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  • What is the Best Browser?


    There are many web browsers available in the market today. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Apple Safari are few of them which dominate most of the browser market.

    There are multiple aspects of a web browser on which they can be compared and rated. Before jumping into details, let’s see some statistics of past few years from renowned names in this market.

    Looking at the below statistical graphs from StatCounter, 2011 was dominated by Internet Explorer. Firefox and Chrome also held major share of the browser market.

    Worldwide Browser Statistics from Jan 2011 to Dec 2011

    Worldwide Browser Statistics from Jan 2011 to Dec 2011

     

    The popularity of Google Chrome suddenly jumped tremendously in 2012 and it left Firefox chasing behind.

    Worldwide Browser Statistics from Jan 2012 to Nov 2012

    Worldwide Browser Statistics from Jan 2012 to Nov 2012

     

    If we breakdown into versions of these web browsers, we see that IE 9.0 and IE 8.0 dominate. Is it because they are shipped with Windows and people are too lazy to change?

    Worldwide Browser Version Statistics from Jan 2012 to Nov 2012

    Worldwide Browser Version Statistics from Jan 2012 to Nov 2012

     

    Every web browser is made up of two major components, a rendering engine and a user interface. Selecting the right rendering engine for your needs and matching it with the right user interface for your needs can point you to the right web browser.

    The Best Browser Rendering Engine

    The leading rendering engines are:

    • Trident
    • Gecko
    • KHTML
    • WebKit
    • Presto

    Trident

    Trident is the rendering engine used by Microsoft Internet Explorer. Trident is also used by Avant Browser and SlimBrowser. In addition, Trident was one of the rendering engines supported by the Netscape Browser.

    Gecko

    Gecko is the rendering engine used by Mozilla Firefox. Gecko is also utilized by Camino, Epiphany, and K-Meleon. In addition, Trident was one of the rendering engines supported by the Netscape Browser.

    KHTML

    KHTML is the rendering engine utilized by Konqueror. KHTML was the base used by Apple to develop the WebKit rendering engine.

    WebKit

    WebKit is the rendering engine used by Apple’s Safari browser.

    Presto

    Presto is the rendering engine utilized by the Opera web browser.

    The Best Rendering Engine

    Among these rendering engines the primary competitors are Trident, Gecko and WebKit. The key things to consider with regards to a rendering engine is standards compliance and real world performance.

    Rendering Engine Standards Compliance

    The Gecko rendering engine is considered the leader as far as compliance with W3C standards is concerned, but WebKit and Trident (in Internet Explorer 9) are now also considered standard compliant engines. Thanks to the increased competition in the market, due to Chrome and Firefox, standards compliance has become more widespread.

    Rendering Engine Real World Performance

    It used to be that Microsoft’s Trident rendering engine came out on top in real world performance simply because Internet Explorer was dominant, and most web sites were made to work with it. Instead of being standards compliant these sites were then Microsoft compliant.

    Things have changed a bit in recent times, as most engines vie for standards compliance, and web sites are designed accordingly. This means most web browsers should do a pretty fine job in rendering web sites as intended. The remaining metric of performance to consider is just how fast are web sites rendered, and various browsers tend to exchange spots in this respect depending on the operating system being used, the current version of the browser, and method of measuring. WebKit (used in Chrome, and Safari) and Presto (used in Opera) are typically reputed as the fastest, but MS also advertises Internet Explorer 9 using its latest Trident engine, as the fastest as well. Your mileage may vary.

    The Best User Interface

    User interface is largely a matter of personal preference. Some web browsers implement their own user interface and maintain that interface across all of the platforms they support. Examples of this are Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, with some variations between platforms. However, both can be skinned with different themes.

    Other web browsers are designed to closely emulate the look and feel of the platform upon which they are running. If you are familiar with the native interface of your desktop environment and you are pleased with that interface, you may wish to use a web browser which closely mimics that interface.

    If your user interface is… … you might consider this web browser
    Microsoft Windows Internet Explorerm Chrome, Firefox
    Gnome Epiphany
    KDE Konqueror
    MacOS Safari

    Unless you have specific interface preferences, your will most likely be better served by the Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer browsers.

    Specific Web Browser Recommendations by OS

    For most users, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome are excellent choices.

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    5 comments
    1. Emily Anderson

      1 October, 2013 at 8:16 am

      I rather like chrome, never thought of it as too heavy. Although I mainly use the torch browser (which is a chromium based browser).

      Reply
    2. WillSpencer

      24 September, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Chrome is too heavy? Have you tried Chromium?

      Reply
    3. gds

      23 September, 2013 at 9:27 am

      chrom really sucks. too heavy for no reason

      Reply
    4. black

      23 December, 2011 at 7:15 am

      I think avant browser is the best browser.Faster,easier to use.Avant’s video downloader really cool.You can use ABdownloader download it when you watch a good video.

      Reply
    5. Har8

      11 July, 2011 at 5:10 am

      google cxhrom-best browser

      Reply
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