Not Your Grandfather’s Web Browser: Is it Time for a New Browser?

Web browsers aren’t created equally. While one may be popular, it may not be the best option for you. Understanding what to look for and look out for in a web browser can help you find the one you should use as your default.

With nearly 65 percent market share, Chrome is the most commonly used browser globally. Capturing approximately 19 percent of the market, Apple’s Safari isn’t even close to overtaking the market leader, and Microsoft Edge and Firefox follow, with single-digit market share, respectively.

Even though Chrome is the most popular browser worldwide, it may not be the right fit for you. There are several areas you should consider when reevaluating your browser selection.

Security is of the utmost importance. Cybercriminals can access data through your browser. For instance, malware can modify your browser settings without your permission and install unknown toolbars to your browser once installed. From there, hackers can gain access to your browsing history and then sell it on the dark web for hundreds of dollars. To be safe, avoid downloading any applications designed to enhance your browsing experience, as they may introduce additional security exploits by enabling unnecessary functionality. Whichever browser you select should keep your systems and networks safe and your online behavior private.

Speed and compatibility. Speed is an obvious top requirement for a browser, and nobody wants to wait for a page to load anymore. While you may not be able to test for speed yourself, there are plenty of reviews available where the analysts take speed into account. For compatibility, use the HTML5test website to test your browser. It analyzes how well your browser supports HTML5, a set of modern web technologies.

What are the features? Every platform has its own set of tools and features. While you should stay away from add-ons, features are okay. In fact, that’s one way browsers differentiate themselves from their competitors. For example, some browsers offer voice search, while others allow you to view, edit, and share PDFs from within the confines of the browser. Even though you can find a list of each browser’s features online, it may be worth taking the time to download several top browsers to test their features out.

There’s no reason not to evaluate browser options in the new year, especially if you’ve been using the same one for a while. Set some time aside to find a security-focused browser that’s fast and has a range of features.

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