting process that ensures safer, reliable tools. Firefox, on the other hand, is known for its open-source extensions, offering many unique options not found elsewhere. Safari’s extensions are primarily geared towards Apple-users, with the added benefit of seamless integration with iOS applications. 

Proceed with caution: Security implications 

While there’s no denying the convenience and benefits of extensions, it’s still crucial to recognize the potential risks. Malicious extensions can expose you to threats such as data theft, privacy invasion, or worse. Always verify the source and reputation of any extension before installing to ensure it’s secure and reliable. Furthermore, too many active extensions can also affect your browser’s speed and overall performance. 

  • Before downloading an extension, check user reviews and ratings for additional insight.
  • Regularly update your add-ons, as old versions might contain security vulnerabilities.
  • Be aware of the permissions requested by extensions. If they exceed what’s required for its function, you may want to give it a miss.
  • Use a reputable security tool to regularly scan your installed extensions and ensure they haven’t turned malicious.

Customization: Tailoring Your Browser to Fit Your Needs

When it comes to your internet experience, personal preferences play a big role. That’s why customization capabilities of a web browser turn out to be a significant factor for many users. After all, you want a space that feels like your own, right? Do you prefer a minimalist design or like to have all your tools at your fingertips? Let’s delve into how these top browsers cater to your tastes and needs.

The Palette: Theme and Appearance Customization 

Whether you like it dark, vibrant, or neutral, the manner in which these browsers allow you to tweak their appearance varies substantially. Google Chrome provides a plethora of themes available for download via its web store, allowing you to completely alter its look. Safari, restricted to Apple’s design aesthetic, offers fewer options, but you can still switch between light and dark modes. Firefox, on the other hand, gives you a balanced mix – easy to use theme settings with options for light, dark, and auto modes, and a considerable selection of downloadable themes.

Functionality: Prioritizing Your Tools 

Customizing your tools and their arrangement significantly impacts how smoothly your browsing experience goes. Chrome excels in this department, supplying a detailed settings menu, easy access to extensions, rearrangement capability for the bookmarks bar, and more.

Apple’s Safari keeps it simple with options to customize the toolbar and manage extensions but lacks more detailed functionality adjustments. Similarly, Firefox offers extensive toolbar customization, preferences arrangements, a significant number of add-ons, resulting in a highly personalized experience.

The Flow: Configuring the Browsing 

As we continue our comparison, let’s consider how these browsers handle the overall flow of your browsing experience. Whether it’s the way they manage tabs and windows, how they handle downloads, or even the way you navigate their settings, this element plays an integral role in making your online ventures as smooth as possible. So, we’ll examine how effectively Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox manage this aspect.

Tab Management: 

Chrome, Safari, and Firefox all provide tabbed browsing, but with different approaches and features. Chrome offers a compact and straightforward tab system. You can group tabs, and even mute individual ones. Safari goes a step further, providing a unique ‘Tab Exposé’ view, showing a preview of all open tabs, which is especially handy when you have multiple tabs open. Firefox reigns superior in terms of control over your tabs. Not only can you pin and mute tabs, but you can also reopen closed ones or quickly search within your open tabs. 

Download Handling: 

When it comes to managing downloads, Chrome provides a simplistic interface outlining the download progress, where you can pause, cancel, or resume downloads directly. Safari offers a similar streamlined experience, automatically organizing downloads by date in its dedicated downloads list. Firefox, once again, provides finer control. You can adjust download actions for different file types, setting an automatic destination, or choosing a specific action for each downloaded file. 

Settings Navigation: 

Google Chrome offers a simplistic, clean menu with a built-in search function, making it easy to find the setting you need. Safari once again focuses on simplicity, providing its settings within a unified preferences window, while its extensive suite of advanced options is tucked away in a separate menu. Firefox’s settings menu is both simple and comprehensive. With a built-in search function and category tabs, finding and adjusting preferences is indeed a breeze.

Cross-Platform Compatibility: Which Browser Works Best on All Devices?

In today’s digital landscape, the ability to switch between devices seamlessly while maintaining the same browsing experience is a critical aspect. Web browsers need to perform consistently and smoothly across multiple platforms, whether you’re using a Windows laptop, an Android smartphone, a macOS desktop, or an iOS tablet. A cross-platform browser offers consistency, convenience, and robust functionality, all of which are important factors when evaluating the top web browsers. Let’s dig deeper into how each browser fares in terms of cross-platform compatibility. 

Google Chrome: A Universal Choice 

Google Chrome stands out as a truly cross-platform browser. It operates on a multitude of devices, such as Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Being linked to a Google account, Chrome allows for a synchronized browsing experience across all your devices. Change your theme or add a bookmark on one device, and it instantly reflects on all others. 

Safari: Limited to Apple Devices 

Safari, designed by Apple, is essentially tied to Apple’s ecosystem. It runs quite seamlessly on macOS and iOS devices. However, a significant disadvantage of Safari is its unavailability on non-Apple devices, limiting its cross-compatibility. 

Firefox: Flexibility at its Core 

Firefox, like Chrome, is another browser offering a consistent experience across various platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. One of its unique features is Firefox Sync, which seamlessly synchronizes your bookmarks, history, tabs, and passwords across all your devices. 

Cross-Platform Extensions and Add-ons 

Extensions and add-ons are vital to personalizing your browsing experience. Chrome and Firefox support a vast array of extensions across various platforms. However, Safari users might find their options to be somewhat limited, especially when using iOS devices. 

Consistency in User Interface 

The user interface plays an essential role in creating an intuitive and unified browsing experience. Chrome and Firefox maintain a consistent look and feel across all platforms, making it easier for users to switch devices without the need to adapt. On the other hand, Safari’s user interface changes slightly between macOS and iOS.

Mobile Browsing: How Do They Perform on Smartphones and Tablets?

In today’s digital age, your mobile device is just as important as your computer for browsing the web. This raises the question: how do these top web browsers perform on your smartphones and tablets? Just as you’d expect, this part of our comparison considers how Chrome, Safari, and Firefox hold up when they’re not on a desktop or laptop. 

Mobile Adaptability: How Well Do They Transition? 

It’s crucial that a browser can adapt to the smaller screen sizes and different user interface of a mobile device while maintaining functionality. Chrome consistently provides a seamless experience across devices, with some features even specifically designed for mobile. Safari, while limited to Apple devices, is well-matched to the iOS interface. Firefox, with its focus on customization, allow users to create a mobile browsing experience suited to their preferences. 

Mobile Speed: Does It Mirror the Desktop? 

Speed continues to be a critical factor for any device. How quickly a browser can load pages on a mobile device can significantly impact the user’s browsing experience. Chrome, known for its speed, maintains reputation in the mobile platform as well, while Safari provides a smooth and efficient browsing environment on iOS devices. Firefox also ensures quick loading times, even on mobile devices. 

Mobile Security Features: Are They on Par? 

The security features of a browser should not be compromised just because it’s on a mobile device. Chrome, Safari, and Firefox all take mobile security seriously, offering the same robust features as their desktop versions. 

Mobile Features and Plugins: How Many Made the Leap? 

The range of features and plugins available on a browser’s mobile version often differs from the desktop version. While Chrome offers a significant range of Google services on mobile, Safari tends to focus more on user-friendliness on its mobile platform. Firefox offers most of its desktop plugins on its mobile version as well, maintaining its feature-rich reputation.

The quest to find the best web browser often boils down to personal preference. Things such as performance, aesthetics, security, and a plethora of other factors can influence this decision. In the end, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox all have their strengths and weaknesses. This comprehensive breakdown equips you with the knowledge needed to pick the browser that’s right for your needs. 

Whether you prioritize speed and efficiency, a vast array of features, privacy protection, or a seamlessly integrated ecosystem, there’s a browser out there for you. So, take this knowledge, choose wisely, and enhance your browsing experience!

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Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, or Safari: Which Browser Is Best?

You probably take your web browser for granted, but you have real options: performance, feature sets, and privacy tools vary wildly among internet-surfing apps..

Michael Muchmore

The browser battle has been raging almost as long as the internet has existed. But with new competitors in the fray and longtime entries revving up new technologies, the stakes have never been higher.

In the late nineties and early aughts, it was Microsoft’s Internet Explorer versus Netscape Navigator. Fast forward 20 years, and IE’s proprietary technologies for enabling interactive, application-like websites have given way to W3C standards-based features for delivering the online experience.

Meanwhile, the browser landscape has a new dominant force: G oogle, the search and web advertising behemoth that delivers the most content of any source on the internet (according to comScore ), also claims nearly 70 percent of the browser market with Chrome (based on both NetMarketShare and StatCounter numbers). That’s for desktop use; if you add in mobile, Chrome is still king at over 60 percent.

Chrome may be leading in usage (except, of course, on Apple devices), but it’s not ahead by every measure or by number of capabilities. Firefox, Edge, Safari, and Opera all have features not found in Google's browser. That’s not to say that Chrome isn't an excellent piece of software, but you should know there are worthy alternatives. This article examines the top five browsers in the U.S. in order of popularity. Unfortunately, that rules out Brave and Vivaldi —both first-class and unique choices—but you can read about them in my article covering the best alternative web browsers .

So what’s important in a browser these days? Speed and compatibility remain the top requirements. But in this day of the ever-present smartphone, the linkage between your desktop browser and your phone has become increasingly important. Indeed, some browsers now let you send a webpage from one device to another, and all let you sync bookmarks between them.

A rough measure of standards compatibility is the HTML5test website, which scores browsers’ compatibility with the moving target of web standards. The maximum possible score is 555, with points awarded for each standard supported. The new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge has taken over the lead from Chrome on this test with a score of 535 compared with Chrome's 528. The difference? Support for Dolby Digital and screenshots. Opera and other Chromium-based browsers hew closely to Chrome, while Firefox gets 491, and Safari 471. Just a few years ago, a score in the 300s was considered excellent, and Internet Explorer (still used by millions) is stuck at 312.

browser benchs 1 2020

For speed testing, I ran each browser through the WebXPRT 3 benchmark, which tests the speed of internet applications such as photo enhancement, stock option pricing, encryption, and text manipulation. I tested on my Asus Z240IC 4K touch-screen all-in-one PC with a 2.8GHz Core i7-6700T processor running Windows 10. For Safari I used a 3.1GHz Core i7-4770S iMac (I realize the hardware is not completely comparable, but it’s sufficient for a rough comparison). Take benchmark results with a grain of salt, however, since purely synthetic tests don’t measure every component of actual browsing conditions.

In terms of disk space usage, on my Windows test system (after a cache clear) Edge took 319MB, Firefox 187MB, Opera 191MB, and Chrome 437MB. Since Chrome and Opera don’t report their storage use in the Settings / Apps & Features page, I used the size of their folders. I noticed that Chrome installs itself in the Programs (x86) folder, which is normally only for 32-bit apps; nevertheless, typing chrome://version/ in the address bar showed I was testing with the 64-bit version.

Privacy, customization, convenience features, tab and start-page tools, and mobile integration have replaced speed and standards support as today's primary differentiators. All browsers now can remember passwords for you and sync them (in encrypted form) as well as your browsing history and bookmarks between desktops or laptops and mobile devices. Chrome by default signs you into Google services like Gmail and YouTube, which some consider presumptuous .

Privacy mavens like to use VPNs (virtual private networks) to hide browsing activities from ISPs and any other intervening entities between you and the site you’re visiting. Opera is the only browser that includes a built-in VPN. Firefox also has a good privacy story, with a private mode that not only discards a session’s history and cookies but also hides your activities from third-party tracking sites during the private session. In addition, Firefox and Safari include fingerprint protection—preventing trackers from identifying you based on your hardware and software setup. Firefox also has built-in Content Blocking to fend off known trackers and cryptocurrency-mining ploys.

Useful browsing tools can play a part in your decision, too. One, Reading Mode, strips webpages of clutter—mostly ads, videos, and content pitches—so you can focus on text. Another is the Share Button. With this era’s obsession with social media, it’s nearly an essential convenience.

Opera is alone among the popular web browsers included here with a built-in cryptocurrency wallet, though the aforementioned Brave browser also includes one. Opera is also notable for its Speed Dial, which consists of pinned tiles on your home screen (though the other browsers have similar functionality) and a toolbar for accessing frequently needed services such as WhatsApp.

Microsoft Edge offers voice-reading of webpages with remarkably realistic speech, a helpfully customizable homepage, detailed privacy settings, and (soon) a Collections feature for web research. Firefox lets you instantly save a page to Pocket or open a new Container in case you want to be logged into the same site with two different identities. Screenshot tools are making their way into browsers, with Edge, Firefox, and Opera for starters.

If you feel strongly about one browser or another, as is likely the case if you’re reading this, please feel free to let us know about it in our social channels.

Google Chrome

firefox chrome or safari

Most web users need no introduction to the search behemoth's browser, Google Chrome. It’s attractively designed and quick at loading pages. At this point most every website’s code targets it, so compatibility is usually not an issue. That said, every browser is occasionally flummoxed by a particular site or two, and sometimes a browser update breaks even well-crafted sites.

As mentioned earlier, Chrome gets top marks on the HTML5Test website. It also does reasonably well on the WebXPRT 3 benchmark, which tests the speed of internet applications like photo enhancement, stock option pricing, encryption, and text manipulation. It uses more RAM than other Windows browsers, but some of that is for speeding up operation by preloading content. It also creates far more program processes than the others, to ensure stability by isolating not only tabs, but also plug-ins and frames from other domains on the page.

Google is constantly working on security and feature enhancements, but as with all software, bugs happen, so make sure you stay updated . Another benefit of using Chrome is that you won’t have to dismiss those messages urging you to switch to Chrome every time you visit Google News, Gmail, YouTube, and so on.

Chrome can no longer boast any unique browsing features: There’s no built-in VPN, no fancy tab organization tools, no cryptocurrency locker, no Reading Mode, no share button, and no screenshot tool. That’s just fine for most web consumers, apparently. The Android version of Chrome has been getting more love from Google lately, with tab groups and dark mode.

Google has lately made two seemingly contradictory announcements, both concerning privacy. In May, it announced that it would be removing the API function that allowed ad-blocker software to fully block ads. Then in August it announced a set of open standards intended to enhance privacy on the web, called Privacy Sandbox. It’s just in the planning stage at present, and it tries to cater to both ad targeting and user privacy .

There are loads of features in Chrome that are only available to web geeks who can tinker in the about:flags settings. Examples include the recently announced password leak detection, a distilled page view, and forced dark mode for websites.

The Chrome mobile browser is very capable, and offers syncing of bookmarks, passwords, and settings. Like the desktop browser, it includes voice input when using Google search. The mobile browser also suggests content that may be of interest to you based on your browsing.

Mozilla Firefox

firefox chrome or safari

Firefox, an open source project from the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, has long been a PCMag favorite. The browser has pioneered many web capabilities and the organization that develops it has been a strong advocate for online privacy. It’s also notable for its wealth of available extensions. Pocket , the synchronizable site-saving service, is built in, and the unique Multi-Account Containers extension lets you sequester multiple logins to the same site on different tabs—without this, you'd have to open a private browsing window or another browser to sign out of all your web accounts and start a fresh session.

Mozilla’s browser is in the vanguard of supporting new HTML5 and CSS capabilities, and the company is working on open-source AR and speech synthesis standards. The organization now offers a full password management service called Lockwise, which can generate complex passwords, sync them between devices, and secure everything under a strong master password.

The mobile Firefox apps offer excellent interfaces, and you can send a webpage tab from any device to any others that are logged into your syncing account. That’s right: You can be reading a webpage on your desktop PC, and have it instantly open on your iPhone or vice versa—a slick and useful feature.

If that’s not enough, Firefox has a Pocket button in the address bar, letting you save a page for later viewing anywhere with one click. The Reader View button de-clutters a webpage loaded with ads, promos, and videos, so you can peruse it with no distractions. Finally, the browser is ultra-customizable, letting you select and arrange buttons on the toolbar to taste.

Apple Safari

firefox chrome or safari

The default Mac and iOS browser is a strong choice, though its interface has some nonstandard elements on both desktop and mobile. Safari was a forerunner in a few areas of browser capability: For example, it was the first with a Reading mode, which cleared unnecessary clutter like ads and video from web articles you want to read. That feature debuted in 2010 and has made its way into all other browsers except for Chrome.

More recently, with macOS Catalina and iOS 13, Safari adds fingerprinting protection—preventing web trackers from identifying you by your system specs. The new version also gets Apple Pay support and a Sign in with Apple feature to replace Facebook and Google as web account authorizers.

If you use an iPhone and a Mac, Safari integration makes a lot of sense, since Apple’s Handoff feature lets you continue your browsing session between devices.

Safari has trailed other browsers on support for emerging HTML5 features, but I haven’t run into or heard of any major site incompatibilities with it. It performed faster than the other browsers here on the WebXPRT 3 benchmark, even though I was using an iMac with a Core i7 CPU a generation earlier than that of my Windows machine.

Microsoft Edge

firefox chrome or safari

There’s a new Edge in town. The Microsoft developers in charge of Windows’ default web browser got tired of chasing compatibility issues resulting from site developers’ only targeting Chrome for compatibility. So, they decided to switch to using Chrome’s webpage-rendering code, Chromium, in the Edge browser software. That freed them up to add unique features instead of putting out compatibility fires. Notably, Edge now runs on Apple macOS and earlier Windows versions, in addition to Windows 10.

