Tips for web professionals
4 alternative web browsers that aren’t Google Chrome
Google Chrome, the most popularAs previously mentioned, Google Chome is currently the most widely used web browser. It is also the web browser that is best suited to the needs of the largest number of people. Additionally, it’s part of a global “all-in-one” Google solution.
AdvantagesGoogle Chrome is above all a minimalist application that’s quite easy to use. Each piece of the interface has a specific role to play and nothing is left to chance. For example, browsing takes place using tabs along the top of a Chrome window, and the size of these tabs adjusts based on the number of tabs open, so that the user can see all pages open without hindrance. These types of details on the design level help make Google Chrome the big player in the web browser space. Another advantage is that Google Chrome is part of the Google ecosystem, that is, Chrome facilitates access to Google applications like Google Maps, Google Drive, and Gmail. The more the user uses these apps, the more they will be more likely to keep using Google Chrome, since they’re that much easier to access in Chrome, without having to switch between software for daily use. Finally, Google Chrome does allow for a certain level of user customization. Whether that’s through the graphic theme library or the thousands of available extensions, Chrome is a very modulable web browser.
DisadvantagesGoogle Chrome is nonetheless still controversial, notably among users who are aware of the challenge posed by personal data privacy. On that point, Google Chrome has been singled out for its abusive use of personal data it collects from its users, as described in this article from Forbes. But personal data collection is not the only problem with Google Chrome. It’s also one of the biggest RAM consuming web browsers. According to Cloudzy, Chrome uses 1000 MBs of RAM with 10 tabs open—20% more than Microsoft Edge with the same number of tabs open. Finally, using Google Chrome also means adhering more generally to Google’s economic model, as well as more generally to that of the other big tech players. It’s moreover important to remember that Google is the G in GAFAM, the tech giants known for their tax strategies, exploitation of employees, and fast-and-loose conceptions of data privacy.
4 replacement web browsers for Google Chrome usersWhatever the reason is that you’re looking for an alternative web browser, you should know that it’s possible to find a satisfying browser experience outside of Google’s ecosystem. To compare Chrome’s competitors, we focused on 4 main criteria:
- Page load speed
- Memory consumption (in RAM)
- Software features and customizability
- Respecting personal data/user privacy
- And other criteria that make these individual options stand out
1. Mozilla Firefox, the open-source solution
- Standard: blocks most social media trackers, tracking cookies, and other malicious components,
- Strict: blocks more trackers and cookies, with a possible impact on the content/appearance of certain webpages
- Custom: lets the user configure the types of cookies and trackers accepted or blocked
2. Brave, personal data protection
- 55% to the websites on which they appear
- 30% to Brave
- 15% to the user