The Better Browser With Great Features – Google Chrome

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chrome new logo   The Better Browser With Great Features   Google ChromeGoogle Chrome presently is the most popular browser on the planet. It took Chrome less than 4 years to rise from barely 1% market share to where it is now. Globally, more than one out of three Internet users browse with Chrome. In some countries you will find as much as half the population with access to the Internet using Chrome. Apparently, Chrome has managed to deliver on its selling points and users everywhere have switched. So should you consider switching?

Google Chrome prides itself to run websites and applications with lightning speed. And much like all Google products, the browser provides a clean interface, smart features, and simple solutions that no one had thought of before. If you haven’t tried Chrome recently, you should give it a spin and see how it goes.

What Makes Chrome Better?

Chrome basically works like any other browser. You enter a URL, open websites in multiple windows or tabs, and make bookmarks. But even if you are only using Chrome for these basic features only, a lot is happening in the background.

Google Chrome Single Tab   The Better Browser With Great Features   Google Chrome

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Every tab is its own process. When you open the Windows Task Manager, you’ll notice that there is one entry for every Chrome tab. This makes each individual tab faster and if one tab crashes, it doesn’t affect the whole browser, making it much more stable and reliable.

Windows Task Manager Chrome   The Better Browser With Great Features   Google Chrome

Google’s New Tab Page shows your most visited websites and installed apps. As you are browsing the web, Google pays attention and lists the websites you visit most often in the New Tab page. You can remove single pages, however, you cannot add your favorites.

Google Chrome New Tab Page   The Better Browser With Great Features   Google Chrome

Chrome also updates automatically and in the background, so you don’t even notice it. For most users, this is very convenient. But if you ever do run into issues with Chrome, keep in mind that it could be due to a recent browser upgrade. You can check which version you are running and report an issue by typing chome://chrome into the URL bar or by clicking the Settings icon in the top right and selecting About Google Chrome.

About Google Chrome Help   The Better Browser With Great Features   Google Chrome

What Makes Chrome Great?

Frankly, there is too much to be covered in one article. So I’ll highlight two key features for you: managing tabs and user login.

Chrome has some nifty default features and several have to do with managing tabs. Generally speaking, tabs are super flexible. You can drag tabs around and re-order them within one window or you can drag a tab out of its window to create a new window. Right-click on a tab to open a menu that lets you reload, duplicate, or pin a tab, to just mention a few options. Admitted, those are old tricks. But try to right-click a tab and see what happens when you hover over close other tabs or close tabs to the right. Simplicity with style. Now here comes the killer feature: you can [CTRL] or [SHIFT] select multiple tabs and move them around or drag them to a new window as a group. So simple and yet so cool.

Chrome Manage Tabs   The Better Browser With Great Features   Google Chrome

Chrome offers advanced user profiles. If you have a Google account, you can sign in and enjoy many advanced profile features. Chrome can automatically save your bookmarks, apps, extensions, theme, and other browser preferences to your Google account. When you sign into Chrome with that account on another computer, your personal data will already be there.

To sign in, go to Settings. Before Chrome can back up your data, you need to confirm the sync settings. And you can customize them by clicking on Advanced in the bottom left of the respective confirmation window. Later, you can see what Chrome has been been syncing in the background and reset it via your Google Dashboard.

Google Chrome Profile Sync   The Better Browser With Great Features   Google Chrome

By the way, you can change the user icon in the top left, by clicking the icon and selecting edit.

Chrome Users   The Better Browser With Great Features   Google Chrome

And The Rest?

Well, as I mentioned above, there is so much more about Chrome that doesn’t fit into a single article. I recommend you to look into our Chrome Guide, download our Google Chrome Shortcuts cheat sheet, or pick what interests you from the following articles:

Conclusion

Chrome is a fantastic browser with almost no drawbacks on the functional side. One huge concern on the ideological side, however, is that Chrome effectively lures its users into the world of Google. Is it too good to be free? Do you wonder how you will end up paying?