The compatibility is certainly now there in spades: For the first time since I’ve been reviewing browsers, another browser edges out Chrome on the HTML5Test measure of supported web standards. See the intro and table above for the actual scores. What pushes Edge over is support for Dolby Digital, ObjectRTC, and the Screen Capture API. In general, however, you won’t run into the kind of site incompatibilities that the previous Edge incarnation occasionally encountered. Amusingly enough, Google still prompts you to download Chrome on its websites, even though there’s no difference in compatibility or performance when using Edge on those. If you’re a Netflix watcher, Edge is the only web browser that lets you view shows in 4K, and also the only Windows browser that supports Dolby Digital audio (Safari supports it, too).

But compatibility isn’t the only benefit of the new Edge: As you can see in the table above, it’s also a leader in performance as well as thrifty memory and disk usage.

What new features has the Edge team been working on, you ask? The initial focuses have been privacy, the customizable start page, and the intriguing Collections feature for web research. For enterprise customers who still rely on Internet Explorer to run legacy programs (and I still run into these at places like insurance and doctors’ offices), Edge offers an IE Mode, but this won’t be available in standard consumer setups.

Another new feature worth highlighting is Immersive Reader mode. Not only does this offer distraction-free web article reading, stripping out ads and nonessential eye candy (or eye poison , more aptly), but It can also read webpage text aloud using lifelike Neural Voices. This is really something to try: It reads with sentence intonation, rather than simply word-by-word, as we’ve come to expect text-to-speech audio.

The Collections feature presents a sidebar onto which you can drag webpages and images, write notes, and then share the whole assemblage to Excel or Word. This feature hasn't appeared in the released version, but works well in the beta and Microsoft says it's coming soon.

Maybe you don’t want a colorful corporate logo burning itself into your consciousness every time you open your browser? Edge offers four Home page options: Focused, Inspirational, Informational, and Custom. Focused is a blank page with search and buttons for your most-visited sites; Inspirational adds the gorgeous Bing photos that change daily as backgrounds; to all this, Informational adds customized news, weather, sports, and finance cards.

The browser offers three preset privacy levels: Basic, Balanced, and Strict. As you move from the first to the last, you increase privacy but possibly disable site features. The private browsing mode, like that in all browsers, doesn’t save any history from a private session.

Mobile versions for Android and iOS with syncing smooths moving from desktop to mobile, and I find that password management works more reliably than in most other browsers, though it’s still a good idea to use a separate password management utility such as LastPass.

For a more in-depth look, read my hands-on preview of Microsoft’s Edge web browser .

firefox chrome or safari

Perennially hovering around the 2 percent usage level, the Opera browser has long been a pioneer in the segment, bringing us innovations as basic as tabs, CSS, and the built-in search box. Some people got scared of Opera when its parent company was bought by a Chinese investment coalition, but the firm is now publicly traded on NASDAQ, so the move was clearly just an investment and not some scheme to send data to Beijing.

In fact, Opera can make a bigger privacy claim than any other browser—if you’re a believer in VPNs , since it includes a built-in VPN that works well and quickly. Some consider Opera’s VPN to actually be an encrypted proxy server, but the only real difference between it and a standard VPN is that it only protects and reroutes traffic from Opera itself, rather than from any internet-connected app on the computer or smartphone.

Opera uses the Chromium page-rendering engine, so you'll rarely run into site incompatibilities, and performance is fast. Opera also takes up far less drive space and memory than Chrome—hundreds of megabytes less in my testing with 10 media-rich websites loaded.

Beyond the VPN, another unique feature in Opera is its built-in ad blocker, which also blocks crypto-mining scripts and trackers. Note that Opera added crypto-mining protection more than a year before Firefox did. (Google is still mulling adding similar protection to Chrome.) Ad blocking also means less data consumed, especially of interest for those using metered connections or mobile plans with data caps.

More unique features in Opera include its Speed Dial start and new-tab page, its quick-access sidebar of frequently needed services like WhatsApp, and its cryptocurrency wallet, which supports Bitcoin and Tron.

On mobile, Opera Touch is a beautifully designed app that connects (via quick QR scan) to your desktop. My Flow is the result of this connection, letting you send webpages and notes between devices easily.

Alternative Web Browsers

firefox chrome or safari

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About Michael Muchmore

PC hardware is nice, but it’s not much use without innovative software. I’ve been reviewing software for PCMag since 2008, and I still get a kick out of seeing what's new in video and photo editing software, and how operating systems change over time. I was privileged to byline the cover story of the last print issue of PC Magazine , the Windows 7 review, and I’ve witnessed every Microsoft win and misstep up to the latest Windows 11.

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firefox chrome or safari

Chrome vs Firefox vs Safari: How to Find the Best Web Browser for Your Needs 2024

Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Safari.jpg

Chrome vs Firefox vs Safari

Our online experiences are significantly shaped by the browser we use, whether browsing for fun or working on a project. This essay compares Chrome, Firefox, and Safari—three browser mainstays—in an exhaustive investigation. Users can better decide according to their surfing needs, tastes, and priorities when aware of the subtle differences between browsers.

The importance of a web browser in today’s linked world, where it acts as a portal to commerce, entertainment, and information, cannot be emphasized. It bridges us and the digital world, enabling engagement, communication, and virtual world exploration. As a result, searching for the perfect online browser goes beyond practicality and becomes a quest for the best possible digital navigation.

As industry leaders in browser technology, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari each have unique features, advantages, and ideologies. Choosing a browser is a crucial decision that shapes consumers’ online experiences as they navigate the maze of websites, applications, and content on their digital journeys.

In this post, we explored the complexities of web browsers, analyzing their functionality, compatibility, performance, and integration with ecosystems. We aim to equip consumers with the necessary knowledge and insights to confidently traverse the digital landscape by exploring the subtleties of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

The web browser’s importance stays the same while the digital world changes due to consumer preferences and technological improvements. It acts as our entryway into the digital world, profoundly influencing our relationships, encounters, and impressions. Through familiarity with the subtleties of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, users can set out on their digital journey equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to negotiate the intricacies of the online environment successfully. Come with us as we explore the domains of speed, performance, features, and ecosystem integration in the ever-changing internet landscape to find the best web browser for your needs.

Chrome vs Firefox vs Safari : Performance Comparison

Table of Contents

The user experience can be significantly impacted by a web browser’s performance, which is a crucial issue in the digital world where efficiency and speed are of the essence. Chrome, Firefox, and Safari have their specialties and rivals for speed, responsiveness, and resource efficiency. Here, we examine the many facets of performance, including memory usage, speed, system resource utilization, and compatibility with websites and web standards for these three well-known browsers.

Speed and Responsiveness

Smooth surfing relies heavily on speed, as more and more consumers place a high value on quick page loads and responsive navigation. Chrome, praised for its incredible speed, has an advanced rendering engine and streamlined architecture to provide blazingly quick browsing. Its simple UI and effective resource management enable fast page rendering and seamless browsing, raising the bar for browser performance.

Thanks to its Quantum engine, Firefox has become a serious competitor in the contest for speed and responsiveness. By utilizing state-of-the-art technologies and optimizations, Firefox achieves remarkable performance that frequently surpasses Chrome’s. Its efficient and quick-loading Quantum engine improves responsiveness and page load times, giving consumers a seamless browsing experience in various settings.

Apple’s dedication to user experience and performance is embodied in Safari, the default browser on Apple devices. With hardware-accelerated rendering and optimizations, Safari, designed for macOS and iOS environments, provides quick and responsive surfing. Its incorporation into Apple’s ecosystem improves performance even more by guaranteeing smooth navigation and interactions between Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices.

Memory Usage and System Resources

Users should consider effective memory consumption and system resource management, especially using devices with little RAM and processing power. Despite its reputation for speed and adaptability, Chrome has come under fire for using many resources, especially memory. Chrome uses a large amount of system memory, which can cause performance issues and sluggishness for users on devices with limited resources.

Firefox has significantly improved memory use and resource management with its Quantum engine and optimization efforts. Firefox reduces memory overhead and system resource use with clever memory management algorithms and optimizations, providing users on various platforms and devices with a faster and more responsive browsing experience.

Safari is highly efficient with resources and optimizes the system because it is closely linked with the Apple ecosystem. Safari optimizes system resources and memory utilization while utilizing Apple’s hardware and software integration while minimizing overhead. Safari’s effective use of resources allows users on macOS and iOS devices to enjoy fast performance and seamless navigation in various browsing circumstances.

Conformity to Web Standards and Websites

A vital component of every web browser is its capacity to render websites while respecting web standards correctly. Chrome touts solid interoperability with many websites and web applications, its overwhelming market share, and extensive developer support. Its conformance to web standards and frequent upgrades provide the best rendering and performance in various online contexts.

Firefox aspires to offer a smooth browsing experience across many devices and environments by being dedicated to open standards and interoperability. Firefox guarantees correct rendering and consistent performance across various websites and web apps by closely adhering to web standards and testing compatibility.

With its close integration with Apple’s development tools and ecosystem, Safari is a great tool for producing content tailored for the macOS and iOS operating systems. Its conformance to web standards and platform optimizations for Apple guarantees precise rendering and reliable performance on all devices used by Safari users.

Regarding performance, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari all have different advantages and optimizations that meet the demands and tastes of different users. Users can choose the browser that best suits their surfing habits and priorities by being aware of the subtle differences in performance, memory utilization, system resources, and compliance with websites and web standards.

Features and Customization Options

A web browser’s user experience goes beyond its functionality; it includes features and customization choices that accommodate a range of user preferences and surfing styles. Many functionality and customization options are available in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, from privacy settings to extensions and user interface design. In this area, we examine the wide range of functionality and personalization choices that various browsers provide, enabling users to customize their browsing experiences to fit their unique requirements and tastes.

Design and User Interface

The user interface directs users’ interactions with and navigation of web content, acting as the portal to the browsing experience. Chrome provides a clear and clutter-free surfing experience; it is well-known for its minimalist design and user-friendly interface. Content is given priority in its streamlined interface, which features a straightforward design that stresses efficiency and usefulness. Chrome’s settings and customization tools include a basic design that makes it easy for users to customize their browsing experience.

Although it offers comparable customization, Firefox is more adaptable and extensible. A fully customized surfing experience is possible with Firefox thanks to user-customizable themes, add-ons, and UI adjustments. Firefox allows users to customize the browser to fit their tastes and workflow, from changing the tab’s design and behavior to changing the toolbar layout.

Safari blends perfectly with the macOS and iOS interface aesthetics thanks to its elegant and simple design. Its simple, easy-to-use UI emphasizes simplicity and usability, emphasizing seamless navigation and natural interactions. Although Safari’s customization options may not be as extensive as those of Chrome and Firefox, its tight connection with the Apple ecosystem guarantees a consistent and smooth user experience across Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices.

Add-ons and Extensions

Add-ons and extensions effectively increase a web browser’s capability and adaptability. With its enormous library of extensions available through the Chrome Web Store, Chrome offers various tools, applications, and features. A wide range of user demands and preferences are catered to by Chrome’s strong extensions ecosystem, including ad blockers, password managers, productivity tools, and developer utilities.

Famous for its dedication to user privacy and open standards, Firefox has a thriving ecosystem of extensions and add-ons created by an enthusiastic community of developers. Numerous extensions are available to users to increase Firefox’s functionality in various ways, from productivity enhancers and creative additions to programs that protect privacy. Because of Firefox’s dedication to openness and extensibility, users may use a vibrant third-party add-on and extension ecosystem.

Although Safari has a less extensive assortment of extensions than Chrome and Firefox, it works well with the Apple App Store to give consumers access to various Safari extensions. Safari extensions improve browsing with various features and activities, from news readers and shopping assistants to password managers and content blocks. Safari has a smaller ecosystem of extensions than its competitors. Still, it nevertheless provides a carefully chosen range of excellent extensions that have been tested for functionality, security, and user experience.

Features for Security and Privacy

In a time when worries about internet security and privacy are growing, a web browser’s ability to protect user data is critical. With the support of Google’s strong security framework, Chrome provides cutting-edge security features, including sandboxing, automated upgrades, and safe browsing. Its integrated security measures guarantee a safer surfing experience by shielding users from phishing attempts, fraudulent websites, and other online hazards.

Focusing on user privacy and data security, Firefox provides a range of privacy-enhancing tools to secure user data and browsing activities. By blocking third-party trackers and improving browsing privacy, Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection feature is accessible through the privacy settings. Furthermore, Firefox has strong security features like automatic upgrades and sandboxing to safeguard users against new threats and vulnerabilities.

Recognized for its robust privacy policies, Safari employs tools like Intelligent Tracking Prevention to stop cross-site tracking and safeguard user privacy. By reducing the amount of user data collected and tracked, Safari’s privacy features improve security and privacy when browsing. Safari assures users to browse the web safely and securely, emphasizing user privacy and data protection.

Each browser—Chrome, Firefox, and Safari—offers different features and customization options that work together to improve the surfing experience. Users can tailor their browser experience to fit their unique requirements and interests while remaining safe and secure online by being aware of the subtleties of user interface design, extensions and add-ons, and privacy and security features.

Availability Across Platforms

In today’s linked world, the smooth integration of web browsing experiences across many platforms and devices is an essential factor to consider. As the top browsers available, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari work hard to give consumers a unified and consistent experience across various devices and operating systems. In this part, we look at these browsers’ cross-platform accessibility, assessing how well they sync and integrate with other operating systems and how compatible they are.

Compatibility with Various OS Systems

A web browser’s ability to work flawlessly on many operating systems is crucial for users who switch between various platforms and devices. Google’s Chrome is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS and has a wide range of compatibility. Because of its widespread use, consumers are guaranteed a reliable surfing experience irrespective of their hardware or operating system.

Firefox has a wide variety of operating system compatibility and is renowned for its dedication to open standards and interoperability. Firefox is a web browser that works consistently on various devices and operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Cross-platform compatibility is a testament to its dedication to inclusivity and accessibility in the digital sphere.

Safari is the default browser primarily available on macOS and iOS devices within the Apple ecosystem. Although Safari is only available on Apple platforms, it guarantees improved performance and seamless user experiences on Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices thanks to its strong connection with macOS and iOS. Although Safari’s cross-platform compatibility may not be as extensive as that of Chrome and Firefox, its connection with Apple’s ecosystem provides special benefits for customers who are heavily involved with Apple products.

Integration and Sync Between Devices

Maintaining consistency in surfing sessions and improving user experience are two benefits of having the option to synchronize bookmarks, passwords, browsing history, and other settings between several devices. Connected to a Google account, Chrome’s sync function easily combines browser history across PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Users can have a constant and seamless surfing experience with this synchronization, which guarantees they can access their bookmarks, preferences, and browsing history from any device.

With Firefox Sync, users may synchronize browser data across devices while preserving end-to-end encryption for increased security. Firefox provides similar syncing capabilities. Firefox ensures that users have a consistent and customized surfing experience across various devices and situations by syncing their browser history, bookmarks, passwords, and other preferences across platforms.

Safari utilizes iCloud to synchronize bookmarks, tabs, passwords, browsing history, and additional configurations among Apple devices, guaranteeing a smooth and cohesive surfing experience within the Apple network. Thanks to Safari’s synchronizing features, users can pick up where they left off and continue browsing while switching between Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices.

To sum up, synchronization and strong cross-platform compatibility are features that Chrome, Firefox, and Safari all provide to improve browsing on various devices and settings. These browsers offer a range of features to meet individual preferences and requirements, regardless of whether users prioritize privacy, tight integration with a particular ecosystem, or broad compatibility. Users can use these browsers’ cross-platform compatibility and synchronization features to have a consistent and seamless surfing experience across all of their devices.

Support and Ecosystem

A web browser’s ecosystem includes all of its interactions with other platforms and services and the amount of community and development support it provides. Each of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari builds an ecosystem based on its users’ requirements and tastes. This section delves into various browsers’ ecosystem and support options, providing insights into their community involvement, developer support, and integration with other services.

Connectivity with Additional Platforms and Services

The overall efficiency and user experience can be greatly improved by integrating a web browser with other services and platforms. Gmail, Google Drive, and other Google apps can seamlessly integrate with Chrome due to its tight interaction with Google’s services ecosystem. This connection allows customers to use their preferred Google services straight from the browser, facilitating faster workflows and increased productivity.

With extensions and add-ons, Firefox allows integration with a wide range of third-party services and platforms without being tied to any particular ecosystem. To improve productivity and streamline processes, users can enhance Firefox’s functionality by adding extensions that interface with popular services like Trello, Evernote, and Pocket. Because of Firefox’s dedication to openness and extensibility, users can choose from various customized integration solutions to meet their unique requirements and preferences.

With its strong integration with Apple’s ecosystem, Safari offers a consistent user experience on Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices. It easily interacts with Apple Music, iCloud, and other Apple services. Because of Safari’s interaction with Apple’s ecosystem, switching between devices is smooth, and users can access their preferred Apple services right from the browser. Safari’s close integration with Apple’s environment offers special benefits for users inside the Apple ecosystem, even though its integration may be more limited than that of Chrome and Firefox.

Support for Developers and Community Engagement

Developer support and community interaction greatly aid web browser evolution and enhancement. For web developers, Chrome provides a wealth of resources and tools, such as Chrome DevTools and developer documentation, thanks to its sizable developer community and comprehensive documentation. Google’s strong participation in the developer community keeps Chrome at the forefront of web development trends and best practices.

