Have you ever wondered why there are so many different options for web browsers?
If you have an iPhone, you’re probably using Safari. If you have an Android, you’re more likely using Google Chrome. There’s also Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera. There are plenty of options when it comes to the browser you want to use to do your day-to-day searches, research, and more.
The main reason users switch browsers is because of the inability of a particular web browser to load a page. Depending on the data on the page, certain web browsers sometimes work better than others.
Why Do Some Browsers Work Better?
Web pages are set up with different types of languages. That means that whenever a new web page is made, developers have to make sure that the language will be compatible with the browsers users are expected to use to view them.
At the same time, each web browser is set up with different engines that process web page codes and languages differently. A web page might look a certain way on Safari and completely different on Google Chrome. It could even function differently.
Web browsers also have a lot more capability and versatility than we think. Web browsers can be used to access private information on a private server, for example. But also, depending on your needs and expectations for a web browser, with the right add-ons, a web browser can act as a password manager, a download manager, or an automatic form filler.
Online platforms can always be used for multiple things according to the varying needs of their users. That’s the beauty of the internet: It’s flexible enough to mold to your lifestyle.
What Are the Most Common Web Browsers?
There are multiple web browsers available to users. However, the most widely used web browsers are the ones that are the most functional and adaptable to the many different web pages visited each day by people around the globe.
Introduced in 1995, Internet Explorer is the classic web browser. It’s been popular since its initiation into the online world although its functionality and security have been on a steady decline for many years.
Internet Explorer is the default browser for Microsoft products, but as of recent years, it’s been slowly taken over by Microsoft Edge, a new and better version of the original default browser.
- User friendliness. It works best with Windows computers because it is integrated into their system.
- Enhanced browsing experience. Version 9 of Internet Explorer, which uses HTML 5, allows users to easily stream videos without needing additional plug-ins.
- Cached history. Internet Explorer provides a cache of websites for easy access to previously visited web pages, and it allows you to view them offline.
- No add-on support. A lack of add-ons makes this browser a little less secure than others.
- Phishing and malware vulnerability. Cyber attackers tend to target Internet Explorer, and your entire computer can be compromised.
- Slower speeds. Internet Explorer is usually slower than with other browsers, which can limit your streaming capabilities.
The stats for Google Chrome are close to Internet Explorer, as it is the second-most-used web browser. Launched in 2008, Google Chrome was slow to rise in popularity while it was competing with Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox. But, now, it’s a heavily favored web browser due to its many features.
- Cross-device support. You can easily sync your internet history and searches, tabs, bookmarks, and passwords across all of your devices.
- Top-notch safety features. Google Chrome automatically blocks unsafe web pages for users (unless you disable the “safe browsing” option). It will also alert you when a website is not secure by its lack of “https” encryption.
- Seamless integration. This is one of the features that gives this browser a lot of brownie points. Logging into Google Chrome automatically logs into other platforms like Gmail, Google Ads, and Google Analytics. It’s a one-stop shop for all the things you need.
- Privacy. Concerns with Google Tracking make users utilizing this browser a little wary as it gives Google control of your data when you log in to Google Chrome and sync all of your browsing history.
- Limited customization. When it comes to windows with multiple tabs, your options are limited. The browser will not warn you when you’re closing the window, and you could potentially lose important tabs that you were saving to revisit later.
- Memory usage. Google Chrome tends to consume more memory than other browsers, which can limit your use of applications on the computer.
Safari is the go-to browser for macOS systems. Although, if you don’t have a macOS device, you can still download this browser free of charge. This Internet browser is supported by Apple, and it has good security features. It is speedy and very user friendly.
- Speed. This web browser has fast page-load times so users are not waiting more than a few seconds to search or browse.
- Add-ons. Safari also has a lot of useful extensions for security, productivity tools, and translation plug-ins that enhance your experience as a user.
- iCloud Integration. It’s easy to share information through your iCloud account such as passwords, browsing history, searches, and usernames.
- Incompatibility. Updates to Safari do not happen often, which makes it incompatible with a lot of websites. This is one of the reasons why users sometimes have to switch to a different browser to get the full experience from a web page that is not supported by Safari.
- Vulnerability. If you use Safari on a Mac computer, then you won’t have to worry about the safety of the browser. However, when using Safari on a Windows computer, the browser is more prone to viruses and malware than others.
- Limited customization. Safari suffers from a lack of customization that is offered through other browsers, and it makes the deletion of cookies somewhat difficult.
Firefox is the web browser that is often praised for being the safest and most secure due to its security settings being automatically embedded. User experience is similar to that of other browsers, so it isn’t complicated to use either. This web browser also features an embedded memory that will allow you to open up the same browsing session (with all the tabs!) if the computer suddenly shuts down.
- Security. As previously mentioned, the security features are automatically embedded. This means that the browser automatically protects against spyware from at-risk websites, malware, and some viruses. It also controls pop-ups.
- Extensions. Mozilla Firefox also has great extensions—even going as far as offering IT support and customizations to make it easier to sync passwords and usernames.
- User friendliness. There is a minimal learning curve, and most users can start using this browser without problems right after it’s downloaded.
- High memory usage. One of the things that is not great about Firefox is that it consumes a lot of the computer memory, which can make it difficult to browse or stream from sites.
- Download interruptions. This browser doesn’t automatically resume downloads if the system or computer shuts down suddenly. If you are browsing and downloading at the same time, the browser may freeze and pause the download. When this happens, you will have to manually continue the download as the browser will not resume on its own.
- Lack of versatility. Firefox does not work well across platforms. While it may work great on the computer, the same can’t be said when you use the browser on your cell phone.
What Are The Best Browsers for macOS?
If you are a Mac user, you don’t have to feel tied to using Safari just because it already comes with the computer. There are lots of other great options.
The best options for macOS systems are:
- Google Chrome
- Mozilla Firefox
- Edge Chromium
What Are The Best Browsers for Windows?
If you are a Windows user, don’t worry—you have not been forgotten. There are plenty of options for Windows computers when it comes to browsers.
The best options for Windows systems are:
- Google Chrome
- Mozilla Firefox
- Microsoft Edge
There are plenty of reasons to switch browsers. Consider what kind of security and safety you’re looking for along with the importance of add-ons or plug-ins. That should give you a better idea on which browser is best for you and your family.