Web or internet browsers are the major gateway to access content on the internet. If you are looking for a rewarding experience browsing for web content, it would be good to choose a web browser with top performance. Key features you need to watch out for in a top mobile browser would include privacy, loading speed, security and customizable features. In this article, we will recommend the top mobile browsers for your optimal user experience. And give reasons why you should have them on your smartphone.
Even better is the suggestion that you should have up to three good web browsers at once on your smartphone. Thus, you can enjoy all their best features by switching in-between them from time to time.
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What to look for in the Top Mobile Browsers
A web browser is a software used to request and extract a web-based resource from a web server connected to the internet. The resource could be a video, document, audio, picture file or any other resource. The browser then displays the information or resource in a way users can understand it on its open window.
A typical web browser would come with a host of basic features that would help the user to make best use of it. They include:
– Navigation buttons (Back/Previous, Forward/Next)
– Refresh button
– Address bar
– Stop button
– Bookmark star (to save the URL of a previously visited web page)
– Add-ons/Plugins and Apps (These are additional software components you can add to your web browser to make it more useful)
We will quickly examine the top mobile browsers and their outstanding features below. Also note that the word ‘best’ does not connote that such browsers are perfect in delivering the best user experience. But they have enough features to meet the most demanding of your needs. So here we go.
Google Chrome so far appears to be the most popular web browser since its release in 2008. It was built using the Chromium model.
Platforms: Works with Windows, Android, iOS, MacOS, Linux
Speed: It is generally rated to be the fastest of all web browsers available today.
Usability: Easy to use and navigate. The user interface is not crowded or confusing. You are also free to customize the user interface/background to suit your needs. There is also a Dark Mode you can switch on or off.
Extensions/Plugins: Chrome is guaranteed to come with a very large library of extensions/plugins (or add-ons) you can add to it. It likely has the largest collection of plugins of all web browsers existing.
Security: Chrome has robust security features which include password manager, HTTPS protocol (to protect against unsecured websites), advanced phishing protection, ad blocker, popup blocker, and sandboxing.
Updates: Google Chrome is reported to have an update cycle of six weeks. Google speedily releases patches within hours or days of detecting any software bugs or vulnerabilities. It also does automatic updates whenever you close and re-open it thereafter (so long as you are online).
Other features: Autofill suggestions. Compatibility with many third-party browser extensions. Can automatically sync all your data on every device you use, to keep all of them updated on your activities.
Cost: Google Chrome is free to use.
Downside: Chrome uses a lot of RAM And disk space. Users’ data privacy is not guaranteed, as Google collects users data to monitor their online usage.
Opera is another Chromium-based web browser launched in 1995 by the Opera company.
Platforms: Works with Windows, Android, iOS, MacOS, Linux
Speed: Fairly good speed. Quite responsive.
Usability: The user interface is quite attractive and can be customized with several themes. You can use the Speed Dial to display a host of customizable buttons for well-known websites. You can switch between Light and Dark Modes.
Extensions/Plugins: It allows plugins/add-ons to be added from the Google Chrome library. It also has its own inbuilt features that reduce the need for plugins.
Security: It has a free Virtual Private Network (VPN). An inbuilt ad blocker. It blocks malware and phishing sites easily. Has a crypto wallet you can access for cryptocurrency.
Updates: Updates are made available every few weeks.
Other features: Fast downloads. Compressed videos. Uses less disk storage. Social media links are integrated into the interface for quick linkups. It can sync your data across all your devices.
Cost: Opera is free to use.
Downside: The user interface can get really crowded. It is slower than Google Chrome.
Mozilla Firefox is an open-source web browser launched in 2004.
Platforms: It uses Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS platforms.
Speed: Average speed.
Usability: Easy to use and very customizable background. No crowding of the interface.
Extensions/Plugins: It has its own plugin library. But it is not compatible with some extensions.
Security: Has pop-up ad blocker. Blocks fingerprinting, crypto miners, and social media trackers. It makes use of password manager.
Updates: It has an update cycle of 4 weeks for rapid release path. For extended support release paths, it can take up to 42 weeks. But security patches come as needed.
Cost: Mozilla Firefox is free to use.
Downside: It is slower than other web browsers. It consumes a lot of system memory.
Microsoft Edge is a native browser proprietary to Microsoft and is currently one of the top mobile browsers available today. The Chromium-based version of Edge was released in 2020, but it was originally created in 2015.
Platforms: Works with Windows, iOS, MacOS, Android. Linux soon to be released.
Speed: The speed is comparable to that of Google Chrome. It is very fast.
Usability: The user interface is simple, easy to use and very customizable.
Extensions/Plugins: It has a fairly broad library of extensions. It is also compatible with most Google Chrome extensions.
Security: It has a password manager, Kids Mode (to regulate children online), and tracking prevention. Uses Microsoft Defender Smartscfreen to block phishing and malware attacks.
Updates: The update cycle lasts for four weeks. But security and compatibility patches are released as needed.
Other features: It uses Collections, immersive reader, Sleeping, vertical tabs, and other productivity features.
Cost: Microsoft Edge is free to use.
Downside: Users’ data privacy is not guaranteed, as it collects users’ data as well.
Safari is the native web browser for all Apple devices, released in 2003.
Platforms: MacOs, iOS.
Speed: Quite fast.
Usability: The user interface is appealing, not so crowded.
Extensions/ Plugins: It has a library of extensions, though not as robust as that of Chrome.
Security: It blocks phishing and malware attacks using Google’s Safe Browsing database. Uses fingerprinting prevention. Uses ad blocker and pop-up blocker as well. It stores passwords in the iCloud Keychain.
Updates: Safari receives regular updates from Apple. Its update cycle is between 4 and 6 weeks.
Cost: Safari is free to use.
Downside: The ad blocker and pop-up blocker features are not always effective. Not as fast as Google Chrome. Has limited compatibility. Cannot be used on Android and Windows platforms.
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