What goes up, must come down. Or, so goes the saying. Sooner or later, the rich and famous become less rich, less famous, and a distant memory. Remember Google’s Chrome? It’s the most popular browser on planet earth.
What’s better than Chrome? It’s #1 on Windows, #1 on Android, #2 on Mac and iPhone. Chrome is as feature rich as a browser can be. What’s not to like? Therein lies the rub. Many of the features in Chrome are less user friendly and useful than they are to Google which makes money by using Chrome to track users and their online habits. Alternatives?
Free To Free
Villager colleague Wil Gomez came up with A New Reason To Dump Google Chrome. It is one of many that have surface in the past couple of years. On one side there’s Google’s penchant for collecting user information and using it against users to sell more products and advertising. On the other side there’s Chrome’s habit of sucking the life out of your Mac’s battery (80-percent of all Macs are notebooks).
Fortunately, we live in the Golden Age of Browsers and the competition is getting better, starting with Apple’s own Safari, possibly the second most widely used browser online (Mac, iPad, and iPhone make up more than 1-billion users) which has new anti-advertising features built in.
Vivaldi – Remember Opera? The company sold itself to a tech company in China but one of the founders founded Vivaldi. If you like Chrome, you’ll like Vivaldi because it’s based on the open source Chromium project which spawned Chrome. Vivaldi is screaming fast, syncs bookmarks between devices, manages passwords, and Chrome extensions. Vivaldi is free but there isn’t an iPhone or iPad version.
Firefox – Mozilla’s latest claims to be the fastest browser you can get on Mac or PC. It uses less memory than Chrome, and Firefox comes with built-in privacy and security features that are add-on only on Google’s browser. Firefox runs on every major platform, including iOS. It’s free.
Brave – If there is a new browser that I’m rooting for and now use regularly, it’s Brave; Mac, iPhone, iPad. Brave is incredibly fast, renders website pages as they should be rendered, and out of the box is loaded with privacy and security features– turned on by default. None of the major browsers are as simple to use or more secure. Brave is free.
Opera – What’s not to like about Opera? Also free, Opera has a free VPN (virtual private network), built-in ad blocker, and plenty of extensions. There was a time, thanks to the free VPN, that I used Opera more than Chrome and often in place of Safari. Opera was purchased by a company in China a few years ago (co-founder left the company and started Vivaldi) and now I worry about using it because. Just because.
And, of course, Safari on Mac, iPhone, or iPad.
TopTenReviews has a list of the best browsers and how they compare and score in various categories. Firefox is #1, Safari is #3, and Chrome is #2, but there is no category for privacy or CPU and battery usage.
TechRadar also has a recent list with Firefox again at #1 and Chrome #2, but the list, obviously, is Windows centric. If you’re a bit paranoid, use a VPN, and still need to browse, check out the Tor Bundle. Free and as secure as you can get without going off the grid.