With the help of the Mozilla Foundation, Firefox encourages a vibrant developer and contributor community by offering tools, discussion boards, and documentation to aid web development. Due to Mozilla’s dedication to open standards and developer empowerment, Firefox will remain a dynamic platform for web development experimentation and innovation.

Web developers can design experiences optimized for Safari users using the tools, documentation, and resources provided by Safari, which is backed by Apple’s developer ecosystem. Safari’s interaction with Xcode and other Apple developer tools gives developers the tools they need to create innovative web experiences for Apple consumers, even while the program’s developer support may be more geared toward the Apple environment.

In conclusion, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari provide distinct ecosystems and support services to improve the surfing experience for both users and developers. These browsers offer a variety of choices to accommodate a wide range of needs and tastes, regardless of the user’s preference for integration with certain services and platforms or for strong developer support and community involvement. Using these browsers’ ecosystems and support services, users and developers can enhance their productivity and creativity in the digital sphere and open up new avenues.

Chrome vs Firefox vs Safari : Conclusion

Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Safari.jpg

The search for the perfect surfing experience in the ever-changing world of online browsers is a trip characterized by various needs, interests, and priorities. Chrome, Firefox, and Safari are industry leaders in the browser space, each providing a special combination of functionality, performance, and ecosystem integration. The selection of a web browser becomes increasingly important as users traverse the digital landscape, influencing their online interactions, productivity, and security.

Examining personal needs and priorities is the first step in choosing the finest web browser. Prized for its speed, adaptability, and integration with the Google ecosystem, Chrome is popular among users looking for a consistent surfing experience across multiple devices. Its feature-rich feature set and simplistic design appeal to a wide range of users, including power users, developers, and casual surfers.

Firefox is popular with people who value control and flexibility in their surfing experience because of its well-known dedication to privacy, openness, and customization. Firefox is the browser of choice for anyone looking for a more secure and customized online experience because of its thriving ecosystem of extensions and strong commitment to user privacy.

Users within the Apple ecosystem can enjoy a seamless browsing experience because of Safari’s strong integration. For consumers enmeshed in the Apple ecosystem, its streamlined performance, smooth iCloud connection, and user privacy emphasize it a compelling choice. Safari is a favorite among Apple enthusiasts because of its elegant appearance and flawless interaction with Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices.

When comparing Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, users consider factors beyond functionality and performance, such as ecosystem integration, privacy, and developer support. Each caters to a different set of user wants and preferences. Three distinct advantages are offered by Chrome’s seamless integration with Google’s environment, Firefox’s dedication to privacy and customization, and Safari’s close integration with Apple’s ecosystem.

Ultimately, the web browser that most closely matches personal priorities and tastes is the ideal one. Depending on the user’s needs and preferences, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari provide a variety of alternatives for speed, privacy, ecosystem integration, and personalization. Users can improve their productivity and browsing experience in the always-changing digital ecosystem by knowing the subtleties of each browser and assessing their own needs.

The road is just as rewarding as the destination while searching for the ideal browsing experience. As technology advances and consumer expectations change, finding the perfect web browser is still dynamic and ever-evolving. Through their embrace of creativity, teamwork, and user input, Chrome , Firefox, and Safari are shaping the web browsers of the future and enabling people to connect, explore, and learn about the vast world of the internet.

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Google Chrome vs Mozilla Firefox: Which browser is best?

There are a lot of browsers to choose from these days, especially now Microsoft Edge has got its house in order over recent years. An age-old battle in the internet era is Chrome vs Firefox. Here are the key differences.

Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome don’t have a whole lot of differences these days, with both browsers based on Chromium. Mozilla’s Firefox stands out in a market of plenty of Chromium-based apps, using the company’s own Quantum engine.

Firefox is quite unique in being run by a non-profit organisation too, that being Mozilla, compared with huge brands like Google and Microsoft.

These key points of differences make Firefox one of the more intriguing options for your browser choice. However, what are positives for some may be viewed as negatives for others. Let’s dive in and see how Mozilla’s browser stacks up against Google’s.

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There are more extensions for Chrome

A big benefit of being Chromium based is the access Google Chrome has to extensions. The range of extensions and add-ons that Firefox offers is by no means paltry but, for sheer choice, Chrome wins here.

If customising the look of your browser experience is something you’re into, then Google offers more choice of themes as well.

Firefox appeals with user-friendly features

Chrome and Firefox offer plenty of security and privacy features but Mozilla’s browser may catch the eye of those less keen on the tracking-heavy world we live in today.

Firefox offers many privacy and security features by default, rather than requiring that you delve into settings to ditch specific tracking options and the like. For example, Firefox blocks third-party trackers by default in everyday use. Third-party tracking involves collecting your browsing data across multiple sites, typically for advertising purposes. In Chrome, you have to enter Incognito Mode and then choose to block these trackers before this is implemented.

Mozilla’s browser also offers Enhanced Tracking Protection. With this setting on, Firefox will block all trackers that it detects.

Less of a privacy or security setting, but something that will be a welcome addition for many, is the ability to block the pesky auto-playing of videos too.

They deal with tabs differently

Google Chrome hasn’t innovated much in the way of tab management over recent years. Microsoft Edge has introduced vertical tabs and Firefox has a simple solution for avoiding muddled clutter.

Rather than leave you to interpret logos as text is cut off as your number of tabs increase, like Chrome does, Firefox simply keeps the name of the tab as full length and requires you horizontally scroll through the tabs. It’s an extra step but it makes quick navigation slightly easier.

Chrome will win for Google fans

Many will use Chrome because of how integrated it is with the Google ecosystem. If you love using Google’s suite of apps and taking advantage of things like Chromecast, you may have already made your decision here and no interesting features Firefox can offer over Chrome will sway you.

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Adam Speight

Adam is the Computing Editor of Trusted Reviews. He joined as a staff writer in 2019 after graduating from Newcastle University with an MA in Multimedia Journalism. After spending two years at WIRED,…

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The Best Web Browsers of 2024

We tested the most popular web browsers to see which is the fastest and best.

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  • Works natively with Google services
  • Syncs across multiple devices
  • Outperforms the competition in speed

firefox chrome or safari

  • Blocks cryptominers
  • Prevents fingerprinting
  • Stores passwords locally

firefox chrome or safari

  • Provides high customization
  • Protects against phishing
  • Syncs data between devices

Our pick: Which web browser is best?

Google Chrome is our pick for the most well-rounded web browser you can get. It’s fast and synchronizes across every device you use. You can perform a search within the address bar, group your browser tabs, and more. Want to go dark? Chrome supports themes, too.

We spent many hours comparing the best web browsers in terms of speed using a handful of tests on Windows and Mac. We provide the results in our Methodology section to show which is the fastest web browser on your favorite desktop platform.

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Jump to : Best overall | What to look for | Best browser features | Which browsers are the fastest? | Our verdict | Methodology |  FAQ

  • Best overall
  • What to look for
  • Best browser features
  • Which browsers are the fastest?

Our verdict

Methodology, the 6 best web browsers.

  • Best overall: Google Chrome
  • Best for security: Mozilla Firefox
  • Best for customization: Vivaldi
  • Best for social media: Opera
  • Best for Mac: Apple Safari
  • Best for Windows: Microsoft Edge

Compare web browser features

What should you look for in a web browser.

The best web browser should be fast and clean to give you the best browsing experience. You don’t want excessive bloat that can bog down your device and cause web pages to load at a dial-up pace.

And while speed is great, security should also be a high priority. Internet browsers should protect users from trackers, hackers, and pesky internet eavesdroppers.

Ultimately, a browser should be your interactive window looking out into the World Wide Web—a picture frame that should never distract you from the view at hand.

Get the best router to complement your fast browser

We tested and reviewed more routers than we can count to determine the best of the best you can get. Go with the TP-Link Archer AX11000 if you want a lot of bang for your buck, or choose the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 if you want lots of features at a higher price. The NETGEAR Nighthawk RAXE500 is the fastest router we’ve tested to date, but it ain’t cheap.

* Amazon.com Prices (as of 12/19/23 9:35 MST). Read full disclaimer .

Best overall—Google Chrome

  • Supports Google services
  • Includes tab group management
  • Outperforms other browsers in tests


  • Desktop: Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS
  • Mobile: iPhone , iPad , Android

Data this browser collects from you

And more (see App Privacy )

Chrome is the fastest and best web browser on Microsoft Windows and an excellent alternative to Safari on a Mac in terms of speed. However, you agree to Google’s excessive data collection in exchange for speed and convenience.

More about Google Chrome

Google Chrome is the fastest web browser available for Windows machines. It surpasses the competition in three out of four tests and outranks  Microsoft Edge in all but one test.

On Apple Mac, Chrome is a heavy hitter in performance, outranking Safari in two out of four tests . It’s a good alternative to Safari, but Chrome’s data collection issues are a little disconcerting. If you’re worried about how Google uses your data, Safari or Microsoft Edge may be your better alternative.

Still, despite privacy concerns, Chrome is a great browser overall if you use Google’s services. It’s probably the ideal default browser if you shift between Windows, Android, and Apple devices.

  • Supports a huge extensions library
  • Syncs across devices
  • Collects lots of data
  • Uses lots of memory

Best for security—Mozilla Firefox

  • Ranks the lowest for speed in tests
  • Desktop: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Contact info

If you want the best internet browser that prioritizes security over data collection, Firefox is your best bet. However, it’s not the fastest browser available.

More about Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla’s Firefox browser isn’t known for speed. It falls into last place in most of our tests for Windows and Mac, and that’s okay. Firefox is more about security features than speed, which is ideal if you’re more concerned about blocking malware than loading pages in a flash.

Firefox received a facelift in 2021. Mozilla redesigned the tabs, prompts, menus, and overall look, giving Firefox a new modern interface. Under the hood, Firefox strives to keep you safe online with tools like DNS-over-HTTPS , which encrypts browser requests versus sending the information in plaintext.

Want to improve your home network’s security?

Be sure to check out our list of the best routers for security . We also offer a guide on how to keep your router secure if you don’t need a new one.

  • Protects against spyware
  • Blocks almost all pop-ups
  • Consumes high memory
  • Falls behind other browsers in speed

Best for customization—Vivaldi

  • Mobile: Android

Vivaldi is great for customizing your browsing experience, but it doesn’t match the speed of Chrome or Safari.

More about Vivaldi

Vivaldi breathes new life into the tired, repetitive web browser design. Here, you can customize the start page, create and use a custom theme, customize and move the menu, customize the toolbar, and so on. You can also assign browser commands to keyboard shortcuts, map commands to gestures, and assign quick commands to the Function keys.

In terms of speed, the Vivaldi browser isn’t the fastest on the planet—at least, not yet. It’s the youngest in the batch, so there’s room for improvement. It ranks fourth in all four tests we run on Windows, while its performance jumps between third and last in the same tests on Mac.

That said, Vivaldi is an excellent middle-ground browser in terms of performance.

  • Offers plenty of customization
  • Syncs data across devices
  • Lacks iPhone, iPad versions

Best for social media—Opera

Opera browser logo

  • Includes a built-in VPN client
  • Includes social tools
  • Verifies all websites
  • Diagnostics

Opera is a good web browser if you want a built-in VPN client and social tools. It provides middle-ground performance in terms of speed.

More about Opera

The Opera browser is great if you want built-in social network tools. The sidebar includes shortcuts to Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, and three others you can pin to the browser window. 

Opera also supports two VPN services: Free VPN and VPN Pro . The “pro” version costs $7.99 per month and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Our FAQ explains the differences between the two services.

As for performance, Opera is the third-fastest browser in our tests for Windows , falling behind Chrome and Microsoft Edge. It has a similar performance level on our MacBook, falling behind Safari, Chrome, and Microsoft Edge in our four tests. Opera has a “battery saver” mode that reduces background activity and pauses animations, but we verified it was disabled before running our tests.

  • Includes built-in social tools
  • Loads some websites incorrectly
  • Updates less frequently than Chrome

Best for Mac—Apple Safari

Apple Safari logo

  • Provides a clean privacy report
  • Supports extensions
  • Displays tab previews
  • Competes with Chrome  in speed on Mac
  • Desktop: Mac
  • Mobile: iPhone, iPad
  • Nitro, WebKit

Safari is the best browser for Macs, hands down. Stick with Safari if you also have an iPhone or iPad. However, if you use other platforms like Windows and Android, Chrome is the better multiplatform solution—if you can ignore Chrome’s data collection woes.

More about Apple Safari

Safari is an excellent example of how Apple optimizes its software for Macs. It’s fast, simply designed, and somewhat customizable. It supports Chrome extensions, tab previews for power users, and easy translations using the menu bar. And while we will always recommend Firefox as the best browser for security , Safari’s privacy report panel lists every website that tracks you across the internet.

The drawback with Safari is that you can’t get it on anything but Apple devices. That means we could measure its performance only on our MacBook, so there are no numbers for Windows-based PCs. That said, Safari and Chrome duke it out for the fastest browser, both taking the top spots in two out of four tests. If you want speed, either browser will do.

  • Runs superfast on Macs
  • Uses low memory
  • Isn’t available outside Apple’s ecosystem
  • Has a limited extensions library

Best for Windows—Microsoft Edge

firefox chrome or safari

  • Stacks tabs vertically
  • Groups websites into Collections
  • Supports Dolby Audio and 4K
  • Competes with Chrome in speed on Windows
  • Desktop: Windows, Mac
  • Browsing history

Bottom line

Microsoft Edge is a great native browser for Microsoft Windows and a good alternative to Safari on a Mac if you need a browser that runs outside Apple’s ecosystem.

More about Microsft Edge

The original Edge browser was a clunky mess despite Microsoft’s good intentions. It used the company’s in-house EdgeHTML engine and really couldn’t compete with Chrome. Microsoft scrapped its proprietary engine in early 2020 and chose Chromium instead, the browser foundation used in Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, Brave, and more.

Now, Microsoft Edge is highly competitive in terms of speed. On Windows, it gives Chrome a run for its money, falling just a hair behind Google’s browser in three of four of our tests . On our MacBook, Chrome and Microsoft Edge are nearly identical in performance, both falling behind Safari.

  • Synchronizes across devices
  • Includes a PDF viewer
  • Lacks a version for Linux
  • Collects your browser history

Are you troubleshooting speed issues?

If you have connection problems and slow speeds, your web browser may not be the issue. We provide several guides to help you get back up to speed.

  • 7 Reasons Why Your Internet is Slow (And How To Fix It)
  • Improve Your Wi-Fi in 10 Simple Steps
  • Are Ethernet Cables Slowing Your Connection?
  • How to Check Your Internet Speed

Which web browsers are the fastest?

To determine the fastest browser on our list, we ran four different tests three times per browser, determined the average, and compared the results.

On Windows, Chrome tested as the fastest browser, followed by Microsoft Edge .

On Mac, Safari and Chrome shared the top spot as the fastest browser, followed by Microsoft Edge .

In all tests, Firefox was the slowest browser on our list.

See the complete test results in the Methodology section .

Browser specs and features

A web browser is software that downloads data from a remote server and pieces it all together on your screen. It’s your interactive window to the World Wide Web, a view that exists only when you open a tab and enter an address. All browsers provide this basic function, but there are five elements you should keep in mind while considering your browser options.

You want a browser that loads pages quickly and can run in-browser apps without slowing you down. A browser should have a relatively small footprint in your system memory, so it doesn’t affect the performance of your other programs and apps while you surf the internet.

Security and privacy

A browser should make secure connections to websites. They should also provide means to block malicious advertisements, cross-site trackers, cryptominers, and fingerprinters. Users should have tools to block and delete cookies, secure their passwords, and use the browser without worrying about how it collects their data.

Learn more about the best internet browsers for security .


While you don’t want your window to the internet framed with a clunky interface, it’s a nice bonus to add a personal touch. Most of the browsers on our list provide means for customization.

For example, you can apply a theme in Chrome obtained from the Chrome Web Store . You can create themes in Vivaldi, reposition the menu, or create your own menu.


The best browser should be compatible with the latest internet standards, like HTML5 and WebGL . A good way to benchmark a browser’s compatibility is to use the HTML5 Test website or AnTuTu’s HTML5 Test online utility. Plus, you don’t want to install a browser that can’t access all the modern functions of a website, like web apps.

Easy navigation

While customization is great, you want a browser that’s easy to use. Most browsers we list here are just that, with the address bar headlining your window to the internet. Menus should be tucked away and easily accessible. Settings should be just a click away, and bookmarks should be easy to save and load.

Our verdict: Google Chrome is the best web browser

Google Chrome is fast and available on nearly every platform. It’s our top pick in speed, as it goes head-to-head with Safari on our MacBook and Microsoft Edge on Windows. It’s also a firm alternative if you don’t want to use those native browsers.

But Microsoft Edge is an excellent third-place browser that’s accessible on nearly all platforms. It’s almost as fast as Chrome and Safari and includes a few standout features you can’t get with most browsers, like 4K Netflix streaming.

However, if you want the most secure browser on the planet, Firefox is the way to go, although it’s the slowest browser on our list.

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  • Ethernet vs. Wi-Fi: Is It Really Better to Go Wireless?
  • What Is a Good Download and Upload Speed?

