Is Chrome the Best Browser?
I'm thinking of switching to the Google Chrome browser. I like Firefox, but lately it has been unstable on my computer, and seems to get bogged down. Yesterday I had to shut it down because it was consuming 825MB of memory! My friend says Chrome is the best - what is your opinion?
Should You Switch to Chrome?
Google introduced its Chrome Web browser in December, 2008. As of October, 2011, Chrome was the third most-used Web browser, with a 25 per cent worldwide market share. And according to StatCounter, it's on the verge of taking over the #2 spot from Firefox within weeks. Meanwhile, Internet Explorer's market share has dipped from 50% to 40% in the past years, and some are predicting that Chrome's current growth trajectory will put it in the top spot by the middle of 2012.
Chrome is strikingly different from its two major competitors, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. The latter two browsers have become feature-bloated, according to many users. Chrome has a minimalist feel; it doesn't even support RSS feeds. The emphasis in Chrome is on speed, simplicity, and security. Chrome runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. The most recent version can be downloaded here.
Chrome may have had a decisive edge in speed when it first appeared. But that advantage has been narrowed in recent rounds of the browser wars. Different benchmark tests give different rankings, particularly when a test is designed by the developer of one of the browsers being tested. But a wide variety of reviews suggest that Chrome and Firefox are about tied in speed, and that IE is only an insignificant step behind them. See my related article Which Browser is Fastest? for some additional information on browser speed testing.
Why is Chrome Growing in Popularity?
Simplicity is definitely Chrome's hallmark. You might think the user interface was designed by Steve Jobs, for all its Zen-like inscrutability. Some users like the sparse UI, noting that it leaves more screen space free for viewing Web content. Chrome strikes a nice balance between customizability and the amorphous chaos that is Firefox. IE, of course, is the least extension-friendly of the three major browsers.
Chrome has not been entirely immune to security issues, but it does get high marks for minimizing vulnerabilities. Its use of sandboxing technology to prevent Web apps from altering the user's hard drive content is excellent. Its anti-phishing warning system has been copied by IE and Firefox. Chrome's Incognito browsing mode disables cookie tracking, history recording, extension support, and other browsing breadcrumbs. You can also delete Flash cookies from inside Chrome to eliminate that nefarious tracking tool.
Other features that are popular in Chrome are customizable themes featuring images from artists around the world, and automated language translations. If the page you are viewing is not in your default language, Chrome will offer to translate it for you. Also, the New Tab page shows thumbnails of your most visited apps and pages, for quick access to the websites you visit often.
Whenever I write about browsers, I get comments. Why didn't address I Safari or Opera? In a nutshell, they are not major players. Although Opera has some enthusiastic fans, it has never broken the 2% mark in popularity. Safari (the default browser on Macs) scores under 6% and doesn't play nice (or at all) on other platforms.
So is Chrome "the best browser"? There really is no absolute answer to that question, because it boils down to preference. It's very much like asking what is the best car, or if Coke is better than Pepsi. There is no "best browser," only one that you prefer over others. That said, Chrome works very well. It's fast, simple, and secure, although not perfect. And within a year, it may end up at the top of the market share charts. Certainly, it's worth a try.
Have you tried Chrome? What's your opinion? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 23 Nov 2011
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Is Chrome the Best Browser? (Posted: 23 Nov 2011)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved