By PowerBuy // 5 June 2015 // Related Categories: Tips

Your internet browser is the transportation device that allows you to navigate the internet for work and play. And, just as when you’re buying a new car, it’s important to get the right combination of speed, security and versatility. That’s why we’ve summarised the pros and cons of the five major browsers, so you can make the choice that’s best for you.

Firefox

According to research performed in February 2015[1], Firefox is the world’s third-most popular browser, with more than half a billion users[2]. Firefox is free and open-source, which means that its source code can be accessed and improved by coders across the world. As a result, it has developed a reputation as an unusually responsive browser, with constant updates to enhance its security and incorporate new technologies (such as HTML5).

Firefox is intuitive, highly customisable and a strong performer. In fact, a recent study showed that, in comparison to other major browsers, Firefox scores highest in memory efficiency, reliability and various measures of speed.[3] Users can enhance the Firefox experience with various add-ons, from the popular AdBlock tool to numerous browser themes. The browser is available across most computer operating systems (including Windows, Mac OS and Linux), and there’s an Android mobile app.

Google Chrome

Since its launch in late 2008, Google Chrome has quickly grown to become the world’s most popular browser. In January 2015, StatCounter found that Google Chrome not only accounts for more than half of all desktop browser usage, but is also the most popular browser on mobiles and tablets. Chrome’s popularity is largely due to its seamless integration with Google accounts, and consequent ability to synchronise user data across multiple devices. Like Firefox, it offers numerous add-ons, and frequent updates to optimise speed and security.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

Once the doyen of browsers, Internet Explorer’s popularity has declined in recent years due to issues with speed (it remains the slowest of the major browsers) and its limited offering of add-ons. Nevertheless, it is still used on a significant portion of Windows computers, which come with the browser pre-installed.

In January 2015, Microsoft announced that it would be discontinuing development of Internet Explorer and replacing it with a new browser called Microsoft Edge. Early demonstrations indicate that Edge will significantly outperform Internet Explorer and may even rival Chrome and Firefox. So keep your eyes open for its official launch with Windows 10 on 29 July this year.

Other options

Of course, there’s no reason to limit yourself to the major browsers. Opera is a popular alternative, and was even named the best major desktop browser in 2012. Safari remains the default browser on iOS and OSX devices, and, like Chrome, offers cross-platform synchronisation via iCloud accounts. Finally, the Torch Browser purports to combine the best of both Chrome and Firefox, with in-built features including a BitTorrent client, a download accelerator and a customisable layout.

Final words

Given that the major browsers generally offer comparable performance, your choice will likely come down to personal preference. Whichever you choose, it’s important to update regularly, take appropriate measures to protect your data, and, of course, install a stylish theme.



[1] www.w3counter.com/trends

[2] https://blog.mozilla.org/press/ataglance/

[3] www.tomshardware.com/reviews/chrome-27-firefox-21-opera-next,3534-12.html

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