My State of 2019 – Web Browsing

I wanted to write a bit here about the state of web browsers in 2019 and where I am personally with my browsing setup.

There are quite a few choices for web browsing right now. Google Chrome. Mozilla Firefox. Safari on Apple devices. Brave. Vivaldi. Opera. Microsoft Edge. Unfortunately for all of the choices there are only 3 platforms left these days, Firefox, Safari, and Chromium (Chrome). Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi are all Chromium-based. Microsoft completely rewrote its Edge browser to use Chromium as well. It makes me feel a bit uneasy that the most popular browser is controlled by a company that makes its money mainly by selling advertising.

I use, and will continue to use, Firefox as my main browser. Mozilla a non-profit organization that isn’t beholden to shareholders. Their mission is dedicated to maintaining a free and open internet, with a newer focus on safety and privacy. They continue to do unbelievable work on the Firefox browser as well as other projects that help people keep safe while browsing the web. They are also helping by alerting users when websites they use, or have used, have had a data breach.

Let’s talk for a second about browser performance. Don’t let anyone fool you, there is no meaningful difference between the major browsers these days on day-to-day tasks. If you run the various benchmark tools that exist Firefox is the slowest. But that means little given Mozilla’s mission and the flexibility of Firefox. I gladly give up a bit of performance for features like Multi-account Containers and an organization that is building tools to help me, not track me. If I truly need performance in a web app I turn to Safari.

If you’re on Mac the next best bet is Safari, especially if you’re on a laptop on battery power. Safari is hands down the fastest and most efficient browser on the Mac. Apple is also doing good work on the privacy and safety front. Unfortunately Safari is not as flexible as Firefox and quite frankly looks very outdated. I know many don’t care about the look and feel of applications they’re using but if I’m going to be using something as much as I use a browser every day I want it to be nice to look at too.

So, from a 2020 stability theme perspective absolutely nothing is changing. I’m using what works the best for me. I’ll continue to use Firefox with Safari as a backup. I’ll still have Google Chrome installed as a just-in-case but have reduced my usage to just about zero. Chrome may still be the king but one that’s no longer necessary to get the best browsing experience.

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