Internet Browsers – Which one is better?
These days there are many different internet browsers to choose from. There are even more than the main ones which are Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox, believe it or not. Being a website design and development company, our developers have a difficult task to fulfil in making sure that every website developed displays correctly in each browser when all browsers tend to display elements and websites slightly differently, so you could imagine how difficult life can be for website developers and programmers.
However, for the average internet user, it’s not really clear why there are so many browsers, but there is. While some people prefer Google Chrome as their go-to browser to install each time they purchase a new computer or phone, others prefer Firefox. Apart from the fact that each browser looks different, they also have different add-ons which tends to make it easier for those looking for particular features to know what they prefer.
A bit of a history of the Internet..
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, born in London to two computer scientists was the inventor of the World Wide Web along with Robert Cailliau, born in Belguim. The two met at CERN where they collaborated together and in 1989, Tim Berners-Lee proposed the idea of a hypertext system it was called the World Wide Web.
Internet Explorer & Microsoft Edge
Internet Explorer, referred to as IE most of the time now wasn’t the first browser that existed. Netscape Navigator was the first web browser to exist and was leading the web market back in the 1990s, before it started disappearing in 2002, due to the popularity of Internet Explorer.
Internet Explorer was originally released as part of an add-on package for Windows 95 back in 1995. After its original release, it was freely available in Microsoft service packs. Although Internet Explorer 11 is still on Windows 10 to this day, in 2015, Microsoft Edge replaced Internet Explorer 11 across Windows 10 devices, meaning the last version of Internet Explorer released was 11, which was originally released for Windows 8.1 back in October 2013.
Safari was developed and released by Apple back in 2003 on Mac OS X Panther. It became the default browser for Mac OS and iOS, available with each new release of Mac OS. As Apple saw a market for it on Windows, a Windows version was released for download in 2007, but was discontinued in 2012.
Firefox was developed back in 2002 and it proved to be popular with testers at the time due to speed and security mostly. In February 2004, it was officially released with 60 million downloads within the first 9 months. Firefox 3.5 was formally the most popular browser at the end of 2009, but soon after Google Chrome reached its peak and popularity of Firefox slowly started to decrease. According to StatCounter, a web traffic analysis tool, only 5.17% are currently using Firefox today, which is a much lower figure than those using Chrome.
Google Chrome was formally released in September 2008 for Microsoft XP and above, then later was released for all other operating systems such as macOS, iOS and Android. According to StatCounter, as of June 2018, 58.94% of users are currently using Google Chrome.
So, what is the best browser?
Each of these browsers have their strengths and their weaknesses and features to suit particular preferences. There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to browsing. Your choice between Firefox and Chrome over Microsoft Edge and Safari is purely personal.
While Firefox was the browser that took the world by surprise back in 2002 as it had a lot of features that Internet Explorer didn’t have at the time, Chrome now has features that Firefox doesn’t have. Research indicates that the main reason that Firefox is popular still is because of its library of plugins/ add-ons available.
Firefox is considered to use more memory than some of the other browsers, which is most likely to do with add-ons installed. As Firefox is an open source browser (unlike Chrome), some have developed certain add-ons and plugins themselves for private or commercial use.
Both Firefox and Chrome have anti-malware tools built in which alert people of malicious websites known for phishing scams, spyware and viruses, whereas a lot of other browsers have skipped past this important feature.
Google Chrome has some advancements over Firefox now like its casting option, which allows you to cast to your TV, if this is something for you. One other great feature about Chrome is that you don’t need to install Flash for those sites that may still use it, as it is already installed for you.
Here are the stats from statcounter as of June 2018.