Which option is the top browser to use?
By Dhanesh Misir
Posted in: Technical
Given all the possibilities, identifying the best web browser isn’t always simple.
Many of us don’t put much thought into the web browser we use. In some cases a person might pick one at random and stick with it after getting accustomed to it. Or maybe you’re using the browser you’ve always used, and no amount of new features will be enough to make you switch teams. But sometimes, even the creatures of habit among us need to make a change – including when we need to identify the top browser to use.
It might be due to an equipment upgrade, or the need for additional security. You also could be forced to use an unfamiliar browser at work to abide by company protocol. Whatever your reason, seeking out a new Internet browser is a task that can get confusing in a hurry. There are a number of options available, from the big, recognizable names to browsers you might not have even heard of before. The best web browser for you will ultimately depend on which factors are most important to you.
Identifying the qualities of a good Internet browser
Everything from your preferred hobbies to your choice of career can have an impact on which Internet browser makes the most sense for you. For individuals who work with technology and who use the Internet for complex procedures, a browser with better speed and more customizations options for advanced features would be a logical choice.
On the other end of the spectrum, someone who only uses their computer for basic tasks, like emailing and shopping, would likely prefer a leaner browser that’s easier to navigate. And for everyone, regardless of background or profession, a browser failing to load pages is something to be avoided at all costs. Without taking specific preferences into account, some of the qualities generally considered valuable in a web browser are:
- Good page load speeds – No matter who you are, a browser that forces you to wait a long time for a new page to open is better off left behind.
- Fast download times – Although you’ll be limited by your internet’s speed, some browsers accommodate better download speeds than others.
- Multiple tab browsing – Multitasking is an essential task on computers nowadays, and if your browser doesn’t let you have multiple tabs open at a time, what’s the point?
- Capacity for add-ons and extensions – Being able to add custom parts will make your browsing experience better suited to your preferences. Some extensions, like Adblock, have become a necessity for painless Internet browsing.
- Security features – Having peace of mind for shopping online is something that can’t be taken for granted given today’s cybercriminal activities.
- Private browsing – Even if you don’t plan to use it, the option of being able to browse the web while still protecting your privacy is invaluable.
- Customizability – Do you want a specific kind of look or color scheme for your preferred web browser? Or maybe you’re more interested in features you can add? Some browsers are much more customizable than others.
- User-friendly navigation – What’s the point of a browser that’s too complicated to figure out? This factor is much more important for users who might not be as technologically inclined as others.
Some people just want a browser that allows them to shop online with ease on their mobile devices.
The best Internet browsers among lesser known candidates
Even the most technologically inept people in the United States can probably name at least one web browser. In all likelihood, someone from this group would name one of a few mainstream possibilities, the browsers that have become household names due to years of sitting unchallenged in the spotlight.
However, there’s much more available out there, especially if you’re hoping to uncover a viable option that isn’t one of the big names.
Opera is one of the older browsers available today, and although it’s fairly well-known, its popularity has waned. Positives include fast load speeds, a quick launch time, lots of customization options and a turbo speed feature for when you’re bogged down by slow Internet.
On the downside, Opera’s age might make it incompatible with some newer websites. The interface is different from most other browsers, meaning some adjustment is needed if you switch, and there are no parental control features.
If the most important feature to you is privacy, then you won’t do much better than Tor. It’s not just a web browser, but rather, it’s a packet of online security and privacy tools coupled with a modified version of Firefox. And it’s the top browser to use if your chief concern is keeping a low profile.
Tor doesn’t track activity or store cookies and bookmarks, which means using it comes along with no real footprints. However, the measures that help make you invisible online won’t always compensate for your browsing habits. Also, since Tor is mainly used as a tool for privacy, you might need another browser for regular use.
This web browser is known for its speed, with an impressive start-up and page load time. Midori is lightweight, consumes very little memory, and comes equipped with useful plugins and functions. When a customer inquired about a multi-platform option that wouldn’t force bad software on them – while also asking for browsers aside from Tor and the mainstream names, like Chrome – Pete, one of the computer Experts on JustAnswer, had this to say about their best web browser choice:
“I would personally recommend Chrome, however, (if) that doesn't suit your needs then you could try some of these lesser known lightweight browsers: Dillo, Epiphany, Konqueror, Lynx, Midori. Out of those, I would probably choose Midori...”
Like every other candidate for the top browser to use, Midori does have drawbacks to consider. It has a tendency to work incorrectly with some Google web applications. The user interface can be confusing for people accustomed to other browsers, and there has been a lack of recent updates and support for Midori.
For some, a simple browser for web searches is all that’s needed.
Picking the best big name web browser
The most prominent browsers didn’t get to be so popular by accident. People have gravitated to them over time because they’ve proven to be reliable and dependable, even if there have been highs and lows for each of the names we’ll cover here. Instead of ranking these recognizable browsers, following here is a brief rundown of each – as for which is the best, that’s for you to decide, based on your personal preferences:
- Pros: Easy navigation, secure, versatile. Great option for a variety of devices.
- Cons: Not as fast as Firefox. Dependent on Google, which may use your browsing data. Heavy resource use makes it a poor choice for computers with limited memory.
- Pros: Arguably the fastest browser, with a simple design. Regular updates for privacy and performance. Low RAM usage.
- Cons: On certain pages the speed can lag. Mozilla support is notoriously difficult to reach.
- Pros: Secure and quick. Comes with an integrated reading mode for complicated web pages.
- Cons: Not backwards compatible. Unavailable on older systems. Sometimes forces you into Internet Explorer if you attempt to access outdated pages.
As for Internet Explorer, Microsoft is no longer releasing new versions of its old standard-bearing browser. Given that there is no shortage of complaints out there regarding Internet Explorer not working, it’s unsurprising that the company has shifted its focus to developing Edge. As such, although Microsoft continues to maintain IE for now, there aren’t expected to be any new features on the horizon.
Whether you’re stuck with deciding on the top browser to use moving forward, or you’re trying to troubleshoot an Internet problem that’s surfaced, there’s help out there. The verified Experts on JustAnswer can help clear up your confusion, and at the very least, they might just be able to point you in the right direction.
Do you have strong opinions on which Internet browser is the best? Or are you as confused as the next person? Share your stance in the comments below!