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We aren’t here to start a browser war. The right one for you isn’t necessarily the right one for me (personally, I use all of them for this and that) so it would be disingenuous to say that one is absolutely better than the rest.

That being said, the browser you’re using right now may not actually be the best one for you. In fact, the browser arena changes so frequently that your conclusions from last year may be completely wrong this year. Plus, we have a new contender in Microsoft Edge Microsoft Gets the Edge, 1 Billion Devices Running Windows 10, & More... [Tech News Digest] Microsoft Gets the Edge, 1 Billion Devices Running Windows 10, & More... [Tech News Digest] Microsoft has the Edge, Windows 10 is huge, Secret gets shut, embed MS-DOS games in tweets, make money from Silent Hills, and watch Michael Bay get shown up by an amateur filmmaker. Read More .

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So forget everything you know about browsers. We’re starting with a clean slate and we’re going to explore the four biggest browsers on the market to see what exactly they offer. This comparison covers the following browser versions:

  • Microsoft Edge (Build 25.10586.0.0)
  • Chrome (Build 48.0.2564.103)
  • Firefox (Build 44.0.20160123151951)
  • Opera (Build 35.0.2066.35)

Category: User Interface

Generally speaking, most browsers these days have the same overall interface design with a few unique tweaks here and there, so in terms of usability, they’re all perfectly fine — but the little details are what might endear you to one browser or drive you away from another.

browser-interface-edge

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Microsoft Edge: Edge’s interface is impressively slick and minimal, borrowing from the flat aesthetic guidelines that make Windows 10 so easily recognizable. There’s no menu bar or status bar. Only the bare essentials are shown and tabs are integrated into the title bar, maximizing screen space while browsing.

There aren’t any popup windows or dialogs either. Features and settings are accessed through sidebars How to Set Up Microsoft Edge, the Default Browser in Windows 10 How to Set Up Microsoft Edge, the Default Browser in Windows 10 Microsoft's new Internet browser Edge made its first appearance in Windows 10 Insider Preview. It's still rough around the edges, but sleek and fast. We show you how to migrate and set it up. Read More that slide in and out from the right, a design decision that was likely influenced by the fact that many Edge users are on a tablet. That’s also probably why there aren’t any right-clicks in Edge.

Aside from picking between Light and Dark themes and choosing to toggle the Favorites bar, there isn’t much you can do to customize the interface in Edge.

Score: 9/10

browser-interface-chrome

Chrome: When Chrome debuted in 2008, its clean interface was one of its biggest selling points (in addition to performance and extensions, which we’ll cover below). Not much has changed in all the years since then. As far as look and feel is concerned, Chrome is as Chrome always was.

Chrome’s most notable differences include a User button along the top (which only shows if you’re logged into a Google account) and the hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) which opens an actions menu that feels like a simplified File menu. The tabs meld into the title bar only when the browser in maximized.

Overall, a very clean experience. Unfortunately, like Edge, there isn’t much you can customize about Chrome’s appearance. You can install themes, but they change so little that they’re more like wallpapers than actual themes.

Score: 7/10

browser-interface-firefox

Firefox: On the whole, Firefox has a softer aesthetic than the other browsers. That could be due to the default icon theme and/or the curvy-but-flat design of the tabs, but regardless, Firefox feels the most pleasant and comfortable to use right out of the box (at least for me).

But if you don’t like it, you can change it. Unlike the other browsers, Firefox supports two kinds of appearance customization: Themes, which are akin to basic wallpaper changes, and Complete Themes, which can change how the whole browser looks (e.g. tabs, colors, padding, positions of elements, etc).

In fact, there are Complete Themes that faithfully replicate the looks of browsers like Chrome and Opera, so if the interface is the only thing keeping you from using Firefox, you may want to reconsider.

Score: 8/10

browser-interface-opera

Opera: Opera’s interface is closest to Edge: it’s tight, compact, with simple icons, not much wasted space, and lots of sharp, flat lines that make it feel clean and minimal. That being said, Opera is based on Chromium so Chrome users will find Opera to feel quite familiar.

Like Chrome, Opera has a single menu that acts like a simplified File menu, except instead of a hamburger icon, there’s a Menu button at the top left. It melds with the title bar when maximized, but otherwise takes up unnecessary space. This menu has everything you need to navigate the browser.

Theme-wise, Opera is severely lacking. You can install Themes, but these are literally nothing more than wallpapers for the Speed Dial page, so it’s possible that you’ll never even see them.

Score: 7/10

User Interface Winner: Edge

To my surprise, I actually prefer Edge’s interface over all the other browsers. It’s slick, minimal, and has absolutely no clutter. The way it uses a sliding sidebar for options is smart, and overall it just feels like an evolution in usability. The other three have similar interfaces — all usable, but nothing special.

Category: Speed & Performance

For most people, speed is the absolute top factor when choosing a browser. Considering how much time we spend browsing the Web these days, even the smallest difference can rack up to a lot of time lost. That’s why browsers like Maxthon Nitro get so much attention Nitro: Check Out Maxthon's Super-Fast Web Browser Today Nitro: Check Out Maxthon's Super-Fast Web Browser Today It's the fastest browser I've ever used. For the first time in a while, we actually have a clear, longshot winner. Read More .

For this comparison, we ran all four browsers through the following browser benchmarks:

Benchmarks were done using a run-of-the-mill, last-generation Toshiba laptop with Windows 10 Home in order to compare performance speeds on the kind of everyday machine that an average user might have. Consider running your own benchmarks to compare!

JetStream

JetStream is a JavaScript benchmark suite focused on the most advanced web applications. Bigger scores are better.

  • Microsoft Edge: 72.132
  • Chrome: 60.993
  • Firefox: 54.172
  • Opera: 57.782

Surprisingly, Edge not only landed in first, but blew past the other browsers 10 Reasons You Should Be Using Microsoft Edge Now 10 Reasons You Should Be Using Microsoft Edge Now Microsoft Edge marks a complete break from the Internet Explorer brand name, killing off a 20-year-old family tree in the process. Here's why you should be using it. Read More in terms of advanced JavaScript execution. Most modern websites involve JavaScript in some form or another, so this has some big implications for page loading speeds.

Chrome, Firefox, and Opera were all in the same ballpark, with Chrome taking the lead among the three and Firefox coming in last. I don’t think this is much of a surprise. Anyone who has used all of these browsers probably would’ve guessed that order just from experience.

Kraken

Kraken is a JavaScript performance benchmark created by Mozilla that measures the speed of several different test cases extracted from real-world applications and libraries. It uses a test harness based on the SunSpider benchmark. Results are reported in milliseconds (lower is better).

  • Microsoft Edge: 3,940.4ms
  • Chrome: 3,544.4ms
  • Firefox: 3,696.1ms
  • Opera: 3,740.1ms

It’s interesting to see how these results differ from the JetStream results above, even though both of these benchmarks test for JavaScript performance. According to Kraken, Chrome performs best, followed by Firefox, Opera, and lastly Edge.

RoboHornet

RoboHornet isn’t like other benchmarks because it encompasses all aspects of browser performance and everything that matters to web developers, like performance of layout and localStorage. The RoboHornet index is normalized to 100.

  • Microsoft Edge: 60.41
  • Chrome: 82.53
  • Firefox: 65.56
  • Opera: 76.54

RoboHornet is a good test because it incorporates many different factors that impact one’s web browsing experience. For example, how well does a browser handle Animated GIFs? How quickly does it read and write to localStorage? JavaScript isn’t everything.

Perhaps you already expected this, but Chrome takes the lead here with Opera coming in second place. Is that because they’re both based on Chromium? Maybe. But Firefox and Edge are both lagging behind right now and have a lot of room to improve.

HTML5 Test

The HTML5 Test isn’t exactly a performance benchmark. Rather, it measures how well a particular browser supports the entire HTML5 standard. As HTML5 features are added and changed, the test and scoring criteria are also changed.

  • Microsoft Edge: 453 out of 555
  • Chrome: 521 out of 555
  • Firefox: 478 out of 555
  • Opera: 520 out of 555

Microsoft has long been criticized for its unwillingness to adhere to web standards, but they’re doing better with Edge. The browser still lags far behind Chrome and Opera, but it’s close to Firefox and users seem happy enough with Firefox’s HTML5 support, so disregard Edge!

Speed & Performance Winner: Chrome

Chrome came out on top for both the Kraken and RoboHornet tests, which isn’t too surprising because Chrome is so fast that you can really feel it just through daily use. It also came in first for HTML5 compatibility, narrowly beating Opera by a single point.

As for second place, I’m going to give it to Opera. It came in second for the RoboHornet test, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s a more useful metric than sheer JavaScript performance. Plus, it supports HTML5 almost as well as Chrome, which will be important going forward.

Category: Addons & Extensions

These days, a browser without extensions is a browser that’s dead-on-arrival. After all, extensions can provide a slew of extra features and functionality that can make your life easier, such as saving lots of money when shopping 3 Money-Saving Price Comparison Extensions To Install Now 3 Money-Saving Price Comparison Extensions To Install Now The right money-saving browser extensions will save you a few bucks without making you do much. Today, we'll look specifically at price comparison. Read More or overcoming those urges to procrastinate Focus! 4 Best Tools To Temporarily Block Facebook & Co Focus! 4 Best Tools To Temporarily Block Facebook & Co You're not alone, we have all done it - wasting hours browsing the web instead of getting stuff done. Need a spike in productivity? Find the best tools for escaping social media here. Read More . Let’s see how these browsers stack up.

Note: Installing too many extensions can severely cripple your browser performance What Can You Do To Speed Up Your Browser? What Can You Do To Speed Up Your Browser? If you’re like me and you spend a huge portion of your day browsing the web then you understand how frustrating it is to have a slow, bloated browser that seems to be on its... Read More , so pick and choose the ones you need with care and caution.

browser-extensions-edge

Microsoft Edge: Even though a lot of people really like what Edge brings to the table A Microsoft Edge Review From A Die-Hard Chrome User A Microsoft Edge Review From A Die-Hard Chrome User Make no mistake, I am a die-hard Chrome user. But my curiosity got the better of me, so I took the plunge and tried Microsoft Edge. Read More , if there’s one thing that keeps them from making the switch, it would be the lack of extensions. Not just the lack of good extensions, but the lack of extensions altogether. Yikes!

It’s incredible that Microsoft thought it was a good idea to release Edge without any extensibility support, but there’s some good news on the horizon: Microsoft considers extensions to be a priority feature and will likely have them by Fall 2016.

Score: 0/10

browser-extensions-chrome

Chrome: There’s no way to know how many extensions are available in the Chrome Web Store, but suffice it to say that there are plenty that you’ll love. Chrome extensions are one-click installed through the Web Store for your convenience (but you can also install them manually How To Install Chrome Extensions Manually How To Install Chrome Extensions Manually Google recently decided to disable the installation of Chrome extensions from third-party websites, but some users still want to install these extensions. Here's how to do it. Read More ).

