If you’re frequently surfing the internet, having the right browser can make a huge difference in terms of experience. Depending on your computer’s operating system, there are numerous free web browsers available, the most common ones being Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. However, there are also a number of lesser-known browsers that offer the same, if not even better quality, speed and, foremost, security. Here is a list of the best web browsers to use in 2019 with all their advantages, quirks and issues to be aware of.
Google Chrome: All rounder
It’s been the number one on the market for years. If you’re already part of the Google network, using the company’s own browser makes perfect sense. It’s also the standard browser on most Android phones and tablets and said to be one of the most stable and aesthetically designed ones. Frequent updates mean that any security issues or bugs are caught before they can cause any substantial damage.
Chrome’s biggest advantage is that the browser is available for basically all operating systems, making it easier to access and sync bookmarks, history and other important data across different devices. Whether you are using Windows, Mac or Linux, iOS or Android, Google Chrome is accessible for a large number of people and with more than 80% of all internet users worldwide the most popular choice.
Due to its many available extensions and customizable settings, Chrome is one of the most flexible and also efficient browsers, giving you exactly the browsing experience that you want. Parental control takes the worry away from those with children or teenagers, and new safety features such as password-free logins and two-factor authentications secure your sensitive data. It’s also one of the best browsers to block viruses, trojans and other malware.
Chrome’s biggest downside is the way browsing data is being used and potentially shared with third-party advertisers. Though Chrome offers an incognito mode that doesn’t allow tracking at all, the default setting welcomes cookies and other means of tracking without you ever noticing. The Google browser is also known to use a ton of resource, resulting in a less comfortable browsing experience on devices with limited RAM.
Mozilla Firefox: All rounder
The best alternative to Chrome on the market, Mozilla Firefox convinces with extremely fast page loads, quick and easy navigation and probably the most secure browsing experience currently available. It’s also one of the browsers using the least amount of system resources even if you have a gazillion tabs open all at once. Firefox is available for Windows, Mac and Linux as well as iOS and Android with the capability of syncing between all platforms and devices.
Back with a bang
Firefox has been around for more than a decade and quickly rose to become a force to be reckoned with. However, over time it seemed to fall behind its competitors and many long-term followers ended up straying away. However, since its latest and biggest update since the original launch, Firefox has returned to the scene better than ever before. A well-designed interface that is jam packed with practical new features such as screen shotting without the need to scroll promise a first-class browsing experience.
One of the most secure web browsers in 2019, Firefox successfully blocks phishing schemes and other malicious downloads. The privacy version allows you to search online without cookies or trackers and you can set the browser to delete all cookies, cache and browsing history after each session.
Mozilla is also the preferred browser for users that are worried about their privacy. Being offered as a non-profit product, your sensitive data is nowhere safer than with Firefox as the company has no interest in selling it off to third party agencies. Regular updates ensure the browser is always up to date with the latest technology such as password-free logins and the automatic blocking of ad trackers.
Opera: All rounder
Opera is one of the oldest browsers on the market. It uses the same base program as Google Chrome, however, Opera has some unique features, is just as speedy as its competitors and available for Windows and Mac as well as compatible with iOS and Android devices, making this a great all rounder.
If you’re on dial-up or a rather unreliable broadband connection, Opera could be just the solution for you. Its built-in turbo feature compresses your web traffic, allowing for faster page loads even with the slowest connection. By re-routing all traffic through Opera’s own servers, the amount of data being transferred also reduces drastically, helping you save your data allowance. Other features include an integrated ad-blocker and a battery-saving mode which is great if you’re working on a laptop.
While Opera has some great features to enhance your browsing experience, it may still have a bit of work to do. Older websites and those unfamiliar with Opera can block you from accessing. Also, Opera neither has parental controls nor a very reliable security system. Some tech review companies reported Opera only catching 46 percent of phishing schemes, making a reputable antivirus program an absolute necessity.
For Mac users as well as iOS devices, Safari is one of the most popular choices on the market. It’s also available for Android phones and tablets, though syncing settings and bookmarks only works between Apple devices. Safari is a considerable fast and secure browser, loading websites quicker than most competitors. Being the default browser on iPhones and iPads, Safari syncs through your iCloud account, allowing you to access browsing data from any other connected device apart from those based on Windows.
Though Safari is Apple’s internet browser, there are no compatibility issues when accessing Microsoft or Google websites and applications such as Google Docs or Outlook. Safari is also one of only a few browsers with telephone and email support so if you’re in need, there’s always someone there to help.
One of Safari’s best features is a tool that pushes any ads aside so even if they aren’t blocked, you can read websites without any distraction. Security-wise, you will need to have a proper antivirus program installed. Safari successfully warns of malicious websites containing phishing schemes or other malware, but it doesn’t stop you from accidentally downloading them. There’s also not a lot of options to customize Safari, but it’s the most reliable browser available for Apple users.
Microsoft Edge: Windows
Microsoft’s newest browser is only available for Windows 10 and higher and not compatible with older versions which limits its potential audience considerably. However, it does work on Android and iOS cell phones. Unlike its predecessor Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge supposedly has a much better security system and seems less prone to phishing and hacking attacks.
Edge comes with a range of handy tools to make browsing more enjoyable. For example, you can highlight words and passages on websites and save them for later or even leave notes rather than bookmark the entire website. Window’s latest internet browser can also hold its ground when it comes to speed. It’s super quick, and the integrated reading mode offers a comfortable and pleasant experience even when visiting more complex websites. Should you have any difficulty using Edge, there’s telephone support to help you out.
Microsoft browsers don’t have the best reputation after the traditional Explorer repeatedly made headlines for security breaches and malware attacks. The multimillion-dollar company seems to have listened to user complaints. Microsoft’s newest browser Edge warns of phishing schemes and other potentially dangerous websites and also successfully blocks a range of malware from downloading onto your device while surfing. However, to do so it does heavily rely on Windows Defender being enabled within the browser.