A slow or resource hungry web browser is bad for both personal usage and production. A good, fast and lite browser can help a user in many ways. A web browser’s quality depends on how fast and smoothly it can perform, how much CPU, Memory and battery it consumes, how much secured it is etc. Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera are pretty good browsers. Finding out the best web browser among them for windows operating system is a bit tricky. But, after experimenting practically and analyzing some reliable benchmark scores, it has become easier to find out which browser is best fit for you.
I have made an experiment to measure the performance, CPU, Memory and Battery usage of four most popular web browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox and Opera. Of course, I have found a clear winner. But, the detailed result showed that each browser performs best in each field. So, A user can easily pick the browser which is the best fit for him/her.
A decade ago, We saw Internet Explorer dominated the market share but now it is almost dead. A few years ago, Firefox was the best browser. Now Google Chrome is dominating the browser market. But, Microsoft brought its new browser Edge, Firefox is fighting to take the crown again and Opera announces that it is also an appealing fighter in browser market battle. In fact, Users are using all of these browsers. But, Chrome is the primary browser for most users. Recently, I saw many users were struggling to find the best browser for him. A good number of users are frequently changing their primary browser. This is the reason for our experiment.
The Experiment: Chrome VS Edge VS Firefox VS Opera
My experiment was to find out which browser is the best. I have analyzed some popular benchmark score for web browsers and also checked the performance, CPU, RAM and battery usage of each browser practically.
In our experiment, I have used HTML5 Test, JetStream, PeaceKeepr benchmark scores, Windows Task Manager to monitor CPU and RAM usage and Windows Battery Saver to measure battery usage. Of course, I have used the latest Windows 10 version 1709, build 16299.19, Chrome 64 bit 62.0.3202.75, MS Edge 41.16299.15.0, Firefox 64 Bit 56.0.2 and Opera 64 Bit 48.0.2685.52. I have picked a laptop instead of Desktop PC. The Laptop Model was Asus Vivobook S15 2.5-3.1 GHz Core i5 Kabylake processor with 8 GB DDR5 RAM, 128 GB SSD for primary boot drive and partition and 1 TB HDD for storage. I did the experiment in battery mode to get the result more conveniently.
At first, I have checked benchmark scores to see which one is the winner virtually. Here are the outputs I got.
In HTML5 test, I see that Chrome is the winner. It means chrome supports HTML5 very well. However, The runner-up Opera also did pretty well. But, Firefox and Edge achieved very poor score comparing to others.
PeaceKeeper score represents how fast and smoothly a browser can perform. When I ran this benchmark for four different browsers, Chrome, Firefox and Opera achieved a very good score. However, Edge’s score was really poor.
Real World Performance:
Sometimes, Benchmark scores may not reflect in practical performance. So, I have checked a few things of each browser to find out the real performance.
This is an important thing how much time an application needs to launch. Users like the faster one. In our test, Edge beats all other browsers with a decent 0.92 seconds startup time. Chrome and Opera were so close. But, Firefox was a bit slower.
Web Browsing Speed:
I have tested speed for xtremerain.com, facebook.com (login page only), youtube.com. The following graph is showing the result where the lowest value is representing best score.
In the graph, I see that Chrome is the fastest browser. However, Edge’s score is not bad. Firefox also did well except for youtube.com. Opera did well for XtremeRain.COM. But, Other two results were worst.
CPU and RAM Usage:
This is actually an important factor to many users. I have monitored CPU and RAM usage of Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Opera. To do it, I used Windows task manager and opened XtremeRain.COM, Youtube.COM, Facebook.COM and Paypal.COM in four different tabs at the same time. Then, I checked the CPU and RAM usage.
I have found that Edge was the less resource hungry browser. Chrome and Opera were also pretty good. But, Firefox was a bit resource hungry. To be more clear, I played same a YouTube video and saw the usage details and got an almost similar result.
According to our test Edge and Opera consumed less battery. I used windows battery saver app to measure the battery usage. But, This result may not be 100% accurate. But, I have got an idea which browser drains more battery and I got our result.
Security is most important for a web browser. Fortunately, These four browsers are secured enough to provide a user an excellent environment of web surfing. All these browsers have the common security features like Do not track, Incognito mode etc. Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera browsers are pretty good at detecting phishing and basic security threats on the web. But, Microsoft Edge is a bit better than others. Its SmartScreen technology has better detection rate. Opera has built-in VPN which is also a unique security feature.
Features, Compatibility and Ecosystem:
Chrome is available on all platforms except Windows Phone/Mobile. Opera and Firefox are also available for all major platforms. But, Microsoft edge’s availability is a bit limited. The full stable version is available only in Windows 10 PC and Mobile versions. However, It is not available in Linux. Recently, Microsoft announces they will soon release Edge in iOS and Android platform. So, the compatibility is the topic, Edge is behind all other browsers.
If I look at the features all are very good. But, our experience says Chrome is better with its stable features. By installing third-party extensions, you can get many from Chrome. Firefox also supports third-party add-ons but its add-ons store is not that much big like chrome. Opera also supports add-ons. However, in addition, It has built-in VPN, built-in Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp which seems pretty cool. If I look at Microsoft Edge, It is newer in the market. Recently, MS added extension supports on it. So, Its store is not very small with a few extensions. However, Cortana integration, Built-in lyrics viewer, Add Notes features have attracted a large number of users. Though I think Chrome is better in the feature, MS Edge is also appealing a lot to take the throne.
The ecosystem is another thing that can attract users to particular web browsers. In this case, Google is the best. Users can sync all of its data in any platforms in google chrome. In this case, Android and Chromebook are playing a vital role. Firefox, Opera have also good sync feature. Microsoft Ecosystem is also great. But, Lack of Edge’s availability on other platforms is a big problem so users are not interested enough in it.
Result: Which One is the Best Browser
I actually got the result while experimenting and checking scores. The results between benchmark scores and Real-time scores were not same. Chrome clearly beats all other browsers in Realtime performance except the startup time. Microsoft Edge is second best in performance however its compatibility may be a problem for users. But, It is less resource intensive and doesn’t drain the battery so fast. In resource usage, It is the winner. Opera and Firefox also did good and their overall score was so close.
Though I got our winner “Google Chrome”, people around the world are using other browsers too. Actually, Different browsers fit best for different users. For example, If a user is stuck with his/her old or low power Notebook PC, Microsoft Edge may be ideal. It consumes less battery and CPU and overall performance is not bad. The users with decent powerful computers can use all of these browsers without any problem. Again, If anyone needs free VPN, he/she can consider opera. Firefox is a fully free open-source browser. So, A class of users may consider this over anything. Practically, Each browser is a winner in particular fields. Users can use any browser according to their preferences. But, They must be strict at security. It is an important thing. So, Our recommendation is to use a well-known browser.