Internet browsers have come a long way since the early days of the internet. Many in the past have flocked immediately and without question to Internet Explorer, and more recently Microsoft edge. This is because it comes with the Operating System package. I mean... the blue e is just the logo for internet, right?
The same goes for Safari for iPhones, Macs and iPads. I wanted to show a tech-illiterate friend an amusing video on my iPhone on the train one time, so when I loaded up Firefox she exclaimed "Oh my goodness what's happened to your phone??!!???"
Her following words pain my heart to this day, when she asked "What's happened to your Safari thing?" Ouch. No offence, Mozilla
The reality is that there are quite a few different options when it comes to desktop and mobile browsers. To get you working efficiently it is important to pick the best one.
Having said that, it seems the fairest comparison would be if we compare browsers of the same time frame on an identical PC running the same operating systems. For this review I tested the Windows compatible browsers on a modern PC running windows 7 and the Mac running OSX10.6 – not the most modern of machines but probably representative of the mean average across the board and so as to make the reader feel good about what they are running! The hardware on the PC was Intel core i7 2.6, 16gb ram and the Mac is an iMac Intel dual core 2.6 with 16gb ram also.
So first up, lets look at the most popular browsers in use these days – Microsoft's new Windows 10 browser; Edge, Google Chrome Version 70.0.3538.67, Mozilla Firefox Quantum and, because we feel we for some reason have to mention it, Internet Explorer 11.
Browser Speed Test
The first test was to see how long each browser took to start up (that’s with no extra add-ons or toolbars installed).
Google Chrome loaded at, would I would say, is an acceptable loading speed from Browse to homepage in 5 seconds.
Firefox is by far the fastest, with it's new release of Quantum living up to it's catchy slogan: Fast for good! Open clicking on the logo, I was on my homepage in 2 seconds. Nice!
Now we get on to the horrors of Microsoft Browsers. With their poor quality dev tools and absolute refusal to properly interpet any CSS3, can they wow us with their speed?
Microsoft Edge took me 20 seconds for homepage to load.
Internet Explorer took me 12.
Why can the software giants, probably the first company you would think off if you rattled off the words "Technology Company", not mnake a decent browser? And yet on Windows computers they have the audacity to repreatedly ask you if you would like to switch to a faster browser... by which they mean edge. Ha. Sorry Bill. Maybe next time; when your browser opens without another birthday going by.
ANYWAY... For general internet browsing, Firefox and Chrome are your best bests.
For us techies, you want to be using Firefox. Dev tools are easy to use and include practical features like ordering your CSS on click, and lines across the HTML elements, keeping you all nice and lined up. Simple and efficient performance monitoring and a user-friendly debugger for your web apps.