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81 Comments -

Anonymous

That’s definitely a matter of opinion. I like chrome, but there are some sites that I’m found that work better when opened with Firefox. Screw Internet Explorer! haha

Claude

Great browser for sure. Hard for me to explain though why this app takes 350 mg on my hard disk. Also, the accumulated browsing data (history) does not clear automatically and, after a while, becomes heavy. Other than that, this browser is the best.

Claude

Tina Sieber

You mean Chrome uses 350MB hard disk space? Ha! I never bothered to check that. Do other browsers use less?

Réy Aétar

me too didnt notice chrome takes around 350 mb
firefox took 47 mb
opera 64 also took 49 mb

DA

I think most or all browsers have a cache, don’t they? That’s how they load your most visited pages super fast.

Tina Sieber

True. I forgot about the Cache. If that was included, it could explain large differences when comparing a regularly used with a barely used browser. Besides, you can limit the amount of Cache a browser can store. In Firefox I set the cache limit to 500MB.

P R

I definitely like Chrome. Its UI is incredibly smooth. For a long time now, when experimenting with other browsers, I simply try to reproduce the Chrome. In fact, other browser makers are doing this on their own.

The only major problem (and this is a MAJOR problem) is that Google offers crappy support for their products. Mozilla and Internet Explorer (and Opera, for that matter) offer forums where experienced users give feedback. Chrome’s support is very much a hit-and-miss operation (usually miss). If it wasn’t for this, I’d have been a dedicated Chrome user ever since it came out, but I guess I tweak things a bit too much just to stick with a vanilla installation.

Tina Sieber

Have you tried Google’s product forums? Sounds like a big loss on Google’s part if they don’t engage well with their users.

P R

Yes that’s exactly what I was talking about. They do technically have support, but help is very hit and miss (most often, I find when I’ve posted in the past, most of the threads just have people saying “I have this problem,” with no solution being offered.

67GTA

When Crome gets a decent download addon like downthemall or downloadhelper, I will switch:-)

Vernon Wenberg

I keep switching browsers just to see if anything out there was better for my uses but I always come back to Chrome.

Marianne Martin

I seem to do this as well. The only reason I tried Chrome, (in the first place) is because Internet Explorer 8 will not open Gmail and this is what we have to use at work. Once I tried Chrome I got used to it and now very rarely do I use Explorer.

Ashwin Ramesh

Never knew the thing about holding [CTRL] or [SHIFT] and move multiple tabs. Thanks Tina! That makes my Chrome experience even better ;)

Tina Sieber

Most welcome, Ashwin. This is knowledge passed on from another MakeUseOf reader. When I learned about it, I wondered why I had never bothered to just try. It makes so much sense.

Ashwin Ramesh

True that!

Anonymous

Use Chrome, like it, sort of sucked in now, would be a wrench to move so well done Google for making it nearly indispensable.

Vinh

I use to be a big fan of IE, then Maxthon, then Firefox, then Opera, then Firefox and now Chrome. Chrome is my favourite browser at the moment. To name a few reasons why I love Chrome:

1. Syncs data (passwords and bookmarks) with your Google account
2. Fast, fast, and fast. The GUI is simply smooth from start-up to exiting.
3. If one tab locks up, the entire browser does not lock up.
4. Flash is integrated, which makes it wonderful for portability.
5. Simple and beautiful GUI

Tina Sieber

You never were a fan of Netscape? ;)

Vinh

Heheh! I actually tried Netscape a few years back. It must have been Netscape 9, maybe? I don’t remember why I didn’t like it. It was probably because it wasn’t “hip” with the kids. lol

Tina

Sounds like you were late to Netscape, Vinh. I used it religiously until Firefox came out. For a few months I used both in parallel, but Netscape had been failing on me for years and Firefox was so much more stable, faster, and had cooler features. So letting go of Netscape was sad but easy.

Then along came Chrome and the same thing happened. Only that Firefox never was that bad and still had some features that Chrome was lacking and still is. Also, Firefox eventually recovered from a few bugs and I still enjoy using both in parallel.

Vinh

Yes, I was quite late with Netscape! I’m pretty much the same as you; I use both Firefox and Chrome in parallel.

AriesWarlock

What I don’t like about Chrome is how much memory it consumes, and giving even more personal information to Google.

