The best web browsers for 2019

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

You’re starting on page 2 of this, click here to start at the beginning.

Benchmark tests

All right, so you’ve seen our recommendations — but if you still want to know more, check out our test results below.

You’ll notice we’ve dropped both Internet Explorer and Apple’s Safari web browser from our comparison. Microsoft’s aging browser has had some improvements over the years, but it’s no longer the default browser on Windows 10 and it doesn’t offer much beyond the bare minimum. It only exists today because some companies need it for legacy applications. While Apple’s Safari web browser is still used by many Mac users, it’s no longer updated on Windows, and so we’ve removed it from the main list too.

Most browsers are compatible with web standards and handle performance with relative ease. A casual user probably won’t notice a difference in the rendering speed between today’s modern browsers, as all six browsers are much faster and leaner than those of a few years ago.

We ran the following benchmarks on a desktop with an Intel Core i7-4770K processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. All browsers were clean installs of the most current production versions as of early 2019 and all were run at their default setings.

The Jetstream benchmark — which focuses on modern web applications — has the same (no longer surprising) winner: Edge, which has been well in the lead for many months. Microsoft continues to work hard on optimizing its new browser, and it shows with this test at least. Chrome is in second place, Firefox has taken over third place, and Opera has moved to last place.

Mozilla’s Kraken benchmark has Firefox in a strong first-place finish with Chrome coming in second. Edge and Opera have flipped places to round out the competition, and both are significantly slower than the leaders.

Google Chrome, currently at version 72, had long dominated the HTML5 compliance benchmark and it took back first place this time around, with Opera coming in second. Firefox is in third place, while Edge continues to be less compliant than the rest.

Finally, we also tested how much RAM each browser uses, both with no tabs open and then with 10 tabs open accessing the same popular sites. We made sure that each browser had no extensions running, and we let each browser settle in before looking at its memory use. For the test with 10 tabs open, we averaged memory use when all of the tabs were first opened and then five minutes later, to account for any variability.

It’s not a scientific test, but it should be sound enough to give an idea of which browsers are the most and least efficient in terms of taking up your RAM. We found Opera to use the least RAM both when first opened and with all 10 tabs loaded. Firefox used the most RAM when first opened with no tabs open, and Edge significantly more RAM with all 10 tabs open than any other browser in our tests.

Security and privacy

The most valuable tool for secure browsing is user discretion, especially when you consider that every web browser has encountered security breaches in the past. In particular, Internet Explorer and Chrome’s reputation for protecting users’ security and privacy credentials is spotty at best.

Chrome, Safari, Vivaldi, Opera, and Firefox all rely on Google’s Safe Browsing API to detect potentially dangerous sites. Thanks to constant updates, Mozilla, Chrome, and Opera all make constant security improvements.

All browsers offer a private session option, too. Private sessions prevent the storage of history, temporary internet files, and cookies. Browser support for Do Not Track remains spotty, and it’s worth noting that a 2013 NSS study showed only Internet Explorer blocking trackers used on more than 90 percent of potentially hazardous sites.

Mozilla has made some strides to try and differentiate itself from the others with a real focus on privacy in recent years. It even recently debuted a Facebook Container to make it harder for the social network to harvest a user’s information.

Computing

Hands-on with Microsoft Chromium Edge: A first look at the early release

We installed a preview of Edge Chromium, and there's now a lot that makes it feel Chrome, but there are also some similarities to the old Edge. So, is the new Chromium Edge the best browser ever? Here's a hands-on look.
Mobile

Mozilla rolls out Firefox for iPad with split screen support

Mozilla released a version of Firefox that is specifically designed for Apple's iPad. The internet browser comes with several unique features for the tablet, including split screen support and unique tab management.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Computing

Firefox 66 is here and it will soon block irritating autoplay videos

Do web advertisements have you frustrated? Mozilla is here to help. The latest version of the browser will soon block autoplaying videos by default and will also help make web page scrolling smoother.
Computing

Own an Asus computer? Malware might be hiding in your system

If you own an Asus computer, your system might have been infected by malware distributed from the tool you typically use to update the BIOS and install other security patches, according to a new report by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab.
Computing

The new Windows 10 File Explorer could look like this in 2020

Microsoft may update Windows 10's File Explorer to adopt Fluent Design principles in an upcoming 2020 update. A report suggests that we'll get our first glimpse at the new-look explorer in upcoming Windows Insider builds.
Computing

Get a new 2018 Apple MacBook Air for $1,000 with Amazon’s latest sale

Online retailer Amazon is currently running a discount on select models of the MacBook Air 2018. You can bring one home starting at $1,000, a full $200 off the usual selling price.
Computing

DisplayPort and HDMI both connect to screens, but here's how they're different

HDMI and DisplayPort are two of the most popular connectors for hooking up consoles, gaming PCs, TVs, and monitors, but which is best? To find out, we pitted HDMI vs. DisplayPort and compared their best and worst features.
Computing

In 2019, laptops are better than ever. Here are the best of the best

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. Our picks for the best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while they're at it.
Computing

From hot rods to budget sleepers, our favorite desktops can handle anything

Are laptops overrated? Experience the power offered by the best desktop computers on the market today, whether you're in need of a budget solution or a fire-breathing, $4,000 premium gaming rig.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Computing

Man pleads guilty to scamming Facebook and Google out of more than $100M

One of the men behind an elaborate fraud that saw Facebook and Google each hand over tens of millions of dollars has admitted to his part in the scheme. Lithuanian Evaldas Rimasauskas faces up to 30 years in a U.S. jail.
Product Review

HP’s gem-cut Spectre x360 15 is the most powerful 2-in-1 you can buy

HP’s 2019 Spectre x360 15 brings this massive 2-in-1 up to speed, literally. It now equips the same six-core Intel CPU as the rest of the 15-inch field, along with a real GPU for some 1080p gaming.
Computing

Ditch the background from your photos with these handy editing tools

Need to know how to remove the background from an image? Whether you prefer to use a premium program like Photoshop or one of the many web-based alternatives currently in existence, we'll show you how.
2 of 2