Browsers Windows

Are You Really Using The Best Web Browser For Windows?

Joel Lee 08-01-2013

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


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

Internet Explorer

best web browser

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

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

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


Google Chrome

best internet browser

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

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

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


Mozilla Firefox

best internet browser

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

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

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



best internet browser

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

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

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



best windows browser

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

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

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


best windows browser

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

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

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


best windows browser

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

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

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


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

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

Image Credit: Browser Windows Via Shutterstock

Related topics: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera Browser.

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  1. Mono
    January 26, 2016 at 7:28 am

    No mention of Microsoft Edge? It seems to be fast and way better than the previous versions of Internet Explorer. Only downside is that it currently has no support for AdBlockPlus or any other pop up blockers. Otherwise it seems to be quite acceptable.

    • Reply
      May 26, 2016 at 8:37 am

      "No mention of Microsoft Edge?" This article was written in Jan 2013.

  2. Anonymous
    November 5, 2015 at 3:51 am

    You missed all the best browsers....
    I left Firefox behind a while ago for the security enhanced Cyberfox.
    Same goes for dumping Chrome for Superbird.
    Then when you want to just quickly look something up there is always Light, which is a stripped down Firefox variant.
    And if I had to throw in a 4th it would be Pale Moon.

    Even then, no matter what browser you select it's not so much which one you use, but what add-ons and extensions you use. You have to find that blend of performance and security for what you use that browser for.

  3. Anonymous
    June 23, 2015 at 3:37 am

    +1 for Maxthon

  4. Mona Lissa
    May 19, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    I am looking for a second browser for my laptop. I surf the web, play some games and spend alot of time on Facebook. I have 2 ID's so I want 2 browsers. IE has gone and crashed on me, and I can't get it to work at all. I'm currently using Chrome and loving it. What do you suggest for games?

  5. pappy jenandiah
    May 13, 2013 at 3:16 am

    I ain't a needin' no dang newfangled thingamajig so I can done do me some browsin' at the flea market on Saturdays. I use jest mah own 2 eyes and I done browse just fine, thank you. So I reckon I'm a sayin' that mah vote is MyOwnTwoEyes. Its a dang goods browser y'all.

  6. Corey
    May 7, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I use nothing but the best!

    -Google Chrome

    For the others, who knows, I've heard internet explorer is hackers dream!

    never used Opera, or the others ones, I wonder where these "Experts" get their research from?

  7. Ssingh
    April 22, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Slim Boat is Best.

  8. Rory
    April 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I use Rockmelt. Its basically an old version of google chrome but specifically aimed for social network sites and apps - mainly facebook & twitter. It has access to many apps etc and its great if you like to intergrate your social networks, receive notifications and newsfeeds about your social network that show and then disappear. you can also turn to silent mode if you aren't in the mood for any distractions. Decent speed etc. Has not been updated for windows for a while tho.. but an update is promised soon

  9. Walter Dull
    April 2, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    I have also ran the browser gambit, After IE8 i gave up on using Explorer due to poor performance, and i have never felt bad about looking back. Firefox is a mainstay and my place of business and it works great for everything i do at the newspaper. I downloaded a couple extensions that allow me to do much of my work in the browser., It's great!!! For my personal PC, I use Chrome since the day it beta'd. I like it a lot, it does everything i need it to, but it is a resource pig. I haven't had any luck with Opera. Every time I download it, it never installed right, so i don't have much to say about it. thanks to your article I might give it another try.

  10. Johnny Sezs
    March 20, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Lots of people telling what they use isn't that great. How about a browser that does web browsing only, I don't want any features. In my opinion, I use Chrome and I am tired of all the advertising that is sent to my screen because I previously searched for a product. I am tired of the bombardment of advertising and I would even pay for a browser that promises no advertising or tracking of my activities. Every time I search on Chrome you can see all the various web sites that are tracking and plotting their advertising strategy for my next move. I even get junk mail that is related to my searches how the hell does this happen?
    Any suggestions on a better browser?

    • Joel Lee
      March 22, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Honestly, that sounds less like a browser problem and more of a browsing habits problem. Or in other words, that would most likely happen regardless of which browser you use.

  11. jrf
    March 18, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    I’ve gone from early IE to FF (which I never really liked) to Chrome (stayed with Chrome until several months ago)... now back with IE9 (which removes several Chrome annoyances... and adds a few of its own)

  12. Daniel
    March 17, 2013 at 5:09 am

    I generally use Opera, never had a problem. You can have multiple tabs open on the same screen without having two windows. I tried chrome, but every time you open it, it has to resolve proxy. I also lost my extensions and skins multiple times on chrome. I have also tried maxthon... great if you don't want a mainstream browser. Maxthon also has the multiple tab function, but only two tabs at a time.

  13. Sharianne
    March 16, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I found your blog because I have been using Safari for the last couple of years but needed to find an alternative. For a long time I really liked it, even though I have a PC, but lately it has been interfering with my Microsoft products (or, more likely, the other way around) and it's just not worth the hassle.

    Based on some of the feedback I just downloaded Pale Moon and set it up. So far, so good. It's zippier than Safari. My only concern is the close connection between Firefox and Pale Moon. My Firefox browser is dedicated to just social media. I stopped trusting Facebook when it started throwing my browsing history at me in ads and I discovered Safari and Firefox don't seem to talk to each other. My only hope is Pale Moon and Firefox don't cross-pollinate their data. We'll see. Does anybody know how likely it is?