LuckyFM

nice one but i like FF still ;)

Anonymous

For me, chrome is my favorite and the best. But firefox is definitely up there too… here is how the browser war is in my mind, http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5jrT94vsbkc/TgoQhOPyl9I/AAAAAAAAA4g/DucdrYgXbzw/s1600/browser%2Bwar%2Bcopy.jpg Enjoy!

Tina Sieber

Déjà-vu! Florian above posted the same image. :)

Colin

FF. I used to be a diehard Chrome user when FF leaked memory. But now FF is solid. Have had some issues with Javascript recently, but chrome has its own studder-steps. I’m starting to think that it also has something to do with hardware. My desktop loves chrome but my laptop loves FF. It used to be the other way around, but not the case anymore. Nevertheless, both are the two best out there hands down.

Tina Sieber

I use both Firefox and Chrome and like both of them. On my netbook, Chrome works a lot better than Firefox, but fortunately I don’t have to use that thing often anymore.

Zhong Jiang

I use Firefox on my Windows operating system, via Chrome on Debian. But the upcoming internet explorer 10 is gaining fast attention, so the browser wars isn’t over yet.

asd

It’s good and all but if it still doesn’t have a Master Password feature like firefox has… I can’t switch yet.

Todd Tanner

Between Chrome Canary and Chromium nightly builds, I hardly use any other browser anymore. Occasionally I use Opera and Firefox (nightly builds and/or custom 64bit builds). But Chrome is so much faster and just an overall better experience for me for browsing the web and what not.

Koshy George

Are you crazy dude, why do you live your life with such buggy stuff, I think only thing canary and nightly builds are good for are for the developers for developing stuff and not for daily use. I use chrome dev, which is really stable.

Todd Tanner

Other than an odd crash here or there, I’ve never had any problems with either Canary or any of the other nightly builds I use. Once in a blue moon I might get a bug or two to show up, which I then report. So, it doesn’t bother me that they aren’t “stable” or mainline builds.

Koshy George

I tried the cannary build version when it first came out, it was buggy as hell, so I went back to dev.

Junil Maharjan

Chrome is a great browser but I am still sticking to firefox and use chrome occasionally. My first experience with chrome were not good but it has grown good.

TimG

Wow, for some time now, this site has been humping Chrome big time. About every fifth article is about some “new” Chrome extension that Firefox has had for years. One article was even about using Chrome as a Windows Explorer replacement. Please.

Chrome is a nice browser, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about. I tried it for awhile when Firefox was going through some of its growing pains. But I always went back to Firefox and finally uninstalled Chrome.

If Tina and others (may others, apparently) like Chrome, that’s cool. But why has MakeUseOf.com decided to be the Chief Chrome Cheerleader these days? I never see a story about Opera or Safari and not many about Firefox. (I get not covering IE, as it’s pretty much a closed platform.)

Just my two cents, thanks.

Tim

Tina Sieber

Tim,

I have covered Firefox extensively in the past. I guess people just ran out of stuff to write about it. However, I still use Firefox because of some routines I miss in Chrome. Firefox is different than Chrome and a great browser in its own right.

gene tascott

Tina , I ,too, migrated from Netscape to FF, and had good luck with both,mostly FF, but lately have had problems with FF crashing.Sometimes 2 and 3 times a day,VERY annoying, and they never get back to you so that you can find out if it is caused by something the user is doing wrong.Also,gmail and google voice were constantly having to be re-installed in FireFox.This prompted a Chrome try-out, recently,and so far (couple of days) everything in Chrome is working.Although I did get a brief”not responding” earlier today.Forthe time being I am using Chrome and FF, for different apps.

