Who makes the best browsers in 2018? It depends. What definition do we apply to the term ‘best?’ This whole argument as to which is best is somewhat subjective but allow me to slice and dice to get to the center of what is worth our attention and use, and what may not be worth the effort.
First, Google and Apple make the top two, most used browsers on planet earth. Chrome dominates on Android and Windows, while Safari is most used on Mac, iPhone, and iPad. After those two giants, next comes whatever Microsoft is pushing these days, Mozilla’s venerable Firefox, and a host of wannabes with a new focus on privacy and security.
Privacy and security?
That’s what the present and future will be about. You won’t get that from Google’s Chrome. Tracking to the point of stalking is Google’s business model. What about Apple’s Safari? I worry about Apple’s relationship with Google, despite Safari’s new features to help prevent tracking. Google pays Apple a few billion dollars to keep Google as the default Safari search engine.
So, which browsers are best these days? Which browsers should you consider using on Mac, iPhone, and iPad? And, importantly, why?
The right browser can be your new privacy and security friend. Mozilla seems to have picked up on the trend and recent versions of Firefox are utterly the fastest on Mac or Windows, and offer more privacy options on Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS than even Chrome or Safari.
As an example, Firefox Focus for iPhone and iPad is utterly devoid of standard browser features and instead boasts better privacy than any browser I use except one. More on that one in a moment. Focus has a prominent Erase button near the top. Tap it and whatever you were viewing– history, pages, whatever– disappears. Even better, the newest Focus auto-locks when relegated to the background.
In other words, move from Focus to Mail on your iPhone, and Focus locks. You’ll need Touch ID or Face ID or password to unlock Focus. That’s privacy you won’t find in Safari or Chrome.
Unfortunately, Mac and Windows do not have a Firefox Focus version– not even an Erase button. More and more I find myself using the Brave browser on Mac, iPhone, and iPad. It isn’t packed with features you find on Safari or Chrome. That’s because the focus is on privacy and security, not features.
Brave is fast, renders webpages well, and blocks ads, tracker scripts, cookies, the works. Couple Brave to a VPN and you’re getting close to being off the grid while traveling the grid.
The trend among browsers for the past few decades has been more features. Brave and Firefox have recognized that features are not what we’re after in 2018. Privacy and security matter. Maybe one day Apple and Google will follow suit, but because of the billions of dollars in revenue involved, don’t hold your breath.
The best browsers, circa 2018 where privacy and security are more important than ever, are not from Google or Apple.