That might be the case with Lightning, a minimalist web browser that claims pretty much a single feature. Speed. If you’re not worried about the typical browser bullet point feature list, and all you want is a web page delivered to your eyeballs, check out Lightning.
It Smells Like Safari
The Lightning Web Browser will be familiar to all Mac users. It looks like Safari. That’s because Lightning is based upon WebKit, which is the open source engine for Safari.
Wait. Wouldn’t that make Lightning and Safari like, well, you know– the same? Actually, they look much the same, both are based on WebKit, but that’s where the similarities begin and end.
Lightning does one thing majorly different. As you navigate from page to page, Safari unloads browsed pages, but Lightning keeps a buffer of web browser objects in memory so pages seem to snap to the screen.
Lightning doesn’t come with all the bloated features on most browsers so it loads to the Mac’s screen very fast (if there’s a faster one, I haven’t used it yet). And, true to its name, Lightning loads web pages very fast.
But faster than Safari or Chrome or Firefox?
That’s where the story gets interesting.
I’m of the opinion that we live in the Golden Age of web browsers. They’re all good. Safari, Chrome, Firefox, even lowly Opera– all fast, loaded with features, and render web pages about the same.
Lightning is not, though you’ll have change left over from a couple of bucks. But is it faster? Well, yes. It seems faster. It loads faster. Pages load fast. Revisited pages load faster than the top browsers. But is it faster? If it is faster then that would make Lightning the fastest browser money can buy (cheap money).
Your mileage may vary, but my tests say yes. With a caveat. The difference in webpage rendering times is nominal. All these browsers are fast. Lightning takes speed to an incremental level of improvement and the trade off with other issues vs. Safari and Chrome and Firefox (even Opera) may not be worth the $1.99 investment. You know. Diminishing returns and all that.