By: Nathan Brown, Managed Services Lead/Advanced IT Technician
Web browsers are the gateway to the internet. You are likely familiar with the most popular browsers, but you may not know their differences. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of some of the more well-known web browsers.
- Probably the most popular browser on the market, Google Chrome has thousands of extensions, which are small software programs that add new features to your browser and personalize your experience. One such extension allows Chrome to automatically translate pages that are not in the native language specified by the browser.
- Another advantage of Chrome is its ability to load Web pages faster than other browsers.
- Chrome’s tabs allow you to work on several tasks at the same time.
- Chrome is compatible on all major operating systems and devices. It also synchronizes easily across multiple devices and platforms.
- The primary drawback of Chrome is that it is very RAM intensive. To give the user the benefit of more tabs and extensions, Chrome uses more memory.
- Over the years Mozilla Firefox has made several upgrades and is one of the faster browsers out there with an easy-to-use interface.
- Firefox is compatible with Windows and Mac OS, as well as Android and iOS devices.
- Allows users to get pretty specific when managing privacy and security settings.
- It is more privacy-centric than Chrome, but not quite as expansive.
- The landing page can contain a lot of recommended links and ads, which users may not appreciate.
- Perhaps the biggest – and only – pro for IE is that many people are familiar with it, as it hasn’t changed much over the years.
- IE is not getting any more major upgrades because it has been replaced by Microsoft Edge.
- It is SLOW.
- Bottom line: don’t use IE unless you absolutely have to.
- Safari works very well with Apple devices as the native browser built into MacOS and iOS.
- It does not record any user data and thus, is very good at protecting the end user’s information.
- Safari works across all Apple devices seamlessly.
- There is no Windows or Android support.
- Safari offers very few add-ons.
- With very few updates, Safari is not as secure as other major browsers.
- Microsoft Edge is built on Chromium, which is essentially an open source version of Google Chrome.
- This is the default Windows 10 browser and is very well-integrated with the operating system.
- Edge is much faster than its predecessor and may consume less memory than Chrome.
- Edge lacks available extensions because it is essentially in its infancy.
- It is not backwards compatible with older versions of Windows.
Which browser is best?
In my opinion, there is not really a clear winner for “best” browser when it comes to business or personal use. Personally, I swap between Chrome as my primary browser, and Edge as a secondary browser on my computers. When it comes to my iPhone, I actually prefer Firefox. When it comes to what’s “best”, I say it’s a personal preference based on how easy the user finds a browser to use and navigate.
Try out all browsers compatible with your operating system and see which one you prefer. My only caveat to that advice is to steer clear of Internet Explorer because it is effectively retired by Microsoft. And did I mention how much SLOWER it is compared to other browsers?
While I can’t tell you exactly which browser you should use, I will tell you that no matter the browser, be sure to install an ad blocker. This will minimize your risk of exposure to malicious pop-ups. It’s not full-proof, but it will make your life and your friendly IT people’s lives better.
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