  14. Kevin Vaillant
    February 22, 2013 at 6:02 am

    I use Opera on all my devices.
    I find it fast, light weight and easy to use.
    Best browser available in my opinion.

  15. Tony Capone
    February 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I use Firefox.

  16. Anonymous
    February 16, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    yes Tourch web browser chromium based web browser.. many good feature ...
    Torret downloader, any video download and favorite feature... ..
    i use Google Chrome if i want to search some text material or social networking. GC is smoth for it. I use Opera for watching videos. and online Games.

  17. Mads Andreasen
    February 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    I use Opera, because i think that it is not good to be mainstream, and it works perfectly..

  18. Mohamed Guennichi
    January 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I use Google Chrome

  19. Sanjay Kumar
    January 16, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I use chrome for my daily usage.. and when it is for professional i use firefox. since when dealing with many number of tabs firefox is best.

  20. animesh sharma
    January 16, 2013 at 9:33 am

    google chrome's the best
    nothing is like it

  21. Kcalpesh Ajugia
    January 16, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Once I used chrome for the first time, I never looked at any other browser for daily use. I gave up IE about 7-8 years back and have been using firefox occasionally only for testing purpose! Never faced any issue with chrome so far and the way it integrates all the google products and allows multiple user logins, its simply awesome experience!

    • Joel Lee
      January 17, 2013 at 7:40 am

      I agree. The integration of a lot of Google services provides a level of convenience that I can't find elsewhere (yet!).

  22. Clotilde/Craftybegonia
    January 16, 2013 at 1:35 am

    To tell you the truth, I tried Opera, but found it cumbersome and confusing. My Mozilla Firefox crashed a lot and Internet Explorer kept getting infested with all kinds of viruses. I even tried Apple's Safari, which I don't like too much. I use Google Chrome daily because I can get the plugins I like and it takes me where I want to go without much trouble. Thanks for your article!

    • Joel Lee
      January 17, 2013 at 7:41 am

      I can understand why you'd think Opera to be cumbersome. It comes packed with a TON of features, many of which I never used back when Opera was my main browser. If you just ignore those features and focus on browsing, though, it can be great.

  23. Dennis Remillard
    January 15, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    I prefer Chrome because I can move to linux and have all my stuff in the browser that I use daily. Easy to sunc and login!

    January 15, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    I am addicted to chrome and whenever I use another browser I feel like something is missing.

    • Maxi3w
      March 19, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      I feel like that too! Chrome just keeps on pulling me back! ;-)

  25. Diana Hill
    January 15, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Thanks I will check out midori... also wish you would cover a stable browser for apple ipad. Safari crashes but I use it because it has autofill for forms for me, I have chrome and icabmobile (hefty ten bucks) but no autofill forms unless you fill it out one time and save the fill info... I need autofill automatically for forms without saving each one after filling it out.. Would be great if you would cover it.

    • Mark O'Neill
      January 15, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      Chrome and Dolphin are the only two worth thinking about, in my opinion. If you already have Chrome, give Dolphin a try. It has gestures so you can open up websites by drawing on the screen!

  26. Rob Nadin
    January 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I no longer use Chrome as it runs too many background processes and eats up all your RAM, which can be a problem on older machines with limited resources.

    I currently use Waterfox which is just a 64-bit compliant build of Firefox, so it works just as well (if not better) on the latest versions of Windows x64. And extensions are still far above what can be gotten for Chrome, such as theming the entire application.

  27. Anonymous
    January 15, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Always been a FF user for many years but now started using chrome @ work & it's not bad but it does use a lot of RAM if you have many tabs open like I do...

    • Mark O'Neill
      January 15, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      I have become obsessed with closing tabs as much as possible!

      • Maxi3w
        March 19, 2013 at 4:08 pm

        It's crazy, we shouldn't have to keep closing tabs. Just as I was looking for new browsers it was taking Chrome so long just to open 3 tabs so I had to shut them down just to get to this article! It's nuts.

  28. Stephen Rice
    January 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    FF, Chrome and Maxthon (Testing it anyway) If roboform worked with Maxthon it be gr8

  29. Bobby Lasley
    January 14, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    finally an explination why my older laptop slows currently using chrome.why ? the bells and whistles its appealing in all it does. my poor laptop is just i understand why.thank you.!

    • Joel Lee
      January 15, 2013 at 6:51 am

      You're welcome! Replace that Chrome with something lightweight and you'll be good to go!

  30. Muhammad Ubaid Raza
    January 14, 2013 at 7:22 am

    "if it didn’t bug out on Google’s web products like Google Docs"
    Its not Opera's fault, Google uses sniffing to block Opera.
    Most of the time you just have to Mask Opera as firefox and it works, which proves Opera is just being not taken care by Google and other webDevelopers.

    • Joel Lee
      January 15, 2013 at 6:51 am

      Well, that's the first I'm hearing of this. Do you have a link to an article or something that could give me more info on that? Would love to be able to use Google web on Opera!

    • Maxi3w
      March 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      I agree with Joel and second that on an article if you could link it because personally I need Googles products as well :)

  31. Bruno Angioni
    January 13, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    My choices summary: 1st Opera, 2nd Chrome, both for Linux and Windows. For slow computers, QT Browser.

