Technology

Published on January 8th, 2013 | by Technable

12

Are You Really Using The Best Web Browser For Windows?

best web browserAsk anyone about the best browsers in the web browsing market and you’ll likely get the following list – IE, Chrome, Firefox. Those who are more tech-savvy might list Opera as an alternative. Those are the 4 most popular browsers on Windows, but which one is the best web browser? Perhaps none of them.

Popularity can be an indicator of quality, but it doesn’t guarantee it. Furthermore, the more recognized a browser becomes, the more bloated it gets in order to satisfy as a larger userbase with different needs. Some people actually like bloat, while others are looking for performance, or resource efficiency, or aesthetic eye candy. Which browser is best suited for you?

Internet Explorer

best web browser

Is there anyone on Windows who hasn’t heard of Internet Explorer? It is the default browser, after all, though that doesn’t necessarily say anything of its quality. IE fell out of the spotlight back when Netscape was its only competitor, but it’s been gaining back some ground in recent years.

IE8 was the first to show some promise, but it pretty much failed to deliver. IE9, on the other hand, is quite strong as a browser: fast, responsive, though lacking in the addons/extensions aspect that has become so critical in browsers these days. If you’re on Windows 8, you’ll want to use IE10, which is an even better improvement.

Overall: A strong browser but not particularly awesome at anything. Great if you don’t need many features, not so great if you do.

Google Chrome

best internet browser

After Google Search and Gmail, Chrome is Google’s best known product. At the time of writing this article, if you look at the 2013 browser rankings provided by TopTenReviews, you’ll see that Google Chrome is ranked in the #1 spot, beating out nearly every browser on this list. If that isn’t a strong enough endorsement, then I don’t know what is.

Chrome is known for the way it handles its tabs: separated into different processes so that a crashed tab won’t crash the whole browser. There are tons of extensions that improve the browser’s functionality. And best of all, updates are performed automatically and behind-the-scenes–I went from Chrome 15 to 24 without ever knowing! A big downside is that Chrome uses a ton of RAM resources.

Overall: Absolutely excellent if you have a powerful computer with lots of RAM. On weaker machines–like netbooks and tablets–you may run into speed and loading issues when using a lot of tabs.

Mozilla Firefox

best internet browser

I have fond memories of Firefox. I first started using it when it first came out–it was called Firebird back then–and it was an impressive alternative to IE5. But to see how far it’s come since its birth is rather depressing, mostly because Firefox just feels like it’s trying too hard these days.

With that said, Firefox has been working on cleaning up some of its issues, namely memory leaks and RAM hogging, and it has one of the largest addon libraries of all the browsers. Yet it falters when it comes to speed. I have a powerful machine but tab animations and web scrolling are still clunky.

Overall: If you want a full-featured and extensible browser that isn’t as resource-intensive as Chrome, then Firefox may be your cup of tea, but you should know that it isn’t as polished as Chrome is.

Opera

best internet browser

There was a period of my life where Opera reigned as king and all other browsers were mere peasants beneath it. But once my initial love faded away, I began to see some of its flaws. It’s still a great browser, no doubt, but it’s not the best web browser out there.

Opera is packed full of features. Packed. In addition to doing what all browsers are expected to do, it has a built-in mail client, built-in ad blocker, cross-computer profile syncing, mouse gestures, speed dial, as well as extensions for extensibility. Some users like this all-in-one sort of package. Others call it bloated. Surprisingly, it’s fast–but how much faster could it be without the bloat?

Overall: I like Opera. I would use it permanently if it didn’t bug out on Google’s web products like Google Docs. I’d highly recommend it if you prefer a mainstream browser other than Chrome and Firefox.

Maxthon

best windows browser

Maxthon is the first of the non-mainstream browsers on this list. It’s a full-featured browser that aims to maximize speed and performance–even going as far as to claim that it renders 200% faster than Chrome. Definitely worth a look if you haven’t heard about it until now.

As a browser, Maxthon is secure. All of the available features work well and rival the top browsers on the market. Like Opera, it might seem bloated to some since it comes with built-in luxuries like mouse gestures and screen grabbing. One cool feature is that you can click a button to mute all sounds coming from Maxthon. Want more features? Extensions.

Overall: Maxthon performs well enough that I haven’t uninstalled it yet. I like Maxthon because it’s a breath of fresh air. At the same time, it’s not very popular, so if you need help with something, the knowledge base is smaller.

Midori

best windows browser

Now we get to the lightweight browsers. If the mainstream browsers are growing bloated with feature creep, then Midori is the response. It’s a minimalistic browser that only has built-in features that are absolutely necessary. It uses GTK for the interface, WebKit for rendering, and it’s open source.

Though Midori does have the function to install extensions, the actual pool of available extensions is quite small. Being so lightweight, it is a niche browser, so don’t expect the community to grow much larger in the future, either. On the plus side, it uses very few resources.

Overall: If your computer is severely lacking in processing speed or RAM, then Midori is what you should use for maximum performance. I use Midori on my old netbook and it is blazingly fast compared to the other, larger browsers.

SlimBoat

best windows browser

You may have heard of a browser called SlimBrowser. SlimBoat is by the same group and, in my opinion, the better of the two. If mainstream browsers are too bloated and Midori is too skinned-down for you, then SlimBoat is for you because it is the perfect compromise between features and bloat.

