Best Web Browsers of 2016
You may be wondering what the best web browser is in 2016, but first it’s important to understand what a web browser is and does. A web browser, to put it simply, is an application used to move around the world wide web. Without a web browser, you’re stuck; even with a browser, you can only do as much as the browser is equipped to handle. There are many browsers out there, many that John Q Public has never even heard of because they perform specific functions that the average computer user would never need. Especially with open source coding, anyone with the acuity could create their own specialized browser, such as ZAC Browser, a browser created to tailor to the needs of children on the autism spectrum.
The first established browser to become popular was the since-discontinued browser Mosaic. It was easy to install and easy to use, as well as reliable and capable of displaying images inline with text, rather than in a separate window. Mosaic replaced the text prompt-based system used before and gave us the browser bar, back and forward buttons, and graphic interactivity that we know today. Since then, though, technology has built on Mosaic’s foundation to create some truly awe-inspiring capability in our modern browsers.
Nowadays, most people are familiar with Internet Explorer, which comes standard on most PCs with Microsoft operating systems; Safari is the default on Apple devices. As ubiquitous as Google has become, Chrome is everywhere; it is the top browser used across the world, with almost half of all global internet users choosing Chrome. it is consistently one of the most popular browsers, along with Mozilla Firefox. With the increase in mobile computer use, Google’s platform for touchscreen devices, Android, and Opera are also very popular options with millions of monthly users.
So, what is the best browser for my computer or mobile device?
While the merit of a particular browser depends on the needs of the user, there are indisputable facts about each web browsing application that establish their value. Based on factors such as capability, ease of use, speed, and more, here are the top web browsers to use in 2016:
Chrome is currently the most popular web browser in the world. While that can be due in part to the global omnipresence of Google, it is also due to the fact that Chrome is a powerhouse of a web browser; this is why it is often declared the best web browser on the market. Extensions are easily added and used to expand the capability of the browser, it works across a wide range of platforms, and is an incredibly stable and reliable application. It’s easily modified, with easy to navigate parental controls and endlessly customizable options to personalize Chrome for your use.
In terms of aesthetics, Opera would be first on this list, but where it truly shines is on mobile devices. Opera keeps personal information secure so navigating sites that require personal information is easier and safer than ever. The browser also has a function that reroutes your web traffic to the Opera servers after compressing it and reducing the transfer of data to increase browsing speeds and maneuver around firewalls. This may make Opera the best web browser for users on a computer with less RAM or CPU computing power. Add ad blocking and a power saving mode to the mix and you’ve got a strong contender for best browser on the web.
Microsoft’s newly released browser accompanies the stalwart Internet Explorer as the company’s accompaniment for Windows 10. Edge is fully integrated into the Windows 10 operating system, seamlessly working with Cortana, Microsoft’s version of the infamous Siri. Edge is particularly adept at benchmarking and is incredibly secure. The new application is user-friendly and streamlined for modern-day internet users.
Safari is best known as the browser for Apple products ranging from the iPod and iPhone to Mac Pros. The biggest selling point for Safari is that it’s lightning fast. It uses much less battery life than Google Chrome or Firefox, especially on iOS devices. Like Firefox, it has built-in read-it-later capability. While it’s widely thought that Safari is only available on Apple products, it can actually be used on Windows, as well.
Firefox offers users a wide variety of extensions, much like Chrome, with built-in support for its own video chat service, Hello, and its bookmarking and read-it-later service, Pocket. Speed is another plus for Firefox users, as well as regular updates every six weeks. There are design elements that fall short of the modern aesthetics of Chrome and other newer browsers, but Firefox is a solid choice for modern internet users.
An open source version of Google Chrome fitted with pre-installed Linux applications
Microsoft Internet Explorer 11
Uses less RAM and CPU than Google and Mozilla’s offerings, increasing speed on devices with less RAM