Extensions are an integral part of the Chrome experience, more so than any other browser — even to the point where users may hate Chrome but are stuck using it I Hate Google Chrome But I'm Trapped In It. Here's Why I Hate Google Chrome But I'm Trapped In It. Here's Why In the Chrome vs. Firefox war, I'm siding with the Google users. But I don't want to. Chrome is my browser of choice because it has features that I can't live without. Read More due solely to the extensions. Don’t believe me? Check out these essential Chrome extensions Google Gold: 15 Essential Chrome Extensions Google Gold: 15 Essential Chrome Extensions The standard Chrome experience can be made so much better with a handful of extensions. Read More , these can’t-miss Chrome extensions 15 Can't-Miss Chrome Extensions for Productivity 15 Can't-Miss Chrome Extensions for Productivity Today we bring you a few more essential extensions geared toward helping you work better online. Read More , and these brilliant Chrome extensions 8 Absolutely Brilliant Chrome Extensions That You Should Know About 8 Absolutely Brilliant Chrome Extensions That You Should Know About Trying out different plugins is half the fun of using a browser. Here are eight ones for Chrome that I started trying out, and now I won't allow them to leave me. Read More to get a small taste.

To be fair, a lot of the extensions on Chrome are also available on other browsers, but a lot of them aren’t. Even if you hate Chrome, nobody can deny that Chrome has the best extension market of all modern browsers Best Chrome Extensions Best Chrome Extensions Read More .

Score: 9/10

browser-extensions-firefox

Firefox: Extensions in Firefox are called addons, but we’ll call them extensions in this post for consistency. With over 15,000 extensions available in the Mozilla repository, it’s clear that Firefox has a lot of potential for customization.

Yet despite the fact that Firefox has several unique extensions that are awesome 7 Extensions Firefox Users Love That No Other Browser Has 7 Extensions Firefox Users Love That No Other Browser Has Extensions aren't always supported across all browsers. Check out these beloved Firefox-only extensions that are so useful that you may be swayed over from whichever other browser you currently use. Read More , it still falls a bit short of Chrome. Not by much, but enough to make it a point worth considering. Fortunately, Firefox has an ace up its sleeve: it will soon be able to run Chrome extensions Running Chrome Extensions in Firefox: What You Need to Know Running Chrome Extensions in Firefox: What You Need to Know Soon, you'll be able to run your favorite Chrome extensions in Firefox. This game-changing development is likely to bring about a new renaissance in Firefox users and revolutionize the way extensions are created. Read More !

Score: 8/10

browser-extensions-opera

Opera: Opera is a feature-packed browser with a lot to offer, and it does have support for extensions, but lacks the variety of extensions that you’d find in either Chrome or Firefox. You may be able to find Opera alternatives to popular extensions, but don’t count on it.

Like Edge, this is one of Opera’s greatest weaknesses Opera Has Good Features, so What’s the Problem? Opera Has Good Features, so What’s the Problem? There is something holding you back from clicking that "Make Opera My Default Browser" button. What is it? Read More . Even if you love everything else about Opera, there’s little you can do if you can’t find adequate equivalent extensions, and that’s a common dealbreaker for people these days.

Update 02/28/16: Opera has an extension called Download Chrome Extension, which allows you to install any — yes, any! — Chrome extension inside Opera. Note that it’s only compatible with extensions. Apps and themes will not work with this extension. This boosts Opera’s score from the previous 7 to a current 9.

Score: 9/10

Addons & Extensions Winner: Chrome & Opera

It’s pretty clear that Chrome outshines the rest when it comes to extensibility. The Chrome Web Store is massive and contains so many unique extensions that can’t be found on other browsers. Opera comes in a close second — a virtual tie — because it can load Chrome’s extensions.

But Firefox may soon gain the ability to run Chrome extensions, and Edge may soon gain the ability to run both Firefox and Chrome extensions, so it’s entirely possible that Chrome may soon be dethroned.

Category: Security & Privacy

Over the past few years, online security and privacy have become real issues that deserve your attention. Part of that entails making sure that you’re using a good security suite 5 Best Free Internet Security Suites for Windows 5 Best Free Internet Security Suites for Windows Which security suite do you trust the most? We look at five of the best free security suites for Windows, all of which offer anti-virus, anti-malware, and real-time protection features. Read More , but it also means knowing all the potential security weaknesses in your browser so you aren’t caught off guard.

Microsoft Edge: Edge is a mixed bag when it comes to security and privacy. It’s breaking new ground in some ways, but dropping the ball in other ways. Here are some key points to consider:

Score: 8/10

Chrome: Of all the reasons to break up with Chrome It's Time To Break Up With Google Chrome It's Time To Break Up With Google Chrome As a big fan of Google Chrome for a long time, I finally decided it was time for us to break up. It came down to overall performance, customization, and extensions. Read More , privacy concerns tend to top the list. It is, after all, developed and maintained by Google, a company that has a questionable past regarding user privacy How To Quit Using Google How To Quit Using Google So what can you do when Google encompasses a ton of products and services all around the world and you want to escape their control? When complaints and protests don’t work, the best way to... Read More . If privacy is an utmost issue for you, just skip Chrome. Otherwise:

Score: 8/10

Firefox: Firefox has long been considered by many to be the best browser as far as user privacy is concerned, which is certainly an important point, but lags behind when it comes to security. Not that Firefox is insecure by any means, only that it lacks one or two key features.

Score: 7/10

Opera: As much as I like Opera, it’s clear that it comes in last place for security. Again, like Firefox, Opera is far from “insecure” and is more than secure enough for the average user. It just lacks some of the more advanced protections that browsers are starting to have.

  • Using Badges in the address bar, Opera will warn you if it suspects that a website contains malware or is trying to perform a phishing attack.
  • Each Chrome tab runs in a sandbox process, which protects against malware installing without your knowledge and prevents websites from stealing data from your computer.
  • Automatically updates itself in the background.
  • Enable HTTPS for all sites that support it by using the HTTPS Everywhere extension What Is HTTPS & How To Enable Secure Connections Per Default What Is HTTPS & How To Enable Secure Connections Per Default Security concerns are spreading far and wide and have reached the forefront of most everybody's mind. Terms like antivirus or firewall are no longer strange vocabulary and are not only understood, but also used by... Read More . When browsing an HTTPS site, Opera will block all page elements that are served over HTTP and warn you.