    I consider Opera to be the best by far. When I started using it, I had found a few bugs that bothered me, but they disappeared with the next upgrade. A very solid browser. I wonder whether the Google guys ever tested their applications using Opera (not likely).
    I also use IE for work, because of its integration with Windows, and I have Chrome in my taskbar, too. I stopped using Firefox because I found it to be a little slow, and it crashed consistently under Linux. I suppose most people use it because of the add-ons.
    Also, some websites are designed specifically for IE, and you get a warning/error if you are using any other browser (facepalm).

    For very slow computers, I usually install QT browser and it works fine. I'm glad you mentioned Midori, I'll give it a try.

    • Sarvesh
      March 3, 2013 at 4:20 am

      If i'm not wrong i think there is an addon in firefox that allows one to open websites only designed for IE, like windows update... I think the name is IE tab or something.

      • Maxi3w
        March 19, 2013 at 4:04 pm

        Yeah, you're right. I know Chrome has it and I am as sure as can be that Firefox has IE Tab as well.

  32. Steve Taylor
    January 13, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Aurora (64 bit firefox) is my default. It updates itself daily with the latest stable builds, compatible with 95% of firefox addons, quick with a umber of ways to keep the interface compact and clean.

    My backup is chrome. It is a bit quicker than Aurora, but does not have the large selection of addons.

    Thanks for pinting out Maxthon for me again. I used it a long time ago and loved it, but it went away. I kept it installed and it worked for a while after support was dropped, but finally had to bag it. I guess now it has been resurrected! Just installed it and its even better than it was before...

  33. Steve Taylor
    January 12, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Thanks for reminding me about Maxthon...
    I used it a long time ago and loved it, then it sort of went away.
    Glad to see it back!

  34. Ken E Baker
    January 12, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Yeah, must admit that I love Chrome - linked to my Google account and Android phone, so it makes life a little easier when surfing the web. On the downside, totally agree on the resource hog component of Chrome. Running with more than 20 tabs open, and the 4 gigs of RAM that my notebook has is NOT enough to play nice.

  35. Arie Widodo
    January 12, 2013 at 3:40 am

    my wife use comodo dragon, it's nice and stable. i use palemoon for my main browser, but i also install chrome just because of 2 things, first palemoon can't load some game properly, for example : 8 ball pool on fb, and i use chrome to watch youtube.

    • Joel Lee
      January 13, 2013 at 7:02 am

      Ah, that's a shame about Pale Moon not handling stuff properly. I guess there are some bugs that need to be squashed.

  36. John
    January 11, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Cool review

  37. omaha100
    January 11, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    I'm a big FireFox fan but the last few versions are slow and crash a lot. Since I have a 64 bit machine and OS I switched to Pale Moon. It is based on FireFox code but optimized for business use. It is fast, stable and robust. All Firefox extensions work--in fact it feels like you are in FireFox but back a few releases. I love it. It only works on 64 bit OS's. Waterfox is another 64 bit FireFox knock off but it actually uses Firefox's profile. So you can't have FF and WF open at the same time and, if there is something wrong with the FF profile, WF reproduces it. If you are interested in 64 bit browsers I highly recommend Pale Moon. Go to their website and read all about it.

    • Joel Lee
      January 13, 2013 at 5:53 am

      I recently tried Pale Moon and I really like it. I definitely second your recommendation!

    • Warren Illsley
      January 15, 2013 at 5:22 am

      Actually Pale Moon also has 32 bit releases as well

    • Maxi3w
      March 19, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      Glad to hear your words on Pale Moon. FF is just too slow and it will be great to have Pale Moon for it being 64bit plus being faster and having the add-on's. Thanx :)

  38. Roehl Curioso
    January 11, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Cool stuff!!

  39. Jeff Corbett
    January 10, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    My work won't allow Chrome. So, I use the next best thing, Firefox. I use Chrome at home.

  40. Tony Khamo
    January 10, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Use Chrome because of my dependence on google.. and oh ya, some cool apps

  41. Robert
    January 10, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Like others, I don't like Chrome, simply because I don't thrust Google. That's also why I don't use Google search by the way... My favorite is Opera, even though it is not perfect - there are still sites out there that do not load properly in Opera. On the Mac it causes problems sometimes while quitting.
    Like your description of Maxthon, going to give it a try, as well as some other browsers mentioned in other comments. Like your article, as well as most responses - aparently there are more people who like to look further than that 'one perfect browser', which always will be perfect as long as you don't give others a try.

    • Joel Lee
      January 11, 2013 at 7:51 am

      "Like your article, as well as most responses – aparently there are more people who like to look further than that ‘one perfect browser’"

      If only everyone was so open-minded about things instead of falling into fanboyism!

  42. gderidet
    January 10, 2013 at 6:03 am

    I was among the first users of Chrome.
    I don't use Chrome anymore because I always have the feeling somebody is in my back watching me.
    I hate to lose more than half of my ram (I get 4 meg) after just loading two tabs!
    I regret that all the speed gained by Google is wasted in getting more and more info of what I do with my computer.
    When I go to a web site I never was, Chrome takes much more time to respond ! Then I hear Google thinking : Where the f. is he going today ?
    When you open the task manager while using Chrome you really get scared.

