Speed & Compatibility
Help & Support
Best Internet Browsers
Why Internet Browsers?
We spent a week testing internet browsers by downloading each one onto multiple devices. During our tests, we got a good idea of how dependable and fast each browser is. However, user experience and preference are likely the biggest considerations when choosing an internet browser. Our in-house tests show that Mozilla Firefox is the best options for its speed, dependability and overall ease of use.
The biggest difference between Mozilla Firefox and other internet browsers is its speed, both when starting up and navigating to sites. It also makes it easy to open multiple tabs at once, bookmark your favorite sites, and save passwords so you don’t have to remember and re-enter them each time you’re online. Mozilla is compatible with all operating systems, including iOS mobile devices. Our only complaint is Mozilla doesn’t have any live tech support in case you need help.
Google Chrome is a good, fast and reliable internet browser, and it is the standard one included on all mobile devices, both Android and iOS. Chrome monitors your online activity with some antivirus and antiphishing protections, plus you can set a few parental restrictions by blocking websites. In addition, Chrome automatically updates, so you don’t have to manually download each fix or new version. When you use Chrome, you have easy access to all your Google accounts, including Gmail, Drive, YouTube and the iconic Google search engine, and you can use the browser’s voice feature to navigate the web by talking, rather than typing.
Most of the web browsers we tested are compatible with both Windows and Mac machines, but Safari is exclusively designed for Apple products. It quickly loads pages and is very dependable on all Mac devices. In addition, it has useful features like multiple tab browsing, searches that help you find specific text on a page and some parental controls. While you can’t interact with Safari with your voice directly like you can with Chrome, it does connect to Siri – when you ask Siri something, it searches using Safari and displays the answer in the browser. Safari has great support options, including telephone support.
A Word on Microsoft Edge
Microsoft discontinued development on its Internet Explorer web browser after releasing Microsoft Edge as the official browser for Windows 10 in 2015. However, because several older applications, websites and intranets are not compatible with Windows 10, Internet Explorer is still available on Windows 10 computers and is maintained by Microsoft, though no new versions will be released.
We didn’t include Microsoft Edge here because it is only compatible with Windows 10 systems, but we did test and evaluate the program. You can learn more about Microsoft Edge in our full review of Internet Explorer.
How We Tested & What We Learned
Speed & Dependability
We tested each browser’s speed using the same computer and internet connection, gauging the precise time with an online stopwatch designed specifically to time webpage loading times. We timed how quickly each browser started up each time we clicked its icon as well as how quickly it navigated to webpages, the found an average time for each action. We duplicated these tests on other computers.
Web browser speeds vary depending on your computer’s operating system; the number of programs installed on your computer; the type of and age of the device you’re using; and applications, such as antivirus software, that may be running in the background. However, since we performed these tests under the same conditions, it gives you a pretty good idea of how fast and dependable you can expect each browser to be.
When we tested mobile browsers, we noted that each one syncs with its desktop version. This means if you create an account and log into both the desktop and mobile browsers, your search history, bookmarks and security settings automatically apply to all devices. This saves you a lot of time otherwise spent resetting your options and preferences on each device.
Navigation & User Experience
During our evaluations, we looked to see which browsers have features that make surfing the web fast and easy and tested to see how well these features work. For example, while all browsers allow you to open multiple tabs at a time, on some, it isn’t obvious how you open new ones. Also, bookmarks and setting icons aren’t universally placed, and some browsers are harder to navigate through because they house these tools in odd places such as on a left sidebar or hidden in the web options file.
The Best Browsers: Our Final Thoughts
Every internet browser we tested let us access the internet, but there was a big difference in their quality and the experience of using them. A fast and secure browser keeps you safe and makes being online enjoyable. While personal preference ultimately drives browser choice, any one of the options we compared are worth taking a look at.