What Are the Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Web Browsers?


Browser

From Google Chrome to Internet Explorer, Firefox and more: there are many browsers you can use. Learn about the pros and cons of the different web browsers.

If you regularly use the internet, odds are you have a favorite browser. Whether you enjoy it for speed, convenience, or just out of habit, you’ve become accustomed to using it. 

Yet how does your favorite browser compare to some of the other top contenders? What are the pros and cons of different web browsers?

Keep reading for a full breakdown of 5 different web browsers.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is by far the most popular web-browser, with more than 4 billion visits in the first 3 months of 2020. Chrome also dominates the market, with 49.3% market share. So what do its fans like?

Google Chrome is fast and straightforward to use. While some other browsers may feel clunky and unintuitive, Google Chrome feels simple and streamlined. It also offers in-depth customization options, offering different extensions that allow you to personalize it towards your needs.

If advertisements annoy you, download an extension to block them. Download an extension to boost your productivity, and then another to help manage your tabs.

Chrome runs on almost all platforms, with the exception of Windows phones. It also comes fully integrated with the Google ecosystem, letting you enjoy Google Drive and Google Docs easier than on other browsers.

So what do it’s critics have to say? Many people find Google Chrome to be a memory hog, requiring a lot of RAM to do even the most basic of tasks. This is even more evident when downloading files or running games. Some users also don’t like the idea of Google and the company’s browser having access to all of their data.

Apple Safari 

Apple fans will recognize Safari as being the default browser on their products. iPhones, iPads, Macs, and any other Apple device all come with Safari preinstalled. Apple Safari represents 31.6% of the market.

In line with Apple’s design, Safari offers its users a simple and clean interface. This is the embodiment of what Apple users expect. Yet it’s not just well-designed, it’s also speedy and has a quick response time.

If you’re an Apple user, you’ll enjoy its ability to sync with your other Apple products. “Handoff” even lets you open a tab on your iPhone, then sync it over to your Mac with a tap. You can also make purchases with Face ID, and use other Apple features, such as Keychain.

Yet similarily to other Apple products, Safari lacks some of the deeper customization options that its competitors offer. Some browsers also offer more privacy options than Safari.

Internet Explorer/Edge 

Internet Explorer used to have a near-monopoly over the internet landscape, controlling 96% market share in 2002. Now, it’s down to 5.7% and continues to decline. So what happened?

Before other competitors existed, Internet Explorer was the go-to choice for a stable and reliable platform.

Yet as time passed, it failed to keep up with the optimization of its competitors. Today, users of Internet Explorer find it to be outdated with slow processing speed. Although it used to be the default browser for many, it has failed to keep up with the times. 

In 2017, Microsoft released their new browser, Microsoft Edge. Edge has since struggled with growing its user base. It is trying to establish itself as a solid contender separate from Internet Explorer. 

If you just switched from a PC to a Mac, you may be wondering: is there Internet Explorer 11 for Mac? The answer is yes!

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla released Firefox in 2004. Like Internet Explorer, Firefox’s popularity has also waned in recent years. Now, it represents around 3.5% of the market share.

If you’re a user who desires high levels of customization options, Firefox might be the browser for you. Firefox is open source and was made to be free to use. This mindset remains visible when using it years later. Firefox even supports Chrome extensions.

Fans of Firefox also enjoy how it is less of a resource hog than other browsers, such as Chrome. If you’re someone who often has many tabs open, Firefox has a leg up over its competitors. 10 tabs open in Firefox use 437 MB, while the same number open in Chrome requires 533 MB. 

So why is not as popular as it used to be? Although Firefox is speedier when working with different tabs, Safari and Chrome are faster when using 1 or 2 tabs. Other browsers also offer better synchronization across different devices, while Firefox does not.

Opera

Do you know which of the different web browsers invented tabs, cloud storage for passwords and bookmarks, mouse gestures, and speed dial? No, it wasn’t Chrome. Nor was it Safari, Firefox, or even Internet Explorer. It was Opera!

Opera entered the world in 1995, making it over two decades old. Although it’s used by only around 2% of internet users, it pioneered the path to intuitive internet. Today, almost all of its contenders use features that it has developed.

Today, Opera is still a flexible browser. It compresses web pages together, showing you only the content that you need to see at the moment, therefore not demanding as much RAM. It also has a built-in VPN, as well as excellent malware protection. 

So when looking at the different types of web browsers and their features, where does it fall short? Like other older browsers, it still lacks proper syncing between desktops and mobile devices. It can also take some time to find useful extensions.

Which of the Different Web Browsers Do You Use?

Regardless of which of the different web browsers you use, there are a variety of different pros and cons with each one. 

Yet in the end, it comes down to personal preference. 

After looking at the different pros and cons of different web browsers, which do you think is the best? Which do you use?

Check out our other blog posts for more tech-related articles!

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