Julian Altshul

Tim, I’m with you on this one. I use both Chrome and Firefox regularly – and I much prefer Firefox! Some of this may be about personal style I guess? I have lots of browser extensions and a very customised Firefox setup that suits me well. Chrome is more minimalist, which doesn’t suit me so well, but I can see that it might suit some people better. And yes, I know there are plenty of extensions available for Chrome too – but as you say, Firefox has them all covered…

Thomas Petrucha

Yes Chrome is nice and fast … but how often I try it … I always come back to my Firefox …
I can´t really exlpain why, but chrome feels not well.
At first try it´s a “ahhh”, “ohh” .. “fast …” but a few days later FF is back ;)

Terafall

I’ll wait for an article about Firefox

Tina Sieber

Actually, it’s coming. :)

Anonymous

Chrome has slowed down in its performance over time i feel!

Tina Sieber

How lean is your Chrome? Do you have a lot of extensions installed? Maybe they are hogging too much memory and it slows down your entire computer?

Douglas Mutay

I have always love Chrome since the very first time I discover it, and completely skipped Firefox. However I have always believe that one of the great quality of Chrome can become a weakness for some user with less memory available on their PC.
And this feature is the tab process. Because each and every tab you open has is its own process, it’s mean that the more tab you have open, the more process are loaded and the more memory you use. It’s certainly make it more stable and reliable because of that but it uses more ressources.

UbuntuGuy

Longtime FF user and still prefer it over Chrome. I use a lot of FF add-ins. Chrome has good add-ins as well. Love the sync functionality on both. However, I use Chrome differently.

My Chrome home page is the New Tab page that shows all your “apps”. This is how Chrome is designed to be used in Chromebooks where Chrome is basically the operating system. It makes Chrome more Android/iPhone-like.

I suggest you try loading up Chrome with a lot of apps and use the New Tab page as your launcher. It will change your whole Chrome experience.

Martin Ristovski

How do you get that little avatar in the top left corner?

Anonymous

Google Chrome’s undeniably the most awesome browser of all – I’ve been using it for years, & it really beats IE & Firefox hands down.

michel

I’ll be odd man out. Internet Explorer 9 comes pre-installed, is more stable, is updated automatically, is faster (yes that’s my epxerience) and in general is much better integrated with the system (Windows & Office). Plus, it doesn’t enslave you to Google, the most evil of all.

It’s no contest.

Graham Richardson

I have to say I am a Google fan so Chrome is a clear favourite but I do keep FF to hand for the odd (rare these days) site that does not work with Chrome. There are a few online surveys I work with which don’t like chrome due to Flash.
Being forced to use IE 7 at work (we were only allowed to upgrade from 6 about 8 months ago!) makes coming home to Chrome seem even better! I guess like FF its all to easy to overload the extensions which then slows things down a bit but at least its easy to turn these off and on.

Noman Fayez

It has lack of settings features…. IE is best in that case….

eric

i use chrome frequently, the only thing i just dont like with the browser is its a memory hogger using almost 300mb, must be the reason for having every tab on its own process making it fast, nothing can deny it.

Scott

I have FF, Comodo Dragon (Chrome clone), and Opera. But I always return to FF. For me at least, there’s just no substitute for FF + NoScript + ABP (+ other preferred add-ons). Chrome and Opera’s NoScript wannabees (ScriptNo, NotScripts) just aren’t up to snuff. So until they get something that works as well as NoScript, I’ll stick with FF and just *play* with the other browsers once in a while. :-)

Âdil Farôôq

I usually use Firefox but sometimes Chrome handles the work better than FF.

Chew Jian Yue

It takes up a lot of physical memory in overall.

Avish Kansakar

i love the apps and extensions chrome offers

maldoandwae

im using windows 7 starter on a netbook why i don’t have that user icon?

Archie

Sorry, but until Chrome can consistently allow the tabs to display vertically on the side of the browser window it just doesn’t get my vote. I’ll continue to use Firefox to get the best use of available screen “real estate” by putting the tabs on the side.

Tina

If that feature is important to you, then that’s a fair decision.

zx

I like Chrome but I miss Alt-B. In Chrome it takes longer to get to my bookmarks (longer route). And I use them a lot. For me, that’s what bookmarks are for, to get very fast access to those pages. So it’s a major issue.

Félix S. De Jesús

Google is the best for me, specially when you can have more things in one browser than IE.

Jaxx D

I wonder why I don’t have a user icon in my chrome…yeah I’m using a different profile from the default one.

