Web browsers are arguably the most frequently used pieces of software ever to exist on a device. They are the windows through which the infinite abyss of information on the internet is accessed. Without them, the internet would just be a pile of information in a jumble that no one can make any sense of.
The rising demand for a better browsing experience has resulted in only a few browser options available for everyone to use. Every new device comes preloaded with a web browser. But as per your preference, you can download as many browsers as you’d like and any web browser of your choice can be set as your default browser.
Every browser is continuously updating and adding features to stay on top of their competitors and growing its user base. The outcome of this is a vast variety of the best web browsers that are always on their toes to give the best possible internet browsing experience to you.
In this article, let’s take a thorough look at some of the best web browsers available on every platform and help you decide the best browser for you.
THE 10 BEST INTERNET BROWSERS
Web browsers in this list are ranked in confirmation to rigorous tests conducted on them using tools like Google Octane, GUImark3 and Microsoft FishIE Tank. However, since the browsers are continually being updated, the results from any tests are bound to get outdated in a matter of a few days.
You can’t always believe statistics, and not all surveys agree. Hence, the best way to rank the finest browsers is by doing an inclusive study that combines both browser tests and also their respective user base share.
Only the best internet browsers will enjoy the highest user numbers, so the browser user numbers should give us a fair indication of their quality. Let’s take a look at the ten internet browsers of 2019.
Google’s own web browser project, takes up the first spot in our top ten list. Google Chrome is a heavyweight when it comes to its vast features and usability. Chrome is by far the most used internet browser, accounting for more than half of the total traffic on the internet.
Google Chrome is available on all major platforms like Windows, Android and iOS. Google Chrome comes as the default browser for most Android devices. Additionally, Chrome gives the advantage of syncing your account across multiple devices.
Using Chrome lets you switch from one device to another seamlessly, synchronizing your Gmail, search history and preferences, and documents in Google Docs and Google Sheets across all your devices.
During our in-house tests, we noticed Chrome didn’t identify as many phishing schemes as Firefox. But it did stop malicious files, including ransomware and Trojans from infecting the computer.
Chrome is a Google browser and therefore it is an incredibly stable and efficient browser that takes a minimum screen space. Chrome also features an unbelievable list of extensions from its own app store that can be downloaded and integrated with the browser for added functionality.
Mozilla Firefox is an excellent choice for those who want more privacy than what a Google browser can provide. Firefox is an open-source browser, and it also has the sync feature, which synchronizes your browser activities across multiple devices.
The area where Firefox really stands out is in the private browsing area. On top of providing an incognito mode that lets you browse without logging your activities in search history, Firefox also incorporates an Ad and Tracking blocker natively in its incognito mode.
Since its last update, Firefox has become a frugal user of your system’s resources. The hard disk space that the browser takes up along with the RAM consumption is reduced to a bare minimum. The result is an uber light browser that performs very fast even on low-end systems.
Mozilla has made a nice and clean interface for Firefox, making it easy to find tools and features. Firefox also gets a high rating for security based on tests we performed on the browser. Firefox even has a new version specially designed for browsing the web in virtual reality.
Before Chrome entered the scene a few years ago, Opera was a popular choice for power users. Opera, we feel, is the most underrated browsers around, and it’s only sad that a small percentage of internet users are currently using this browser.
Opera launches fast, works brilliantly on slow network connections, has a great UI and does everything that its competitors are doing rather brilliantly. It also has an integrated ad blocker and a battery saving mode to help your laptop battery last longer.
Opera presents a really unique feature called Opera Turbo which compresses your web traffic and reroutes it through Opera servers. The result is a humongous difference in the website load times especially if you have a slow internet connection.
Opera recently introduced its own social sidebar, which lets you access social media platforms with just one click in the browser.
Safari is a web browser developed by Apple, designed exclusively for its Mac platform. Safari is the default browser for iPhone, iPad and Mac systems. It syncs all device browser activities through the iCloud account, which allows switching between devices at a moments notice.
Safari has a tool that pushes ads and other distractions to the side so that you can read an article or view an image without irritating interruptions. It is also one of the few browsers that accommodate live support.
It has the best RSS reading feature and ftool to import bookmarks from any browser. The lack of customization tools in the browser is the only major drawback of the Safari browser.
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Edge is the newest browser developed by Microsoft offering full integration with Windows 10.
The days remaining for Edge in its current form are numbered. Microsoft has announced that Edge will soon become a chromium-based browser in the near future.
Microsoft Edge is the default browser on all devices running on Windows 10, but it is unavailable for systems on older versions of Windows. Integration with Windows 10’s core gimmicks seems to be the best feature on Edge.
Edge is a pretty fast browser and embraces decent performance levels. It supports Windows 10 tablet mode and works with Cortana, and it also supports the cast feature just like Chrome.
There is also a ‘Continue On PC’ option that allows you to push web pages from your smartphone to your PC browser. Other unique features of Edge – read and annotate ebooks and PDFs, easily pin websites to the taskbar, edit URLs in your favourites list, browse in full screen, see and manage website permissions, and ‘read aloud’ web content.