    Even for search I use now Bing. And believe me, after having struggled with Microsoft for 30 years now I don’t like this company at all.

    I'm not paranoïd. I know Google absolutely don't care about my little person and my little secrets. I'm just tired to be always followed by Google, as soon as I seat in front of my computer.

    For now I use Maxthon 4 (Cloud browser) which is very fast, has a lot of features not offered by Chrome, and is very kind with the ram of my computer.

    For the first time since many years, I feel (quite) free.

    • Spiffy
      March 22, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      I feel the same way as you about this. Google gets enough info about me when I use their search engine. I was a long time user of Firefox, but a bug in the last few revisions has been causing my machine to lock up for 30-60 seconds when I hit certain web pages. I haven't been able to figure out the problem, so I am looking to move on (reluctantly). I experimented with Maxthon, and I liked it a lot. Has a lot of cool features, and it is as fast, if not faster than, Chrome. Worked really well for me during my test period. But Maxthon was developed in China as I understand it, and my paranoia over reports of institutionalized hacking from that country caused me to uninstall it. Otherwise I think I would make that my main browser.

  43. Ashwin Divakaran
    January 10, 2013 at 4:37 am

    Firefox is for me! Best Ever!

  44. nganchaihou
    January 10, 2013 at 2:53 am

    Firefox is still the best among the browsers. The add-ons feature is the best of all but FF is a memory hogger, especially when there are many tabs open. Chrome comes in in second place, its downside is its extensions are not as good as FF add-ons. Opera is fast but have issues when browsing certain websites - takes quite some time to load. Safari is not so good compared to the abovementioned browsers. I don't find anything worth using Microsoft IE, as it is sometimes OK, sometimes takes forever to load websites and many issues. I have very few experience using derivatives, like Maxthon & SRWare Iron.

  45. CB
    January 9, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Chrome will never again go on any computer I use or support. Lack of control and Google pushing silent updates makes it a POS IMO. Maxthon is my current default browser and I see no plans on changing in the near future. Firefox? It's installed but seldom used although with v18 that may change.

  46. Victor Ong
    January 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Funny thing is, I just tried midori, and it crashed straight out of the box. Not a very good first impression...

    I use internet explorer 10 (beta) for my windows 7 netbook. Works really well, doesn't consume as many resources as chrome, and isn't as bogged down as FF (though I still have both of them installed)

  47. Emma
    January 9, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    I used Firefox for several years and I absolutely love the customization options, but those are also it's downfall: the more you tweak, the slower it gets. Recently I made the switch to Maxthon for it's cloud sync features: in addition to syncing the usual bookmarks and such, if you close multiple tabs on one device, you can reopen them easily on another and continue where you left off. Also, you can store your downloaded files on the cloud, or send links/files directly to another device to be opened when you start Maxthon. It's pretty seamless.

    On the other hand, though, even if in general Maxthon seems really fast (especially compared to the bloated Firefox I had), sometimes it likes to hang on me and takes a moment to even start opening pages. Sometimes I also get loading errors as if a page wasn't available when it actually is. Luckily those are usually solved with a refresh, and by far I've only had problems with the desktop browser, though I haven't used the Android version for long yet.

    I also do have Chrome on my system, but that's mostly of the program shortcuts it can create for my social networks (or any other website).

  48. Edward Goldblatt
    January 9, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I'm absolutely surprised to not see any comments here about QtWeb. It's small, fast, portable, and standards-compliant. It's based on Nokia's Qt framework and makes use of Apple's WebKit rendering engine. Yes, the current version is not "new", it's a few years old, but I take that as a good sign; stability is extremely important to me.

    • Joel Lee
      January 11, 2013 at 7:48 am

      The "few years old" is why I didn't include it on this list. Sure, it might work now, but what happens if it stops working in a week, a month, or a year? If it hasn't been updated in years, I'd assume that it wouldn't be updated ever--even if it needs patching.

      • Edward Goldblatt
        April 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm

        Well, then you could include Slimboat in an update to this. It's the same software - Qt + Webkit.

  49. Pere Villagrasa
    January 9, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    I usually use Chrome, Firefox, Explorer and Safari, all of them, depending on the subject.

    • Joel Lee
      January 11, 2013 at 7:47 am

      They each have their own benefits so this is a great idea. I have all of them installed on my computer and switch them out, too. Versatility is so useful!

      • Maxi3w
        March 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm

        I think that I will too have a few browsers hanging around. It just seems the most logical thing to do :) Even Safari was quite good when I tried it. But FF is just too slow for my laptop and I wish they would make some more improvements.

  50. Bill April
    January 9, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    I am an IT admin in a Medical Center in Vermont and we can only use Internet Explorer. The other major browsers mentioned do not work with our business applications. We keep getting folks installing Chrome then we get calls from other folks saying it broke their application.

  51. Scott Macmillan
    January 9, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    The Maxthon sounds interesting.I think I'll try it out.

  52. Quick Brown Fox
    January 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Does anyone have experience using Dragon, the browser from Comodo? How does it compare with the browsers named in this article?

    • Oron Joffe
      January 10, 2013 at 9:59 am

      Dragon is basically Chromium, which is a variation of Chrome. I've tried it, but could see no particular merit in it over Chrome. Of course, with a new release every 6 weeks or so, things may have changed, but I feel that unless there is a _substantial_ advantage to a browser, it's best to stay with what you already have (which in my case is Chrome, Firefox and Opera - more than enough!).

