I have commitment issues. I cant stick to one browser. I remembered when Firefox first launched. It was love at first install. I was so happy to use something other than Internet Explorer. Using IE at the time was like going raw without protection. Who knows what infections my computer couldve contracted. Flash forward a few years later and things have changed. I still like Firefox but theres more selections available. I have been seduced by other browsers. This story is quite common. Install a browser that is sleek, thin. and sexy. Years later and they become a little heavier. A little fatter. Firefox is still good but theres other browsers out there. I have been switching between Firefox, Opera, and most recently, Chromium for my browsing needs. They all have their pros and cons.
Lets start with Mozillas Firefox. Firefox has been the most reliable browser out of the 3. I have logged more hours on Firefox than the other 2 combined. Firefox isВ definitelyВ the most popular out of the 3. It also has the largest selection of plugins. Firefox is safe, fast, and reliable. Even though Internet Explorer still holds the lead in market dominance, Firefox has been the standard for anyone who is tech savvy. I like Firefox and have been using it for years. However, I wasnt completely satisfied.
Using Firefox on Linux can cause problems. Ewer so often, the browser would crash. This mainly happens when trying to watch YouTube videos. The dreaded npviewer.bin pop-up. I couldnt go a full day without it showing up. It doesnt inspire confidence when my laptop fan starts screaming like a banshee and the screen locks up. After a about a week of dealing with it, I decided to look for a better option.
Phantom of The
Opera was the browser I turned to. I had tried Opera in the past but I didnt like it. This time, I gave it more time. At least I could watch YouTube videos without Opera crashing on me. After using Opera for some time, I thought about some of the things I didnt like. Some things bothered me like the way Opera would render text or images. I then realized that by using Firefox for so long, I was just more familiar with it. The way Opera looked and behave wasnt necessarily bad, just different. I started to set up Opera since I was going to use it now. The speed dial is really cool. When you first click the + symbol to begin a new tab, you are greeted by 9 thumbnails. These thumbnails are quick links that you can edit to point to your most used sites. I thought it was a bloated feature at first until I started using it. Traditionally, when you want to access saved sites, they are stored in bookmarks which are displayed as text links. Having your most used links displayed as 9 little thumbnails is anВ intuitiveВ way of quickly surfing the web.
When Google started to heavily advertise its Google Chrome browser on google.com and YouTube, I looked into it. Turns out, it is a browser-based on the open source browser, Chromium. After hearing many people giving it good praise, I decided to install Chromium. Visually, Chromium is the simplest of the 3. There is no File, Edit, View bar and it appears to have no status bar. There is a little wrench icon on the right side where you can go into the preferences and thats about it. Maximizing Chromium give me the most screen real estate. The status bar is actually hidden when not needed. Hover over a link and it appears on the status bar but it doesnt take up a row. Just enough to show you the link. Chromium feels like the fastest of the 3 browser when loading full pages. Opera still feels faster in WiFi hotspots with Turbo turned on. In many ways, Chromium feels like a lighter version of Firefox. After going through a plugin phase where I would install dozens of useless add-ons, I realized I only need 1 extension for browsing. Adblock Plus. This extension is available for both Firefox and Chromium and I was so happy when I installed it.
Although Chromium feels more like Firefox than Opera, I did wish it had some of Operas snazzy features. Chromium seems to have their own version of Speed Dial. When you hit the + icon, you get a similar looking page labelled Most Visited. You can then pin or keep the pages from leaving this screen. Its basically Speed Dial with a 4 x 2 grid instead of 3 x 3. Im actually using Chromium to post this. Opera is usually my browser of choice but there seems to be a weird bug where I cant seem to activateВ drop-downВ menus.
All 3 browsers offer a way to browse the web privately.With Firefox, you have to enable it by going to Tools > Start Private Browsing. With Opera, you can right-click the new tab icon (+) and click New Private Tab. With Chromium, you have to click on the wrench icon and click New Incognito Window. Out of them all, I like Operas way the best. Its quicker and moreВ discreet. Chromiums implementation is close but Id rather have a tab than a window. Its less clutter. Firefoxs way is the worse. It takes longer to do and there is a pop-up reminding you that you are browsing privately. Yes, you can check Never show again but Im a bit OCD about those thing. Also, it takes just as long to end private browsing. Sure you can use the hotkey Control+Shift+P but why should I have to remember that when I can just close it like the other browsers. And when you leave private browsing on Firefox, it reloads all the tabs. Not exactly discreet when the boss is walking by.
Today, I regularly open up these 3 browsers throughout the day. I mainly use Opera for surfing, Chromium for technical stuff like site work and Firefox for a single plugin for debugging. Out of the 3, I would say I am most comfortable with Opera but I like to have multiple browsers installed for backup and testing. The reason I cant stick with one browser is the simple fact that none of them are perfect. Each of them have their own strengths and weaknesses. Thats my take. What browser do you use? Leave a comment below and share yourВ opinion.