Avant is similar to the older versions of Internet Explorer. Avant can work as an add-on on top of internet explorer as well as a standalone browser. The reason for this being, Avant is based on the same primary source code as Internet Explorer.
When Avant is used along with Internet Explorer, it gives users access to updated tools and functions which are not supported by Microsoft anymore. Avant has reasonably good security, offering protection against malware and phishing.
Avant has exclusive features like an auto-update for the browser and sessions are restored automatically every time the browser is reopened.
Vivaldi is one of the newest web browser entrants available for use. Vivaldi is based on Google’s open-source Chromium project and hence can support most of Chrome’s extensions.
The former CEO of Opera founded Vivaldi after leaving Opera. The layout engine of Opera was changed back in 2015, which did not correspond to Opera’s previous identity with its user base. So, Vivaldi was started with the mission of aligning itself with the original objectives of Opera.
The main strong point for Vivaldi is its impressive customization features. The whole structure and style of the browser interface are entirely up to the individual preferences of users.
Vivaldi can easily be recommended for anyone who spends a lot of time on browsers, as the customization range allows users to tweak the browser for a much more pleasant and personal experience.
The Tor browser is infamous for its association with the deep web. Contrary to popular opinion, the Tor browser is one of the most secure browsers on the planet. The field where the browser really excels is in providing users with the most private browsing experience. The Tor browser features a ton of tools aimed at improving your online privacy.
The most exciting tool is that of bouncing traffic through nodes all around the world, which makes tracking your ISP impossible. Furthermore, your cookies can be blocked from being tracked, and you can even change your ISP.
Tor browser is actually a heavily modified version of the Firefox Extended Support release, and so it needs a Firefox browser already installed on your system. The homepage of the Tor browser provides useful tips to secure your online privacy better and avoid being tracked.
With these fantastic arrays of features, Tor browser is the best privacy browser you can get your hands on.
Seamonkey is a bare to the bones open source browser. The user community can share ideas and code for some modifications or features they want to add to the browser. Even if you are not one familiar with coding, you can still take part in the discussions with other community members and share your ideas.
Since the browser is managed by a user community, anyone can add features and sometimes, these features can be buggy. So, be careful with the versions you download.
Still, the community works together to solve any bugs and glitches so any problems you face might be temporary. Seamonkey currently features a password manager, session restore and customizable tools.
Maxthon is yet another internet browser that looks and feels old school and somewhat familiar to the older Internet Explorer browser. It is the perfect browser for you if you are a fan of the old IE, but your system runs on Windows 10 operating system.
One of the best features in Maxthon is its drag and drop functionality. With this feature, you can drag any content like text or image from a website and drop it into your blog, email or instant message and share it.
This eliminates the age-old cut, copy and paste activity which has not been updated in decades. Maxthon also includes parental controls to block specific content on a website based on security levels and site ratings automatically.
Next up, let’s go back to the age-old question of which among the two most popular browsers in the world, Chrome and Firefox, is the best.
GOOGLE CHROME VS MOZILLA FIREFOX
Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have been the two mammoths dominating the web browser industry for the best of the latter part of the last decade. Let’s take a look at what makes these browsers so successful and how they compare with one another.
SYSTEM RESOURCE USAGE
Chrome has always been accused of eating up system resources like RAM, disk space and processor time by its competitors and also by its users. If you are having both browsers, you can check for yourself by opening some tabs on both browsers.
Once opened, check the system resource usage from the windows task manager. This should give clear real-time information about the resource consumption for each of the browsers.
The number of tabs, extensions and add-ons on top of the browser seems to consume much more resources than when the browser is in the default condition. Predictably enough, Google Chrome does take up more system resources than Firefox, but the margins were smaller than anticipated.
Both browsers feature a similar minimalistic design. The Chrome browser has a more rounded interface with the Omnibar taking up the majority of the top part of the browser. Firefox has a design which is more sharp and angular compared to Chrome.
But with the new Firefox Quantum, they have adopted a slick, lean and mean design for the whole browser. Surprisingly, Firefox adds a lot of customization options on the browser, without ever having the need to download separate add-ons or extensions.
The customization options are also extensive, allowing you to move, arrange, add or remove every feature on the interface of Firefox. Overall, the large buttons, easy customization and transparent settings make Firefox the more user-friendly option when compared to Chrome.
WEBSITE LOADING TIME
Mozilla claims to have the edge in faster page loading times for its Firefox browser. However, on testing both browsers side by side by opening the same websites on the same laptop, the difference in speed appeared to be negligible.
Some web pages were found to load faster on Chrome, and some first on the Firefox browser. The newer Firefox Quantum is even faster than the previous version according to Mozilla.
Putting this claim to the blade, we tested the Chrome browser with Firefox. The pages loaded slightly faster than on Chrome. The images loaded almost instantaneously on Firefox while Chrome took a few more milliseconds. With these test results, Mozilla Firefox once again proves its claim as the fastest browser.