Score: 8/10

Security & Privacy Winner: Edge, Chrome, Opera

Edge, Chrome, and Opera are actually quite similar, making them tied for best user protection. They all have sandbox environments and they all warn you about potential malware and phishing attacks. Edge also has Microsoft Passport, but it’s not that big of a deal.

However, if you’re concerned about companies spying on you, then you’ll want to go with Firefox. The fact that it’s open source should alleviate any worries in that department.

Category: Other Features

Is there anything else worth mentioning that separates one browser from another? A few things, yeah. In addition to everything mentioned above, each browser has a couple of unique features that may be enough to pull you in (or maybe even push you away).

Microsoft Edge:

  • Reading List where you can keep track of webpages you want to read later so you don’t have to keep them open in tabs.
  • Reading Mode that removes advertisements and sidebars from the page, making articles and posts easier to read.
  • Built-in feature that lets you annotate webpages, such as writing with a pen or highlighting useful page elements. Particularly useful if you’re on a tablet.
  • With Cortana integration, you can search the Web using Cortana without leaving whatever webpage you’re currently on. Results are displayed intelligently to fit the webpage’s context.

Score: 8/10

Chrome:

Score: 8/10

Firefox:

  • Tab Groups allow you to organize your tabs into “sets”, allowing you to quickly switch between them at will. This prevents your tab bar from being overwhelmed by too many simultaneous tabs.
  • Reading Mode that removes everything from the page except the relevant text from the article or post. Unfortunately, it also removes inline images.
  • With Pocket integration, you can save things like articles and videos for later. If you grab the Pocket mobile app, you can even read and watch whatever you’ve saved any time, anywhere.
  • Firefox Hello makes it easy to start a video conversation with anyone else. Firefox gives you a link that you can share. Not only can you use your webcam, but you can also share your screen.
  • Log into Firefox with a Firefox account and you can synchronize all of your bookmarks, histories, extensions, and settings to your account — and load them on another computer using that same account.

Score: 7/10

Opera:

  • Speed Dial feature that appears whenever you create a new empty tab. You can customize to show frequently-visited websites, so it basically acts as a glorified bookmarks collection.
  • Built-In Task Manager that shows you how much RAM and CPU is used by each tab. It’s hidden by default, so in order to access it, you have to first enable the Developer Menu.
  • Turbo Mode uses Opera’s page compression service to trim webpages of extraneous content in order to cut down on bandwidth usage. Does not work over HTTPS.
  • Mouse Gestures that you can bind with certain actions. For example, open a new tab by holding down the right mouse button and swiping down. You can even customize them with your own special gestures.
  • Log into Opera with an Opera account and you can synchronize all of your bookmarks, tabs, Speed Dial, histories, and settings to your account — and load them on another computer using that same account.

Score: 7/10

Other Features Winner: Edge & Chrome

Each browser has its merits here, with key features being Cortana integration in Edge, Task Manager in Chrome, Tab Groups in Firefox, and Turbo Mode in Opera. But it’s a hard category to compare, mainly because the features I like may not be the features you like. For me, Edge and Chrome come out on top.

And the Overall Winner Is…

Nobody.

It’s impossible to take four complex pieces of software, each of which has its own pros and cons, and distill it all down to a single winner. As we said before, the right browser for you may not be the right browser for me. You have to take everything into account. No summaries.

Personally, I’m using Opera as my primary browser right now because it’s simple and I don’t use any special extensions. The biggest takeaway here, however, is that Edge is surprisingly good, nearly on par with Chrome. Once it gets extension support, it will be a force to be reckoned with. (Note that you’ll need Windows 10 to use Edge 10 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10 10 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10 Windows 10 is coming on July 29. Is it worth upgrading for free? If you are looking forward to Cortana, state of the art gaming, or better support for hybrid devices - yes, definitely! And... Read More .)

Which browser do you use as your main and why? What are the most important features? What are the biggest dealbreakers? How do you like Edge? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments!

Image Credit: Microsoft Edge Welcome by T. Dallas via Shutterstock

  1. Dr Whom
    September 12, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Firstly, here's my list of add-on essentials if someone'd like to try Opera for the 1st time: 1. Ghostery; 2. Text-to-Speech (TTS); 3. Google Reverse Image Search; 4. HD Video Downloader.
    Ive been w/ the O since inception but have been forced to use everything else by work or school forced browser req's. Fact is, Opera is the oldest, most innovative, and simply the best, most fluid, effortless experience. They invented Speed Dial(Now animated wallpapers!)!!, Rocker Gestures!!, Tabs!!, Pop-up Block!!, Session Recovery (Even on another phone or computer)!!!! Every other browser copied everything from Opera so how can any other browser be better?? They can't. Nothing else comes close. Opera is the best. Period.<-

  2. k2k
    September 10, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I like the speed of Edge. But the lack of extension is a downside for me, so i put Edge to trash. I use Chrome with uBlock origin , YouTube AdAway, AdBlock Plus and Chrometana (forced Cortana to use Google Search Engine). Satisfied with this, speed is also comparable with Edge.

    I like Firefox features and Add-Ons, but the only downside is the speed. It is hard to use in a country where the speed hardly reached 1mbps, so i ditch FireFox to trash again...???

  3. lobstercowboy
    August 25, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Edge gets a higher score beause it does less. Interesting. Biased much?

    • Joel Lee
      August 29, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      Well I don't really use Edge so that'd be a weird bias to have. Those scores are based on overall usefulness for an average browser user, not simply based on which browser has more unique features.

