A web browser is application software that allows users to connect with internet services via the World Wide Web (WWW). In simple words, we can say that it is an entry point for accessing online content doing things online, such as surfing websites, streaming music, and watching videos. It collects the information from the server(s) and displays it on the screen.
The information can be in various forms, such as texts, audio, videos, or images. Every browser has its unique functionalities. However, there are some key components that every browser should have, such as the search bar, the address bar, navigation buttons, tabs, bookmarks, the refresh key, and history.
Key Features to Look Out For in a Web Browser
There are about 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide, who try to explore the content available on the internet via their favorite web browser. So, it becomes the responsibility of web browsers to provide a safe and secure environment to their users and safeguard them against cybercriminals.
A secure browser keeps the user’s online identity encrypted and doesn’t leak their data to third-party applications. Along with these features, some additional features can help in building a web browser more competent. Generally, a web browser must have the following features:
The web browser should keep all your online content protected and your personal information encrypted. It should block all malicious malware and also protect against virus attacks. The use of VPNs is very common these days as it enables the user to remain anonymous when online.
The web browser should offer smooth navigation facilities across the web with the help of search bars, address bars, search widgets, bookmarks, history, and tabs. It should provide a smooth and flexible experience to its users by having the ability to run on any kind of device or screen without any discrepancy.
The web browser should be as fast as possible but without compromising on efficiency and accuracy. The speed of the web browser refers to the speed with which it can perform certain predefined tasks, such as web rendering, displaying animations, and handling high-resolution graphics.
An ideal web browser should have a simple and easy-to-use UI that can help its users to navigate the web with ease. It should be intuitive and versatile and should be able to fulfill the needs of individuals.
15 Best Browser for PC
The following list of top 15 browsers have all the above-mentioned key features along with some of their exclusive features, which makes them better than the others available in the market. Here’s a quick look into the picks:
- Google Chrome
- Mozilla Firefox
- Microsoft Edge
- Apple Safari
- Cheetah Browser
- Ghost Browser
- Avant Browser
- Avast Secure
- Dolphin Browser
Now, let’s discuss each one in detail:
Chrome is the most popular web browser. Launched in 2008, it has gained billions of users worldwide. The reason for this is the regular updates that come up after every few months, making the web browser better than its previous iterations. It is compatible with almost all operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, and macOS.
Google Chrome is quite a fast and efficient browser with an extremely impressive user interface. Users can enjoy surfing with this browser due to its wide range of features. It automatically synchronizes with other Google applications and software, such as Gmail, Maps, Google Translate, Google Drive, and Classroom.
- Backed by Google.
- Supports multiple plug-ins and extensions.
- Fast and efficient in terms of performance.
- Secure and private by keeping the user data encrypted.
- Incognito mode is available.
- Uses a lot of system resources and space.
- The Chrome mobile application does not support adblocking.
- Does not provide customization options.
Firefox is a free and open-source web browser developed by Mozilla in 2002. It is a really fast and private browser that uses the Gecko layout for rendering web pages. It also incorporated quantum technology to give rise to parallelism and provide a spontaneous UI.
Some of its main features include spell checking, tabbed browsing, live bookmarking, private browsing, download manager, geolocation, and incremental search. It can be run on various operating systems, may it be Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, and macOS.
- Delivers a high-speed performance.
- Provides a user-friendly environment for its users.
- Promotes a safe browsing experience for its users via privacy tools.
- Doesn’t provide live support.
- Not all websites are compatible with this browser.
- Downloads are not able to resume after a discrepancy occurs.
Opera is one of the earliest web browsers which was launched in the year 1995. It is a free and open-source web browser and is based on the Chromium browser. There are numerous built-in add-ons and plug-ins supported by this browser.
The UI is spontaneous and easy to navigate with a rich library of features. Multitasking is also supported by Opera without compromising on speed and efficiency. It can be used on Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, macOS and it also comes in many mobile variants, such as Opera Mini and Opera Touch.
- Supports ad blocking and VPN features.
- Minimizes battery usage.
- Has good speed and performance.
- Only works well with web pages coded in HTML and CSS.
- The Opera extensions are not easy to find.
- Sometimes it provides too many browsing choices to users, which can be overwhelming.
Brave is a free and open-source web browser launched in 2019. It is a lightning-fast web browser with powerful navigation and security features. This browser does not contain any ads as it blocks all the ads and cross-site trackers.
It supports blockchain-type currency called BAT (Basic Attention Token) coins, which are used to encourage the developers to invest in the browser as well as rewarding original content creators. The user can choose what ads and content to be displayed on the browser.
- Supports all operating systems.
- Blocks ads and cross-site trackers.
- The browsing speed is quite high.
- A few extensions are available.
- Not compatible with all web pages.
Vivaldi is a free web browser launched in 2016 by Opera Software. It is a chromium-based browser with a wide range of customization and personalization options.
The web browser supports simultaneous web browsing by tiling many web pages. It is a fast and secure browser that enables the blocking of unwanted ads and trackers. Vivaldi supports Windows, Linux, and macOS.
- Provides a personalized browsing experience.
- Supports multitasking.
- Good at handling downloads.
- Doesn’t support bookmarks, passwords, and settings synchronization.
- It is not that fast.
- A limited number of themes are available.
Tor is a private browser that keeps a user’s identity anonymous by directing the network traffic to a free, worldwide volunteer overlay network. The internet activity of the users becomes very difficult to track. It has a very simple and easy-to-understand UI.
