You may take your web browser for granted, but investigating your options is worthwhile. We compare the top players on various aspects of speed, privacy, and other important features.
You are watching: Which is better internet explorer or google chrome
Most web users need no introduction to the search behemoth”s browser, Google Chrome. It’s attractively designed and quick at loading pages. Most websites” code now targets it, so compatibility is seldom an issue. That said, every browser is occasionally flummoxed by a particular site or two, and sometimes a browser updatebreakseven well-crafted sites.
As mentioned earlier, Chrome gets top marks on the HTML5Test website. It also aces the JetStream 2 benchmark, which tests the speed of a variety of advanced web technologies. Chrome uses more RAM than other Windows browsers, but some of that is for speeding up operation by preloading content. It also creates far more program processes than the others, to ensure stability by isolating not only tabs, but also plug-ins and frames from other domains on the page.
Google is constantly working on security and feature enhancements, but, as with all software, bugs happen, so make sure youstay updated. Another benefit of using Chrome is that you won’t have to dismiss those messages urging you to switch to Chrome every time you visit Google News, Gmail, YouTube, and so on.
Chrome can no longer boast any unique browsing features: There’s no built-in VPN, no fancy tab organization tools, no cryptocurrency locker, no Reading mode, no Share button, and no screenshot tool. That’s just fine for most web consumers, apparently. The Android version of Chrome has been getting more love from Google lately, with tab groups and dark mode.
Google has made two seemingly contradictory announcements, both concerning privacy. In May, itannouncedthat it would be removing the API function that allowed ad-blocker software to fully block ads. Then in August it announced a set of open standards intended to enhance privacy on the web, called Privacy Sandbox. It’s just in the planning stage at present, and it tries to cater to bothad targeting and user privacy.
Recent announcements about Chrome development have centered around security and privacy, notably among them is a plan to kill off tracking cookies in favor of Google”s own tracking mechanisms. Some worry that this will only result in more consolidation of the company”s grip on web advertisements.
There are loads of features in Chrome that are only available to web geeks who feeling comfortable tinkering in the settings. Examples include password leak detection, a distilled page view, and forced dark mode for websites.
The Chrome mobile browser is very capable, and offers syncing of bookmarks, passwords, and settings. Like the desktop browser, it includes voice input when using Google search. The mobile browser also suggests content that may be of interest to you based on your browsing.
Firefox, an open source project from the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, has long been a nadechworld.com favorite. The browser has pioneered many web capabilities and the organization that develops it has been a strong advocate for online privacy. It’s also notable for its wealth of available extensions.The unique Multi-Account Containers extension lets you sequester multiple logins to the same site on different tabs—without this, you”d have to open a private browsing window or another browser to sign out of all your web accounts and start a fresh session.
Mozilla’s browser is in the vanguard of supporting new HTML5 and CSS capabilities, and the company is working on open-source AR and speech synthesis standards. The organization now offers a full password management service called Lockwise, which can generate complex passwords, sync them between devices, and secure everything under a strong master password. That and the organization”s VPN offering are paid extras.
The mobile Firefox apps offer excellent interfaces, and you can send a webpage tab from any device to any others that are logged into your syncing account. That’s right: You can be reading a webpage on your desktop PC, and have it instantly open on your iPhone or vice versa—a slick and useful feature.
If that’s not enough, Firefox has a Pocket button in the address bar, letting you save a page for later viewing anywhere with one click. The Reader View button declutters a webpage loaded with ads, promos, and videos, so you can peruse it with no distractions. Finally, the browser is ultra-customizable, letting you select and arrange buttons on the toolbar to taste, as well as select from a large number of Theme add-ons that change window border patterns and colors.
The default Mac and iOS browser is a strong choice, though its interface has some nonstandard elements on both desktop and mobile. Safari was a forerunner in a few areas of browser capability. For example, it was the first with a Reading mode, which cleared unnecessary clutter like ads and video from web articles you want to read. That feature debuted in 2010 and has made its way into all other browsers except for Chrome.
More recently Safari added fingerprinting protection—preventing web trackers from identifying you by your system specs. Other benefits include Apple Pay support and a Sign in with Apple feature to replace Facebook and Google as web account authorizers.
Big Sur made for big changes to Safari, with a customizable home page (similar to Edge”s), performance improvements, and much-improved tab design. The benchmark result above bears testimony to its speedy operation.
If you use an iPhone and a Mac, Safari integration makes a lot of sense, since Apple’s Handoff feature lets you continue your browsing session between devices. Safari has trailed other browsers on support for emerging HTML5 features, but we haven’t run into or heard of any major site incompatibilities with it.
