Here’s an overview of some choice web browsers, as of this writing. It’s not comprehensive and not going to be, because there are a huge variety of web sites and related needs, there is quite a lot of new development going on, and related publicity is not coherent (and cannot be in today’s world…). The below are the experiences of this writer only, and he is well aware that reality is far larger than his experience:
- Firefox. Not the fastest and not stingy in memory, but if you need a particular site to work and you don’t need a Microsoft-only web application, try it, you’ll be most likely to find that it does the job. On the other hand, if you want lots and lots of tabs open and you have 8 gigabytes or less of RAM, or if you want maximum speed, try one of the others below. Firefox is also very compatible with probably the largest majority of plugin-based services, by way of it being the most current official product of the Mozilla codebase. Versions available for every major platform.
- Brave. This is a relatively new browser whose company is headed by co-founder of the Mozilla project. It is not only an extremely fast, efficient, and reliable browser, the project is also a concerted effort to fix the current worldwide mess by which a very few huge near-monopolies have made web advertising almost worthless except to themselves. Brave uses the Chromium code-base, significantly revised and improved. Versions available for every major platform.
- Microsoft Edge (as of 2019-04-24) and Microsoft Internet Explorer. As of this writing there are still many web-applications out there which require Microsoft web browsers. Edge ships with Windows 10 as its standard; Internet Explorer also ships though it is slightly hidden and publicly being deprecated. Edge has had its own code-base, really a major revision of Internet Explorer lacking some compatibility; recent Microsoft-only web sites have been Edge-compatible. But recently there was a Microsoft statement announcing an upcoming Windows update, in which the current Edge was to be replaced with a different Edge (an entirely different browser, with the same name…) with a Chromium code-base. It is entirely unclear what this will do to those dependent on Microsoft-only web applications. Obviously we will just have to watch and wait and see. Perhaps Microsoft will make things more complicated with some sort of embedding. We will see.
- Chromium. Open-source web browser and code base. A very good web browser on Linux. Have not yet found a Windows version that works fully and automatically updates properly, though the Chocolatey system has promise.
- Google Chrome. Now probably the most commonly used web browser. Chrome is generally slower and more resource-heavy than Chromium and Brave.
- Vivaldi. This writer has had high hopes for Vivaldi for some time; it’s a highly customizable browser by a large group of mostly former Opera folks, and across-the-board web site compatibility was an original design goal, unlike Opera. Unfortunately, this writer has found its general web-site compatibility lacking versus Brave, Chromium, Chrome, and Firefox. Versions are available for every major platform.