Users can even access the Dark Web by using this browser. So it can be a very dangerous browser if used by cybercriminals or hackers to carry out illegal activities. On the bright side, however, it is the best web browser for maintaining anonymity online.
- Supports excellent privacy and anonymity features.
- Available for almost all operating systems.
- It is a free and open-source browser.
- Can be misused for committing cybercrimes.
- It has low bandwidth.
- Some Tor apps, such as Flash, are not anonymous.
Microsoft Edge is a cross-platform web browser launched in 2015 by Microsoft. It is the default web browser for Windows and is now made compatible with macOS, Android, and iOS. It has a simple and easy-to-understand UI with a limited set of features.
Some of the main features of Edge include saving web pages for offline viewing, downloading online content, and viewing user activity. It is also compatible with Microsoft-based services, such as the Cortana voice assistant. Edge has a safe and secure environment with a strong firewall for the detection of malware and viruses.
- Simple and easy to operate.
- Compatible with mobile phones.
- Amazing security features.
- Has limited extensions to offer.
- There are a minimum number of customization options.
8. Apple Safari
Apple Safari is a web browser developed by Apple in 2003 and is the default browser of iOS and macOS devices but was later optimized for Android as well. It is a speedy and efficient browser.
The UI is simple with basic requirements, such as password manager and spell checking. It provides a minimal amount of customization options with satisfactory web security measures. The add-ons and extensions for this browser can be installed from the Apple Store.
- Has a satisfactory amount of speed and performance.
- Offers certain private browsing options.
- Supports sharing of information via iCloud.
- Not compatible with Windows.
- Offers only a few customization options.
- Provides updates rarely.
Cheetah Browser is a Chromium-based web browser that is a secure and optimized browser for mobile phones. It supports both Webkit and Trident search engines. Though it’s a lightweight browser, it is quite efficient in performance and speed.
The ad blocker enables the block of unnecessary pop-ups and spams messages. It is protected against cyberattacks, such as phishing, malware, and viruses. This is achieved by the use of an automated scanning mechanism of this browser, which scans all the files before downloading them.
- Lightweight and fast browser.
- Provides reliable web security measures.
- The ad blocker mechanism is quite efficient.
- Does not support certain old web pages.
Maxthon browser is a dual-engine browser that supports Webkit and Trident for browsing. Its latest version is Maxthon 5, which is very user-friendly and somewhat fast. Maxthon supports all kinds of downloadable files be it images, music, or videos.
It supports various operating systems, such as macOS, iOS, Android, and Windows. Maxthon consists of decent web security measures during the transfer of data between various devices connected to the network.
- A good alternative for downloading various files.
- Has a simple and intuitive UI.
- Supports 2 browsing engines.
- Not that fast.
- Does not support a wide range of extensions.
- Voice interaction commands and open-source development.
11. Ghost Browser
Ghost Browser is a free and open-source Chromium-based browser. It supports multiple account access on a single browser window. Unwanted ads can be blocked in this browser by enabling an ad blocker.
Users can see their own posted content, such as blogs using unregistered user’s points of view. This browser is quite reliable in terms of performance, navigation, and web security.
- Supports multitasking.
- Provides a user-friendly environment.
- It is an easy to navigate and secure browser.
- It is not that fast.
- Its free version has limited functionalities.
SeaMonkey is a free and open-source web browser. It is a highly reliable and customizable browser to give an amazing browsing experience to its users.
This browser is based on Mozilla Firefox and is a lightweight application. The key features of SeaMonkey include integrated search engines, a popup blocker, and a tabbed browsing experience.
- Compatible with third-party extensions.
- Contains various advanced features along with the standard ones.
- Provides a lot of customization options.
- Lacks automated updates.
- Not aesthetically appealing.
13. Avant Browser
Avant Browser is a free web browser that is simple and easy to use. It has a similar interface to Internet Explorer. It has some decent web security and auto-update features that enhance the web browsing experience.
Some of its interesting features include multiple browser tabs, action undoing, tab saving, and session restore. It is compatible with Windows.
- Provides a user-friendly environment.
- Offers reliable customer support.
- Suitable for non-technical users.
- Doesn’t include certain advanced features.
- Lags or buffers sometimes.
14. Avast Secure
Avast Secure is a chromium-based web browser that focuses on providing amazing web security and privacy measures to its users. It has a fast and user-friendly environment. It allows multiple web page access and seamless streaming features.
Some of its advanced features include ad-blocking, VPN, video downloading, virtual desktop, and HTTP encryptions. Avast Secure supports operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
- Provides a fast and secure environment.
- Provides certain advanced features for browsing.
- Sometimes it gets difficult to operate for certain users.
15. Dolphin Browser
Dolphin Browser is the best web browser for Android and iOS devices. It enables you to browse through online content without any restrictions. Some of its key features include an HTML player, navigational tools, advanced ad blocker, VPN, and incognito browsing.
It allows users to create shortcuts and save bookmarks for frequently visited websites. Dolphin Browser has an AI-powered assistant called SONAR to provide an amazing browsing experience.
- Suitable for streaming online videos.
- Intelligent, reliable browser.
- Has plenty of advanced features for a smooth browsing experience.
- Not suitable for old websites.
- Takes time to load initially.
To conclude, we can say that there are plenty of web browsers available in the market having some standard features, such as safety, speed, navigation, and user interface. Along with these basic features, all browsers have their unique advanced features to enhance the browsing experience of their users.
Depending on the compatibility of the browsers with various operating systems and requirements of users, one can select the best web browser for personal as well as professional usage.