What’s the Best Web Browser?

By on Nov 21, 2013

The browser you choose to surf the Internet can make a big difference in your overall satisfaction with your own online experience. But it’s not always clear which web browser you should actually use.

The following pie chart shows the top browsers used by people coming to several of my websites during the last 30 days:

Browser useage on my site

Following are some thoughts on how to choose the best browser.

No choice:

It’s not surprising that Internet Explorer has the most usage by people in the insurance industry. Many insurance company websites and agency service vendors’ websites only work when using Internet Explorer. They are specifically designed and programmed to only support Internet Explorer.

Reliability:

There’s nothing more frustrating than when your browser hangs up, forcing you to restart it or, taking more time, forcing you to reboot your computer. So it makes sense to go with a reliable browser. According to Sauce Labs, an Internet software testing company, the browser with the worst crash record over the past two years is Apple Safari. Internet Explorer is in the middle of the pack of the five major browsers. The best is Mozilla Firefox, followed by Google Chrome.

However the crash, or error, rates are low. Safari has an error rate of just 0.12%. And, recent versions of all browsers are more stable than previous versions.

Speed:

While reliability is important, the speed of the browser is also important. How fast a web page will load varies between platforms. Speed has been Chrome’s claim to fame from its first release. But the latest testing by PC Magazine shows the top three browsers are just about the same when it comes to speed

Latest Version:

Whatever browser you choose to use, make sure you are using the latest version. The latest version will help you improve the security of your systems. You don’t want to surf the Web with vulnerabilities that hackers and identity thieves can exploit.

Using Multiple Browsers:

I have installed and use all three browsers depending on what I am doing. My marketing platform requires Firefox to use all of its functions. I find Chrome is best when using the various Google sites and services. I often have multiple browsers running at the same time.

It’s easy to use more than one browser. All four of the top browsers are free for personal use. There’s no reason not to download each of them and test out which you like best.

Following are the download sites for various products:

Following these suggestions will help you figure out the best browser that will enhance your web experience. Let me know which browser you prefer.

7 Comments

  1. Like you the browser I use depends on what I’m doing. When I’m at work doing insurance things I use IE. I have at least two company sites that are not designed to function in any way shape or form on Chrome and one of them is so bad we couldn’t have updated to IE 9/10/whatever if we had wanted to because their site wouldn’t work. I do have a Chrome window open at work with my google calendar and a WorkFlowy window, because I believe Workflowy won’t function on IE, or it might have just been more convenient to have it in Chrome.
    For more personal stuff I prefer Chrome. It is highly useful with google products, but I have also found it can be much faster than IE. I have played a game or two on facebook in my time and have always found that Chrome loads and plays WAY faster than IE does.

  2. I use multiple browsers at work. Our agency management system only with works with IE in compatibility mode. So our company settings make all websites opened in IE in compatibility mode. For my marketing, website and social media duties I use Google Chrome. Also use Google Chrome for webinars and online training classes.

  3. Steve,

    Over the past few years, I have come to dread using IE, but in the insurance world, for quoting, you are almost forced to use it.

    Chrome is my favorite and I am starting to use Safari a little on my Mac.

    When will companies realize that many people prefer other browsers than IE. I was told by a couple companies that they were now compatible with Chrome, but it does not work properly.

    • Brent, I dread using IE also. Unfortunately, you’re correct. In the insurance world, IE is almost necessary if you want to fully utilize many carriers’ websites. I tend to go back and forth between Chrome and Firefox.

      I hope insurance companies are moving to browser agnostic platforms so agents can choose whatever browser works best for them. Can’t happen soon enough.

  4. Suggestion on browser that work best on tablets? Specifically iPad?

    • Lochiel, thanks for your question. I should have addressed the use of browsers on iPads in my comments and didn’t think about it.

      On my iPad I tend to use the Chrome browser as often as I can. Touching a website link automatically takes me to the Safari browser, which I find okay but tend to like using Chrome a little bit more.

  5. I use all three of the main browsers but by far the one I use the most is Chrome.

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