Tina

Jaxx,

Are you saying that you don’t see the user icon in the top right?j

And what do you mean with using a different profile? There isn’t really a default profile or user, it’s your Google profile. Do you mean you’re using a different skin, maybe?

You can also access Chrome users through settings: chrome://chrome/settings/

Jaxx D

Really appreciate your reply.
Top left. Yes I don’t see that icon. I checked in settings under user and it said I am the only Google chrome user.
I wasn’t actually aware of this feature so I had created a different user profile in this location
C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data and created a shortcut to it using this
C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe –user-data-dir=”..\User Data\Your_Name”

BTW, if I create a new profile now(from under settings), can I transfer all my settings, extensions and data to that profile?
Thanks.

Tina Sieber

Top left, of course.

Do you also not see the icon after manually creating a second profile? Are you using a custom Chrome skin/template?

You should be able to copy the data from an existing profile and copy it over to a new profile to duplicate it, yes. I haven’t tried that, yet.

Jaxx D

Yeah if I create another profile I do see the icon. Haven’t checked if I can transfer my data yet.
Thanks for the help.

imota

Hold your horses, dear…
Google Chrome may be best for you, but not for me.
It seems to me that some of these “makeuseof.com” articles are
in fact more infomercials rather than a well-thought critical analysis.
Are we dealing here with a paid advertisement for the big boys (Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook…) instead of a legitimate review? Why don’t you write about those less known companies and products ? They are usually left out, and rarely mentioned by “makeuseof.com”.
As for browsers, I have installed several of them, including Chrome.
Is Chrome the best? No, it isn’t. The best browser is FIREFOX. It is open source, fast, with a lot of extensions, and not proprietary format. In fact, by using FIREFOX one can also instantly use any major browser through its “Open With” extension (only one click). Imagine turning your Toyota car instantly into Mercedes Benz, Jaguar or Camaro ? Or robots-transformers capable of changing their shapes in a second. That is Firefox: one heart – thousand faces !
Plus, using a browser is a matter of opinion. Like using a peace of clothe. Some prefer blue, some yellow… As for me, I always prefer open source since I live in an open, democratic and free society. It is FIREFOX, ladies and gentlemen.
The fact that Chrome is the most popular nowadays is due to Google’s total online supremacy – email, Google maps, Android, Blogger, search engine, Google+, Youtube, etc…All of these services are pushing Chrome through our mouth whether we like it or not. Plus, almost any worthy freeware (software) comes nowadays bundled with Chrome, sometimes even hides itself and gets installed without our knowledge.

Tina Sieber

Imota,

Thanks for your feedback. You opened quite a few subjects there, so let me address them separately.

This article was not meant to be an infomercial, nor is it a review paid by Google. Note that nowhere in the article have I claimed that Chrome is the best browser. I didn’t even use the word ‘best’ once. Yes, I do think that it’s a great browser and it’s the one I use most often.

How can you claim Firefox is the best browser and then say browsers are a matter of opinion? I agree with the latter and I think there isn’t a best browser. I also use Firefox on a daily basis and am happy I have it.

MakeUseOf publishes a lot of material about smaller websites and tools and we do promote less known companies and products. Just have a look into our Directory, on our Rewards page, or our Best Of pages. Obviously there is more material on the ‘big boys’ because those are the stories that do well. Readers want them and so we write more of those.

Anonymous

For me in chrome the main problem remains the inability to tag bookmarks plus the security of user profiles management.

With profiles you cannot password protect unhautorized access (extensions actually availables are jokes)

Tom Cruz

I found Google Chrome to be the best browser of all. It is the easiest and fastest browser I’ve ever used. That’s why it is the only browser in my laptop. I just disable IE and uninstalled firefox.

Sarah Lam

Chrome never disappoints (so far!). I love it because I find it to be very fast, at least faster than FF or Safari.

spiffy

Meh…Chrome is a good browser, but very much a memory hog on just about every machine I’ve put it on, whether Windows, OS X, or Linux builds. There is, however, the somewhat custom build of Chromium for Joli OS that runs pretty nicely. Of course, that entire OS is really build around “the cloud” so it makes sense for it to run well. I’m glad they chose Chromium too, if only for the fact that i tired of Google’s stealth marketing shenanigans a long time ago (note to marketers: marketing used to be a creative field, and now it’s just crunching data; and NO, finding new ways to get that data is, IMHO, NOT using creative marketing skills).