To determine a browser’s speed, we did the following:

  • Installed a clean, current copy without any plugins or extensions
  • Closed all open programs and unnecessary processes
  • Ran four different tests three times
  • Calculated the average

To test Microsoft Edge and Safari on their native platforms, we ran browser benchmarks on a Windows laptop and a MacBook . We plugged both in for maximum power performance.

Microsoft Windows

We use a Lenovo ThinkPad with Intel’s Core i7-10850H 6-core processor, 16GB of system memory, and a 500GB SSD for these tests.

Chrome is our biggest performer, taking the top spot in three out of four tests. Microsoft Edge always comes in at a close second, save for one test where it switches seats with Chrome. Firefox is our lowest performer of the browser batch.

JetStream 2

This test measures how fast a browser loads data and how quickly it executes code—higher numbers are better.


This test measures the responsiveness of web applications by simulating user input.

Basemark Web 3.0

This tool performs 20 tests—map scaling, drawing, and so on—in one sitting. It’s also popular for testing a laptop’s battery life, as it loops through all tests until the battery dies.

MotionMark 1.2

This test benchmarks the browser’s capability to render and animate complex scenes within a set frame rate.

Apple macOS

We use a 2018 MacBook Air (A1392) with Intel’s Core i5-8210Y 2-core CPU, 8GB of system memory, and a 128GB SSD for these tests. There’s a huge processor difference between this machine and the Lenovo notebook, so we rerun the benchmarks to compare Safari against the competition on the same Core i5 CPU.

Overall, Safari and Chrome go head to head for the fastest browser. Safari grabs the top spot in two tests, while Chrome dominates in the other two. Microsoft Edge is the best alternative to Safari and Chrome, while Firefox has the lowest performance of the six.

This tool performs 20 tests—map scaling, drawing, and so on—in one sitting.

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FAQ about the best web browsers

Internet browser vs. web browser: what's the difference.

Although we tend to use the term, there’s no such thing as an “internet browser.” The internet is a global network of cables, servers, and switches—it’s the hardware needed to deliver information to your eyeballs. A browser is software that accesses software—the World Wide Web in this case.

In other words, we connect to the internet and use the web. But since “internet” is easier to read and write than “World Wide Web,” we typically stick with the former term.

What is a virtual private network (VPN)?

A virtual private network creates a secure, private connection between your device and the destination. It requires software installed on your device that encrypts your data and establishes a direct, encrypted connection to a remote VPN server. The server then decrypts your data and sends it as plaintext to the destination.

Overall, a VPN prevents the destination from seeing your geological location, IP address, and operating system.

Want to see how a VPN affects your speed?

Run our internet speed test with a VPN enabled. After that, rerun the test with the VPN disabled and then compare the results.

Run a Speed Test

What is a Device ID?

A Device Identifier (ID) is a unique string of numbers derived from other hardware-identifying numbers stored on your device. Browsers use this information to identify your device.

What is a User ID?

A User Identifier (User ID) is a unique profile created by the browser and stored locally as a cookie. This profile includes information such as your processor, storage, screen resolution, and operating system.

What is Chromium?

Chromium is Google’s free, open-source code provided to all internet browser developers. These developers can compile Google’s code with proprietary components and unique designs (Microsoft Edge) or compile the code “as is” (Chromium).

What is HTML5?

HTML5 is the fifth generation of HyperText Markup Language (HTML), the programming language that creates websites you see in your browser. There are three components in HTML5: Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) that dictate how web page elements are displayed, JavaScript that executes interactive components, and HTML code that brings it all together.

HTML5 eliminates the need for browser plugins, like Adobe Flash, Silverlight, and Java.

What is WebGL?

Web Graphics Library (or WebGL ) is an application programming interface (API) that allows a browser to render 2D and 3D graphics. These elements are written in JavaScript and OpenGL ES for the web and are executed on your device’s graphics cores, not your processor. WebGL eliminates the need for a browser plugin, eliminating security risks and providing better animation.

To see WebGL in action, visit the Get WebGL website to view a cube rotating in your browser without any additional software.

What is HTTPS?

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (or HTTPS) is a secure version of the application layer protocol used to deliver HTML files, video, and more across the internet. 

In a nutshell, the browser (client) sends a request to the server hosting a website. In turn, the server sends the appropriate files to your device that are pieced together within your browser. These files reside on your device as cache.

Browsers and servers that support HTTPS communicate using the Transport Layer Security cryptographic protocol to encrypt the connection between the website and the browser, not the actual data. This encrypted connection prevents eavesdroppers from obtaining your data but only while it’s en route.

What is DNS-over-HTTPS?

DNS-over-HTTPS is a means of sending a browser query over a secure connection.

Short for Domain Name System, DNS essentially translates alphabetic URLs into proper numeric ones. For instance, when you type “google.com” into your address bar, a DNS service consults its address book and sees that the numerical address is It then sends your browser request accordingly.

Typically this request speeds along the internet highways as plaintext. A secure connection doesn’t happen until the website responds to your browser—a handshake, if you will. With DNS-over-HTTPS, a compatible browser sends your query to a compatible DNS server using an encrypted connection. This connection prevents eavesdroppers from viewing your browsing habits.

Free VPN vs. VPN Pro: What’s the difference?

Opera Software launched VPN Pro in May 2022. In a nutshell, with VPN Pro , you get full device-wide coverage on six devices, a network with 3,000+ servers, 30+ unique locations, two-factor authentication, and live chat support. Here’s a chart showing what you get with both services:

Does Incognito Mode hide you from Google and other services?

No, Chrome’s Incognito Mode feature doesn’t completely protect you. It’s only meant to hide your activities from other people using the same device and browser. Google even confirmed in a court filing in March 2021 that users are not “invisible” when they open an Incognito Mode window. The company said user activity might be visible to websites and third-party analytics and ads.

What happened to Safari for Windows?

Safari 5.1.7 was the last version released on Windows. While you can find links to download the browser, Apple discontinued Windows support in 2012. We do not recommend this browser for Windows users due to the lack of updates and customer support.

What happened to Internet Explorer?

Microsoft retired Internet Explorer on June 15, 2022, but it still lives on in Microsoft Edge as IE Mode. To enable it for legacy websites, click the Settings and more button in the top right corner of Microsoft Edge, followed by Settings > Default browser > Allow sites to be reloaded in Internet Explorer mode . Select Allow on the drop-down menu to enable IE Mode.

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Author - Kevin Parrish

Kevin Parrish has more than a decade of experience working as a writer, editor, and product tester. He began writing about computer hardware and soon branched out to other devices and services such as networking equipment, phones and tablets, game consoles, and other internet-connected devices. His work has appeared in Tom’s Hardware, Tom's Guide, Maximum PC, Digital Trends, Android Authority, How-To Geek, Lifewire, and others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on network equipment testing and review.

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.

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Best web browsers 2023: Firefox vs Google Chrome vs Microsoft Edge

Firefox vs Chrome vs Edge - discover which comes out on top in the ultimate battle to crown the very best browser

Firefox vs Chrome vs Edge: Browser logos, with a video-game-styled 'versus' initialism in the middle, on a purple background

Like anything else you do on your computer, be it editing documents or productivity tracking, browsing the web should be done with the best tools available. Every computer is shipped with a default browser and each operating system (OS) is preloaded with a proprietary browser, but these may not be the best for each individual’s specific needs. Different browsers will prioritize different features, and some features will be exclusive to each browser itself.

Trying to weigh up Firefox vs Chrome vs Edge can be a daunting challenge, and every major browser will usually offer features that will satisfy the needs of most internet users. Nonetheless, the competition would not be so heavy if slight differences did not matter to users. Choosing the right browser for you is a difficult decision and migrating browsers can be a long and tedious process. As such we recommend carefully considering your decision before committing to any in order to ensure your initial time investment is worth it.

What to look for in a browser

Before you make your choice, we recommend you research the core features of each browser to determine what you are looking for. Many features will be shared across Firefox, Chrome, and Edge, including password managers and private browsing. But other features may be exclusive to the specific browsers and these features require the closest consideration.

Take, for example, Firefox, which uses less RAM than its competitors and is therefore less computationally demanding to run. This might mean it is the better choice for people with hardware with low RAM, or who require RAM for other tasks and do not want their internet browsing to drain this resource.

Microsoft Edge features Copilot integration, one component to Microsoft’s wider push to bring generative AI to all of its major products in order to bring richer, smarter, and quicker user experiences.

Google Chrome is easily the most popular browser on the market and includes a number of helpful features such as offline document editing if you use the Google Workspace on a daily basis.

A number of organizations have their own in-house extensions and web apps that staff rely on to complete their work. Sometimes, these are only compatible with specific browsers, meaning the number of options you can pick from may be restricted to those that support the extension.

The nature of your work is also a factor that will influence your decision. Developers who work with metaverse experiences, for example, may choose the Firefox Reality browser in order to navigate the web using a VR headset.

Finally, regardless of the bold claims made by each browser about their security and privacy credentials, you will want to confirm that your choice is compliant with your employer’s IT policies. When working remotely, you might need to speak with your administrator to ensure your browser is able to join the network. We would be very surprised if any of our choices cause any consternation, but forewarned is forearmed.

Understanding Chrome vs Chromium vs ChromeOS

You’ll see “Chrome” and “Chromium” used a lot in this roundup. It’s not a misprint - they’re two separate browsers... except they’re not. Let us explain. 

Released alongside the flagship browser in 2008, Chromium is a totally open-source, white-lable version of Chrome. Most of the codebase is the same, and although Google curates the project, it is separate from parent company Alphabet LLC. Chromium’s logo is identical to that of Chrome, just with a blue and grey colour scheme, instead of Google’s traditional colors. The UI is completely identical, but Chromium does lack some codecs and syncing technology which is standard in the proprietary version of Chrome. 

Chromium is an important browser to be aware of because of its role as the basis for many of the other browsers on the market, including Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Vivaldi. Thanks to the open source community, Chromium is available for more unusual machines such as the Raspberry Pi ; and creators of browsers based on a ‘forked’ build of Chromium are expected to add their code to the Chromium codebase for the benefit of all. Stock browsers for Android forks such as Samsung (Samsung Internet) and Amazon (Silk) are usually based on chromium.

Chrome is Google’s official build of Chromium and the most popular browser in the world. It has tighter integration with Google accounts and a number of additions “under the hood” . It has three ‘channels’ - Stable, Beta, and Canary - with each updated to a new official build on a four-week cycle.

ChromeOS, meanwhile, is another separate yet related entity. It's an operating system built on the Chrome browser and used in Chromebooks and other Google desktop products ; almost identical to the Chrome browser, but with a desktop, settings, and driver support. As of February 2022, you can also install it on PCs and Macs, via ChromeOS Flex .

All three products share the same codebase and are completely compatible with Chrome’s wide range of extensions. Updates to ChromeOS also run on a four-week cycle, but often arrive several days later than the standalone Chrome browser.

Best browsers 2023: Edge vs Chrome vs Firefox

Google chrome.

Google Chrome's main home screen

The growth in market share for Google’s browser since launch has been phenomenal. During 2021, Statcounter reports that 63.84% of devices around the world were running it, and at one point that figure was over 70%. There’s a lot to love about Chrome - most notably its tight integration with Google services making it extremely easy to switch between devices, as well as a huge ‘Chrome Store’ full of extensions, apps and customizations. As the world’s most popular browser, it has almost complete compatibility with any webpage you can throw at it and renders them at speeds unimaginable even a decade ago .

All that speed comes at a cost, though. Chrome is a notorious resource hog, using over a gigabyte of RAM during runtime. Add a few extensions and you could find it monopolizes the bulk of your machine’s memory. Google has worked hard to bring down Chrome’s memory footprint, but it’s still a lot more resource-hungry than any other browser on this list.

Despite this, Chrome is still the people’s choice by a factor of three and if there’s a feature not available natively, the chances are someone has written an extension to add it. Just remember that more extensions equals more RAM usage, so if you’re running a 2GB netbook, you might want to rethink how many you add.

Chrome is available on Windows, macOS, most Linux distros , Android, iOS, and Chromebooks (as part of ChromeOS).

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge's main home screen

Technically, the current product calling itself Microsoft Edge should be called Edge 2. When it launched back in 2016 it looked very different and owed much of its layout to its predecessor, Internet Explorer. It failed to capture the public’s imagination, so it was completely rebuilt from the ground up using the Chromium codebase, and from April 2021 that became the only version of Edge, pre-installed alongside Windows 10 or 11.

It differs from Google’s Chrome in a number of ways, not least of all that it’s slightly less of a memory hog. It’s compatible with a limited number of extensions originally designed for Chrome, but Microsoft controls which ones. This is supposedly due to security concerns, but ironically it’s the browser that collects the most user telemetry, leading some experts to question its own security. Users still report compatibility issues with extensions, which is a good point to remind ourselves that Edge, in its current form, is only two years old and occasionally shows its relative lack of bug-squashing.

Where Chrome links up nicely with Google products, as you’d expect, Edge syncs with your Microsoft account. Being a Microsoft product, it’s very keen to enforce Bing on you, which takes a certain amount of tweaking to change and in some cases (such as translation) can’t be switched to another provider.

There’s no question that Chromium Edge is a great deal better than the legacy version and yes, for basic tasks, it’s a little less power-hungry than Chrome, but the fact that it uses Bing so liberally whilst having relatively poor extension support means there’s still no reason not to download Chrome at the first opportunity. The fact that in 2021, it only garnered 3.99% of the market, despite being preinstalled on Microsoft products, speaks volumes. It’s a good browser, but it’s young, and it’s not quite there yet.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox's main home screen

An open-source project, originally designed for use by Mozilla’s development team, Firefox is the oldest of the ‘big three’ browsers - in fact in 2022, it’s celebrating its 20th birthday. Before Chrome arrived, it was gaining significant market share. After several years in the relative doldrums, it was retooled in 2017 under a project called ‘Quantum’ which allowed its proprietary Gecko engine to perform at speeds more akin to Chrome.

Firefox was the first browser to offer extensions, which it refers to as 'Add-ons', and as a result, it had a wealth of them to download, but since Quantum it has relaunched the feature and this treasury has been replaced by a new library which is still growing. The new add-ons use the same API as Chromium and as a result, there is now some cross-compatibility.

In recent years, Firefox has focused on its security credentials and in 2021 became the first browser to offer the ability to block cross-site tracking. It also offers DNS over HTTPS (DoH), a feature that makes it almost impossible for hackers to monitor your web traffic, and a feature that blocks any scripts that attempt to mine cryptocurrency from your machine.

Firefox is still a great browser, but with Chromium-based browsers so much the norm now, it has seen its popularity plummet from nearly 30% at one time, down to 3.91% in 2021, putting it almost exactly on par with Edge. Whilst it still has a lot to recommend it both in terms of security and performance, Mozilla has consistently been last to basic features (it only began sandboxing processes in 2018) that are standard in other browsers. However, if you’re looking for a corporate deployment to your whole team, there is a long-term support edition available alongside tools to push itself to multiple machines on a domain, making it a smart choice for business.

Apple Safari

Safari browser home screen

Although we’re focusing on Windows browsers for this round-up, we can’t ignore Apple’s stock Safari browser, which has 19.56% of the market, almost entirely made up of Mac and iPhone/Pad users after Apple ceased updating the Windows version a decade ago. For macOS and iOS users, it offers a more familiar layout and continuity features that let you carry on your surfing from exactly where you left off on another Safari instance, as well as a handful of unique software features built on integrations with the rest of the macOS platform.

Mac and iOS users should be aware, however, that all the browsers on this list are rendered using Apple Webkit rather than the standard renderer (usually Blink) in order to comply with Apple’s policies. As such, you’ll find that performance between browsers is much of a muchness, and any desire to switch to something other than Safari should be based on features, rather than any hope of a performance boost.

Best browsers 2023: Head-to-head performance

Just because the majority of the options above share the same Chromium codebase, it doesn’t mean they’ll have identical performance. In our benchmarking tests, we used three tools - Jetstream 2.0 which measures Javascript and WebAssembly performance using advanced web apps, Speedometer, which shows web app responsiveness, and Kraken, which calculates Javascript, but based on what Mozilla calls “more realistic workloads”.

The results were surprising. You may remember a few years ago, all the major browsers claimed that it was theirs that offered the fastest performance. Our results explain why - there simply is no clear winner. While Chrome offered a blistering 62.619 in the Jetstream tests, compared with a pitiful 35.182 for Firefox, Speedometer results were so poor at 19.5 that we reran the test several times to make sure it really was that bad. Compare that to Microsoft Edge at 69.1, with Opera a valiant second at 66.2. Kraken, a tool created by Firefox maker Mozilla, actually proved a problem for its own browser - it gave the slowest result of 3967.1ms. The winner was Vivaldi, which scored 1618.6, more than twice as fast as Firefox - yet scored mid-table on our other benchmarks.

By aggregating the results, we’re declaring that Opera is the best-performing browser by some margin, coming a consistent runner-up in all our benchmarks. Microsoft Edge is next, followed by Vivaldi, Brave and bringing up the rear, Chrome in fifth place, thanks to its perplexingly poor Speedometer performance, and Firefox bringing up the rear.

It’s worth remembering though, that none of these scores indicate a problematic or unusable level of performance, and we found that all our browsers (with the exception of Opera) were better at some tasks than others - so it may be that for your workload, another browser could be the right one for you.

Edge vs Chrome vs Firefox: Which is best?