  4. suckmaipeeness
    August 1, 2016 at 12:28 am

    edge sux

  5. Timo
    July 16, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Firefox being open source while allowing malicious users to browse the code for vulnerabilities, it also allows vulnerabilities to be spotted and patched much more quickly because the whole community can help. This is the reason that many popular open source products (ie. Linux) are so secure.

  6. Rah
    July 8, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    For Opera's added features you forgot in built ad blocker, battery saver and picture in picture. All of which are pretty amazing features

    • Joel Lee
      July 13, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      I believe the ad blocker and PIP features came out after writing this, but certainly worth mentioning now. Thanks Rah!

  7. eboye
    June 29, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I'm a long time Firefox user, from 0.8 version, but I'm using Chrome and Opera in parallel, also other browsers for testing.

    Firefox DeveloperEdition is my main browser for almost anything e10s support is here and every major addon is working stable on it.

    The "Tab Mix Plus" addon is something that keeps me from using other browsers for surfing. It has the support for storing sessions so you can restore up to last three sessions in history by default.

    The major thing that still keeps me on Firefox is the Developer Tools that is simply amazing and no other browser has that kind of dev support. Chrome is getting better and better every version, but still falls behind.

    Chrome maybe is the fastest, but it also uses so much RAM that is unacceptable. 3-4GB of RAM for simple tasks, come on?

    Firefox beats it in this aspect as it's using around 1GB for almost the same amount of tabs and even more extensions installed than FF.

    Opera is fast, has extensions, but I see no difference as it's using Blink as layout engine, the same one as in Chrome and Chromium.

    Edge, well I tested it once, and it's fast, maybe it has some potential, but after so many years of IE fails, I can't imagine users going back to Microsoft product even on Windows.

    I'm on Elementary OS (Linux) as my daily OS and Edge is not available on it, and it want be anytime soon, maybe even never.

    So, that would be my comment on this article, which I find very informative btw.

    But I want to point out the other aspect: Mobile devices.

    Majority of users are switching to mobile devices. The biggest part of those users are on Android, followed by iOS and in some very small part by other OSs.

    Here it's going to be next battle of the browsers where we can see some new ones, but nevertheless, my point is that on desktop there are going to be developers and maybe gamers and content creators left. Every other user is switching to mobile.

    On this one, the Chrome is the king for now, but other are really catching up. Edge is dead in start as it's on platform that is dead (even the officials said it is).

  8. Francoise
    June 22, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    On Win 10, Edge for small task (I wrote my own speedial page), Firefox for real work with superstart and adblockers.

    Firefox with the same addons on Ubuntu 16.

    I think adding modules will make Edge heavier and less interesting.

    • Joel Lee
      June 24, 2016 at 1:41 am

      Hmm, that's an interesting point. If Edge's big draw is its speed, then yeah, maybe addons might kill its only advantage. But without that extra functionality, nobody will use it. Microsoft may be caught in a catch-22.

  9. Rahul
    June 22, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    in terms of Extensions and Add ons i think OPERA beats CHROME. As there are already have some different and unique extensions in OPERA EXTENSION STORE and despite this it can also download CHROME EXTENSIONS from chrome store.

    Like, in opera i have SMART RSS extension - The best RSS extension that works only with OPERA and does not found in CHROME.

    so 9/10 for opera and 8/10 for chrome

    • Joel Lee
      June 24, 2016 at 1:40 am

      Haha, good point!

  10. Dave
    June 22, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Chrome using nearly 3G of memory, vs Firefox under 1G. I am Mac OS. Want completely out of Google Chrome, gmail, everything because of G's massive privacy invasions, also because G powerfully & politically opposes privacy & security. Firefox sandboxing deficiency will be fixed by Electrolysis in September. Was considering Firefox or Opera, going back to Firefox. Just opened protonmail email account, open source, end to end encryption, will be moving to it from gmail. Have been using only startpage.com search, also Ublock Origin ad/malware blocker. Have been using ESETS antimalware, but using too much CPU.

    • Joel Lee
      June 24, 2016 at 1:40 am

      Electrolysis has been promised for a while now but if it really does arrive in September, then that will be awesome!

  11. Scott
    June 19, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Using Opera Dev because of it's build in ad blocker and VPN service. Before that was swapping between Opera and Chrome regularly.

    (having read this I opened Edge for the first time and nothing loaded within a minute, tried searching for things and typing in the search bar. Nothing.)

    • Joel Lee
      June 24, 2016 at 1:39 am

      I still miss the old school Opera but the recent developments on Chromium-based Opera have been pretty nice. As for Edge, I'm still giving Microsoft the benefit of the doubt but my good will towards them is running out, haha. Thanks for sharing Scott!

  12. Ashley Richmonds
    June 5, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    Firefox extensions can still do more than those of Chrome and Opera. You can't add-ons such as DownThemAll! or one's that modify the browser to the extent one can only imagine in other browsers. Sadly, Mozilla is crippling that functionality little by little.

    • Joel Lee
      June 14, 2016 at 3:51 am

      Yeah, Firefox does have a number of exclusive addons that are really nice (I really miss Tree Style Tab). Too bad there isn't a single extension standard that ALL browsers can share.

  13. Jane
    June 5, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    "It’s impossible to take four complex pieces of software, each of which has its own pros and cons, and distill it all down to a single winner..."

    Why not replace the article with that sentence. It's would save a lot of time for readers. Either that or change the misleading heading to "Browser Comparison" or something similar and more accurate.

  14. Sisyphia
    June 5, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Edge does not seem to want to print PDFs. There may be ways of persuading Edge, but I really can't be bothered to look for them when Chrome prints PDFs without any problem.

