In the early days of the internet, user’s browser choice was extremely limited. In the late 1990s Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Netscape’s Navigator where engaging in the first ever browser wars. As a user, you had only two choices. Now, if we fast-forward to the present day, thankfully it’s a very different story. Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and Opera all have competitive web browsers and are fighting in the second browser wars. This time, there is loads of choice for the users. So, what is the best mainstream web browser? Let’s find out!
Internet Explorer 11
At number 5! Internet Explorer 11. The weakest of the five by a large margin, but it’s included on this list for an important reason, Legacy! Internet Explorer 11 has the best backwards compatibility of any web browser. With millions of IT companies using older software and services, this is a massive advantage over its rivals. Internet Explorer 11 has also added support for Modern web technologies. For the rest of us, I would suggest another web browser on this list.
At number 4! Microsoft Edge. The new kid on the block. The interface is very simple. It only has a single toolbar and a few buttons. There are one or two potentially useful extras. Web Notes and Reading View. The first allows you to add notes to a web page and share them. The second reformats pages to remove distractions and make them easier to read. Unfortunately, it has limited support for extensions. Edge’s simplicity, lightweight design and promising future mean it could easy shoot up this list.
At number 3! Opera. Opera has a strong record of innovation, including being a one of the fastest browsers around. Opera also has an impressive Visual bookmarks system for its web browser. Its biggest issue is it has never managed to make a big impact with users. It also has a limited amount of extensions compared to its rivals. Don’t get me wrong Opera is still an excellent all-round web browser. So don’t be afraid to visit their website and give it a try for yourself.
At number 2! Mozilla Firefox. For many years this web browser saved my bacon. It was the go to web browser to escape the notorious Internet Explorer 6. Sadly, in recent years it has lost market share and momentum. More importantly, Firefox also doesn’t deliver the best performance anymore; memory usage can still be an issue. Firefox is the most customisable of all the web browsers. From the menu layouts to adding new themes. This can give the browser a brand new look and feel.
At number 1! Google Chrome. At present, Google Chrome is by far the most used browser which accounts for over half of web traffic. With a large selection of extensions and great Android integration, it’s hard for any user not to make this their default web browser. It’s not all good news, other Web browsers have closed the gap on both speed and design. As the current king of the second browser wars, I don’t see anyone knocking it off its throne anytime soon.