Which Browser is Better? Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Internet Explorer

In the biggest shakeup in the browser industry since Microsoft was forced to uncouple Internet Explorer from Windows, Google's Chrome burst on the scene in 2008, forcing new standards in browser speed, streamlined design, and rapidly iterating software, forcing all the other players to overhaul their own sluggish software as they played catch up to the nimble newcomer. Chrome spent several years as PCMag Editor's Choice, but it's been surpassed in speed and features, and it has sunk to a three-way tie for second place as former favorite Firefox has reasserted its lead. With a beautifully redesigned interface, excellent performance, thrifty memory use, helpful browsing tools, and leading customizability, the independent open-source browser has reclaimed PCMag.com's Editors' Choice for browsers.

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While Firefox is our favorite browser of the moment, there are still other excellent choices that, depending on your priorities, will server your Web browsing needs admirably, including Internet Explorer, Opera, and Maxthon. All of the browsers now provide more-than-adequate support for the new HTML5 standard for website coding—even Internet Explorer has been acknowledged by Google as now being among the ranks of "modern" Web browsers. The search kingpin did this when it withdrew its Chrome Frame product, which inserted Chrome's page renderer inside IE.


Beyond standards support and page-rendering speed, factors to consider when choosing a browser include extension support, customizability, startup times, browsing helps like bookmark and tab managers, privacy, and security. For a deep dive into what each of today's main browser choices offer on all of those scores, read the in-depth, tested reviews linked below


Firefox 31
Firefox recently benefitted from a major interface redesign, and has made huge strides in memory consumption and startup speed. It's also a leader in new standards support and evolution. But Firefox's customization possibilities are what have endeared the browser to millions of users over the years, and the latest version is more easily customizable than ever. Its Customize mode lets you configure the browser toolbars, Personas let you change its appearance, and as always, a raft of extension can do more to make the browser your own than any other browser. To top everything off, Firefox is the leader in security and privacy.

( Apple solved WebKit bugs in latest Safari update )


Chrome 36
Chrome's speed and minimalist design have deservedly attracted a devoted group of users to Google's browser. Leading HTML5 support and fast JavaScript performance mean it's ready for highly interactive, application-like websites, but it's behind some of the competition in graphics hardware acceleration. And though Google has implemented Do Not Track (set to off by default), Chrome is probably not the best choice for privacy mavens.



Internet Explorer 11 (IE11)
Now available for Windows 7 as well as for Windows 8 (but not for Vista or XP), Microsoft's latest browser is faster, trimmer, far more compliant with HTML5—a major improvement over its predecessor. IE even now supports WebGL and SPDY, but not WebRTC. The browser brings some unique capabilities such as tab-pinning and leading hardware acceleration. Its excellent privacy tools include Do Not Track enabled by default and the more-powerful Tracking Protection feature.


For Detailed Comparisons  


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