A browser is one of the most frequently run (and therefore the most important) applications on your phone and computer. Every day we go online, and the task of the browser is to provide us with comfortable web surfing: to quickly load pages and download files, display and play content without delay and glitches, keep open any number of tabs we need and not lose them when closing the app. The available features can vary from browser to browser, as well as user requirements for the application.
We have prepared a review of the top 6 best browsers of 2023, evaluated their functionality, interface, extensions, anonymity and speed, compatibility with different OS. The final rating is determined by a combination of these factors. The best ratings were given to the most versatile browsers that showed the best all-round performance.
Chrome is the most popular browser in the world. It has a 67% worldwide browser market share. Chrome’s proprietary engine, Blink, has proven so convenient and fast that even some of its competitors (Opera, for instance) have adopted it.
Chrome is part of the Google ecosystem. When you sign in to your Google Account in the browser, you get immediate access to:
- Google Drive cloud storage,
- Google Docs,
- calendar, photo archive, and other useful services.
Chrome also uses Google Translate, which is built into the browser by default and can translate pages into a given language automatically or on demand.
The following options are provided for user security:
- chrome://settings/cleanup – a built-in malware detection tool,
- chrome://settings/passwords/check?start=true – detects weak or compromised passwords.
In addition, there is an automatic system for detecting unsafe sites, which alerts you when you are about to visit such a site.
Opera has always been one of the most innovative browsers. It was the first to introduce:
- pop-up videos on top of the main window,
- dark and light themes,
- customizable speed dial for your favorite or frequently visited sites,
- built-in ad blocker.
Opera was also one of the first to introduce a smart address bar, which then became a standard for all browsers.
Opera now provides many useful features right away, without the need to install extensions (although Opera does have an extension store, of course):
- built-in VPN,
- snapshot button,
- reader mode that removes anything except text and illustrations from the screen,
- quick access buttons for messengers and social media,
- built-in music player.
This player can play music from different sources: from YouTube to Apple Music. And you don’t need to open a separate tab for this – the player opens with a special button on the sidebar. And if there’s a sound in one of your tabs (for example, when you play a video or a podcast), the player automatically stops its music for a while. That’s how smart it is.
Firefox is one of the most able and secure browsers. The following features are implemented to protect the user:
- blocking digital prints tracking,
- blocking cryptominers,
- alerting on compromised accounts,
- blocking trackers, including social media trackers.
Trackers are scripts that track your online activity and slow down the loading of pages.
Firefox uses its own engine, but interacts well with Chrome (can import bookmarks and passwords from there), and supports work with Google docs and Google Mail.
In terms of functionality, Mozilla offers everything that a modern browser cannot do without:
- smart search bar with autofill,
- extension store,
- password management,
- tab search, tab pinning, and bookmarks manager.
There is a separate Pocket button for saving interesting content.
Tor Browser is a browser based on Mozilla Firefox that uses TOR technology to implement onion routing. Every message transmitted through the router network is encrypted multiple times. Each router removes one layer of encryption, like an onion layer, and passes the message on to the next node, until the message reaches its destination.
In doing so, the intermediate nodes on the network know neither the source nor the final destination, nor the content of the message.
Thus, Tor Browser provides the highest level of anonymity. In addition, to protect user data in the browser the following measures are taken:
- automatic cleaning of cookies,
- automatic change of IP every 10 minutes,
- blocking some extensions (especially Flash, RealPlayer and QuickTime),
- blocking trackers,
- DuckDuckGo is used as a search engine by default.
Also, Tor allows you to overcome Internet censorship and bypass blocking. Moreover, there are sites that can only be accessed via Tor.
Safari is the native browser for Apple devices. It is the second most popular browser in the world after Chrome.
Safari is optimized for specific systems (macOS, iOS, iPadOS) and outperforms all third-party browsers on them:
- frequently visited pages load 50% faster on average in Safari than in Chrome,
- lower battery consumption: Safari lasts up to an hour and a half longer than Chrome, Edge or Firefox,
- iCloud+ integration, so you don’t have to give your email address to other sites when you sign up.
Tests in various benchmarks (Jetstream, MotionMark, Speedometer) show that Safari is the fastest Internet browser at the moment.
At the same time, the speed of the browser depends not only on technical aspects (rendering speed, response speed, etc.), but also on how user friendly to interact with the application: whether it is easy to find the necessary button, whether you can put frequently used functions on the panel, etc.
The developers thought of that too, which is why Safari has a fully customizable interface where you can:
- change the location of elements and the distance between them,
- remove unnecessary buttons,
- translate whole pages or selections with a single click,
- leave your notes,
- pin, group and share tabs,
- change the background, font and text size of each page.
And many actions can be performed in different ways: as it will be more convenient for the user.
Vivaldi browser was created by one of the founders of Opera. In terms of functionality Vivaldi is not inferior to more famous browsers, it has:
- its own translator for 100 languages (you can translate text from websites as well as copied from your documents or typed in manually),
- user-friendly page organization: speed dial, bookmarks, grouping of tabs by domain, and ability to view several pages in a single tab,
- support for different types of control: mouse clicks, mouse gestures, and customizable keyboard shortcuts,
- built-in tools to interact with content: zooming, reading mode, the ability to leave notes, attach sites and screenshots to them.
The main feature of Vivaldi is its extremely flexible interface. You can adjust almost every inch of space to suit your needs: from window color scheme to the thickness of scroll bars.
As the developers say: “Extreme customization. Better organization”:
- if tabs take up a lot of space – you can arrange them in two tiers or stack all the pages from one site,
- if you don’t like the bookmarks, you can put your favorite sites in the sidebar,
- you can add necessary buttons (mail, news feed) and remove unnecessary ones,
- you can change the location of buttons and the distance between them,
- you can add or hide panels, place tabs on top, bottom, right or left.
In Vivaldi everything is done to make you feel comfortable. Built-in ad and tracker blocking are included.