Internet Surfing: Types of Web Browsers (And Their Hidden Features!)

An excellent web browser makes a world of difference. Learn more about the different types of web browsers and their coolest hidden features!

Which browser are you using to read this webpage? According to recent statistics, it’s overwhelmingly likely that you’re using Google Chrome. This browser has a market share of 65.47 percent but are you missing out by using Chrome?

The truth is there are many different types of web browsers and you might not be using the best one for you. Some are built around privacy, others around speed, others around ease of use.

While you could spend days downloading many different browsers and trying them all, we’re here to save you some time. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at the most popular types of web browsers and look at their pros and cons.

Ready to find the very best browser for you? Then keep reading!

Types of Web Browsers: Google Chrome

Let’s start with the most dominant web browser on the market. Google released Chrome in 2008 and it was an instant success. It found followers thanks to its speed and innovative UI.

The internet was a very different place back then when Firefox and Internet Explorer ruled the roost. Today, Chrome is the default browser for most people.

It’s got a lot of compelling features too. It’s got a huge number of extensions that can bolster privacy, browsing speed, and security, and make Chrome even easier to use. It’s one of the fastest browsers too and is supported by pretty much every website out there.

It’s a secure browser too: Google updates it regularly. So what are the downsides?

One of the biggest problems with Chrome lies with its approach to privacy. Google has had its fair share of controversies around privacy in the past and if you’re after a very privacy-friendly browser, this might be enough to put you off Google Chrome.

Another issue with Chrome is its high memory usage. If you don’t have a lot of RAM at your disposal, you may find that Chrome is too hungry a beast.

Types of Web Browsers: Firefox

Long before Google made waves with Chrome, there were fewer types of web browsers available. Firefox ruled the roost for those who didn’t want to use Internet Explorer and found Opera too esoteric.

Today, Firefox still has a large niche of dedicated users. Is it worth it for newcomers in 2020?

There are a few big advantages that Firefox has on its side. First and foremost, it was one of the first major browsers to offer add-ons and it still has a good library of add-ons today.

If you care about privacy, Firefox is a fantastic option for this too. It’s open-source, which means that Mozilla can be held accountable for any changes they make and they aren’t hidden. Firefox is also still fast, even if it’s not as fast as Google Chrome.

We’re not here to make a hagiography of Firefox, though. It’s still got its problems.

The chief problem with Firefox is that not every site works well with it, due to its smaller market share. It’s also got an older user interface than Chrome, which may put off some users looking for a more polished experience.

If you’re interested in a privacy-focused, open-source browser, Firefox is a great choice. Be aware that it may not work well with every webpage, however.

Types of Web Browsers: Internet Explorer

For some people, types of web browsers may seem like an odd phrase. To these people, Internet Explorer is the only web browser that they’ve ever used and is the only one they will ever use.

While it has its detractors, there are some advantages to using Internet Explorer (IE) in 2020. As the default browser for Windows, most webpages display well with IE, even if it’s got a smaller market share than Chrome. It’s also pretty secure thanks to Windows’ SmartScreen filter that blocks its users from accessing malicious webpages.

IE is also compatible across a range of different platforms. You can use it on Windows of course but if you’re switching to Mac, you can use it there, too.

The problems with using Internet Explorer in 2020 often revolve around speed. It was never the fastest browser around and today, this shows. Compared to Chrome and Firefox, pages load a lot slower.

It’s also not a very customizable web browser. Add-ons or extensions for Internet Explorer are few and far between.

At its most basic, Internet Explorer offers a basic, if functional, approach to web browsing.

Types of Web Browsers: Opera

If you’ve not heard of Opera, we’re not surprised. Of all the different types of web browsers, it’s one of the least widely known except in Belarus, where it is very widely used.

So what does Opera have to offer the discerning internet user in 2020?

The biggest thing in Opera’s favor is that it is built around privacy. It’s got a lot of settings that you can tweak to make it as secure as you like, too. If you know what you’re doing, you’ll be able to make Opera work exactly as you want.

Opera is based on the same browser as Chrome, the open-source Chromium. However, it’s not open-source itself. Despite this, it does share some of the same features with Chrome including speed.

There is a good range of extensions for Opera but as it’s based on the same browser as Chrome, you can also tweak it so that you can install Chrome extensions.

The biggest problems with Opera are its fairly complicated interface and lack of mass-market adoption. The latter means that not every page will display well on Opera.

If you’re looking for a browser for tech aficionados who value their privacy, Opera is a good choice.

Making Your Decision

There are many different types of web browsers available, so which is for you? We’d recommend using either Chrome or Firefox depending on whether you value speed or privacy more, respectively.

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