      • Mark
        January 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm

        The purported advantage of Comodo is that the pages are run through Comodo's security check somewhere out there in the ether. I use it. Seems to be a little smoother than Chrome. Hangs after using it for three hours or so, although that may be my computer heating up.
        I don't use it much, but with Windows 7 and six gigs of ram, Internet Explorer 10 runs pretty fast, and deserves a bit more respect.

    • Gotestra
      January 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      I switched to Comodo Dragon a month ago and I never had to look back. All the extensions that I had on Chrome work in Dragon. I love the Dragon's UI, which is slightly different from that of Chrome. And somehow, Dragon works much better for me. Chrome would often be non-responsive, while Dragon is always responsive and snappy.

    • Joel Lee
      January 11, 2013 at 7:46 am

      I've used Dragon in the past; I have a little over 3 months of constant use under my belt. It was a great browser and definitely worth using if security is an issue for you. It's routes traffic through Comodo's security check and helps with encryption as well, I think. If security isn't a concern, I wouldn't go through the trouble of using it.

  53. QUinn
    January 9, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    I use Chrome on my Ubuntu machine because Pepper flash performs better, at least for me. On my Windows 8 netbook, I alternate between IE10 and Nightly. IE10 is kind of awful in some ways, because a lot of sites seem to not work with it... Waiting on Mozilla to release the Metro version of Firefox.

    • Joel Lee
      January 11, 2013 at 7:45 am

      "IE10 is kind of awful in some ways, because a lot of sites seem to not work with it… "

      Pretty funny how IE5 started the trend and it's still not fixed by IE10! Yikes.

  54. Chris Hoffman
    January 9, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    "I have a powerful machine but tab animations and web scrolling [in Firefox] are still clunky."

    Yup, me too. I tried Firefox again when Chrome was crashing constantly due to issues with Sync, but Firefox is just too slow.

    The worst thing is that Mozilla isn't even trying. They ended the Electrolysis project that was supposed to make Firefox properly multi-process because it was too much work. They now have no plan for making Firefox multi-process.

    New Firefox needs to take a cue from old Firefox. Just as Firefox (then Phoenix) took Mozilla's rendering engine and rewrote the browser part from scratch to be a lightweight speedy browser, they need to do the same again. Ditch the Firefox codebase if it's that hard to make multi-process and create a new, lightweight, multi-process browser.

    • Joel Lee
      January 11, 2013 at 7:44 am

      Tough luck on the Electrolysis project because I think that would've brought back a lot of people who left Firefox due to its speed issues. I'm all for a Firefox Rebirth, though; maybe then I would actually use it!

    • Ben
      January 11, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      That's strange, one of the main reasons why I don't like Chrome is because it is a multi-process browser. I regularly have 50+ tabs open at one time, and with each tab taking up a process, Chrome takes up a ton of memory, eventually becoming unusable. Also, each extension takes up a process, adding to the bloat. I jumped for joy when I heard that Firefox was cancelling the Electrolysis project because of the experience I had with Chrome. I also need all 100+ extensions I use with Firefox, and Chrome doesn't offer many of the same either.

      • Tina Sieber
        January 11, 2013 at 6:35 pm

        100+ extensions!? You gotta be kidding! How does your Firefox manage to launch, let go operate and not crash?

        • Ben
          January 12, 2013 at 3:06 pm

          You'd be surprised at how fast my Firefox launches and operates considering how many extensions I have. Takes about 5 seconds to launch, and I never have crashes. Memory usage is decent too. Firefox is the only browser I know of that can handle that many tabs and extensions loaded at the same time.

  55. Ashwin Ramesh
    January 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I switch between Maxthon and Chrome, but most of the times stay with Chrome. I was using Maxthon bigtime earlier, but was sometimes buggy, plus Maxthon doesn't have an extension for Lastpass (well at least am not aware of one!), which is a must-have for me ;) But I've got to say that Maxthon is fast, faster than Chrome at times, but not 200% more as they claim.

    • Kalvin Maia
      February 24, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      Great news for you pal: a LastPass version for Maxthon had been released this month (still on beta, though). However, I agree with you on the "200% faster" thing. Sounds, dunno, megalomaniac.

      • Ashwin Ramesh
        February 25, 2013 at 12:49 am

        Thanks for the tip! Should give Lastpass for Maxthon a try now :)

      • Maxi3w
        March 19, 2013 at 3:50 pm

        Yay!! Having Last Pass is a must, so great news there! :)

  56. Adrian
    January 9, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I'm using Firefox as well. Don't like (or rather don't trust) Chrome. Opera is good, I'm actually using that on an older XP2200+ based computer and it's faster than Firefox.

    Never liked IE much and since Microsoft killed support for that browser in XP that killed any desire that I had to use it period.

    Nice review on the slimmer browsers. I'll definitely give them a try.

  57. Deekshith Allamaneni
    January 9, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I think the author did not use Firefox much in the past six months. It has improved a lot and now it feels far better than chrome (if you excuse a few insignificant milliseconds delay of javascript benchmarks). It never crashed in past four months on my old system with 1GB RAM even when I am using over 20 tabs.
    Chrome is the real bloat. My computer crashed frequently when I use Chrome with over 10 tabs. Firefox is now light weight than earlier and also much faster... I need not say about its security and customizability.