    • Joel Lee
      June 14, 2016 at 3:49 am

      That's really strange! It looks like I'm gonna have to go investigate and see if there are any ways to print PDFs in Edge. That's something I never even considered, so thanks Sisyphia!

  15. BruceR
    June 4, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    If you want a browser which uses less resources, I always find Firefox is the best. When I use CCleaner to clean out my cache, Firefox cache is about 6K whereas Chrome is over 70K.

    • Joel Lee
      June 14, 2016 at 3:48 am

      Interesting! I wonder why Firefox uses so much less cache space. Do you use the browsers in equal amounts? Maybe that plays a factor.

      • David
        June 15, 2016 at 8:04 pm

        I'm wondering who that's even an issue for - someone with a hard drive from 1990?

        • Joel Lee
          June 19, 2016 at 3:54 am

          Haha, touche!

        • John Horatius Loot
          July 27, 2016 at 3:49 pm

          Yeah mine's from 1991

  16. Ted Shepler
    June 4, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    I am still Opera... but I am still bitter about their shift to the Chrome engine. I miss the really cool features we lost after v11

    • Joel Lee
      June 14, 2016 at 3:47 am

      Yes, I still have fond memories of pre-Chrome Opera. :(

  17. Jose
    May 28, 2016 at 5:21 am

    Congratulation to Nobody for winning the browser wars :)

  18. Farrukh
    May 24, 2016 at 6:19 am

    I've shifted and now addicted to Opera due to following reasons:

    -Sidebar with extensions especially Tab Tree and Bookmarks. (Chrome lacks it, Firefox have it)
    -Less Resource hungry (Chrome and Firefox both eat resources, especially with Extensions)
    -It supports Chrome Extensions + its own so enjoying both worlds.
    -Yes it is using chrome/Chromium engine, that's actually good in performance.

  19. Bun-Bun
    May 24, 2016 at 4:19 am

    Opera hands down. Though I have to keep firefox installed for compatibility with certain websites.

    Edge is absolutely awful. The interface looks like it was designed by a toddler.

    I used to love chrome, but its rampant memory leaks lately make it impossible to use as my primary browser.

    Opera crashes the least, doesn't lose my tabs ever, is fast and aesthetically pleasing.

  20. Rob H
    May 14, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Surprised that Chrome still scores so highly,it's been really poor now for well over a year.

    • Joel Lee
      May 23, 2016 at 3:39 am

      Chrome is worse now than it was one or two years ago in a lot of ways, I agree, but it's still one of the best (or at least one of the toughest to migrate away from). Maybe that says more about the other browsers than Chrome itself, haha.

  21. Ossama Nasser
    May 11, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    When it comes to resource usage, web browsing just uses a lot, you can say that Chrome uses a bit more than the others, due to the fact that each tab is its own process while in Firefox each tab is its own thread.

    • Joel Lee
      May 23, 2016 at 3:37 am

      You're right, a lot of browsers use a lot of resources, so it's more accurate to say that Chrome is relatively more resource-heavy than the others. Thanks Ossama!

  22. Apollo
    April 22, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Opera has free, built-in VPN now.

  23. Adi Fahmi
    April 19, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Nice article! but it missing really important comparison : Resource usage.

    • Joel Lee
      April 23, 2016 at 10:40 pm

      Ah, that's right. Would've been good to include that. Thanks Adi, we'll consider covering that!

  24. Justme
    April 16, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Opera.

    • Joel Lee
      April 18, 2016 at 10:10 pm

      I always try other browsers and always go back to Opera. It's very nice, indeed!

  25. Zibi
    March 29, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Very good article, thank you, really appreciated

    • Joel Lee
      April 1, 2016 at 1:32 am

      Thanks Zibi! Glad it proved helpful. :)

  26. Krillix
    March 23, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    When I start Opera it loads Chrome and then loads Speed Dial. The last time this happed the only way to get rid of Chrome was to Reload windows from system restore. How do I get rid of Chrome?

  27. Edward Goldblatt
    March 1, 2016 at 1:03 am

    I'm a little upset that you didn't include Vivaldi and SeaMonkey here. I haven't used Opera since they moved off Presto (it had been my favorite browser from V1 - V12). I don't feel that a browser without addons is DOA though - I use K-Meleon for speed and accessibility and it works well.

    I currently use Firefox, but I think it's actually gone downhill for the last several versions. I don't like "Chrome-Like" browsers, and Australis disgusts me (so I just use Status-4-Eva and Classic Theme Restorer).

    What I'm looking for is a stable browser with no extensions (rather, options to be turned on or off within the program) and a mostly proprietary rendering engine separate and different from Gecko or WebKit/Blink. I want it to run with low RAM use (to the point that it self-tethers and clears cache automatically) and be stable.

  28. Howard Blair
    February 28, 2016 at 4:06 am

    "...the only think keeping you..." ***thing*** Derp derp derp.

  29. Susan
    February 27, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    I have used Opera, IE, Firefox and Chrome in the past. I had problems with all of them except Opera. But I did give that up awhile ago when it became like Chrome and now use Waterfox Portable 64 bit almost exclusively. I use Edge when I have to, but Lastpass doesn't work with it, so I have to copy and paste sign-ins. I also use Chrome on my Android phone and once in awhile on my pc when I have to for certain things. I also use Safari on my iPad and it's ok. Waterfox Portable doesn't give me any grief, seldom crashes and syncs to my laptop. I don't have a lot of extensions but the ones I use, work well.

  30. John Dowe
    February 27, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Since when is a minimal UI a good thing? Accessing anything will take more effort and hiding it in sidebars that are invisible by default means out of sight = out of mind. And no right-click? There is a reason why even 3$ mice come with two buttons. Yes, right-click is not available on touch screens, but that is exactly the reason why these vastly different means of operation need different UIs.

