7 Different types of web browsers (and their purposes)

When it comes to web browsers, the market has several offerings. A few decades back, IE (Internet Explorer) was the only option people had. But as different browsers started to emerge, people quickly adopted them and left IE. In fact, IE was so slow that many people made memes on it.

Now we don’t see many people using IE. Microsoft soon realized that people are shifting their focus to other browsers so it came with the new Edge browser. However, Edge didn’t gain much popularity either.

So which browsers are the most commonly used? Let’s discuss them and also see what purpose they solve.

1. Google Chrome

Google Chrome is the most popular browser that people use today. The main reason for this is its speed. It’s a fast browser. It opens quickly and loads multiple tabs and pages in just one click. It’s probably the fastest browser available today. If you’re tired of waiting for your browser to open after clicking on its icon, you should switch to Chrome.

Another reason for using Chrome is its simplicity. It combines the address bar and Google search bar in one omnibox and lets the users have an easy experience. Apart from these advantages, it is also easily customizable and comes with a range of apps and themes. You can add different extensions to increase productivity. 

And you can sign into Chrome using your Google account and your data will be synced across all your Google devices. All these features make Chrome the number one choice for many people. However, since it needs a lot of memory to run and it’s Google-based, many people prefer not to use Chrome.

2. Mozilla Firefox

Firefox was slower than Chrome. And this is why it stayed the second choice for many people. But that was several versions ago. The new Firefox is faster and smoother. If you don’t like Chrome because it’s a Google based product, you can switch to Firefox. 

The new Firefox consumes less RAM than Chrome and is faster than its previous versions. But there’s one problem with Firefox – it drains battery very quickly. So if you’re on a laptop, watching HD videos, it’s best to use Edge instead of Firefox because Firefox will eat up that battery in no time.

If you’re a Chrome user who’s tired of Chrome trying to incorporate all types of features, you’ll find Firefox refreshing. Chrome has lately been adding so many features that it doesn’t seem like a browser anymore. It’s more like an all-inclusive app that offers several features and browsing is just one of them. Firefox, on the other hand, is a dedicated browser. 

Also, when it comes to privacy, Firefox is better than Chrome. While there are more privacy based browsers (such as Kingpin) that are better than Firefox and Chrome, if you must make a choice between the top two, you should go with Firefox.

3. Opera

Opera is another popular name in the browser industry. While it has several attractive features (such as an inbuilt adblocker), it generally stays behind the two most popular browsers. But this shouldn’t mean you shouldn’t try Opera. 

While Chrome and Firefox allow users to have a number of third party extensions, Opera has its own range of extensions that users might want to check out. Opera supports several major apps like Facebook messenger and Whatsapp. 

Opera can be synced across multiple devices. It allows you to customize the browser but there aren’t many options. There is a dark mode and some themes. The customization options are far less than Firefox and Chrome.

Some features of Opera include a news reader that lets you access daily news direct from the browser. All these features are inbuilt into Opera, unlike Firefox and Chrome that use third party software for these applications. There’s also a snapshot tool that lets you take a screenshot of any page you’re viewing.

4. Apple Safari

Safari is a simple and clean browser with several features that make it a popular choice. It offers all the basic functionalities – the ability to open multiple tabs, easy bookmarking, fast speeds, and a plugin library. 

While Safari is mostly used on Mac, it can also be used on a PC. But on PC, Safari will be like just another browser. However, if you use Mac and iPhones, you’ll love the cross-platform compatibility that it offers. You’ll be able to integrate your data across multiple platforms if you use Safari. 

Also, Safari supports iCloud Keychain that will let you access passwords that you’ve saved on your Apple devices. As a PC user, you might not find a lot of practical uses of Safari. But if you have Apple devices, this will be your number one choice.

One con of Safari is that since it’s made by Apple, it lacks openness. And thus, there are fewer customization options available. 

These were the common browsers that most people use. But as users become aware of the importance of their online privacy, they have started preferring private browsers that keep their data secure. Let’s check out some top private browsers.

5. Kingpin browser

Kingpin is a relatively new name in the market but it’s fast gaining popularity, thanks to its no-data-stored approach. It is just like one of the top browsers with all the features. Except that it always works incognito. 

While the incognito mode is available in all browsers, there’s always an isolated incident when you forget to open the incognito window and browse in a normal window instead. And thus your browsing gets exposed. 

With Kingpin, the incognito mode is always turned on along with the adblocker. So whatever you do on this browser isn’t leaked to anyone. It doesn’t record your history, passwords, cookies, or anything else.

It also lets you lock your activity by entering a 4-digit PIN so if someone else accesses your device, they won’t be able to see your browsing.

6. Tor browser

Tor is undoubtedly the most secure browser. However, it’s not easy to use Tor. It operates slowly and has many limitations. But on the plus side, it doesn’t store history and it changes your IP as well. If slow speeds don’t deter you from activities, you can use Tor. 

You might think Tor might speed up in the future. But that’s not really possible. The reason why Tor is slow is that it skips data over many nodes so your real IP stays hidden. That’s why people love it. to increase the speed, the data will travel directly from the home node to destination, killing the entire purpose of Tor.

This means Tor is going to be slow. But if slow speeds aren’t your arch nemesis, this can be a good browser for you.

7. Iridium browser

Iridium is a secure browser that’s also fast and renders websites very quickly. It’s based on Chromium but unlike Chromium, Iridium doesn’t call back home to Google. Also, Iridium is very easy to use. While Tor can be a bit complicated for an average user, Iridium is very simple and basic and can be used even by newbies.

If you’re looking for privacy and security, you might want to choose a browser like Kingpin or Iridium that is privacy-centric and also offers fast speeds. There’s not much of the browser if the loading times are very slow.

Make a Choice

Now that you’ve seen regular and security-centric browsers, which one will you choose? You can have multiple browsers on the same device so it’s a good idea to try a couple of them and then stick with the one that suits your needs the most.

1 thought on “7 Different types of web browsers (and their purposes)”

  1. What are “External Browsers”? I recently noticed that I was unable to adjust the text size or to print from some sites. I have wondered about this but had no choice but to continue with this problem being unresolved. Today, however, I happened to stumble on a button on the screen that led me to an “External Browser.” With this browser, I was able to print the screen and to adjust the text size.

    I don’t remember not being able to adjust the screen size or to print from some sites until recently, but that may be just my lack of attention or need. In any event I now know that there are such sites and that, apparently, External Browsers” are the cure.

    What are “External Browsers”? Why were they created? How long have they been around? Were they created in response to barriers/limitations that some websites had erected? In other words, can you tell me something about “External Browsers”?

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