In the internet’s early days, there was a clear benefit to staying with the default browser on the operating system. These days, however, the essential task of a web browser – to browse the web – is a mostly universal experience regardless of which you choose. As such, before choosing the right browser for you you should pay attention to the feature set of each – whether that be compatibility with other products, a lightweight footprint, or one of the unique features of the smaller browsers.

In the majority of instances, add-ons or extensions will let you gain any features that aren’t natively supported. We can’t say any one browser is the perfect fit for everyone (but if you push us, Chrome is the best of most worlds) so we would recommend trying a few options and creating your ideal surfing environment.

Best browsers 2023: Google Chrome alternatives

If you enjoy Chrome’s user experience, but don’t particularly want to fuel Google’s data-hungry business model, there are various alternatives to the major players of internet browsing that provide some intriguing comparisons.

Opera's main home screen

Of all the Chromium browsers, Opera is the one that looks most visually distinct from Chrome. As one of the first browsers to switch to Chromium from its own engine, back in 2013, it has had ample time to carve a distinctive path, and has done so in spades. With a free VPN and Ad-Blocker built-in, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d done enough, but with “Speed Dial” access to your favorite sites from a mosaic of thumbnails, a built-in crypto wallet, a sidebar for social media, and a variety of instant messaging platforms, and a one-click eraser for all your cookies and browsing history, Opera is an absolute powerhouse.

Unfortunately, its add-ons aren’t directly compatible with Chrome extensions, but there is an unofficial way to add them. The big turn-off for Google users is that it syncs with other instances of Opera, but not with Google (or Microsoft) accounts. It’s not a dealbreaker, but you’ll notice the lack of this feature if you’re used to it. It’s a shame because in most other ways, Opera is very, very special.

Vivaldi's main home screen

A relative newcomer, Vivaldi is the product of John Van Teschiner, one of the architects of the original (pre-Chromium) Opera. Originally designed to replace some features retired from his old browser, Vivaldi has blossomed into a distinct product in its own right, offering stackable tabs groups, tracking protection through DuckDuckGo, a pop-out video player, native mail and calendar clients and Chromecasting support, to name but a few. Vivaldi has become more like a dashboard for everything you’re doing, meaning you could, in theory, never leave it for another app all day. It’s also very privacy and safety-minded, with granular controls over blocking of ads and cookies by type, content, or source.

A screenshot of Brave's main home screen

Brave is a privacy-first browser with a twist - by default it will block ads, but if you switch them on, you can earn cryptocurrency for each one you watch. It has repeatedly come top in “most private browser” testing, but it also has some unique features - for example if you try and surf to a page that doesn’t exist, it will automatically search for a cache from Wayback Machine. If you need further privacy, you can route traffic through the TOR network and it also has its own in-built news aggregator. You can use cryptocurrency earned to offer micropayments to bloggers on certain sites, a reflection of Brave’s attempts to try and find new ways to finance the internet. There’s a lot to love (perhaps too much) and from a business point of view, you might find it a bit “busy”, but as a product in its own right, it’s a promising new alternative.

What about Internet Explorer?

Due to being included with every version of Windows since Windows 95, Internet Explorer is familiar to most computer users. Despite ceasing active development of Internet Explorer in 2016 to focus on its Edge browser, it continued to bundle the final edition IE11 with Windows to allow compatibility with legacy sites. 

This all changed in 2022, when on June 15th, Internet Explorer was put out to pasture, once and for all. Going forward, Microsoft recommends using Edge (of course), which offers an Internet Explorer emulator mode that can be opened in a new tab. This should only be used for web pages that are business-critical, and only as a stopgap until your organization upgrades the page or package in question to be compliant with more modern alternatives.

Some products which already bundle Internet Explorer, such as Windows Server, won’t reach EOL until 2029, so Microsoft will continue to offer IE security updates until that time - but it bears repeating that in 2022, the use of IE really should be a last resort. There’s a joke in the tech industry that 'Internet Explorer is the browser you use to download Chrome'. It’s funny because it’s true.

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Darien began his IT career in the 1990s as a systems engineer, later becoming an IT project manager. His formative experiences included upgrading a major multinational from token-ring networking to Ethernet, and migrating a travelling sales force from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95.

He subsequently spent some years acting as a one-man IT department for a small publishing company, before moving into journalism himself. He is now a regular contributor to IT Pro, specialising in networking and security, and serves as associate editor of PC Pro magazine with particular responsibility for business reviews and features.

You can email Darien at  [email protected] , or follow him on Twitter at @dariengs.

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firefox chrome or safari

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Firefox vs chrome in 2022: which browser has better performance, privacy & features.

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firefox chrome or safari

Firefox and Chrome are two of the most popular web browsers in the world. Firefox is Chrome's senior by six years and has fallen behind in popularity over time, although not by much. In this Firefox vs Chrome analysis, we compare these two famous browsers to find out which one is the best.

Max Pitchkites

Last Updated: 09 May'24 2024-05-09T08:16:31+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Both Chrome and Firefox are excellent web browsers in their own right, so choosing the best browser was a tough call. There were a few areas where one browser was clearly better than the other, but their relative equality means user preference will determine whether you should use Firefox vs Chrome.

Key Takeaways:

  • Chrome and Firefox are close to being even in most of their capabilities.
  • Chrome is faster and has a larger library of extensions, but Firefox is more private and secure.
  • Firefox is fast, but suffers from inefficient RAM consumption.

Google Chrome is the most widely used browser in the world, proven by the fact that Google owns the vast majority of the global browser market share. Its simple user interface set the standard for contemporary browser design, and its open-source Chromium engine is the basis for most browsers. Much of the internet is optimized for Chrome use.

Meanwhile, Firefox remains one of the few major browsers not based on Chromium (read our Chromium vs Chrome guide to learn more). It’s an older browser than Chrome, but it’s adapted well to the modern age without completely ceding ground to Google technology.

Firefox occasionally runs into compatibility problems with some websites since many websites are formatted in favor of Chrome, but it’s far superior to older browsers it once competed with, like Internet Explorer (or its successor, Microsoft Edge ). If you want to learn how the two compare, read our Microsoft Edge vs Chrome comparison.

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Completed a fresh comparison of Mozilla Firefox vs Google Chrome. Added the browser performance tables, and expanded the privacy and security sections.

Firefox vs Chrome: Which Is Better?

In this article, we’ll compare how each of these browsers fare in the following five categories: features, ease of use, performance, security and privacy. A point will be awarded to one browser in each round, and the victory will go to whichever browser scores at least three points.

It was challenging to select a victor for most rounds because these browsers are so closely matched in most of their capabilities. If you want full reviews of the individual browsers, you can read our Firefox review and our Chrome review .

Logo: Firefox

1. Features

Among the most important features a web browser should have are extensions, device sync and the ability to accommodate multiple users.

Long before the creation of Chrome, Firefox had already introduced the idea of browser extensions. Firefox’s extensions library may not be as extensive as Chrome’s in numbers, but it still contains thousands of browser extensions that serve all kinds of purposes.

firefox add ons

Chrome is evenly matched with Firefox on most features. Its most obvious advantage over Firefox is its vast library of extensions — the largest in the world. Chrome’s collection includes any kind of extension you can think of: auto-refresh, tab management, password management, privacy extensions and browser security extensions .

chrome web store

Device Synchronization & User Profiles

Firefox and Chrome both allow users to synchronize their bookmarks, tabs, settings and other browser data between devices via device sync. Read our how to backup Firefox bookmarks to learn how to save your valuable articles.

Chrome and Firefox support multiple user profiles. You can create separate user profiles in the browser, which will keep each user’s history, bookmarks, settings and other browser data separate and private.

Another one of Chrome’s advantages is its integration with other Google services like Google Drive, Gmail and Google Docs. With Chrome, users can manage all of their Google services from within the browser.

Chrome also has a task manager where you can see every process, tab and extension running in the browser, and how much memory each process is using. If any single process is consuming too much memory, you can terminate that individual task with the “end process” button.

google chrome android

There aren’t too many differences between the browsers’ mobile apps, but Chrome comes with a “lite mode” that limits how much data you use by scaling down images and removing unnecessary elements. Firefox doesn’t have a dedicated data-saving mode, but it does have a setting to disable images that serves much the same function.

Chrome and Firefox are even on almost everything. They both have essential browser features like device sync and user profiles, plus plenty of convenient minor features.

We decided to award Chrome a point for this round because of its large extensions library (see how to backup your Chrome browsing essentials). It’s the largest in the world, and new extensions are added all the time. It only wins by a narrow margin because Firefox’s extensions still number in the thousands, which is more than enough for the vast majority of users.

For privacy-minded individuals who prefer turning off sync on Google , it might be better to consider alternative browsers that offer strong data protection features.

2. Ease of Use

In this round, we’ll take a look at how both browsers are designed and how user-friendly they are. We’ll consider the design of the interface, the organization of UI elements, tab management and the context menu. Both Firefox and Chrome scored highly, but Chrome had a slight edge over its rival.

Firefox and Chrome have simple interfaces that keep most of their tools stowed away in the settings menu, so as not to clutter the screen. Other than an address bar at the top and a few buttons and navigation controls, the window is mostly filled by the web page itself.

firefox dark theme

Tab Navigation

Firefox handles a large volume of tabs by enabling horizontal scrolling instead of shrinking the tabs, unlike many other browsers. It’s a little easier to distinguish one tab from another when the tabs aren’t crowded together and part of the page’s name can be read.

There’s also a dropdown menu that displays the name of each open tab. You can mute tabs, pin tabs and send them to other connected devices.

Chrome responds to a large number of tabs by shrinking the tabs as more are added. The tab bar gets crowded and slightly difficult to navigate, but Chrome will at least display the favicons fully in the minimized tabs, even if the tab headings are truncated. A vertical dropdown tab menu makes navigation much easier when there are too many tabs open.

chrome tabs

Context Menus

Chrome has a fuller context menu than Firefox. Among the standard context menu features are options for translating an entire web page, reverse image search and a QR reader. You can also send web pages directly to other devices, which is a huge convenience.

chrome image search windows

Once again, Chrome and Firefox are matched in almost every way. Both are designed to be as simple to use as possible, and emphasize visual simplicity by storing most of their tools in menus rather than filling the window with too much detail. Neither suffers from any compatibility issues to speak of and both can access any website including streaming services.

We must award the point for this round to Chrome once again — but it wins by a narrow margin. Most of the web is optimized for Chrome users, and its context menu has more useful features than Firefox. That means Chrome pulls further ahead as we reach the third round of Mozilla Firefox vs Google Chrome.

3. Performance

Useful and easy-to-use features are great, but slow speeds can hold back an otherwise good browser. We ran Firefox and Chrome through three benchmark speed tests to assess their capability for handling certain types of tasks.

The three tests are Speedometer, JetStream 2 and MotionMark. The most important test, Speedometer, measures how fast the browser can process tasks written in JavaScript. JetStream 2 tests the browser’s ability to process advanced and unusual applications, and MotionMark calculates how fast the browser can render advanced visual graphics.

Firefox is neither the fastest nor the slowest browser we’ve tested. It’s a fast enough browser for everyday use, and we encountered no latency when browsing the web, watching videos or sending emails. However, Firefox is not efficient with its memory usage and consumes a lot of RAM at once.

We put several browsers through multiple speed tests and Chrome was almost always the fastest browser (at least without extensions). Even at high loads, pages loaded quickly with Chrome and we experienced no latency. Chrome used to have a serious problem with heavy RAM usage, but an update in March 2021 curbed its resource-hungry tendencies.

Both browsers are fast, but Chrome is the winner for this round. It’s the fastest browser we’ve ever used and has become much more efficient in its memory usage than it used to be. If you’d like to see a more detailed analysis of browser speed, we recommend reading our article on the fastest web browsers .

4. Security

Next, we’ll take a look at each browser’s security features. We’ll examine how they protect their users against ads and malware, and how often the developers update their browsers. 

Firefox and Chrome include a built-in HTTPS Everywhere feature. When enabled, the browser will automatically connect to websites over a secure HTTPS connection if HTTPS and HTTP are both available. If HTTP is the only option, the browser will issue a warning before connecting to the website. In Firefox, HTTPS Everywhere is disabled by default.

chrome password manager

Both browsers contain password managers. The master password is disabled by default on Firefox, so all locally stored passwords could be exposed to malicious third parties if your browser or device is infected with malware. Google makes Chrome users store their passwords in their Google accounts (i.e. the cloud) rather than local memory.

Firefox does a lot to protect users against tracking. It has enhanced tracking protection enabled by default, which will block social media trackers, cross-site tracking cookies, fingerprinters and other malicious content. This is covered under the “standard” level of protection, but Firefox also offers “strict” and “custom” settings as well.

Neither browser blocks all ads by default, but you can easily download an add-on.

firefox enhanced tracking protection

Safe Browsing

Firefox and Chrome both use the Google Safe Browsing database to detect malicious websites. It checks web addresses against a database of known malicious URLs and alerts the user if it detects a threat. It’s the industry-standard security mechanism for browsers, so you’ll find it in almost every browser.

Google’s Safe Browsing feature is a double-edged sword because it’s a great security protection, but comes at the cost of privacy, as some of your browser data is sent to Google for analysis.

Firefox and Chrome receive regular updates and automatically install them when you close the browser. Google is one of the fastest developers when it comes to patching vulnerabilities, and Mozilla isn’t far behind.

Firefox has all of the security protections Chrome has, but its tracking protection is more comprehensive than Chrome’s. Leaving some security protections disabled by default could leave less diligent internet users exposed to some security threats, but this is a minor complaint in the big picture. With that, Firefox earns its first win.

Even if a browser has plenty of security mechanisms to protect you against external threats, that’s no guarantee your privacy is protected at the same time . Security and privacy are often confused with one another, but they mean different things. They can even be mutually exclusive when data collection is necessary to provide a security service.

Firefox has the benefit of being developed by a nonprofit company that doesn’t make its income from ads. Mozilla details its data collection practices in its privacy policy , and it’s clear that Firefox doesn’t collect as much of your data as Chrome.

firefox data collection

Google is infamous for disregarding its users’ privacy. As an advertising company, it makes the majority of its money from ad revenue. This involves collecting the data of Chrome users and using it to create targeted ads.

chrome account

It’s possible to opt out of some data collection by adjusting your privacy settings in “my activity,” but that won’t completely stop the company from collecting some of your data, especially when the company has violated its own privacy policy before. Some of the browser’s most basic features involve data collection, such as URL prediction and search suggestions.

If you want a top-tier web browsing experience while enjoying complete privacy, considering using one of the best VPNs for Chrome .

Firefox wins on the privacy front. Chrome may be a great browser in other respects, but it falls behind Firefox when it comes to privacy. Firefox’s financial structure limits the incentive for the company to collect user data, and it includes settings to further control how much of your data the company can access.

The Verdict: Google Chrome vs Firefox

Even though Chrome won three out of five rounds, it mostly did so by the slightest margin. The two browsers are equally matched in almost every way, and your preferences will ultimately determine whether Firefox or Chrome should be your primary browser.

If you’re looking for the best browser for Android , the two are great options. Chrome is a faster and more full-featured browser for everyday use, but many will prefer Firefox for its privacy and security.

If you have a Safari browser on your Apple device, be sure to check our Safari vs Chrome guide to learn how your current browser compares to the faster option. While still at it, you can read our Opera vs Firefox comparison guide. We also have a guide on the best browser for Mac just in case you want a better experience on your Apple device.

Do you prefer Chrome or Firefox? Does Chrome rightly deserve the victory, or do its problems with privacy outweigh everything else it has to offer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading.

No, Chrome is significantly faster and more memory-efficient than Firefox.

Firefox is a more private and secure browser than Chrome, but Chrome is faster and contains more features.

Both browsers are safe, but Firefox’s tracking protection is more comprehensive than Chrome’s.

Yes. Firefox is developed by Mozilla, a nonprofit company that does not make its money from ads, so it’s less incentivized to collect user data. Chrome profits from collecting as much user data as possible for the creation of targeted ads.

Try to store the passwords for self signed certificated hosts in chrome – totally crap! For the servers maintenance only Firefox!

Use to like Firefox years ago, seem to have the right path to success. Then it became political and then Mozilla did a deal with google for search and that’s when they lost me on their claim for privacy. I mostly use Chrome on PC’s and Safari on my Mac. The rest either seem no more then Chrome clones or fill some niche market that does not advance their user base.

I’ve been primarily a Firefox user across the board, but have been forced to add Chrome (as some sites recommend only Chrome). I also use Edge as a supplemental browser to another site, which due to Firefox’s heightened privacy and security protections and Edge’s less by comparison, a site will work with Edge but won’t with Firefox.

I echo the preference of Firefox for privacy and security, but oh boy, Firefox does sap far too much memory and CPU resources (I verify by Windows’s Task Manager and Firefox’s Task Manager). It gets bloated easier and it has been crashing too frequently under the weight (even when I just rebooted Firefox). In that regard, it’s been annoying and tiresome with the crashes (could be partly due to my laptop’s limited RAM), so I have been slowly shifting over to Chrome for maybe videos. But I do not trust Chrome or Google with my privacy (more of a compromise).

And when it comes to certain tools, I like Firefox by far (maybe it’s bias but I think justified). For one, the screenshot is seamless with Firefox within even right click without an extension. Chrome requires some enabling of a flag, which still is clunky in executing of a screen grab. Meanwhile, Edge involves copying-and-pasting to another app such as Paint to save. A mess! (Yes PrtSc cuts through the chase but still needs saving to Paint.)