    The sad thing that this comparison shows is that there is not a single browser that is HTML5 compliant. With the web being a center piece of most of our lives that is truly a sad state of affairs.

  31. Schvenn Meister
    February 27, 2016 at 12:50 am

    Oddly, you're missing a bunch of Opera features, some of which you even mentioned for the other browsers, which is really weird, because Opera offered almost all of the features we now consider standard years before the other browsers:

    News Feed is not my favourite, but it's there.
    Task Manager is available in the Developer's menu.

    Synchronization you mentioned, but I like that it adds the ability to use a separate password for added security.

    Tab Groups are available in Speed Dial.
    Turbo mode is exclusive to Opera.
    Built-in Recently closed tabs menu (No plug-in required).

    While they are limited, there are also a few hidden advanced features unlocked by the "Konami" code that allow you to do things like remove Google Search from Speed Dial and/or add it to the Address bar, old school style.

  32. Mr_Know-It-All
    February 26, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Hello, all.
    TL-DR:

    PALE MOON!!!!

    Have a GREAT day, Neighbors!

  33. Ralphy
    February 26, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    "The biggest takeaway here, however, is that Edge is surprisingly good..."

    Luckily this is pure opinion, as is the article as a whole. Especially since that abortion known as 'Edge' is only run on Microslop.

  34. npublici
    February 26, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    The last issue of Opera,before being chrome based was the finest browser available and the most secure. When chrome began to overtake Opera the makers of opera decided to use the chrome engine,knowing they couldn't possibly compete with googles research and development money.I still like it best. I wish for all of them that the favorites/bookmarks resided on my computer,available to any browser just by clicking on "bookmarks in the browser.I also wish thatThere were MANY methods of making and organizing those bookmarks.

  35. Terry Hollett
    February 26, 2016 at 10:18 am

    There is an extension called "Download Chrome Extension" that allows you to use any chrome extension for Opera that is.

  36. shahid
    February 26, 2016 at 1:19 am

    I think Vivaldi will surpass all of them soon.

    • Ralphy
      February 26, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      I'm hoping so too. It'd be nice if they completely dropped development on the non-open source part of it and spent the money and time on it for use by open source OS's. Let those other OS's who are privacy invasive and not open source spend the money on developing a better browser.

  37. Alyson
    February 25, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    What about us poor Vista users .. have an old-ish computer but it still works fine .. except Chrome is apparently about to stop it's updates to Vista ... why??!!

    • mitzi
      May 6, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      upgrade to windows 7, or ubuntu. your pc would thank you :)

  38. MSwhip
    February 25, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Google and Microsoft tend to be nosey and invade users privacy. That by itself is why I would never use them

  39. Awesome1pc2
    February 25, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Whenever I use Opera, it takes 15 seconds to load https://www.cnn.com/studentnews, while Chrome takes 8 seconds and Firefox takes 5. Sadly, Firefox isn't smoothest at running already loaded websites, so I use Chrome and Edge (because of Cortana).

    • Schvenn Meister
      February 27, 2016 at 12:53 am

      Took me under 4 seconds in Opera.

  40. Sandesh
    February 25, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    I'm a senior web developer. I am big fan Google Chrome & most of the developers in my team prefer chrome as a daily driver for debugging purpose. I believe Chrome Developer Tools have lot of features like workspace, profiling app, responsive design tools and live editing like things. And a debugging environment without bugs. I used firefox for more than 2 months and I didn't really like it, it was shitty buggy. We use Safari, FF & Edge for development rarely and that's just for the sake of checking that it's gonna work there or not.

    So point here to explain all this stuff is. If most of the developers are using chrome to debug the app, that mean you gonna find bugs very rarely. Because it's well tested on that platform. Developers hated IE because IE kept their users outdated to latest technologies. IE sucks. It should go away from existence ASAP, developers hate that shit.

    • Daniel Borsos
      February 25, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      Firefox' and Chrome's developer tools are exactly the same, so I don't see your point there.

      • Sandesh
        February 26, 2016 at 5:17 am

        Chrome supports live editing code while debugging, Firefox doesn't.

      • Sandesh
        February 26, 2016 at 5:18 am

        Exactly same?
        Are you kidding?

  41. Chuck_Strut
    February 25, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    I would not use M$ Edge, I find it very hard to trust something that is full of bugs.

    Primary brower is Firefox, secondary Opera then Chrome.

    Someone say memory leak Firefox, have a look at Edge the resources used.

    There are so many good web browsers out there why would you scriple yourself with Edge.

  42. fcd76218
    February 25, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    IMO, being open source is a BIG plus for FF. Nobody can sneak any malicious code into FF unnoticed. With closed source we don't know until it blows up in our face.

    "Microsoft Edge:"
    Who knows what kind of backdoors MS has installed and how much data it collects.
    Does Smart Screen rate sites that pay MS higher than those that do not pay MS?

    "Chrome:"
    One BIG tracker.
    Automatic updates, whether you want them or not.
    It does not warn the user about Google collecting data.

  43. fred
    February 25, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    the only issue I have with Firefox is it STILL has a memory leak after all these years. If you leave it open for a long time, it grows and grows and grows in memory usage until it hoses the whole system... I've seen it use over a GIG of RAM before my system needs to be rebooted to deal with it...

    Otherwise I use it as my primary browser, and Chrome with sites that don't work well in Firefox.

    • Daniel Borsos
      February 25, 2016 at 10:49 pm

      It is true, that Firefox grows RAM usage, mostly when it has to deal with a lot of JS work. But seriously... Chrome STARTS with 1GB already eaten, and it grows far quicker than FF.

