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Safari vs Chrome vs Edge: Battle of the browsers

Google is the most dominant player in the browser space as Chrome continues to be the most popular browser in the world. Despite its popularity, one really can’t call Chrome the best browser as competitors like Apple’s Safari and Microsoft’s Edge bring in their own strong points. Not to forget Mozilla Firefox and even Opera. However, here we will talk about Safari, Chrome and Edge and look at their strengths and weaknesses.

Which is the ‘fastest’ browser out of the three?
The first and foremost thing one needs in a good browser is speed. A test called HTML5 can check how fast your browser is. The highest possible score on the test is 555. We conducted a test on Safari, Chrome as well as Edge. Not too surprisingly, Chrome scored the highest with a score of 528. Safari scored 492 whereas Edge got 496. Now do keep in mind that all benchmark tests need to be taken with a pinch of salt and also depend on the kind of laptop you are using. We did the tests on a 13-inch MacBook Pro (2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 processor). This is a rough measure to see how fast a browser is but does give an indication.

Which is the more efficient browser?
Since both Edge and Safari come as default browsers on Windows laptops and MacBooks respectively, they work more like native apps. They are optimised to work as any other software on the laptop. Chrome needs to be downloaded on almost every laptop. This gives the other two browsers an edge (no pun intended) over Chrome. Chrome can at times account for close to 50% of CPU usage. Safari is anywhere between 5-10% whereas Edge can account for just 3-5% of CPU usage. While Chrome can account for more than 50% of CPU usage, Safari can run as low as 5 to 10%. Edge fares even better, running as low as 3 to 5% CPU usage.

User interface and ease of use
If you are in the Google ecosystem — and you all in probability are — then Chrome gives the best ease of use. Chrome makes it simple to do Google Search, signing into Chrome across devices to have access to tabs and search history — all this is really simple. It’s a neatly designed browser as well with almost everything Google-related a click or two away.

The other thing that works heavily in Chrome’s favour is extensions. Chrome has hundreds of extensions that make browsing really simple. From editing docs to finding coupons — Chrome has an extension for literally everything and certainly offers more extensions than any other browser. Translation also works in Chrome far better than in any other browser.

Microsoft Edge is a Chromium-based browser which means that it heavily influenced by Chrome. For those who binge-watch content on laptops, Edge has more features than Chrome. For instance, Microsoft Edge lets you see videos in 4K if you are watching Netflix. It is the only Windows browser that supports Dolby Digital.

Safari is the ideal browser if you have a MacBook and are entrenched in the Apple ecosystem. Syncing Safari on an iPhone and a MacBook is ridiculously easy and makes it a breeze to use. Safari’s Reader Mode — first introduced in 2010 way before others — is also a great feature the browser has. Edge has added this feature recently as well. A lot of folks who are used to Chrome or Edge might find it tough to make a switch to Safari as the learning curve is a bit more but once you get used to, it is quite easy to use.

Security and privacy
Chrome might be the most popular browser but when it comes to privacy, it’s not the best out there. Simply because it is owned by Google and a lot of its revenue comes from monetising user data. Having said that, Chrome is a really secure browser. Google makes it a point to give regular updates and it has features that block suspicious downloads. It can also automatically scan files for malware and give warnings about dangerous websites.
Edge is also strong on security as it has three preset privacy levels namely Basic, Balanced and Strict. As the name suggests depending on the level you set, the privacy settings are adjusted accordingly.

Apple has always been championing the cause of privacy and Safari is one of the safest browsers you can use. With Safari 14 and macOS Big Sur, Apple has introduced a Privacy Report feature that tells users what all it blocked. We checked on our Safari browser and were notified that 66% of the websites we visited had contacted trackers. Also, Safari blocked 183 trackers and stopped from profiling us across 105 sites. Apple has made Safari secure than ever and it remains by far one of the most secure and privacy-oriented browsers around.

It’s tough to say which is the best browser as all three bring their own set of unique features, strengths and weaknesses. If you use a MacBook, then it’s safe to say that Safari is the browser that you can get the best out of. Chrome is universally popular and works well on both Windows and MacBook laptops. Edge has gained a lot of new features and has left the perception of being an upgrade on the Internet Explorer. ToI

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