There’s a new Edge in town. The Microsoft developers in charge of Windows’ default web browser got tired of chasing compatibility issues resulting from site developers’ only targeting Chrome for compatibility. They decided instead to switch to using Chrome’s webpage-rendering code, Chromium, in the Edge browser software. That freed them up to add unique features instead of putting out compatibility fires. Notably, Edge now runs on Apple macOS and earlier Windows versions, in addition to Windows 10.
The compatibility is certainly now there in spades: Its result from theHTML5Testmeasure of supported web standards is near the top. See the intro and table above for the actual scores. What pushes Edge over the top is support for Dolby Digital, ObjectRTC, and the Screen Capture API. In general, however, you won’t run into the kind of site incompatibilities that users of the previous incarnation of Edge occasionally encountered.Compatibility isn’t the only benefit of the new Edge: As you can see in the table above, it’s also a leader in performance as well as thrifty memory and disk usage.
What new features has the Edge team been working on, you ask? The initial focuses have been privacy, the customizable start page, and the intriguing Collections feature for web research. For enterprise customers who still rely on Internet Explorer to run legacy programs (and westillrun into these at places like insurance and doctors’ offices), Edge offers an IE Mode, but this won’t be available in standard consumer setups.
Another new feature worth highlighting is Immersive Reader mode. Not only does this offer distraction-free web article reading, stripping out ads and nonessential eye candy (or eyepoison, more aptly), but It can also read webpage text aloud using lifelike Neural Voices. This is really something to try: It reads with sentence intonation, rather than simply word-by-word, as we’ve come to expect text-to-speech audio.
The Collections feature presents a sidebar onto which you can drag webpages and images, write notes, and then share the whole assemblage to Excel or Word. This feature hasn”t appeared in the released version, but it works well in the beta and Microsoft says it”s coming soon.
Maybe you don’t want a colorful corporate logo burning itself into your consciousness every time you open your browser? Edge offers four Home page options: Focused, Inspirational, Informational, and Custom. Focused is a blank page with search and buttons for your most-visited sites; Inspirational adds the gorgeous Bing photos that change daily as backgrounds; to all this, Informational adds customized news, weather, sports, and finance cards.
The browser offers three preset privacy levels: Basic, Balanced, and Strict. As you move from the first to the last, you increase privacy but possibly disable site features. The private browsing mode, like that in all browsers, doesn’t save any history from a private session.
Mobile versions for Android and iPhone with syncing smooths moving from desktop to mobile, and we find that password management works more reliably than in most other browsers, though it’s still a good idea to use a separate password management utility such as LastPass.
For a more in-depth look, read our hands-on preview ofMicrosoft’s Edge web browser.
Perennially hovering around the 2 percent usage level, the Opera browser has long been a pioneer in the segment, bringing us innovations as basic as tabs, CSS, and the built-in search box. Some people got scared of Opera when its parent company was bought by a Chinese investment coalition, but the firm is still based in Norway and is publicly traded on NASDAQ, so the move was clearly just an investment and not some scheme to send data to Beijing.
In fact, Opera can make a bigger privacy claim than any other browser—if you’re a believer inVPNs, since it includes a built-in VPN that works well and quickly. Some consider Opera’s VPN to actually be an encrypted proxy server, but the only real difference between it and astandard VPNis that it only protects and reroutes traffic from Opera itself, rather than from any internet-connected app on the computer or smartphone.
Opera uses the Chromium page-rendering engine, so you”ll rarely run into site incompatibilities, and performance is fast. Opera also takes up far less drive space and memory than Chrome—hundreds of megabytes less in our testing with 12 media-rich websites loaded.
Beyond the VPN, another unique feature in Opera is its built-in ad blocker, which also blocks crypto-mining scripts and trackers. Note thatOpera added crypto-mining protectionmore than a year before Firefox did. (Google is still mulling adding similar protection to Chrome.) Ad blocking also means less data consumed, especially of interest for those using metered connections or mobile plans with data caps.
More unique features in Opera include its Speed Dial start and new-tab page, its quick-access sidebar of frequently needed services like WhatsApp. The latest controls in this quick toolbar are for Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music. The browser uniquely offers a cryptocurrency wallet, which supports Bitcoin and Tron.
Opera offers a gaming version called Opera GX, and the company recently bought a gaming engine, moving into that specialty even further.
On mobile, Opera Touch is a beautifully designed app that connects (via quick QR scan) to your desktop. My Flow is the result of this connection, letting you send webpages and notes between devices easily.
Alternative Web Browsers
If you want to go beyond the mainstream for your web browser choice, these options includes ultra-privacy and ultra-customizability. For more, read our appraisals of sevenalternative web browsers.