  44. Keras
    February 25, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    There some issue with edge (blurry texts) I guess some of you might experiencing it too. I've used almost every browsers so far; just like he concluded the winner is 'no body'

  45. BZD
    February 25, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    There is also the new Brave browser

  46. A41202813GMAIL ..
    February 25, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Do Not Take This The Wrong Way, But I Would Be Ashamed Of Stating These 2 Facts In The Same Article:

    A - OPERA Is My Main Browser,

    B - OPERA Has Too Fewer Extensions.

    ---

    I Use 6 Browsers.

    Besides CHROME I Use OPERA15+, YANDEX And BAIDU - All 4 Of Them Are Clones Of Each Other.

    OPERA15+ Is Also My Main Browser And, As A CHROME Clone, Can Share Most Extensions With All The Other Clones.

    There Are Several Ways To Download Extensions From All Clones To Your Hard Drive, In .NEX Or .CRX File Formats.

    If You Can Not Install A Specific File Format, Try Renaming It To The Other File Format And Vice Versa.

    Is Your Face Turning Red, By Now ?

    Cheers.

  47. Chris
    February 25, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Safari??? Safari would compete with Chrome on all fronts

  48. Swag McGees
    February 25, 2016 at 10:13 am

    The fact that Firefox lost to chrome on the ex tensions round shows how out of touch with reality the author is. Do you know where all of those (lazily ported)extensions you love so much came from? Firefox.

  49. pseudoscion
    February 25, 2016 at 9:55 am

    It is possible to use Chrome extensions in Opera, they are compatible

  50. Al
    February 25, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Great article, but I would've loved seeing how Safari currently stacks up against these.

  51. Me
    February 25, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Once more funny article ... but unfortunately not serious .. Edge is the only one which isn't available on other platforms ...

  52. Sacha
    February 25, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Thanks for writing the great article, but why not include Mac browsers? I'm a Mac user and I really like Google Chrome. Mind you, I could probably manage with any of these.

    • fcd76218
      February 25, 2016 at 10:51 pm

      "why not include Mac browsers?"
      Because this is a Windows-centric article. :-)

  53. marcone italy
    February 25, 2016 at 8:12 am

    I use Chrome but I am getting surprised that Edge is much quicker than IE.

  54. Read and Share
    February 25, 2016 at 5:26 am

    I don't like to use too products from any one company - esp. if the company is known to track 'everything'. I already use Gmail (and thus Google Contacts and Google Voice). So, I've been trying -- and failing -- to move away from Google's Chrome browser. But I always go back. Not only is it fast and easy to use, it's got amazing extensions as well.

    Some people gloat about Firefox extensions, but not only do I dislike that browser itself, I also find their equivalent extensions inferior. Ghostery is one example. And IMHO, Adblock beats the pants off Adblock Plus.

    • Read and Share
      February 25, 2016 at 5:27 am

      First line should have read, "I don't like to use too many products from any one company...".

      Why can't we have an EDIT button?

    • fcd76218
      February 25, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      " I also find their equivalent extensions inferior."
      Interesting since many Chrome extensions are copies of FF extensions.
      Since you dislike the browser, it is only understandable you would dislike the extensions, no matter what their quality.

  55. Praveen Khunte
    February 25, 2016 at 4:35 am

    The scores you have given after comparison each feature doesn't make any sense as it is not transparent. Firefox have all the features but still you categorically eliminated which is not fair and I believe it is your personal opinion.
    I am using Firefox for more than 10 years. I tried switching to chrome many times but came back to Firefox for many features which are still not in other browsers.
    Please publish genuine and unbiased articles.

  56. Hildy J
    February 25, 2016 at 4:01 am

    One thing to note is the availability of these browsers on Android, OSX, and iOS. Firefox is available on all of them so you can pick up where you left off regardless of the device.

  57. StoJa
    February 25, 2016 at 3:56 am

    So you wasted time doing this experiment and I wasted time reading it...just to come to the conclusion "use what you want to use." Jesus Christ.

    • JH Carter
      February 25, 2016 at 5:36 am

      I saw that one coming.

  58. Marco Sarli
    February 25, 2016 at 3:40 am

    I am using more and more Vivaldi and I am liking it. It keeps getting better. Extremely fast, very low on resources and I can set it up exactly the way I want.

  59. Geqo
    February 25, 2016 at 2:12 am

    That article was so ridiculously anti Firefox, it's ridiculous... Please try to eliminate bias next time

    • John Horatius Loot
      July 27, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      ANTI FIREFOX

  60. Dave
    February 25, 2016 at 1:15 am

    Love Opera! It's worth a look. The way you can organize favorite pages into folders on the speed dial page is awesome. (This is different than bookmarks.)

  61. APar
    February 25, 2016 at 12:22 am

    Not a fan of Firefox or Chrome because they don't seem to be as smooth. I use Safari. Been using it for a while now.

  62. Pariah
    February 24, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    For Opera and Yandex Browsers, there is an extension available that lets the user download whatever Chrome extensions they want using the proxy extension..enjoy :)

  63. Esali
    February 24, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    what about the resources usage !!!!

  64. Opera
    February 24, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    I use Opera! I don't know how they do it but Opera has the fastest browsing experience. The UI and opening of multiple tabs feel so smooth.

  65. Neil
    February 24, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    The writer failed to note that you can install a huge number of Chrome extensions on Opera, via Opera's Download Chrome Extension extension.

    • Bob
      February 24, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Exactly, I use Opera too. My second browser is Vivaldi. :)

      • MeinMeister91
        February 24, 2016 at 11:10 pm

        I started using Vivaldi browser as second browser a year ago (basically when first snapshots very available) and am using it as my main browser for 3 months now.

        What i really like:
        - left side panel
        - tab stacking
        - mouse gestures
        - chrome extensions can be installed easily

        I can't wait to see mail getting implemented :)
        And Vivaldi is fast as well :)

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