Frankly, I think Opera is the unsung hero of browsers. It’s not the “all-round” best, but it does little things very well. The whole “grouping tabs and moving them as a group thing”? Opera has had that for a while now, and has done it far better than Chrome. Visual tabs, etc. are all avaiable.

Things slowing down? Hit the “turbo” button, and things will speed up considerably by compressing the data on Opera’s Turbo servers, and sending you that compressed (and speedy) data.

Recently Opera has extensions, ala Firefox and Chrome. While not having as many extensions as the latter two, the most useful ones we all know and like from those two have comparable extensions in Opera.

And Opera’s not a memory hog like the others.

Tina Sieber

Thanks for the short Opera review. I agree that Opera has not received the attention it deserved. At least the desktop version. It seems to be doing fairly well on mobile devices though.

Callum Cockburn

I love Chrome

UUUnicorn

Google Chrome is based on the open-source Chromium browser, which I use in Linux (Linux Mint 12 Lxde “Lisa” 32-bit). Another more secure browser than Google Chrome which is based on Chromium is SRWare Iron. I use SRWare Iron in Windows (Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit).

Yet another secure browser based on Chromium that is Windows compatible is Comodo Dragon Internet Browser. I don’t know whether Comodo Dragon is more or less secure than SRWare Iron, but I’ve been using SRWare Iron for years, and I’m very comfortable with it.

Chris Powell

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Chris Powell
DailyDealBuilder.com

Reuben

I think the best things Chrome has going for it are performance (it’s javascript performance is way ahead of Firefox) and sync.

The separate processes feature has its good points but that was more of a benefit when browsers used to crash more often. Firefox pretty much never crashes for me any more (also, chrome still crashes too).

IE also has a similar process usage system that it has been using for longer than chrome.

The tabs argument is what made me laugh though.
There are countless discussions around the web about how people would love to use chrome but won’t until they fix they tab system.
The problem is when you have multiple tabs open they get so small that you cannot see what they are. There are some plugins that try to make this a bit friendlier but they are all pretty poor unfortunately. This is not entirely the plugin developers fault though as google have restricted the ability for plugins to mess with the tab area in chrome. They know that people want it but won’t allow it and in my opinion have no good reason to restrict it.

If chrome could have a plugin like tab mix plus in firefox, they would immediately snap up a decent amount of new users I would say.

Generally speaking, most of the things you have mentioned are either available in other browsers or just aren’t that special and you didn’t mention it’s greatest advantage – speed.
(well it is briefly mentioned, but not as a greatness.)

Also, if you a developer then firefox’s development tools are still the best of any browser (in my opinion at least).

Caroline West

I just love Chrome. For extra security, I used ‘Comodo Dragon’ for a bit, and the look is slightly different but has the majority of features as Chrome including the app store. But…. I have just reverted back to Chrome for its looks and familiarity. They’ve done a good job reaching the #1 spot having tried it and disliked it in its infancy, I am a firm Chrome user now.

I read an article about Firefox and it was quite sad. FF is ‘apparently’ losing many users and one guy actually wrote that he thinks it won’t last in a few years time. I love FF too but they really need to catch up and have an overhaul of some sort to keep up. If that happened and was a good match for Chrome, due to it being opensource I’d go back.

But for now, Chrome all the way.

Andreas Athanasoulas

I had tried a lot of browsers but i had finally reach to chrome so this is what i am using so far !

Browser User X (Jawn Sniff)

Frankly, I think that Chrome sometimes tend to show something like “Webpage Is Not Available” for me every time, and I am forced to reload the page in order to load the page. I like how Chrome looks and starts up fast, but Firefox just has more features, and advanced stuff. If there was something like Fireome or Chrofox or something, it would be great. The speed and looks of simplicity from Chrome, and the advanced features and add-ons from Firefox.