Finding the right browser to access and browse the internet with your Windows PC is very important, especially if you are looking to have great browsing performance, Fort Knox-level of security and flexible extensions to make your browsing experience better.
Different browsers will have different sorts of performance, security and extensions. However, there’s more to each browser than what I’ve simply listed there, and in this post we’re going to go through all the most popular web browsers for Windows and find out which one is the best one for you.
- Very fast performance – websites load very quickly with Chrome.
- Countless extensions for you to use – improve your Chrome browsing experience with thousands of extensions from the Chrome web store.
- Friendly community – if you have any problem of some sort with your Chrome browser, you can be sure that there are solutions to your predicament online from the helpful community.
- Very resource-hungry – uses up computer resources like there’s no tomorrow. If you’re going to use Chrome, you better hope your computer has enough memory for it…
- Can easily crash – too many open tabs or windows can cause Chrome to crash or freeze up on you.
- Weak privacy – Google is notorious for selling user data, and Chrome isn’t so innocent of this…
With Chrome, Google have developed and grown a stable, powerful and very popular web browser which usually ends up at the top of the list in browser rankings. From its first released patch in September 2008, to this very day, Chrome’s user base has skyrocketed in numbers, and it’s showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.
Thanks to its super fast performance, countless free extensions from the Chrome web store and a helpful community with solutions at the ready if you ever encounter a problem with the browser, Chrome is a web browser which won’t be abandoned and forgotten anytime soon.
However, is it the browser for you?
Although it has a lot going for it, the application is very resource-hungry, and will eat up a lot of your computer’s memory if you have too many tabs or windows open. Furthermore, a friend of mine likes to browse the internet with loads of tabs and windows open, and whenever he tries it for Chrome, the browser either freezes or crashes on him. Whether this is something to do with his computer or Chrome I don’t know, but it’s been something I’m cautious of when using Chrome…
With that said however, Google Chrome is a very good browser for your Windows PC. But is it the best one to use? We will need to look at some of the other major Windows browsers to answer that question…
- Very fast performance – just like Chrome, Firefox is incredibly quick at loading websites.
- Friendly and light on resources – unlike Chrome, Firefox isn’t resource-hungry and systems with less RAM won’t have to worry as much.
- Loads of extensions – Firefox has a wide range of extensions which can provide you with a better browsing experience.
- Strong privacy – as Mozilla is a non-profit organization, you can be sure Firefox won’t sell your data.
- Not as fast as Chrome – while Firefox’s performance is quick, it’s sadly not as quick as Chrome, and falls behind on web page loading speed tests.
- Some extensions you can find for Chrome won’t be on Firefox – for example, if you’re somebody who watches a lot of Twitch streamers, or a single one that you really enjoy, Firefox doesn’t have the Better Twitch TV extension which gives you more options and lets you see more emotes. You will have to use Chrome for that extension, which can be a bother if you prefer Firefox.
Mozilla Firefox is a worthy alternative to Google Chrome, and after having one of its biggest updates in 13 years called Quantum recently, it’s now faster and more secure than ever before. While it’s not as fast as Google’s Chrome with some websites, it is still a formidable competitor, and one that I highly recommend you look in to if you’re finding a good alternative to Chrome.
Unlike Chrome, Firefox goes easy on your resources, giving you a lot of room for other opened applications alongside the browser. Firefox also goes easy on older or less powerful hardware too, so if you’ve got a low-end Windows desktop or laptop, you can be sure that it’ll be able to Firefox no sweat (if machines could sweat, though, that would be amazing).
Is it the browser for you?
Well, it’s a good alternative to Chrome, but it’s lacking in some areas…
For example, Firefox doesn’t have every single extension that Chrome has… if you’re trying an experiment to try and download the same extensions for both browsers, you will soon find that Firefox won’t have all the same ones as Chrome does. Furthermore, as Firefox isn’t as popular as Chrome, it may be trickier to find solutions to problems online for Firefox as quickly and easily as you would for Chrome…
Nevertheless, Mozilla has done a great job in creating a worthy contender to face the mighty Google Chrome. If you’re looking for a more stable and privacy-friendly browser, Firefox may be the one for you. But there are more browsers to choose from…
- Turbo mode – this makes navigating through websites super quick.
