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Browser comparison: How the five leaders stack up in speed, ease of use and more

Jon L. Jacobi | Sept. 18, 2014
The best browser for your desktop could be one you're not using. Whether Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, or Safari is your current choice, our tests found distinct differences in speed and ease of use. We also compared how each browser uses system resources, a near-invisible trait that could be discreetly bogging down your PC. For the online lifestyle, the right browser could save you time and frustration.

A big shout-out to Safari which used by far the least amount of memory to present the same nine tabs. If you're working on a computer with only 512MB or 1GB of system memory, its spend-thrift ways might come in handy.

However, if I had to pick just one to keep on my system, it would be Firefox. It's fast enough, it has the slickest interface, it uses considerably less memory than Chrome, IE, and Opera, and it's just generally the easiest to use.

Performance and memory usage may be moot if your needs extend beyond the ordinary, in which case the browser you choose as your mainstay may come down to add-ons.

Fortunately, as all the browsers we tested are competent, free and export and import bookmarks, you can use any, or all of them. Yes, life is good in the browser world.


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