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Both the browsers are supported on mobile and completely sync with their counterparts on other devices. However, with Chrome, Gmail accounts and all other Google services are synced along with Chrome.
Moreover, Chrome is the default browser on Android, which is reasonably anticipated, with Android being a product of Google. Chrome was found to be the smoothest and fastest browser on mobile while Firefox lags around and crashes often. This makes Chrome the clear winner in this round.
Based on these tests, we found that Chrome and Firefox were much closer than it was anticipated. It is difficult to declare an out and out winner, but we came to the conclusion that Google Chrome deserved to be named the best browser, considering its overall performance across all categories.
Even though browsers were originally developed for PCs and laptops, the major share of users now access the internet through smartphones. Here’s a list of the best mobile phone browsers that we found, now that we have covered PC browsers.
BEST MOBILE INTERNET BROWSERS
Mobile internet access has taken the world by storm. No one in their right mind would have thought a decade ago that the significant portion of internet users around the world would be accessing the internet through their mobile devices.
Yet, here we are, with mobile dominating internet usage, overtaking desktops by a long way. With mobile internet exploding, the need for proper mobile browsers also flared up. Here’s a list of the best mobile internet browsers, so that you can connect to the internet on the go.
Google Chrome is hand down the winner when it comes to mobile internet browsers. The syncing feature with Gmail accounts and all Google services with the Chrome browser across every device is something that no competitor can dream of at present.
Chrome performs exceptionally well with slow browser connections due to the ‘googleweblight’ feature. The features provided by Chrome have a lot of thought behind them. They were designed with the idea of being minimalistic while also taking into account the user experience too.
Although Chrome uses a large share of battery and RAM, it is still one of the most secure and most stable browsers for mobile.
Brave browser is among the newest entrants in the mobile browser sector. It boasts of its robust privacy features including a default ad-blocking feature. Brave is probably the fastest browser running on mobile devices due to its privacy features that block cookies and all kinds of advertisements. Since ads also take up bandwidth, blocking ads and cookies results in faster loading of webpages.
To avoid browser fingerprinting, which is a way of collecting user information without using cookies, Brave uses an innovative feature called BAT. Basic Attention Tracking or BAT is a cryptocurrency which Brave uses to compensate content creators since advertising is not supported in Brave. The time spent by users on websites are tracked, and the content creators are rewarded with a corresponding BAT amount.
Apus is another speedy browser in this list that specialises in faster browsing in slower connections. The browser itself is tiny in size and hardly takes up any precious space on your device. The Apus browser was designed to perform very well on low-end devices, so it gives a faster performance while using less memory.
Apus does not support a vast array of features unlike some other heavyweights but does incorporate some exclusive features. It has a popup feature that lets you copy text from any website and find results for it on the search engine.
There is no limit to the number of browsers you can install and run on your device at the same time, and they are all free. So, even if the stats tell a different story or a particular browser beats its competitors in speed, security or features, you can always try as many of browsers as you want and then decide for yourself.
Browsers are all updated, and the difference in performance is minimal when it comes to real-world usage. More browsers are beginning to support across diverse platforms also, allowing ease of usage and a high degree of compatibility.
Your highest priority may be a fast browser, but you may not need as much customisation features so you can choose a browser that contributes towards those goals. Hence, ultimately the final choice of browser is down to individual user choice.
Feel like there’s a browser we are missing on? The comments section is all yours; write to us.
- What is Browser Synchronising?
Browser Syncing or Synchronising is a feature that browsers working across different platforms or devices utilize. It lends browsers the capability to seamlessly transfer preferences, bookmarks and other user settings across all devices. This allows the user to transfer from one device to another and continue on the same website automatically.
- What is the difference between open source and closed source browsers?
Closed Source browsers are built on platforms that are proprietary properties of a company. They own the copyrights, patents and they are privately owned by the company. Google Chrome and Safari are some of the browsers that are based on a closed source.
Open source browsers, on the other hand, have their source code accessible to everyone publicly. They can be accessed and reused by anyone, and this resulted in an ample supply of customizations and unique features that are developed by random users.
It also allows the developer to understand the features that are most desired by users. Some of the most popular closed source browsers are Chromium and Mozilla Firefox. There are also a lot of browsers like Brave and Vivaldi that are based on the Chromium open source platform.
- How to install a new web browser?
All devices, new or old, on a computer or smartphone will at least have one default web browser preinstalled. For Windows systems, it is the Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer, and for Android, it is Google Chrome.
If you are not satisfied with the default browser or would like to try something different, you can then download any browser you want for free. The procedure starts with searching for the browser you are considering to use on your default browser, downloading the latest installation file for the browser and installing it on your device.
There is no limit to the number of browsers you can have on your device, and so you can use multiple different browsers simultaneously. Make sure to download from a legitimate source and use proper antivirus software with any browser that you choose to use.