    • Joel Lee
      January 11, 2013 at 7:42 am

      I have all of the mainstream browsers installed on my computer. Firefox has always been troublesome for me. There are other branches like Waterfox and Pale Moon that perform better, but I still like Chrome a bit better. :)

      • Warren Illsley
        January 15, 2013 at 5:19 am

        There's even another firefox iteration called cyberfox made for 64 bit. I sometimes have text overlap with waterfox but not with Pale Moon which I use most of the time.

  58. Riya
    January 9, 2013 at 10:25 am

    I didn't know about some of the browsers here and midori looks interesting to me.
    I have been using firefox for a long time, it never gave me any trouble but now I also use opera because of its speed. Recently, I got palemoon and its portable too! :)

    • Joel Lee
      January 11, 2013 at 7:41 am

      Pale Moon is really nice! Portability is a bonus. :D

      • Maxi3w
        March 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm

        I wonder whether Pale Moon would be faster than Firefox? It's 64bit right? So would suit my machine nicely.

        It's like each one has more of what the other's need and less of - it's difficult to find the perfect browser :(

  59. G. Calamita
    January 9, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Google chrome is very resource hungry when you need to use many tabs even when you have a big RAM! Firefox was like it but with the new releases it has greatly overcome that issue! I guess the best browser is the one let you use a lot of tabs without heat your laptop and require much RAM.

    • Joel Lee
      January 11, 2013 at 7:40 am

      I like to have 20+ tabs open at any given time (save them for later) so this is a big issue for me. Chrome can hog up a ton of resources! It's good to hear that Firefox is actively trying to address the issue.

      • G. Calamita
        January 11, 2013 at 8:07 am

        The task where Chrome give its best is when you need to browse a web site in another language; its real time translation is a great think!

  60. Mac Witty
    January 9, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Opera and sometimes Firefox, try to avoid IE but need it on some sites

  61. Rizwan Adeel
    January 9, 2013 at 7:53 am

    I am not found of internet explorer but its the only one who gets the job done ..

  62. Ivan
    January 9, 2013 at 7:20 am

    I use Google Chrome! Best of browsers and work perfect for me.

  63. SoftwareDemons
    January 9, 2013 at 7:11 am

    I prefer firefox too It is more faster than chrome and IE

  64. Aditya Roy
    January 9, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Firefox is as polished as chrome, if not more.
    I have used both and prefer firefox over chrome any given day.

  65. Dustin Wacker
    January 9, 2013 at 6:23 am

    Firefox is my choice . Love the add-ons AND versatility with the browser. Speed is not that much of a issue.Chrome I use some and is quite fast but second to Firefox.

  66. Junil Maharjan
    January 9, 2013 at 5:14 am

    I have always been a user of firefox and i still use it as my browser. The new IE in windows 8 is good but i rarely use it. I agree that firefox seems to be trying really hard to gain on chrome which looks sad.

  67. Richard Steven Hack
    January 9, 2013 at 4:53 am

    My view: They all end up sucking for one reason or another, if not immediately then eventually. They're all bloated, suck up memory (which isn't too big an issue for me), and have features probably no one needs and are all involved in a competitive race for even more useless features.

    I keep returning to Firefox despite constant crashes during Google Image Search image file saves because it has the extensions I need for image and video downloading. But I can RELIABLY crash Firefox just by doing a lot of image saves during Google Image Search. Do this long enough and it will crash. Whether it's Firefox's fault, or Google's, or openSUSE Linux or the NVidia drivers on my system I don't know, but that crashing is absolutely reproducible and has been for the last half dozen Firefox releases or more. I've submitted tons of useless "error reports" and nothing has changed.

    I use Chrome to access T-Mobile since for some reason Firefox doesn't work with that site. I very rarely use Opera, usually when Firefox and Chrome have ticked me off. Still I keep it around in case I need it for some weird site.

    I don't bother with "alternative" browsers as I don't have time to debug some smaller development team's work. The major browsers are quite irritating enough.

  68. Anonymous
    January 9, 2013 at 4:52 am

    I'm definitely going to try Maxthon and Midori. I use Chrome mostly, but some news sites enforce a 'maximum article reads' and it becomes a pain to wipe all of the browsing history repeatedly. Although the Chrome 'Forget-me' extension is sweet. I'm also curious how each of these renders sites to 3WC specifications (CSS3, etc). It's VERY annoying to have to write redundant browser-specific code in my CSS files.

  69. Guy
    January 9, 2013 at 4:38 am

    Chrome is the best browser. its thats simple. Little things like remembering zooms for individual websites and syncing mean i cant leave it. The problem i have with it is its looks which were cutting edge when it came out now feel dated. I love the look of the new IE but its just to cluttered with options and menus just to pick basic settings.

    Opera - Love this browser. Its brilliant. But i cant use it.
    Why oh why in an era of screens getting bigger and cheaper would a browser not have an option to remember page specific zooms? not only does it not remember individual zooms its a one zoom fits all. Rubbish.

  70. Justin Ellenwood
    January 9, 2013 at 4:28 am

    Firefox, I will never leave it and Chrome feels like a stripped down version

  71. Karl Gephart
    January 9, 2013 at 4:24 am

    If I ever left Firefox (great dev tools and too many good add-ons--like Stylish!), I would go to Opera.