SlimBoat boasts fast startup times, quick rendering, top-notch security, and powerful features like: ad blocker, popup blocker, private browsing, intelligent form filler, web and text translations, and integration with popular web services. The downside? No extensibility beyond the built-in features.

Overall: If you want one of the best web browsers that comes with useful features right out of the box without being too bloaty and you don’t want to mess around with extensions, then SlimBoat is good for you. Keep note that not many people use it, so if you run into problems, the knowledge base isn’t too big.

Conclusion

What’s my final verdict? I use Chrome for daily browser use (mostly because I interface a lot with Google web products and Chrome works best for that). If that wasn’t an issue, I’d use Opera, though Maxthon is growing on me. For my netbook, I use Midori.

Which browser do you use? Any other browsers out there that you think should’ve been on this list? Share them in the comments and tell us why you support that browser!

Image Credit: Browser Windows Via Shutterstock

The post Are You Really Using The Best Web Browser For Windows? appeared first on MakeUseOf.

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Question by Cocytus: What about chip implants in children to combat abductions?
We do it with pets. It may sound creepy but getting abducted as a child is even worse. I’m so tired of seeing child abductions on the news and then you never here from the children again because the kid is crammed into a suitcase and taken to mexico or wherever. If you had the choice would you do it to your child. Trust me no one thinks it can happen to them until its to late.

Best answer:

Answer by chickenfarmer
No. I will not be doing this.

Give your answer to this question below!

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12 Responses to Are You Really Using The Best Web Browser For Windows?

  1. Rachel says:

    Child abductions are very rare and when they do happen it is mostly by people you know

  2. I Love My Boys says:

    no….i will not do that…

  3. Thuglicious says:

    Again, for the millionth time. You have the same chance of winning the lottery than having your kid get abducted by a stranger. These chips will surely restrict our freedom too. Can you imagine? The government being able to know where we are at all times? No thanks.

    Those who sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.

    Just a point to the people who overly trust our government. It is made up of humans. Humans can be prone to doing bad things. Our government could easily become oppressive. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. If they had chips in us? All the easier to control us with, my dear.

  4. desmeran (hotwired) says:

    before i’d do that i’d wrap them in full-body armor (they’re way more likely to be killed in a car crash than be abducted), attach a permanent snorkle (also more likely to drown), and attach a machine that can perform the heimlich maneuver (also more likely to choke).

    that’s a no, btw.

  5. Moon says:

    I just had a dream last night that a woman kidnapped both of my children. It was awful!! I definitely would get them the implant. I don’t see any harm in it. My family and I do not care if the government “knows where we are” all the time because we go not do anything wrong. I could give a rat’s behind whether or not the government knows I am at Wal-Mart, or home, or the zoo, etc.

  6. stay@homemomma says:

    no government in my body. thats my reason for lots of my beliefs

  7. Doodlestuff says:

    You clearly don’t know how chip implants work or you wouldn’t bother. They have to use a wand to read the chip to get the identifier. You think anybody is going to bring the kid to a vet to have a wand waved over them to see if they have a chip? Secondly, child abduction is rare and the majority of those are by family members, usually a non-custodial spouse.

    I do agree with having one of those GPS search chips for an autistic child who can’t communicate or adult with dementia or Alzheimers. Usually, they are within a mile or so of where they were lost but because they can’t acknowledge people, hard to find. These use GPS trackers, but these are attached to clothing, not implanted. In fact, in my invite to a family reunion, they asked for donations to combine to get a tracker for a relative who has Alzheimers. Already sent my $ 25 for it. Anything they don’t use for this relative will be given to get a tracker for an Alzheimer’s patient without family.

  8. Sara due in September says:

    Absolutely not. That’s WAY too much government intervention.

    BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING!!! (and Eric Blair is rolling over in his grave).

  9. Busy Mommy says:

    People are already doing this in countries where kidnapping is a major business.

    Personally, I don’t think it’s enough of a threat where we live, to allow an organization to have access to my whereabouts at all times.

    If it can be used at all, it can be used for bad purposes as easily as good.

  10. Bradley's MoM says:

    I would do it in a heartbeat.

    If there was a chip that they could implant in my son the size of a pill and if he came up missing I/ we/ the police could use GPS locating to find my child before he is brutally murdered or raped or raised by strangers. YES. No doubt I would do this, without question. When he is an adult he can have it removed and forget about it.

  11. Selar says:

    the government controls what I say, how my children learn, if I can pray, how I discipline my children, whether or not I can put a porch on my house-they will not control all the future where abouts of my child. Bog Brother will not get one up on me by fear mongering over child abductions.

  12. midnightmoon says:

    Unfortunatly, the way the chips work, it would only be useful for body identification, not actually finding the child. The chip wont give a signal unless its energized by something that is pretty darn close to it.

    Same thing with those dna/finger print kits. They are pretty much only used to identify the body.

    EDIT A gps chip would be different, but bring on big brother!!

    Beyond that, everyone is too afraid of Big Brother to do something like that. Then again, its not like everything else in our lives isnt a tracking device… the comp, the internet the cable box, cell phone, the vip card at the grocer, my ez pass for the tolls, etc…. with all the other tracking devices in our lives, seems like one more shouldnt be too big of a problem.

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