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The best web browser of 2012

Posted by Alex Bailey On April - 7 - 2012

Internet explorer has come a long way since version 6. According a post at NewRelic it’s actually the fastest browser for Windows. However, while it has improved, I don’t think they can claim the title of the fastest Windows browser just yet and here’s why.

The first problem I see with this study is they tested only the rendering of a web page’s HTML. This to me is only half of a browser’s speed. Along with the browsers HTML rendering speed, you need to take into account Javascript rendering. Most websites these days use some form of Javascript to load content. Many comment systems and other major roles of a website are made using Javascript. Chrome and Opera are notoriously fast for rendering Javascript files compared to any other browser.

The other problem I see with this test should be obvious to some people. Opera wasn’t included at all! Opera has always been one of the fastest browsers on the web, always ranking with the best. In order to get more complete results, I would definitely include all major web browsers.

With that said, Internet Explorer 9 is definitely suitable for many end users to use. Unlike Internet Explorer 6, IE9 is actually a decent browser for most people. Along with speed, it’s starting to get more web compliant. While it does have a long way to go in that respect, Internet Explorer has been improving over the last 5 years. Internet Explorer like I said is good for many users but not most because of one simple reason: extensions. Advanced users need browser extensions and lots of them before even considering migrating to IE.


Graph of fastest web browsers

So what is the best browser for 2012?

The line between the best browser is increasingly fading. Many people would rate Firefox the best browser for its wide selection of extensions. However, I’m an avid user of extensions and can’t find a single Firefox only addon. Some people would say Chrome because of its sleek and perfected user interface as well as speed. And then you also have your Opera fans who would claim Opera because of its incredible speed and built in features.

It really depends what you’re looking for in a web browser I guess. I recommend Chrome and have been using it instead of Firefox since 2010. Chrome’s interface is sleek and minimal. Additionally it has all the extensions I could ever ask for.

Many people have never heard of Opera, but I think it’s also an excellent browser. Opera has a built in torrent client as well as RSS reader. On top of that it’s got blazing fast speed and a decent selection of browser extensions.

If you’ve come to this page in order to find out what the best browser is, you won’t find the answer. Every browser has its advantages and disadvantages. Since the release of Chrome, every major browser developer has been in a vicious competition to improve their browser and become #1. The increased competition has in short brought us extremely well made web browsers from all the major players.


Firefox vs Chrome vs Internet Explorer

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