Minor point might be the display of the history, where Firefox provides far more details with the full listing of the URL (Chrome requires hovering over the site title). And Firefox tracks more thoroughly the trail of browsing. Chrome has large gaps and looks skeletal by comparison.

Edge is better in filtering history by specific dates but it’s harder to scroll (where Firefox I can use the arrow keys and it stays at the same point of the page should I switch to another tab, but Edge will bounce back to the top upon return to the history tab).

I am more accustomed to Firefox’s menu settings so I am biased in preferring its organization.

All in all, Firefox beats Edge and Chrome. I just wish Firefox wasn’t such a memory and CPU resource hog (and yes, I have tweaked Firefox as much as possible as possible outside of minimizing in about: configuration).

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Browser comparison: How the five leaders stack up in speed, ease of use and more

The best browser for your desktop could be one you’re not using. Whether Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, or Safari is your current choice, our tests found distinct differences in speed and ease of use. We also compared how each browser uses system resources, a near-invisible trait that could be discreetly bogging down your PC. For the online lifestyle, the right browser could save you time and frustration.

See how they run

Browsers largely look and act the same: They render HTML in multiple tabs or separate windows, let you bookmark pages, support HTTP and FTP file transfer, or offer private browsing (no data is stored). Deep inside each one, however, are operational differences that may or may not fulfill your needs.

Opera had a long-standing and well-deserved reputation for being fast, but not rendering all pages correctly. A switch from a proprietary HTML layout engine to free and widely-used WebKit (currently version 537 as with Chrome) has made that a thing of the past.

Internet Explorer has a history of being exploited by bad guys, both because of its immense popularity and its ActiveX technology. Give Microsoft credit: It’s doggedly improved the Trident layout engine, adopted standards, and improved security. IE is no longer something I advise users to avoid.

Firefox is a longtime worthy IE competitor, and Chrome’s a strong newcomer. As Safari was installed with iTunes for years, many Windows users have it, but have never tried it—possibly because Apple has never given it a truly Windows-like look.

I’ll be comparing browser performance and resource usage as well as features and ease of use.

Chrome 36 (WebKit 537): Stable and speedy

browser roundup sept 2014 chrome screen

Google’s Chrome browser has gained traction quickly against longstanding competitors like Internet Explorer.

A lot of people use Google’s Chrome browser, because lots of people use Google’s search engine. Chrome is fast and generally reliable. It was my go-to for a couple of years, partly because of a great text-to-speech add-on called SpeakIt! that I used to proofread articles. Recently, however, it revealed a propensity for playing the video and audio portion of some popup windows without actually showing the popup. This is an interaction with Adobe’s Flash player that also currently affects Firefox.

browser roundup sept 2014 chrome version

Chrome posted the fastest Browsermark score in our browser comparison tests.

There’s no denying that Chrome is fast: It scored 5773 on Browsermark, took 150.4ms to complete Sunspider, and scored 5627 on Peacekeeper. That’s two first places and a third. To achieve those results, however, it uses a lot of memory and separate processes: 775MB and 14 processes in my hands-on, nine tab test. And there was nothing special going on in any of the tabs.

browser roundup sept 2014 chrome processes

Chrome is one of the fastest browsers for rendering HTML, but it spawns a lot of processes to achieve that.

Additionally, relatively simple options such as changing your homepage are distinctly unintuitive. You might even get the feeling that Google doesn’t want you to change things. Another issue with Chrome, as well as Opera and IE, is that it spawns a number of processes, making it harder to shut down when things go bad.

Minor issues aside, Chrome is still a top browser option because of its stability and speed.

Firefox 31 (Gecko): Looking good, running fast

browser roundup sept 2014 firefox screen cropped

Mozilla Firefox just got an interface makeover and offers many useful add-ons. 

Firefox is the long-time competitor to IE that staved off a Microsoft browser monopoly for years until Chrome showed up to “help.” It’s fast and very reliable. Despite a longstanding memory leak that forced the occasional restart, it was the browser I recommended for many users to avoid the malware attacks that once plagued IE.

The memory leak in its Gecko rendering engine seems to be gone and Firefox has recently received an upgrade that was radical enough to rile a few longtime users. (There is a way to bring back the old-style menus.)

I prefer the new look and find it the most intuitive of all the browsers for bookmarking and changing options. Firefox also has a vast array of add-ons, including one of the best video downloaders out there, the aptly-named DownloadHelper.

browser roundup sept 2014 firefox version

Firefox was the slowest among the browsers we compared in Browsermark, though its score was still decent. 

In our performance texts, Firefox tucked neatly into third place overall: It scored 4540 in BrowserMark; took 134.4ms to complete Sunspider (better than Chrome or Opera); and scored 3956 in Peacekeeper.

The feel is slightly slower than Chrome or Opera, but not enough that it should irritate you. It uses fewer resources than Chrome or Opera, spawning only a single process, and using only 510MB of memory. Only the super-thrifty Safari used less memory.

Keep reading for details on Internet Explorer 11 and more …

Internet Explorer 11 (Trident)

browser roundup sept 2014 ie11 screen

Internet Explorer remains the most widely distributed browser, and the one most targeted by malware.

IE remains extremely popular and useful—if for nothing else that downloading your browser of choice with a fresh install of Windows. It’s decently fast with HTML, exceptionally fast with Javascript, and renders pages reliably.

Also, because of its ActiveX technology, IE is sometimes easier to use with business-related sites such as Webex and HTML IT consoles such as Kaseya. These sites can seamlessly integrate their functionality into IE. With other browsers you must sometimes download and install an extension or background app. Windows User Account Control can prolong that process, so in a pinch I often simply switch to IE.

browser roundup sept 2014 ie11 version

Internet Explorer 11 can be easier to use with business sites because of its ActiveX technology.

IE was unable to complete BrowserMark, a problem noted only after a recent update, but it did score 3670 on Peacekeeper. More notably, it took a mere 74.1ms to complete Sunspider, making it easily the fastest browser for running Javascript.

Sadly, it’s every bit the memory hog that Chrome and Opera are, using 714MB in my nine-tab test. On the other hand, it used “only” 7 processes, half that of the WebKit-based Chrome and Opera.

Opera 23 (WebKit 537)

browser roundup sept 2014 opera screen

Among the browsers we compared, Opera is worth a look for its easy configuration.

After a long, dark age of badly rendered pages, Opera’s now near-perfect in that regard. I say this even after uninstalling it just a few months ago due to its incompatibility with PCWorld’s own web tools. Updates have smoothed out those kinks, and it’s only a hair slower than Chrome.

Unlike Chrome and Firefox, Opera 23 doesn’t suffer invisible popups. It does use the same Webkit engine and run as multiple processes, and it’s more difficult to shut down. It also lacks a home button, instead relying solely on a launch page of oft-used sites (Speed Dial).

browser roundup sept 2014 opera version

In our browser comparison running Browsermark, Opera was nearly as fast as Chrome.

Speed Dial is great if you work off of multiple sites, but it adds another step for those who work from a single page. My minor complaint: There’s no native feature for emailing a link to a page. You must install an extension for this functionality.

For HTML rendering, Opera was only a hair slower than first-place Chrome, scoring 5625 on BrowserMark and 5447 in Peacekeeper. It was a hair faster with Javascript, completing the Sunspider test in 150.1ms. Overall, you’d be hard-pressed to notice the difference between the two WekKit 537-based browsers in a hands-on.

Despite the list of minor complaints, Opera is currently my main work browser because it’s nearly as fast as Chrome, but easier to configure.

Safari 5.1.17 (WebKit 534)

browser roundup sept 2014 safari screen

Among the browsers we compared, Safari is easy to use and runs with very low processing overhead. 

Though king on the Mac, Safari is probably the least popular of the top browsers under Windows—a bit sad as it’s competent, easy to use, and light on the memory profile. Apple apparently ceased supporting Windows as of version 5.1.17, but we tested it anyway because of its thrifty use of memory.

And ‘thrifty’ is understating the case. It spawns only a single process and in my nine-tab hands-on test, required only 115MB of memory to display it. What happened between the WebKit 534 that Safari uses, and WebKit 537, the current choice of Chrome and Opera is quite amazing. The latter offers way more speed but sucks up a lot of resources.

browser roundup sept 2014 safari version

Safari posted a slower score in Browsermark than most of the competition, but it’s still reasonably peppy. 

Safari could be very handy on older systems with only 512MB or 1GB of memory. It has all the standard features found in the others, so you’re not giving away anything.

Performance in BrowserMark and Peacekeeper was decent: 4831 and 3062, respectively. It lagged in the Sunspider Javascript test, with a score of 179.9ms.

browser roundup sept 2014 browsermark

In our browser comparison, the Browsermark test showed pretty close performance by all products (except IE, which Browsermark could not run).

Test Results

To gauge each browser’s rendering performance, we ran Rightware’s Browsermark and FutureMark’s Peacekeeper HTML5 tests, as well as the Sunspider Javascript benchmark.

If you want the fastest browser for rendering HTML—by far the majority of the actions that a browser performs—you have a choice between Chrome and Opera. They both spawn a lot of processes and memory to accomplish it. Of the two, I’d pick Opera for overall easier configuration.

browser roundup sept 2014 peacekeeper

In our browser roundup, Chrome 36 posted the fastest time on Peacekeeper, while Safari was almost twice as slow.

If Javascript is a priority, Internet Explorer is easily the fastest running it. IE uses a lot of memory as well, if about half the processes of Chrome and Opera.

A big shout-out to Safari which used by far the least amount of memory to present the same nine tabs. If you’re working on a computer with only 512MB or 1GB of system memory, its spend-thrift ways might come in handy.

However, if I had to pick just one to keep on my system, it would be Firefox. It’s fast enough, it has the slickest interface, it uses considerably less memory than Chrome, IE, and Opera, and it’s just generally the easiest to use.

browser roundup sept 2014 sunspider

 Internet Explorer emerged as the fastest browsers running the Sunspider Javascript test, with Safari limping in at more than twice as slow.

Performance and memory usage may be moot if your needs extend beyond the ordinary, in which case the browser you choose as your mainstay may come down to add-ons.

Fortunately, as all the browsers we tested are competent, free and export and import bookmarks, you can use any, or all of them. Yes, life is good in the browser world.

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Best web browsers

Jim Martin

What’s the most popular web browser?

  • Google Chrome
  • Apple Safari
  • Microsoft Edge

Following the launch of Windows 10 in 2015, Microsoft offered you a choice between its new Edge browser and the legacy Internet Explorer. However, since the launch of the new Chromium-based Edge in January 2020, the phasing out of Internet Explorer has gone up a notch. With Microsoft no longer supporting it from 17 August 2021 , we’d urge people to switch to one of the alternatives in this round-up before then.

Apple and Google also encourage you to use Safari and Chrome on their respective platforms, although like Windows there are plenty of other options available to download. 

There’s no limit on how many you can install at any one time, although it’s probably important to set one as your default browser . This will be the browser that links from messaging apps and emails will open. 

Struggling to choose? According to W3Counter’s Browser Share stats for January 2021, here are the most popular:

best web browser

Google Chrome, then, is by far the most used browser, accounting for more than half of all web traffic, followed by Safari in a distant second place. W3Counter combines Edge and Internet Explorer usage into one figure, although we’d highly recommend not using the latter any more. Firefox is just behind in fourth, while Opera’s 1.5% market share is lower than in recent years.

Google’s lead isn’t too surprising, but the fact it continues to dominate may have something to do with the changes introduced back in February 2018 that saw Google by default blocking ads that violate the Coalition for Better Ads standards. That means – without your input – full-page and countdown ads, as well as those that autoplay sound and video, are removed. This makes for a better overall user experience and speeds up page loading time.

Features like Dark Mode, direct integration with popular Google services and an excellent library of extensions, Chrome is unlikely to be usurped anytime soon. Fire

Microsoft has rebuilt its Edge browser using Chromium (the open source version of Google’s Chrome browser), making it twice as fast as the old Edge and allows you to use Chrome extensions. However, it’s hard to believe that any Chrome users will switch to it as there’s simply not enough of an incentive to do so.

In fact, the only real advantage – and this is really for businesses – is that the new Edge can load old websites in ‘IE mode’ which means they don’t have to run ancient versions of Internet Explorer.

According to the latest figures from StatCounter , these are the top six most popular browser versions currently in use. Internet Explorer is nowhere to be seen, although neither is any version of Edge:

Which is the best web browser?

You can’t always believe statistics, and not all surveys agree. NetMarketShare , for example, says Chrome has a 69% overall share and puts Edge in second place. 

Just because more people use a certain browser, that doesn’t make it the ‘best’. It’s just one measure, and there are others of course.

Previously we reviewed web browsers, benchmarking them for speed and rating them on features. The problem with that approach was that all of these browsers are updated constantly, meaning that those reviews quickly became outdated. And that’s why we’re not offering benchmark results here.

Google, Mozilla, Microsoft, Apple and others also add, change and remove features in those regular updates, so on the odd occasion, a feature which was a reason to use a particular browser would vanish overnight.

Even if a browser is better than its rivals because of performance, security or features, they’re all free and there’s no limit to how many you can install or run at the same time. So while many would agree when we say that Google Chrome is the ‘best’ web browser, there’s nothing stopping you from using five or six different browsers.

At Tech Advisor we all use multiple browsers on a daily basis. Those of us running Windows use Chrome, Firefox and Opera most of the time with Edge when necessary, while Mac users will use a blend of Safari, Chrome and Firefox.

And all of these browsers offer decent performance and compatibility. They all offer to save your passwords and aside from Internet Explorer (and to some extent Microsoft Edge) they will sync your data, favourites and tabs between multiple computers and devices so you can grab your phone and carry on reading where you left off on your laptop.

They all support extensions and add-ons so you can add specific features, shortcuts and widgets.

If a specific extension isn’t available on your favourite browser, simply check and see if it for another browser. Similarly, if a website isn’t displaying properly or working in one browser, try another. These are the most common reasons why we use more than one browser.

Here are our top tips on making Chrome more secure .

Arguably the best browser is one that runs on all your devices and shares bookmarks, logins, current tabs and other data so you can pick up where you left off on any device. Chrome does this, as does Safari (but this is only useful if you have Apple products of course).

Web browser features compared

Here’s a table which summarises the main features, as well as which platforms each browser supports. Chrome, Firefox and Opera are the most compatible. You might find older versions of Safari for Windows, but it’s no longer kept up to date by Apple, so we can’t recommend using it.

Are there any other good web browsers?

Yes! There are literally loads of alternatives which you’ve likely never heard of. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t install or try them out, though.

Here are several of the best alternative web browsers we recommend you check out:

Avast Secure Browser: Avast is well-known for its antivirus software, but it also has a web browser. This isn’t its first (the previous effort was called SafeZone) but it has been updated. Essentially it’s Chrome – it’s based on the open-source Chromium project – but with more security and privacy features, which are enabled by default.

There’s a built-in VPN, video downloader which will happily download YouTube videos at 720p, Bank Mode, password manager, malware protection and various other useful tools. If you already have Chrome installed, Avast’s browser will pull in your bookmarks and frequently visited sites automatically too. However, Avast wound down its Jumpshot sub-brand after it was caught selling harvested user data. 

Comodo IceDragon : Comodo claims to be a secure web browser, protecting you from dodgy websites, keeping your logins safe and more. It also has full compatibility with Firefox plugins.

Maxthon : It’s not enough just to be a web browser these days. Maxthon offers extras such as Maxnote for clipping things from the web, Passkeeper for logins and UUMail for virtual inboxes. 

Also, if you value privacy, try Firefox Focus on iOS and Android. It’s a barebones browser that keeps no records of searches or pages visited – ideal if you’re researching a surprise party or anything else you want to keep private. However, for the ultimate privacy, you should run a VPN app .

Best web browsers

Related: What is a 404 Error?

Author: Jim Martin , Executive Editor, Tech Advisor

firefox chrome or safari

Jim has been testing and reviewing products for over 20 years. His main beats include VPN services and antivirus. He also covers smart home tech, mesh Wi-Fi and electric bikes.

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Which browser is best? Comparing Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, and Tor

Which browser is the best? Kim Komando can explain the pros and cons of each.

Which browser is the best? Kim Komando can explain the pros and cons of each. (Getty Images)

Your browser can go a long way in keeping you safe. It’s also vital to stay informed on the latest hacks and scams so you know what to avoid. Tap or click to see fake delivery notices from FedEx, UPS and DLH that are spreading right now.

Creepy people search sites are another reason so much of your info is readily available on the web for anyone to find. Tap or click here to start deleting yourself from these scummy websites.

Now, what browser should you use to do it? I’ll help you find the best combination of security, convenience and design.

The popular choice: Google Chrome

Google Chrome continues to dominate the world of browsers. As of March, Chrome held a dominating 63.77% of market share, according to Statista . The next biggest browser, Safari, comes in at 18.38%.

Chrome is a safe, speedy browser compatible with nearly every website on the internet — and it delivers when it comes to security. Phishing protection is enabled by default and you’ll be informed automatically if a password saved in the browser is used elsewhere — part of a built-in feature called “Password Checkup.”

Chrome ranks high on the convenience factor, too. You can search Google right from the address bar and sign in to Chrome across your devices to get access to your tabs and search history.