  72. Zhong Jiang
    January 9, 2013 at 4:04 am

    I preserve Mozilla and Chrome to their respective operating system: Firefox --> WIndows, Google Chrome --> Debian. To me it's the perfect match.

  73. Tony Contello
    January 9, 2013 at 3:44 am

    Great light weight/portable one it

  74. Jarod Smith
    January 9, 2013 at 3:16 am

    I use Chrome most of the time, but Firefox developer tools are great. So I end up going back and forth a lot. I do NOT like IE. Opera is also nice but I use that rarely. The cross-browser tools like LastPass keep me on the more popular browsers though. I may try some others.

  75. Ravi Lamontagne
    January 9, 2013 at 3:02 am

    I use to love firefox, so many add-ons but then it just looks like after every new release its getting slower and slower. So i moved to my second favourite Chrome. I'm going to try Maxthorn and Opera and if i like the speed then i will make the switch

    • Maxi3w
      March 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      I'm with you on FF; I just wish the dev's would come up with something new. For me it takes ages to get up and running. Doing the same too - trying Opera and Maxthon. I am surprised though that Safari wasn't on the list.

  76. readonly
    January 9, 2013 at 2:36 am

    I like Chrome, I also use Safari which is not in the list; Safari toolbar/url bar comes with a feature called 'Reader' & 'RSS' with reader you can email the entire text and save to pdf if you wish to (using print option). Especially when you read a news on cnn. just try reader and also you can just print it right away. Why I use reader option to print instead of 'print' button on cnn?? Well, try safari to believe. ex: This is a news article when i try to print on cnn website with print button on article it shows the text and some junk which am not interested and check in safari it really gives you a feel as reading hardcopy of newspaper. Especially the photo alignment.

    • Oron Joffe
      January 10, 2013 at 9:47 am

      You might like to try the "Readability" extension to improve the display for eReading.

  77. Anonymous
    January 9, 2013 at 1:07 am

    firefox or slimbrowser

  78. huanito
    January 9, 2013 at 12:57 am

    i commonly use Chrome. that's it

    • Brandon Lockaby
      January 11, 2013 at 9:27 pm

      Same here, It's easy on memory resources, and CPU resources.

  79. Observer
    January 9, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Why not use all of them? They get along fine on the same machine, they don't exchange cookies among themselves so you can confuse them, and that way feel safer online.

    • Joel Lee
      January 9, 2013 at 5:21 am

      Right now, I have Chrome, Firefox, Pale Moon, and Opera all on my taskbar. :D

  80. Austin Beatty
    January 8, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    On my main computers, I regularly use both Chrome and Firefox. on computers with very low RAM though, Opera blows them out of tje water. On compiters with under 512 MB, Chrome and Firefox are pai ful to use, while Opera is still smm
    ooth, without sacrificing functionality.

  81. dragonmouth
    January 8, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Firefox debuted as Phoenix. Because of complaints from Phoenix Technologies about trademark, the name was changed to Firebird. However, that name was very similar to Firebird Database so Mozilla was forced to change the name to Firefox.

  82. Stanimir Mihov
    January 8, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Firefox the one and only!

  83. Richard Borkovec
    January 8, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Personally I use Firefox (or Pale Moon on Windows, for the 64-bit support), but you can add to Maxthon that it has cloud integration, and mobile versions of it's browser on Android and iOS, so you can push the tabs to the cloud, and it's synced. I use it on my Android phone, but don't use the browser on my computer. It's also insanely fast on the my phone, faster than Dolphin Jetpack (my phone only can go to Gingerbread).

    • Joel Lee
      January 9, 2013 at 5:20 am

      Wasn't aware about the syncing with mobile, which is a very cool feature. Nice!

  84. Steve Hillman
    January 8, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    What problems have you had with Opera on Google apps? Opera has been my primary browser since 2005 and I've never had any issues with Google, nor have I had to mess with user agent strings or any of the usual tricks. The only issues I have is when below-average web designers artificially exclude it.

    • Joel Lee
      January 9, 2013 at 5:19 am

      Opera worked fine with Google Documents, but it bugged severely when I tried Google Spreadsheets. The highlight boxes would be misaligned, text would bug out, input would fail at times, etc. I haven't tried it in the past few months, so maybe it's changed? I also had a few problems with Google Reader.

  85. ReadandShare
    January 8, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Used to be a cinch trying out different browsers. After years of using IE, I switched to Firefox for about half a year (it crashed regularly for me back then), then switched to Chrome, my current browser.

    Nowadays, what with extensions and synchronizations..., it's a lot more hassle. I experimented with Maxthon and actually liked the browser itself. But then, gee, what do I do with Google Voice and Talk... or LastPass... or ... and that pretty much put stop to any more thoughts of switching over.

    • Joel Lee
      January 9, 2013 at 5:18 am

      Yeah. Extensions have made it really hard to switch browsers nowadays. Such a shame because if extensions weren't so integral, there would be a ton of awesome browsers waiting to be used!

      • Maxi3w
        March 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm

        Yes, that's my concern too. I love Chrome for all the add-ons and extensions which pretty much keeps me there. Was a lover of FF but I feel the devs aren't bringing anything much new. I need my ext's like last pass. I'm going to try Opera and Maxthon to see which has the more applicable ext's and go from there. Agreeing with you, if more browsers looked at Chrome and adopted it's ext's library, we would definitely have more choice. Let's hope.

