Why Do You Use Your Web Browser Of Choice? [We Ask You]

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I’m one of those strange people that is always online in one way or another, and most of that time is spent on the web. It’s my source of income, as well as information and entertainment. None of which would be possible without a web browser. A browser is our means of accessing the web, that vast collection of pages that we could never hope to navigate entirely in our lifetimes.

There are a host of web browsers available to use, from the mainstream choices such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Google’s Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox, and Apple’s Safari, to the more niche choices such as Opera, RockMelt, Flock, and Maxthon. All of which do essentially the same thing but in their own unique way. Which leads me to wonder how MakeUseOf readers choose the browser they use.

This Week’s Question…

Why Do You Use Your Web Browser Of Choice?

In a recent MakeUseOf poll, Yaara asked How Many Browsers Do You Have Installed On Your Computer? The majority of people have two, three, or four browsers installed, but the comments suggest that most primarily use just one for their general browsing needs. The others are either sitting on their computer unused and unloved, or used specifically for one or two activities.

All browsers allow you to access the web, but the way they achieve this differs from browser to browser. We want to know why you have chosen the browser you use on a daily basis? Is it because it blends into the background, offering an unobtrusive portal to the web? Is it because of one or two killer features that your browser of choice has over the competition? Could it even be brand loyalty, to Apple or Google?

We Ask You… now You Tell Us. All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week.

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‘We Ask [You] Tell Us‘ is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Brady Brim-DeForest

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Comments (199)
  • Cee Flo

    I use one browser for school, but it is not my browser of choice. I use one for work again not my choice, and then my browser of choice.

  • Joel Williams

    I also use the web browsers named Epic, and Comodo Dragon. I highly recommend them, they work great.I think they tie for the win.

  • Claudia

    I use Firefox most of the time because two web-based programs I am required to use at work do not function correctly with MSIE (any version).

  • Jeff Pearson

    This will be a longish post Dave, soz mate.

    Me? Freelancer, ghostwriter, Internet Marketer, Information Product provider and other stuff.
    I’m gently hamstrung because I use dual processor PPC G5 (non Intel) macs running osx 10.5.8. I can’t see any reason to give Apple any more money as these beasts chug on iike a steamroller, but it does leave me behind the 8 ball a little, as the newest browsers are all Intel based.

    I use my browsers for different areas of my work. As I have lots of websites and need to access many others, the biggy for me is secure automatic logins whenever I visit a site, and the smallest ram footprint I can get, to free up memory for other stuff – so I’m slanted towards the browsers that offer that.
    Here they be…Complete with their Ram use as they are open on my desktop.

    Firefox is now Intel only, so I use TenFourFox, which still supports PPC macs, for all my SEO work, its set up with multiple toolbars that I can switch to and from to check pageranks, SEO and other sad stuff.
    FF= 140mb ram footprint.

    Seamonkey is my workhorse – although I can find sites that tell me it isn’t supported I really like its speed and flexibility.
    Ram= 78mb

    Safari? I get fed up with looking at my CPU usage going up and up as long as I’m using it, it’s renowned as a mac memory hog, and also it takes ages to load up – so that really is parked in a layby on my dock.
    A real disappointment.
    Ram= 279mb and growing as I type.

    Opera is a steamroller of browser, and its very very fast (at least 5 times faster than Safari IMHO.), but as I use Postbox express as my email client (well worth a look) the email functionality isn’t important. This would be my ‘heavy hitting’ browser of choice if Seamonkey dropped off the horizon.
    Ram= 295mb – but it’s also processing mail at the same time don’t forget.

    If you want a really fast browser that isn’t lightweight, check out Shiraa, where the tabs appear at the bottom of the screen. It’s a memory hog, but it’s fast. Very fast.
    Ram= 382mb

    iCab is a paid for browser (probably the only one) – you can get it for free but it has a one off ‘mini nag’ box when you first log in that disappears after a few moments. It’s a real labour of love for the developer, and it shows. Middle of the road in power, but it too is very quick to pull in pages.
    Ram= 52mb

    Omniweb is still around and being updated sporadically by Omni – its a very lean browser that again is one to look at if you major in moving from site to site quickly.
    Ram= 113mb

    Camino is nice, and opensource, built purely for the mac, and has loads of plugins. I use Camino for all my website work – I have cpanel and all my freelancing sites set up in the bookmarks toolbar, as this is the only mac browser that ‘wraps round’ your bookmarks, (when you fill up your BM toolbar and get over to the right hand side, rather than hide your bookies behind a symbol that you have to click on, it starts another line underneath,from the left). Love it.
    Ram= 70.22mb

    And here’s a blast from the past that has just burst up again from the seabed….

    Netscape Navigator!
    I thought it was dead and gone but I’ve rediscovered it (it’s now at version 9) and it’s actually running Seamonkey a very close race. It’s lean and unbloated, quick and full of functionality – again it’s well worth a look, and look at how much ram it doesn’t use…
    Ram= 33.5mb

    Stainless is another newish kid to the block, it doesn’t have lots of bells and whistles, and it doesn’t support autologin, but I really like the way that I can simply grab the icon of any site I’m on and drag it off to the bookmarks toolbar, which is on the left side of the browser.
    Ram= 57mb
    And finally….

    Roccat.
    This is a cracking and irreverent browser from runecats software. Obviously developed by some very talented young people, it’s blisteringly quick and its tabs open in ‘mini windows’ across the top of the page. If Safari is the equivalent of running the London Marathon in a diving suit, this is like Gebreselassie with no clothes on in bouncy shoes. Not much functionality, (they’ve only just put in cookie management) but a pure browser than majors on leanness and speed of browsing.
    Ram= 100mb but it has got ten tabs open as I’m typing.

    If you go to squidoodotcom and search for 7 best web browsers for mac there’s a more in depth breakdown of each one with screenshots that I did last year.
    Hope this helps.

    Told you it was a long one Dave.

  • Del

    I prefer Opera for its infinite customizability.I can have it any way I want it,so that it fits my needs,comfort and efficiency requirements.I don’t like google chrome or windows explorer.Firefox is ok.I have the least trouble with Opera overall.When I want to go somewhere I don’t trust,or brows at high speed,I use puppy OS and its default browser or opera,in ram only.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.