Chrome also has extensions for just about anything — from document signing to coupon hunting.

So, what’s the catch? Chrome is a notorious resource hog, and it can drastically slow down your computer if you have too many tabs open. Tap or click here to see how much Chrome slows down your PC.

And the perks of having your Google account connected to your browser can quickly turn into a privacy nightmare. If you’re uncomfortable with your browser knowing your searching and spending behaviors, Chrome may not be the best choice for you.

Feeling curious? Tap or click here to see what else Google knows about you.

The choice for safety: Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla is greatly appreciated by fans and security researchers for its dedication to user privacy.

Firefox automatically blocks third-party cookies by default and has a feature that will automatically notify you if you visit a website that’s been hit by a data breach.

If you hate those ads that follow you around the internet, enable Firefox’s Private Browsing mode. It blocks website tracking, which limits the info advertisers have on you.

When it comes to speed, Firefox uses less CPU than Chrome on average and is capable of loading some websites faster. Firefox has its own library of extensions, too.

But not all users like Firefox’s design and interface, which isn’t as streamlined as Chrome. Still, if you’re looking for speed and safety, Firefox is one of the best options out there.

TECH SMARTS: Get my smart twice weekly newsletter for free. Tap or click here to try The Current, my new ad-free newsletter.

The default choices: Apple Safari and Microsoft Edge

I say “default” because these browsers come bundled with new computers. This saves you the trouble of having to download anything extra, and they’re ready to use right out of the box.

Neither one has glaring drawbacks, but they tend to lack some of the security features and extensions found in browsers like Firefox and Chrome. But performance-wise, both Edge and Safari trounce their competition.

Both are extremely lightweight on your system’s resources. While Chrome can account for more than 50% of CPU usage, Safari can run as low as 5 to 10%. Edge fares even better, running as low as 3 to 5% CPU usage.

How are they so efficient? Both are optimized to work with your computer just like any of the default software.

Honorable mention: Tor Browser

Tor Browser is one of the best anonymous web browsers out there. It’s so reliable, in fact, that people living under repressive governments have used it to break through censorship.

Case in point, you can install the browser on a flash drive and boot it up on any public computer for safe, private browsing.

Tor Browser runs on a modified version of the Firefox platform, so you’ll find many of the features that make Firefox great. It lacks Firefox’s archive of extensions and extras, though.

Tor delivers in terms of privacy. It works by routing your internet traffic through anonymous servers in different parts of the world, which makes it difficult for ad trackers, search engines and even governments to track who you are and what you’re doing.

On the flip side, this connection method can cause some web pages and file types to not load properly. This isn’t a consistent issue, and it depends on the particular servers your connection is routing through.

By default, this is a randomized process.

Still, if you’re looking for the safest, most private way to browse the net, Tor might be your go-to. Just don’t expect every website out there to play nice with your browser.

Dishonorable mention: Internet Explorer

Are you reading this article using Internet Explorer? If so, congratulations on your computer making it this far. The software is so old that Microsoft is no longer supporting it, which makes using IE an absolute minefield for malware.

If you’ve ever seen a cringe-worthy image of a web browser covered in “toolbars,” advertisements and pop-ups, it’s probably Internet Explorer.

Both Chrome and Firefox have versions you can download that will work on PCs running Windows 8 or older. If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and make the switch. You’ll be glad you did.

Which browser is the best overall?

Your decision should really come down to two factors: How much you use the internet and how much you value privacy.

Each of these browsers is solid in their own right, with differences in performance and design. Privacy options for each browser should not be ignored, though.

If you’re looking for the most well-rounded browser, Chrome is a solid choice. Make sure your system is powerful enough to handle its resource demands.

If you care more about safety and privacy, Firefox is your best bet. It also won’t slow your computer down or hog memory from other programs while you browse the web.

If you’re looking to stay anonymous on the internet, Tor gives you many of the benefits of Firefox with some additional layers of protection. But don’t expect every single website on the internet to work exactly the same as on other browsers.

Or stick with the default browsers if you’re not looking for all the extras and endless extensions. Apple’s Safari is still a solid choice on Macs and MacBooks. And the redesigned Edge browser on Windows PC’s is actually useful and pretty secure. Believe me, it’s not the Internet Explorer of the old days.

If you know what you’re looking for, deciding on a browser should be no trouble at all. Keeping yourself safe online, well, that’s another story altogether. Tap or click to see the best websites for scanning your computer for viruses.

BONUS TIP FOR EXTRA KNOW-HOW: How to detect if your iPhone has a virus

Adware and virus-infected malware are everywhere; taking over your computers, smartphones, tablets and just about anything else that can be connected to the internet.

It’s a problem so rampant these days, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re also hiding under your bed or in your closet.

If you’re an Apple user and think you’ve dodged a bullet, think again: Your iPhone is vulnerable to viruses, too. If your phone has been acting up, don’t miss this.

Tap or click now to find out if your smartphone is infected.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station . You can listen to or watch the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Copyright 2020, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

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Using a Good Modern Browser like Chrome and Firefox

Choosing the right web browser is crucial for a secure, fast, and enjoyable online experience. Modern browsers like Chrome and Firefox offer significant advantages over outdated or less versatile browsers like Internet Explorer, Edge, or Safari.

Key Benefits of Modern Browsers

Security: Chrome and Firefox are regularly updated to protect against the latest online threats, such as viruses and phishing attacks. Outdated browsers like Internet Explorer lack these updates, making them unsafe.

Speed and Performance: Modern websites use advanced technologies that require robust browsers. Chrome and Firefox are optimized to load pages quickly and run complex applications smoothly, reducing wait times and enhancing your browsing experience.

Compatibility: These browsers ensure full access to the latest web features and technologies, providing the best compatibility with modern websites.

User Experience: Chrome and Firefox offer clean, user-friendly interfaces with extensive customization options through extensions and add-ons. This allows users to tailor their browsing experience to their specific needs, whether for ad-blocking, password management, or enhanced privacy.

Why Avoid Edge, Internet Explorer, and Safari?

  • Internet Explorer: No longer supported by Microsoft, making it insecure and outdated. Will not support most Sitefinity CMS back-end functions.
  • Edge: Although better than Internet Explorer, it doesn't match the performance and extensibility of Chrome and Firefox. Will not support most Sitefinity CMS back-end functions.
  • Safari: Primarily for Apple devices, Safari can be less compatible with some web technologies and lacks the customization options found in Chrome and Firefox. Will not support most Sitefinity CMS back-end functions.

Why Choose Chrome?

  • Speed and Performance: Fast and efficient, with a vast library of extensions.
  • Security: Frequent updates to safeguard against new threats.
  • Integration: Seamless integration with Sitefinty CMS back-end functions.

Why Choose Firefox?

  • Privacy: Strong emphasis on user privacy and anti-tracking features.
  • Customization: Highly customizable with numerous extensions and themes.

In summary, using Chrome or Firefox ensures a secure, fast, and fully-featured browsing experience, making them the top choices for Sitefinity back-end functions over outdated or less versatile browsers.

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Browser battles: IE vs. Firefox vs. Chrome vs. Opera vs. Safari

We run-down the latest versions of all the main browsers in a head-to-head comparison to sort out where each browser scores well or offers something unique that makes them a must-use proposition. Should you make a switch?

firefox chrome or safari

Jump to section

  • Internet Explorer

A good browser does what you want, when you want it to. At a basic level, any browser you choose will do the basics — page display, secure websites for matters such as online commerce and banking — to a standardised level. So what marks out one browser from another?

We've taken a look at the latest and greatest from Microsoft, Apple, Opera, Google and Mozilla to sort out where each browser scores well or offers something unique that makes them a must-use proposition. Most users tend to use one browser and stick to it as a familiar kind of playground, but are they missing out on the best the web can offer as a result?

We're well past the point where you have to pay for a browser, and with the exception of Internet Explorer, everything we're looking at works across multiple computing platforms. These aren't benchmarks or reviews per se; we're just using the currently most up-to-date browsers to point out where it might be worth switching browsers.

The biggest players get to go first. So up first, we've got Internet Explorer 9.

firefox chrome or safari

Internet Explorer 9 Beta

Where to get it: http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive /

There was a time when Internet Explorer was the internet for most folks, with market share that was fast approaching 100 per cent. That time has passed, but IE still holds a commanding market share, and its status as default Windows browser makes it the standard choice for a lot of web users.

Still in beta at the time of writing, most of Internet Explorer 9 's big new features are under the hood and promise speed jumps over previous versions of Internet Explorer. To put it kindly, previous versions could often tend to be rather keen on using up as much memory as possible, but our sampling of IE9 suggests it's been slimmed down extensively. Likewise, the user interface finally drops the toolbar-heavy approach for a slimmed down interface that draws obvious comparisons with Google's Chrome. There's no shame in utilising a good idea, however, and that's what the slick Internet Explorer 9 interface does, right down to integrated search in the URL bar. Bing is not surprisingly the default, but you can easily add other search engines.

Speed is always a very relative thing to test, but in our use of Internet Explorer 9 , we couldn't call it sluggish the way one could so easily do with previous versions. HTML5 is natively supported, the underlying JavaScript engine has been rewritten, and there's support for hardware-accelerated text rendering, depending on the power of your underlying system. All of these things add up to a browser that, for Internet Explorer, is refreshingly fast and lean.

In terms of tweaked features, the two standouts are pinned tabs and the very nifty way that IE manages your add-ons. Pinned sites can be dragged down to the Windows Taskbar where they act like an individual program application instance. You can launch the sites of your choice automatically, and if the site developer enables it, right-click to launch site jump-lists. One-click site launching is very cool, and one of the first things we did with IE9 was add CNET.com.au to our Windows Taskbar. We'll wait while you do the same.

As for Add-On management, the very first time you start up IE9, it'll search out your add-ons and tell you how much time they add to the program start time, with the option to disable them individually or all at once. So if you enable an add-on and IE9 starts dragging its feet, it's easy to find the culprit and lop its head off in just a couple of clicks with no confusion.

And finally — and it's taken long enough, Microsoft — Internet Explorer has a download manager. Quite why we had to wait so long for such a basic feature will no doubt go down as one of history's great mysteries.

If you're still using Windows XP, however, there'll be no Internet Explorer 9 for you. The minimum requirements call for Vista SP2 or better. If you're stuck on XP for a specific reason, we'd suggest switching camps to Chrome or Firefox rather than sticking with an older and potentially less secure IE version, especially as its market penetration make it a favourite of hackers.

In terms of browsers, the current "Fords vs. Holdens" analogy would have to be Internet Explorer vs. Firefox. Over to all things Mozilla we head...

Firefox 4 Beta

Where to get it: www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/beta/

From looking at the beta version of Firefox 4 , it's clear that browser minimalism and top-loading tabs are the new black in browser design. Like IE9, Chrome and Safari, the newest version of Firefox eschews complicated toolbars in favour of a clean layout that emphasises the pages you're surfing to. On Windows (Vista and 7 only), the minimalist design means that all of Firefox's menus spring out from the inventively named (and arguably Opera-borrowed) "Firefox button" that sits at the top left of the user interface. Standard menu layouts can also be invoked with a tap of the Alt key. Our only complaint with the Firefox button is that it sits in a vertical plane by itself, taking up what feels like a lot of screen real estate. It's still early beta days, so hopefully that'll change for final release. Tabs have shifted by default from the bottom to the top, although you can tweak this back if you're not in favour of it.

If you're the type of web surfer who always has hundreds of tabs open, you'll appreciate Firefox 4's Switch To Tab feature. If you're entering in the URL bar ... sorry, "Awesome Bar" by official Firefox parlance, the details of something that matches an existing open tab, it'll offer you the option to switch straight to that tab. Not so useful for single tabs, but if you've got dozens shrunk down to the point where they can't be found, it's potentially quite handy.

firefox chrome or safari

On the technical side, Firefox 4 supports yet another new video standard, WebM. It's open source and seems reasonably slick, but whether it'll unseat Flash and H.264 in any significant way isn't yet clear.

Firefox 4 is still very much in beta, and with that in mind, there's a permanently affixed Feedback button on the top left of the browser screen. We'll give them extra points for naming the feedback options "FireFox Made Me Happy Because" and "Firefox Made Me Sad Because..." if only because it's a cute way to engage browser testers.

Firefox 4 is still a beta, and it showed intermittently in our testing, with a few crashes along the way. Other than that, however, it's a swift browser that performs well. Existing Firefox users should upgrade to it once it's gone final, and those wanting cross-platform compatibility and a good browser could well be tempted to switch camps.

Between them, Firefox and Internet Explorer eat up at least 80 per cent of the world's browser share. Moving over to Google next...

Google Chrome 8.0.552.224 Beta

Where to get it: www.google.com/landing/chrome/beta/

Is Google's Chrome ever not in beta? You can always play it safe and download the stable version, but for those who like to live a little on the wild side, Google's Chrome page has a permanent link to the latest beta version of the company's search-centric application. This makes picking the beta-specific updates rather tricky to actually spot, as so many features end up being organically adopted by the browser along the way. We tested with version 8.0.552.224, but there could well be a more fresh public beta by the time you read this. It gave us the choice on loading of importing existing settings and, to our surprise, choosing our preferred search engine. If ever there was a setting we'd figure Google would lock down by default, it's search.

firefox chrome or safari

The big new feature (from a web surfer's perspective) in the Chrome 8.0.552 branch is Google's Chrome Web Store, a one-stop shop for various applications — everything from games to productivity applications is on offer, although at the time of writing, it's technically US only. This can be worked around with a credit card and a Google Checkout account, but developers keen on getting money out of Google should note that there's no way for Aussie developers to get paid — yet. Chrome Apps aren't really applications in the standard Windows sense; they're more like a mix of add-ons/extensions mixed with web pages, as nothing ends up as a distinct application on your desktop in the way you might expect.

As a browser, Chrome continues to be good at its core competency points. The stripped down look that every other browser is "borrowing" for its 2011 look was pioneered on Chrome, and it still arguably does it best, with a single bar for all searches and URL entry. PDF viewing is built in, and in version 8 it's sandboxed, so if you do end up with an errant PDF that would otherwise crash the whole browser session, everything else is protected.

The Chrome Web Store, in its current incarnation, probably isn't enough to get anyone to particularly switch camps if they're married to their current browser, but Chrome's swift page rendering, even in beta form, just might be.

From Google, we head into Operatic territory...

Where to get it: www.opera.com/browser/next/

Opera's main web page poses the question "What is faster than the fastest?", which, if nothing else, proves that the Norwegian firm doesn't really understand how comparative terms actually work. We do get what they're aiming at, though, which is to claim that Opera's browser is, perhaps, quicker than other browsers you might consider. The speed jokes continue with the latest beta, with the Spinal Tap-inspired tag line "This one goes to Eleven".

Opera has grimly kept hold of an idea that once permeated the browser space, namely that your browser could be multiple applications at once. It's the only browser in our round-up that comes with an integrated email client. It's neatly enough laid out, but the utility of this (especially in an age of web-based email clients that work across any browser) is debatable.

firefox chrome or safari

Opera's claim is that the browser code itself has been optimised to be 30 per cent smaller than Opera 10.60, making it a swifter install. It was fast to install in our tests, and while we weren't sitting with a stopwatch, we couldn't honestly say it was significantly faster than other browser installs. Once it's installed, it's there permanently anyway.

The big new feature for web surfers that Opera touts in Opera 11 is Tab Stacking. Clearly, we're all opening too many tabs at once, and Opera's solution to this crisis is to allow you to stack them into logical groups, which can then be previewed by hovering over a group, or fanned out across the tab bar. Creating groups is as simple as dragging one tab on top of another, although we did find it frustrating that you can't drag tabs sideways to group them. You've got to fully detach them from the tab bar and slot them back up onto another tab to create groups.

Mouse gestures have been made easier to access with a full visual GUI for quick page flipping, zooming, minimisation and duplication, depending on the gestures you wish to use. Mouse gestures are one of those features that you either love or loathe, but they're easily switched off if you don't like them.

Opera 11's browser bar also shrinks down longer URLs and more clearly displays the security information of a given site. Given the prevalence of phishing attacks, this is clearly a good thing.

And moving out of the beta space completely, we go on a Safari...

Apple Safari 5

Where to get it: www.apple.com/safari/download

Apple's notorious for not giving anything away until it's ready to say something, which makes reviewing Safari betas available to the general public rather difficult, although the company did reverse that position for a little while with Safari 4. As such, in the interests of testing something you can use too, we're stuck just looking at the regular stable release of Safari, which at the time of writing was version 5.03.

firefox chrome or safari

Safari doesn't boast a huge range of world-altering web browsing features, instead opting to run with that rather well-worn Apple credo of "it just works". And, indeed, Safari does just work, with a simple and slick interface that handles basic web tasks competently, if not in a manner that's all that exciting. The default "Top Sites" panel of commonly visited sites is a little more slick-looking than Google Chrome's very similar-looking "Most Visited" panel, but they both basically just do the same thing.

On a Mac, Safari takes the pride of place that Internet Explorer enjoys on Windows, and as such it's the default browser of many Mac users simply because it's "just there". On Windows, however, the reasons to switch to Safari, compared to other, more feature rich browsers, are less obvious. If you're a Mac user who intermittently dips into the PC world we could see the sense in a common user interface, but otherwise switchers would do better with something like Chrome or Firefox for an alternate browsing experience. It's not that Safari's bad at what it does, but in the free browser space, the alternatives simply do a little bit more.

