Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari, Opera, UC Browser, Torch Browser, Tor Browser… I’m sure you are familiar with some, if not all of these. In our quest to explore the web, most of us spend a chunk of our time here. Choosing a good browser is almost as important as choosing a good mobile device or laptop which fits perfectly into our specs. The major factors we consider when choosing a browser are speed and security. In an age where cyber privacy can barely be guaranteed, the best we can do is to use a reliable browser that offers a tangible level of security. Most browsers offer even much more than these; which we consider the icing on the cake. Let’s take a look at the features that make some of our favourite web browsers unique and easy to use.
Google Chrome has a simple design that makes it quite easy to navigate the web. Asides easy navigation, the browser is secure and can sync your preferences and bookmarks across multiple devices. Users can search and navigate from the same search box. You can find lots of extension in Chrome web store which make it easy to try out new and awesome features. It also allows full Google account integration; you can sign into your Google account on one device and all your Chrome bookmarks, saved data, and preferences come right along.
Google reflected some changes in February 2018 that block ads that violate the Coalition for Better Ads standards. Its wide range of easily-obtained and installed extensions mean you can really make it your own, and there’s support for parental controls and a huge range of tweaks and settings to ensure maximum efficiency.
For these reasons and many more, Chrome has been recognized as the most preferred browser, accounting for well over half of the web traffic. Although packed with all these brilliant features, Chrome isn’t without its cons. It is one of the heaviest browsers in terms of resource use, so it’s not optimum on machines with limited RAM, and its performance doesn’t quite match up to others as far as benchmarking is concerned.
Microsoft Edge is the new browser built for Windows 10. The design is obviously cleaner than Internet Explorer, the company’s old web browser. For users of Windows 10, the Microsoft Edge is pre-installed as part of the OS, which makes it very convenient and ready for use. It works seamlessly with many of the platform’s native features such as Cortana and its OneDrive cloud storage platform.
The browser is also faster and safer. It gives you longer battery life and has an integrated reading mode which makes complex sites more palatable. Another intriguing feature of Microsoft Edge is its ability to suggest contents specifically tailored to your interests based on your browsing history. Perhaps you’ve had enough of typing; Microsoft Edge enables you to write directly on the browser window – making annotations, highlighting parts of the text and more. Isn’t that cool? Interestingly, this feature is supported across devices; irrespective of your mobile screen size, tablet, hybrid or large-screened laptop, you can simply put pen to screen and annotate things that interest you.
Despite Microsoft Edge’s smart features, users have complained of downsides with respect to multiple issues on bookmarking and syncing and lack of the feature, “History Search” in Microsoft Edge Browser among others.
Firefox has always been known for its flexibility and support for extensions. However, it has been unable to match up with its competitors in the recent times. Now, great efforts have been invested to Mozilla to evolve it to a truly modern browser for surfing from site to site. This is evident as the ‘Firefox Quantum and Firefox Reality were first released last year. Firefox Quantum also leverages multi-core processors. A new system for extensions that prevents rogue developers from making malicious changes to the browser’s internal code was introduced as well.
Firefox has been tested and proven to be fast, and its simple design makes it easy to find settings and tools and navigate to sites. It lets you browse in private windows and has customizable toolbars as well as a dual URL and search field, plus it works on so many platforms. In terms of privacy, Firefox has earned some credits for itself.
This web browser lets you open several pages at once in separate tabs, and you can even toggle between them in a single window. Opening a new tab is easy – just click the plus icon next to the already open tab. You can reorder tabs by clicking and holding down your mouse button while dragging them to new positions. You can also use this feature to pull a tab out into its own window. If you accidentally close a tab, Firefox has a redo feature that reopens it to the page you were on.
One of the features that make Firefox stand out is Mozilla’s find-on-page feature lets you search for specific words or phrases on web pages or in online articles. For example, if you open an article and would like to jump to a specific section, you can search for a term and Firefox will highlight your search words so you can quickly skim for the information you need.
Firefox has however, been discovered to be lax in some areas. For instance, Firefox suffers several compatibility issues; it doesn’t work well on all platforms. This is especially true for mobile platforms. It also consumes a lot of a computer’s memory and doesn’t automatically resume downloads.
There’s no need to get overwhelmed by the multi-functionality of these web browsers. No doubt they all have so many great features; however, decide on which suits your gadget and meets your needs and stick with it.