knowledge-base

Best Browsers for Mac

by Rustam Iqbal

macOS has an in-built browser - Safari, and it works well because it was designed to work on a Mac. But if you have been using Google Chrome or Firefox, you might have a preference for one of those. But a preference for another browser does not automatically make it the best.

Let’s compare these browsers on three different metrics and find out which is the best.

Before we dive into that, you may need Internet Explorer for Mac, usually for testing purposes to see how some apps and websites behave that need you to use Internet Explorer. To install windows explorer for macintosh, you need to open Safari and click on the Develop menu. From there, click on User-Agent and select Microsoft Edge or an older Internet Explorer version.

Design and features

Chrome

* It has a nifty integrated task manager that shuts down memory-intensive processes

* It can translate web pages that have been written in other languages

* Chrome has more than 150,000 browser extensions for just about anything you might want to do

Safari

* Click on a word, and Safari has a feature called ‘Look Up’ that kicks in. It gives you the definition of the work plus thesaurus entries, movies, among other things.

* Safari also makes your search history, bookmarked websites, among other things available on your iPad, MacBook or iPhone.

* The ‘Handoff’ feature allows you to look up a URL on your iPhone, and that URL can be accessed from your MacBook with a single click.

* Apple Pay is also available on Safari.

* The con is it does not work like Chrome since it only syncs on your Apple devices.

* Apple has made some changes with the latest version of Safari to store passwords, block ads and add extensions like Grammarly.

* You can customize the background image and other elements on the ‘Start Page’.

Firefox

* Firefox, like the other browsers, has a lot of add-ons to improve your experience surfing the web.

* Like Chrome, your experience can be synced across multiple devices.

* Firefox developer Mozilla’s Pocket allows you to save links to read later even when you are offline and has tight integration with Firefox.

Performance

Performance

When it comes to performance, there are a few metrics that these three web browsers can be tested for:

1: Test how quickly a browser starts up

2: Test how fast it executes code

3: Test how smooth the performance is

To run these tests, you can use JetStream 2, a JavaScript and WebAssembly benchmark. Ensure all the extensions are disabled and clear cache on the browsers to prevent it from biasing the results since cache and extensions can slow down your browser.

Safari performs better because it is an in-built software designed for macOS.

You can also use Speedometer 2.0 to test how responsive browsers are to web applications.

Chrome might perform better in this test, but overall, Safari is the fastest.

Security and privacy

Security and privacy

When it comes to privacy, Firefox and Safari emerge as the winners.

Chrome is not in consideration because it is a Google product. And, Google has come under fire several times for privacy-related issues.

However, with security, Chrome scores pretty well. It is updated very regularly, checks for malware, and prevents suspicious downloads. Not to mention the warning it shows you when the site is not secure.

Safari is also a good contender when it comes to user privacy and data security for the following reasons :

* Apple prevents cross-site tracking prevention and prevents ads from following you around the internet.

* You also get Safari’s in-built feature that allows you to set strong passwords when you create an account on a website, and it gets synced to iCloud automatically.

* ‘Password Monitoring’ lets you know if a password has been breached.

* Apple also does not allow HTTPS certificates that never expire, which means sites can only show a certification that lasts one year and one month before it is up for renewal.

* Apple also launched a ‘Privacy Report’ that details how Safari has prevented trackers from profiling you in the last month.

Firefox also shines when it comes to data security and user privacy. Here is why:

* ‘Private Browsing mode’ prevents trackers from tracking you and deletes your entire history once you close it.

* The default mode for browsing also prevents trackers from tracking you across the web.

* Firefox’s ‘Facebook Container extension’ prevents your internet activity from being exposed to Facebook.

* The password manager is integrated into the browser and creates secure passwords when signing up for a new account.

* It also disallows malicious downloads, shady websites, and more.

* You also get a warning if a site attempts to add a browser extension.

* If your personal information is breached, you will be notified.

Out of these browsers, Firefox takes the lead because of its security and privacy. Moreover, the browser is open-source, unlike the other two.

Overall winner: Safari

Safari

There is some truth to using software designed for macOS. Safari takes the first or second position in all three scenarios, whereas Firefox and Chrome have speed and privacy issues.

If Safari is not your preference, some other alternative open-source web browsers you can try are Brave and Opera.

Rustam Iqbal

Hi, I'm Rustam Iqbal. I love traveling, computer hardware, and software. I’m constantly trying to learn new skills and programming languages. Reviewing new pieces of hardware is one of my favorites hobbies. Drop by any time to leave me a message if you have any questions.

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