- An integrated ad blocker – there’s no need to download an ad blocker extension with Opera, which may be easier for people who don’t understand extensions for web browsers.
- Has fewer extensions than other browsers – Opera most likely won’t have the extensions many people use with Chrome or Firefox.
- Not compatible with some websites – Opera is a very underrated web browser, and such many websites aren’t compatible or optimized for it, meaning that fast load times and top-notch security may be nonexistent with some websites.
Opera is one of those web browsers that isn’t talked about very much, but is still a great browser nonetheless, and one that you should consider when thinking of a replacement for either Chrome or Firefox. One of its promising features is turbo mode. This compresses your web traffic and routers it through Opera’s very own servers, making websites load super quickly, nearly as close as Chrome even.
Furthermore, an integrated ad blocker is something which you cannot ignore. Today, ads are a menace on the internet. Sure, some ads help to monetize your favourite websites, but when it gets to the point that ads obstruct your view, or contain malicious viruses, then you will need to deal with them, and luckily Opera already has the tool for that.
With other web browsers, you will have to get an extension to block ads. If somebody isn’t too tech savvy to understand how to use extensions with their browsers, and they want to deal with ads as much as other people do, then Opera may be the browser for them.
Now, all of this does sound good, but… is it the browser for you?
Opera is very underrated, and isn’t as popular or well-known as browsers like Chrome and Firefox. Because of this, it may be harder to find solutions online for any problem or error you encounter with Opera. Furthermore, the fact that Opera doesn’t have the same number of extensions as Chrome, and that older websites aren’t compatible with Opera, may be things which drive you away from using it.
In spite of this, however, Opera is a great alternative to Chrome or Firefox, and one that you should check out if you’re looking for another web browser to use.
- Pretty fast performance – while not as fast as Chrome or Firefox, Edge is still quite fast.
- Can use extensions with Edge – while not as many as Chrome, Edge still allows them.
- Integrated reading mode – makes reading websites easier.
- Better than its predecessor, Internet Explorer – far better than Internet Explorer…
- No backwards compatibility – Edge is only available for Windows 10.
- Users are forced to use Edge by default – Microsoft really want you to use this browser the most…
Microsoft Edge is the ultimate solution to the long list of problems Internet Explorer had way back in the days of the previous Window versions. Much faster in terms of site loading speeds compared to its older brother, Edge is the far better choice if you had to choose between it and Internet Explorer.
Furthermore, Edge’s integrated reading mode makes it far easier to browse complex websites which may have an ugly design or too many borders or windows to the side of the page; this is a feature that isn’t integrated with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, and you may have to find an extension which does this in their web stores.
Sadly, Edge isn’t backwards compatible with other Windows operating systems… You won’t find Edge with Windows 8 or 7. This is a huge disadvantage for Microsoft Edge because you can easily have Chrome or Firefox with the other operating systems…
Furthermore, Microsoft are very insistent on you using Edge as your main web browser; what I mean by this is that they make Edge the default browser when you open links from the Mail app, for example. Additionally, if you start to type some other browser into Cortana’s search box, Edge comes up immediately, almost like Microsoft really wants you to use it…
So, is it bad? Well no, it’s not a bad web browser, mainly because it’s a huge improvement over Internet Explorer. It’s surprisingly quick as well, and has easily kept up with the more modern browsers thanks to the various extensions you can get for it.
So, there you have it; the best browsers for Windows PCs. Whatever one you will ultimately choose as your main one will depend on the performance you want, the extensions you want, and the privacy you want all together. Of course, you aren’t completely restricted to just one web browser…
You can always have all these web browsers downloaded, and use them as backup ones depending on which of them you have chosen as your main one. For example, I use Firefox as my main browser, but use Chrome and Edge as backup browsers in case a website has an issue with Firefox, or if the entirety of Firefox is down for maintenance.
If you can think of any pros and / or cons to any of these browsers that I have missed, or if there’s an entire browser that I missed that compares well to the others, then please don’t be afraid to speak out in the comments section down below.
Whatever browser you choose to have as your main one, I wish you happy browsing! 😉
Jamie – the PC Gaming Nerd