  86. Riley
    January 8, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    I never feel like I can completely control Google Chrome. Its add-ons / extensions work less well than Firefox's and configuring Chrome to do exactly what I want is much more difficult at best, and often impossible.

    I regularly read that Firefox is slow, or consumes too much memory, or that it is in someway inferior to Chrome. I have yet to see any superiority in Chrome. (And among Chrome's greatest annoyances in my opinion is its insistence on installing itself in my C drive. Yes, I've seen the convoluted steps one can perform to "trick" Chrome into installing itself on some other driver, but I can't be bothered.)

    Long story short I've installed then uninstalled Chrome about five or six times. In each case I just found Chrome annoying. Firefox may have problems but I haven't found 'em. What I have found is that Firefox remains the most configurable, controllable, and extensible browser in the bunch…

    • Joel Lee
      January 9, 2013 at 5:17 am

      The funny thing is that my experience of Firefox is exactly the same as your experience with Chrome. I tend to install Firefox every once in a while only to uninstall it due to some small things that bug me.

      Personal preference is personal preference, I guess. :)

      • Ken E Baker
        January 12, 2013 at 9:14 am

        Agree. Firefox is my back-up browser before I get desperate and hit Internet Explorer. I was a big supporter of FF until it started being too heavy on the memory (although looking at Chrome now, I would say t

      • Ken E Baker
        January 12, 2013 at 9:14 am

        (pressed enter) that history is repeating itself.

  87. Carlo Vincente
    January 8, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    SRWare Iron or Chrome. I have an old PIII with Iron and is very fast, reliable and very similar to Chrome. The rest of my computers have Chrome installed.

  88. Mohammad
    January 8, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    rockmelt, i love the ability to share on multiple social networks, though this is possible in other browsers using add ons, i think rockmelt does this best than others

    • Alexander
      January 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      The downside about rockmelt is that the developers have stopped supporting it and gone to Idevices instead. So they will not fix the security holes and bugs.

  89. Alan Wade
    January 8, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I use Waterfox why?
    Because I like the 64 bit variant of Firefox and all Firefox addons work with it. I have both FF and WF on my system as now and again Waterfox will act a little strange with various display problems.
    Including the W.O.T. addon, I have 12 installed which customizes my browser to perfection, in my opinion, something I cannot do with other browsers.

    • Gordon Hay
      January 9, 2013 at 12:23 am

      Not all FF addons work with WF, and those that don't get knocked out if you run WF in the same user account as the customised FF, then when you go back to FF you have to reinstal them.

      I've tried WF a few times but, like you, wasn't happy with the display and it seem to hang too easily. It's taken me some time to get FF just the way I like it and with it synced with my portable version too I'm going to stick with it.

    • Joel Lee
      January 9, 2013 at 5:16 am

      WaterFox is nice, but recently I found a different Firefox-based browser optimized for 64-bit systems: Pale Moon. You should give it a shot! I really liked it.

      • Alan Wade
        January 9, 2013 at 7:16 am

        Thanks for the heads-up Joel. I have heard of Pale Moon but never tried it, I will give it a try.

        • RealBull
          February 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm

          All you FF lovers should try Comodo's IceDragon, a gecko based browser.
          I use Opera as my main browser, but soon they will go to webkit, so I'm testing out some new browsers. So far Comodo's Dragon(webkit) & IceDragon(gecko) is impressive.

      • Maxi3w
        March 25, 2013 at 5:45 am

        Thanks for mentioning Pale Moon 64Bit. I now have it installed, love it, is optimized for my machine and there are all the benefits of the add-ons FF brings. I'm really pleased with it, haven't run into any problems and it's now my default browser. I personally needed a break from Chrome as the whole tabs issue was a problem. But Pale Moon operates just fine with lots of tabs open. Once again, Thanks!

  90. Jose Paolo Gonzales Otico
    January 8, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Firefox. Never had issues, and I do feel as though nothing ever really matches any of the add-ons I use on FF. Especially NoScript.

    • Ahmed Ghazwan
      January 15, 2013 at 7:02 pm

      Although FF is an amazing browser, it is huge ram and resources consumer. It even consumes more ram than Vmware (visualization software).

      • Jose Paolo Gonzales Otico
        January 16, 2013 at 4:13 am

        Actually, just a couple days ago, my firefox was acting up like crazy. I've switched to Chrome for the time being. Honestly, I love chrome just for the fact that it's so much more movable and smoother in dual-monitor settings than firefox.

      • Furqana Fathuzzaman
        April 6, 2013 at 1:35 am

        RAM? But Chrome is even more ram hungry, especially on multiple tabs

        • Josh8550
          May 18, 2013 at 11:57 am

          Eh. I've used Google Chrome for years because Firefox, for whatever reason, has always ran slower. Chrome is a lot smoother and faster for me. Regardless of how many tabs I have open (which is usually a LOT).

        • Johny
          June 27, 2013 at 1:32 am

          I used to use Firefox before switching to Chrome because I purchased more RAM for my PC.

          Firefox works well for large amounts of tabs while chrome seems to prefer fewer tabs.

          I tried Maxthon and have to admit that it is quite likeable as well as fast. I keep finding little gems of features that are hidden away which is always a nice surprise.