Google Chrome vs Internet Explorer – which web browser is best?

by , Technology Researcher Computing Helpdesk 10/12/2013
IEvsChrome

Google Chrome and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer are the two most popular web browsers in the world. Following its launch in 2008, Chrome was the faster browser offering the innovative ‘omnibox’ in which you could both enter search terms and a website’s address. Since then, Microsoft has done its best to catch up with the competition – culminating in the new Internet Explorer 11.

Featuring split screen viewing and a handy reading mode, it’s a modern web browser that certainly gives Chrome a run for its money. But which program is best for day-to-day use? Read on to find out.

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Google Chrome vs Internet Explorer – design

On first impressions, there’s not too much to choose between each browser’s design. That is, until you have to sift through your history or print a webpage. For this reason, Google Chrome sticks to a pleasantly minimalist design so that all you can see is pretty much your tabs and bookmarks. To access Chrome’s settings, press the button with three horizontal bars on it in the top right hand side of your browser.

Internet Explorer sticks to an extremely similar aesthetic with one key exception. Its address bar and tabs are kept on the same level to save on space, unless you select otherwise. The downside of this move is that tabs can quickly get squished together if you’re running more than four at once.

Google Chrome vs Internet Explorer – three key features

Chrome is best for speed – arguably, a web browser’s most crucial feature is its ability to quickly load up web pages. We put both Chrome and Internet Explorer 11 through a series of benchmark tests using Sunspider, Octave and HTML 5 test. In every event, Google’s Chrome was the clear winner.

Apps galore, but only with Chrome – one of Chrome’s best features is the ability to use free and paid-for apps via the Chrome Web Store. These work similarly to the apps you’ll find on Microsoft’s Windows Store, except you can access them remotely through any laptop or PC of your choosing simply – log in to Chrome with your Google account. We recommend Pocket, Dropbox and Google Keep to start you off.

For mobile, tablets and more – Chrome and Internet Explorer are both available as mobile downloads. Each app allows you to pick up from where you left off on your laptop. Usefully, Internet Explorer’s reading mode strips out everything from a page bar text and photos so that it’s easier to read.

Which? expert verdict – ‘Google’s Chrome is the better browser’

Rob Leedham profile imageI was a begrudging Internet Explorer user for years, but became increasingly more reliant on Google Docs, Maps and other products that worked best with Chrome. Eventually, I overcame my apathy and made the switch for the sake of sheer convenience.

Nowadays, Microsoft has taken great strides to catch up with the pace of innovation. It has integrated add-ons into Internet Explorer and brought it up to the HTML 5 standard. Could Chrome have quietly been ousted at the top of the web browser pile?

In short, no. Chrome is more customisable through its apps and remains the faster browser to use. Plus, you’ll likely be able to use it across your phone, tablet and laptop. Internet Explorer is only available for Windows products at present. It looks like I’ll be sticking with Chrome for some time to come.
Rob Leedham, writer

Do you have a favourite web browser? Let us know which one, and why it’s your pick, in the comments section.

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96 comments

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TrevorD

Bob. Have just re-read you last message, where you say Chrome can save & open at least 10 tabs.

I didn’t make clear that the window I currently have 29 tabs in is my default window which I open first each day.

Stick with Chrome if you’re happy with that (and with Google gobbling up and storing all your data!), but don’t think that FF & other browsers can’t save & open 10+ tabs, because I know that FF, Chrome & Opera can all easily cope with that kind of number. Haven’t used IE (except in extremis) for many years, so can’t comment on that.

Hope this helps.

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Bob

Thanks JJMMWG DuPree, Davidinnottsand TrevorD,

I’m using Chrome all the time now with about 18 tabs on start up, which saves having to find and open them up during the day. A nice big monitor helps too.
Ok so I got swayed by the continual chrome adverts on google, but I use google docs for my todo list and docs spreadsheet where I save web favorites (so it’s an easy transfer across to other computers and browsers), hence I’m not using firefox, yet.
There are a few minor problems, but I can solve them in time.
Changing to chrome on an old laptop, which I run on XP, will save all the old IE warnings too.
Thanks again

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