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The best Web browser: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, or Safari?

Find out which of the leading browsers is the perfect balance of features, speed, innovation, and flexibility for you.

Peter Wayner

Contributing writer, InfoWorld |

Not too long ago the job of a Web browser was simple: Get the text from the Internet and pour it into the window. If a tag like <strong> comes along, change the font. Now the challenges are greater because the browser is becoming the home for almost everything we do. Do you have documents to edit? There's a website for that. Did you miss a television show? There's a website for that. Do you want to announce your engagement? There's a website for that too. The Web browser handles all of that and more.

Choosing a best browser is an impossible job. On one hand, the programs are as close to commodities as there are in the computer industry. The core standards are pretty solid and the job of rendering the document is well understood. Most differences can be smoothed over when the Web designers use cross-platform libraries like jQuery. Many websites look the same in all of the major browsers, a testament to the hard work of the developers and their desire to get their information out to the largest audience.

[ Which Web browser is the most secure? Download InfoWorld's PDF report, "Web Browser Security Deep Dive: How to stay secure on the Internet." ]

On the other hand, there's a lot of competition, and some very smart people are working hard to produce very clever new innovations. Yes, some of the so-called innovations are trivial, but if you're going so spend all day with a piece of software, it makes sense to be picky. While you may not care if someone moves a button from the left to the right, other users do -- and the discussion forums are filled with debate.

It may be impossible to be rational about many of the cosmetic issues, like the placement of buttons or the location of the tabs. These are intensely personal decisions, and the look and feel can often be changed with add-ons. There's not much point debating these issues.

The technical details can also be a bit personal and political, but they have bigger implications for developers and consumers everywhere. You may or may not like Adobe Flash , but the support or lack of support is important for all of us. Careers of Flash developers and the fate of projects they build will rise and fall on these issues. And Flash is just the beginning -- all of the browsers are rolling out various combinations of new features, but developers can't begin to use them until there's a stable platform with wide enough adoption. The control of the living room screen is worth billions of dollars, and the success or failure of the browser's video delivery mechanism will determine who may or may not have control over that shimmering rectangle and the zombie eyes glued to it.

Choosing a Web browser is made even harder because solid numbers are often preludes to debate. Some people complain when their browsers suck up every spare byte of memory. Others want their browsers to respond immediately. In many cases there's a trade-off because the programmers gain speed by filling up the memory and precomputing and precompiling every part of the Web page. You can have small or you can have fast, but you can't have both. In my SunSpider JavaScript benchmark tests, Opera and Chrome were fastest. In my memory consumption tests, Firefox proved leanest. And in HTML5 compatibility tests, Safari led the way. For more detail, and caveats, see the sidebar, " Battle of the Web browsers: HTML5 and memory tests ." 

Often, the bloat isn't the fault of the browsers themselves, but the Web designers who lard up the site with endless AJAX calls and slick morphing features. Some users may blame the browser when they have 80-odd tabs opened to pages that are issuing AJAX calls left and right. The poor browser has to try to keep them all ready in case someone wants to see any of those tabs immediately.

Choosing among Chrome , Firefox , Internet Explorer , Opera , and Safari is not simple. All are perfectly good choices, but one may be slightly better for certain users than others. Sophisticated users, including developers, may want a browser that supports the latest standards, while casual users may want to avoid the cutting edge for simplicity and stability. Others may have a favorite plug-in they can't live without. Some users may want to choose based on the location of the buttons. The choices are close enough that this could be fair if you really care about your interface.

  • Internet Explorer

firefox chrome or safari

firefox chrome or safari

How to Group Tabs in Chrome, Edge, Safari, and Firefox

Quick links, how to group tabs in google chrome, how to group tabs in edge, how to group tabs in firefox, how to group tabs in safari.

  • Group tabs in Chrome by right-clicking any tab, selecting Add tab to new group , and naming/color-coding it for easy management.
  • Edge allows tab grouping by right-clicking a tab or using the Tab actions menu for suggested groups.
  • Firefox lacks built-in tab grouping, but the Simple Tab Groups add-on helps create, hide, and manage tab groups efficiently.
  • Safari keeps it simple with a dropdown menu, followed by creating a new group.

If you're a tab hoarder, tab groups are the best way to organize your browsing experience, so it's time to learn how to group tabs in the most popular browsers: Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox.

Grouping tabs in Google Chrome is quite easy. To do so, right-click on any tab you want to add to a tab group. Select Add tab to new group and then name and color code your tab group. This helps you manage tab groups when you have multiple groups open.

To add more tabs to an existing group, drag and drop them near the tab group. Alternatively, right-click the tab you want to add to the group, click on Add tab to group , hover your mouse over it, and select the tab group where you want to add it.

If you use the same set of tabs frequently (perhaps for work), you can save the tab group in Chrome by right-clicking the tab group name in the tab bar and turning Save group on. Essentially, it is a bookmark of different tabs that you can access with a single click, and the saved tab group appears on your bookmark bar.

Like Chrome, Edge also lets you group tabs by right-clicking any tab and selecting Add tab to new group . In the same way, you can drag and drop tabs (once you've created a group) to add or remove them from the group.

However, Edge also offers another simpler way to group tabs. Click on the Tab actions menu icon (in the top-left corner) and select Organize Tabs . Edge then shows suggested tab groups, giving each of them a suitable name. If you need to change the tab groups, you can drag them into/out of the group. Then, click Group tabs , and voilà, your tabs are organized.

If you can't see the Tab actions menu, go to edge://settings/appearance, scroll down to Customize Toolbar, and turn on the Show tab actions menu .

Unfortunately, Firefox does not have a built-in feature for grouping tabs, so you'll have to resort to add-ons to manage multiple tabs in Firefox . Though there are several add-ons you can try, Simple Tab Groups is quite a popular and handy one.

Download: Simple Tab Groups for Firefox (Free)

Once you've downloaded the add-on, right-click any tab, select Move tab to the group , and then Create new group . Name the tab group and move all related tabs to the group.

Simple Tab Groups hides the grouped tabs from your window to declutter the screen. To access tab groups, click the extension icon and select Simple Tab Groups . From here, you can create new tab groups or click any existing tab group to open it. Right-clicking the group name shows more options, like discarding, exporting, or opening tabs in a new window.

You can also create a new group by clicking the extension icon , selecting Simple Tab Groups , and choosing Create new group .

Pin the extension to the toolbar to open tab groups quickly.

To create a tab group in Safari , follow these steps.

  • Click the down icon (next to the sidebar icon) and select New Empty Tab Group if you don't want to add any tab to the group for now.
  • If you already have tabs open, you can select New Tab Group with X Tabs to add all the open tabs to the newly-created group.
  • Once you've created a tab group, Safari lets you rename it to your liking.
  • You can also access the option to create a tab group by clicking on File .

Once you've organized all the tabs into groups, click the down arrow (beside the sidebar icon) to see all the different tab groups and select the one you want to open.

How to Group Tabs in Chrome, Edge, Safari, and Firefox

Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, or Safari: Which Browser Is Best for 2024?

Don't take your browser for granted we help you narrow your options by comparing the best web browsers on speed, privacy, and other important features..

Michael Muchmore

Most people browse the web using Google Chrome without really thinking about their options. Gmail or YouTube or some other site once suggested they use Chrome, and perhaps they never questioned it. The truth is you do have options when it comes to your web browser, and you may find another that serves your needs better. Browsers offer varying levels of privacy, security , performance, and power efficiency. They differ even more when it comes to unique and helpful features beyond merely displaying websites.

Here we examine the top five browsers in the US, in order of popularity. That criterion rules out  Brave  and  Vivaldi , with usage rates hovering near or below 1%, even though they are both first-class browsers. If you're interested in those two, check out our article on the  best alternative web browsers . Or, if your utmost concern is security, see what makes the best private browsers different.

Below are short reviews of the top five browsers. After that, keep reading for more information about the browser landscape, additional details about our testing, and advice on what you should take into consideration when choosing a web browser.

Google Chrome

firefox chrome or safari

Google Chrome Web Browser

Most people need no introduction to the search behemoth's browser, Google Chrome. It’s attractively designed and quick at loading pages. Most website codes now target Chrome, so compatibility is seldom an issue. Chrome is available for all major platforms, and the mobile version offers syncing of bookmarks, passwords, and settings.

Chrome doesn't have many unique browsing features, however, and it's the only browser included here that you won't find in the desktop app stores for macOS and Windows. There’s no built-in VPN, no cryptocurrency locker, no note feature, and no screenshot tool. Google has announced a feeble gesture towards adding a reading mode; feeble because it will only be in a sidebar, with the full, noisy distracting page still displaying in the main central browser window. The lack of a true reading mode makes sense for a company that earns its keep through web ads since reading modes hide them. All the other browsers here have full-page reading modes.

Chrome allows multiple user profiles, meaning different users of the same computer can have their own browser settings, history, and favorites. The browser also finally caught up with others by adding a Share icon to the address bar that eases sending sites via social media or email.

A few years ago, Google controversially announced it would be removing the API function that allowed ad-blocker software to fully block ads. As of now, it seems ad blockers may be limited starting at some point in 2024. Some Chrome development, though, has centered around security and privacy, notably among them a plan to kill off tracking cookies in favor of Google's tracking mechanisms. The company's Privacy Sandbox initiative (in development) tries to cater to both  ad targeting and user privacy . Some worry both of these developments will only result in more consolidation of the company's grip on web advertising and user profiling.

Apple Safari

firefox chrome or safari

Apple Safari 5

The default Mac and iOS browser is a strong choice, though its interface has some nonstandard elements. Safari was a forerunner in several areas of browser features. For example, it was the first with a Reading mode, which cleared unnecessary clutter like ads and videos from web articles you want to read. That feature debuted in 2010 and has made its way into all other browsers except for Chrome.

Apple has brought up the topic of fingerprinting protection—preventing web trackers from identifying you by your system specs. Unfortunately, the EFF's Cover Your Tracks test site only shows partial protection from trackers in Safari, while several competitors get a result of Strong protection. Other benefits include Apple Pay support and a "Sign in with Apple" feature to replace Facebook and Google as web account authorizers.

In macOS Monterey, the browser gained a compact tab bar with floating tabs like Firefox's and Tab Groups that live in a convenient sidebar, and with Ventura , they become shareable and pinnable. Safari also supports Apple's proprietary Shared with You feature in its proprietary iMessage system. For iCloud+ subscribers, a Private Relay obscures your IP address, similar to a VPN.

If you use an iPhone and a Mac, Safari integration makes a lot of sense, since Apple’s Handoff feature lets you continue your browsing session between devices. Safari trails other browsers on support for emerging HTML features, but we haven’t run into or heard of any major site incompatibilities with it.

Microsoft Edge

firefox chrome or safari

Microsoft Edge Web Browser

The latest version of Microsoft Edge uses Chrome’s webpage-rendering code, Chromium, guaranteeing site compatibility and freeing up its developers to add unique features. You won’t run into the site incompatibilities users of the previous incarnation of Edge occasionally encountered, and the browser performs snappily. Edge now runs on Apple macOS and Windows 11 and earlier. Mobile versions for Android and iPhone let you sync history, favorites, and passwords.

Edge is a leader in performance, thrifty memory management, and disk usage. Startup Boost technology reduces the time it takes to open the browser, and sleeping tabs save memory on tabs you're not viewing. Edge's Efficiency mode can extend laptop battery life. The initial focuses for the browser were privacy, the customizable start page, and the intriguing Collections feature for web research. For enterprise customers who still rely on Internet Explorer to run legacy programs, Edge offers an IE Mode .

The Collections feature uses a sidebar onto which you can drag webpages and images, write notes, and then share the whole assemblage to Excel, OneNote, or Word. It's a great organization and planning tool . Edge's Immersive Reader mode not only offers distraction-free web reading, stripping out ads and nonessential eye candy, but it can also read webpage text aloud using lifelike Neural Voices. It's worth trying because it reads with sentence intonation, rather than simply word by word, as we’ve come to expect text-to-speech audio.

Other notable Edge options include built-in web sharing, tabs down the side rather than across the top, a built-in screenshot tool, automatic coupons for shopping sites, and timely themes to dress up your browser. Recent additions include a side panel that integrates the new Bing AI chat search , game controller haptic feedback, and a multitasking side toolbar that lets you access first- and third-party services for social networking, search, messaging, search, and productivity.

Mozilla Firefox

firefox chrome or safari

Firefox Web Browser

Firefox, an open-source project from the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, has long been a PCMag favorite. The browser has pioneered many web capabilities and the organization that develops it has been a strong advocate for online privacy. It’s also notable for its wealth of available extensions. The unique Multi-Account Containers extension lets you sequester multiple logins to the same site on different tabs. Without it, you'd have to open a private browsing window or another browser to sign out of all your web accounts and start a fresh session.

Mozilla’s browser is in the vanguard of supporting new HTML and CSS capabilities, and the company is working on open-source AR and speech synthesis standards. The organization now offers a full password management service called Lockwise, which can generate complex passwords, sync them between devices, and secure everything under a strong master password. That and the organization's VPN offering are paid extras.

The mobile Firefox apps offer excellent interfaces, and you can send a webpage tab from any device to any others that are logged into your syncing account. That’s right: You can be reading a webpage on your desktop PC, and have it instantly open on your iPhone or vice versa. It's a slick and useful feature.

If that’s not enough, Firefox has a Pocket button in the address bar, letting you save a page for later viewing anywhere with one click. The Reader View button declutters a webpage loaded with ads, promos, and videos, so you can peruse it with no distractions. PiP video supports closed captions and HDR and AV1 video formats. The browser is ultra customizable, letting you select and arrange buttons on the toolbar to taste, as well as select from a large number of Theme add-ons that change window border patterns and colors.

Recent additions include PDF editing and the Firefox View feature, basically a pinned tab of recent sites that syncs between the desktop and mobile versions of the browser.

firefox chrome or safari

Opera Web Browser

Perennially hovering around the 2% usage level, the Opera browser has long been a pioneer in the segment, inventing basic browser innovations like tabs, CSS, and the built-in search box. Opera can make a bigger privacy claim than the other browsers here—if you’re a believer in VPNs. It includes a built-in VPN (actually an encrypted proxy server) that protects and reroutes traffic from Opera to cloak your IP address. Opera uses the Chromium page-rendering engine, so you'll rarely run into site incompatibilities, and performance is fast. It's available for all major platforms, and the Opera Touch mobile browser is a beautifully designed app that connects (via quick QR scan) to your desktop.

Beyond the VPN, another unique feature in Opera is its built-in ad blocker, which also blocks crypto-mining scripts and trackers. Ad blocking also means less data consumed, especially of interest to those using metered connections or mobile plans with data caps.

More unique features in Opera include its Speed Dial start and New Tab page, as well as its quick-access sidebar of frequently needed services like WhatsApp or Spotify. My Flow lets you send webpages and notes between devices easily. The browser also includes a video pop-out window, a Pinboard feature similar to Edge's Collections, and a Workspaces feature that lets you create function-based tab views. Opera uniquely offers a cryptocurrency wallet as an option, which supports most popular tokens.

Opera offers a gaming version called Opera GX , and the company recently bought a gaming engine , moving into that specialty even further. The company also offers a futuristic secure Crypto Browser for navigating Web3 . And like Edge, Opera is adding AI ChatGPT capabilities to the browser , starting with a summarizer tool for text you highlight or even full sites.

More Inside PCMag.com

  • Stop Trackers Dead: The Best Private Browsers for 2024
  • Go Beyond Google: The Best Alternative Search Engines
  • Has Chrome Lost Its Shine? These Are the Best Alternative Web Browsers

About Michael Muchmore

PC hardware is nice, but it’s not much use without innovative software. I’ve been reviewing software for PCMag since 2008, and I still get a kick out of seeing what's new in video and photo editing software, and how operating systems change over time. I was privileged to byline the cover story of the last print issue of PC Magazine , the Windows 7 review, and I’ve witnessed every Microsoft win and misstep up to the latest Windows 11.

More From Michael Muchmore

  • The Best Online Photo Storage Services for 2024
  • Datacolor Spyder X2 Ultra
  • Microsoft Windows 11
  • 10 Major Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 11 Now
  • uCoz uKit Website Builder

firefox chrome or safari

Firefox is no longer supported on Windows 8.1 and below.

Please download Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release) to use Firefox.

Download Firefox ESR 64-bit

Download Firefox ESR 32-bit

Firefox is no longer supported on macOS 10.14 and below.

Firefox vs Apple Safari

Safari and Firefox both have good privacy and security features.

But Firefox also has built-in tools such as:

  • Edit PDFs on the go within your Firefox browser window - no extra software needed.
  • Translate a web page locally and privately.

Firefox offers a wide range of customization options, including the ability to move menus and toolbars to different locations on the browser window. Safari’s interface is less customizable.

Since we don’t have to make shareholders happy, we can focus on making you happy and always put your privacy and convenience first.

It’s easy to switch

Switching to Firefox is easy and fast - import your Safari bookmarks, your passwords, history and preferences with one click and immediately be ready to use Firefox. Here’s how to import your Safari data .

firefox chrome or safari

Do more with Firefox

Get the fast, lightweight, privacy-focused browser that’s backed by a non-profit and works across all your devices.


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