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

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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126 replies

  1. Would anyone choose IE over chrome?!?! Does the question even have to be asked? Even the chrome based browsers like opera and torch browser are far better than IE. I don’t even know anyone who uses IE!

    1. IE is the second most used web browser in the world and comes pre-installed with Windows, so Chrome or IE is a choice made by plenty of computer users.

      Having spent a while with IE 11 for the post, it was a lot better than I expected Still, not as good as Chrome though.

    2. Not quite true.

      Chrome has increased its dominance over the year from 48% to 54%.
      FireFox has fallen a little from 30% to 27%.
      IE has continued to fall from a miserable 14% to around 11%.

      One of the main reasons that IE continues to fall is that until this year, IE had total dominance in China. But with emergence of local Chinese browsers, it has dropped from 96% to just below 50% (numerically a huge drop). IE may even fall below Safari’s 3.8%!

    3. When did Opera become Chrome based? I’ve been using Opera for its speed and innovation since the days when you used to have to pay for it, Netscape was the competition, and Ggoogle wasn’t even a glint in the eye of a couple of schoolboys.

    4. Oh bum. I guess that coincides with the point at which they stopped innovating.

      Shame. I’ve been with Opera for almost the entire life of the WWW, but I guess it’s time to switch to FF…. or maybe K-Melion… :)

    5. DuPree, read the article I link to much further down. The reviewer fancied Opera as the BEST if you didn’t want to tie into Google’s compulsory data-gathering. Although they use the same engine as Chrome, the stuff built on it is still independent – and good. Opera used to be really innovative. It still is, but so is everyone else, so they’re now in the heart of things rather than at the bleeding edge of new whizz-bang extras. I tend to prefer to keep a little away from all that bleeding – messy!

  2. Well. I have used Firefox for about 99% of my browsing for as far back as I can remember. When I got my latest laptop a year ago I tried IE as it was installed ready to go and I did not wish to customise the laptop until I was sure I wished to keep it. IE started popping up at erratic intervals even when I was already using it. I eventually had to disable it when John Lewis (on 90 day software support) and Microsoft was unable to sole the problem. I use Google from time to time but hate it’s intrusiveness and that is why I still use Firefox.

    When I buy my Android smartphone I don’t have a clue which browser will be available to me but I expect Google will be there waiting. I have difficulty in understanding why if I can currently access iPlayer through the browser I may need to download an app on a smartphone. My simple mind believes I should be able to access most site features through a browser.

    1. I use Dolphin browser on Android. It works very well, has a whole load of useful add-ons, and is far smaller in size than the Android Chrome browser. There is a Dolphin app on Windows Chrome so that I can synchronise tabs and bookmarks from Chrome on my computer to Dolphin on my phone.

    1. Chrome is faster, reasonably secure (no browsers are totally secure at any given time), has good HTML5 compatibility and simple to operate. It also synchronises with mobile devices: email, browser bookmarks, contacts, etc., so provides the same experience across all your devices. It gets updated seamlessly without user intervention. There are a plethora of add-ons (Apps) created by Google and users to make it even slicker.

      Although FireFox is fairly good, when I tried it out on two desktops recently, I couldn’t stop it crashing with certain sites. Opera and Safari are really minority browser with barely 1.7% and 3.8% usage respectively: hardly mainstream coverage.

    2. Why just two? Because they are dominant, just as IE, then Firefox were a few years ago. That’s a standard Which? policy to allocate funding wisely.

      Chrome has overtaken Firefox and IE for the same reason IE overtook Netscape long ago: bully-boy tactics from a major supplier of services. But your point is important, Roger. Why not add just Firefox and cover 95% of all usage? (Safari, being Apple-device specific, is harder to compare.)

  3. I use Firefox for browsing and Chrome for a dozen websites that I use frequently. IE is really slow, it seems to pause for a long time before opening a page.

  4. I started with Netscape, which became Firefox. I only use IE if I have to (work insisted on it). At least MS now give you the options, after much pressure, to use another browser!
    Firefox is much easier to configure and, in my opinion, much more ‘user friendly’.

    1. You’ve always had the option of using other browsers – as you yourself have shown by using Netscape and then Firefox. All that has changed is that Microsoft now have to tell you that you have that option.

  5. I’ve used Opera for the past 6 or 7 years and generally been very pleased with it. It was sold to me at the time as being far more secure than IE and much faster and way more convenient features wise. Occasionally i’ll stumble across a website that doesn’t accept it but these are few and far between now, so much so that in most cases i’d rather miss out that site altogether than be forced to use IE.

  6. I have only ever used IE but I do get problems with it. So why haven’t I tried something else? I wish I could say apathy but really I’m just a bit scared to mess about changing to something completely unknown to me and finish with a computer that takes hours to sort out.

    Perhaps if Which? gave us a proper review of all the usual browsers, not just IE and Chrome and told us how to safely change, I would give it a go.

    1. If you look at older Which reports (maybe Computing Which?) they have done such comparisons in the past.
      But be bold – try a different browser. It’s easy, and you can keep IE, and any other browsers, or delete them as you wish. Although you should NOT delete IE even if you stop using it. Some Windows functions use it.

    2. David

      You can download another browser to try out or you may even have Google Chrome on your computer already. I use Firefox and occasionally Google Chrome and have ‘switched off’ IE in Turn Windows Features on and off. So IE is still there if I wish to turn it on again. Mozilla Firefox has a very helpful Forum or Community if you have any problems and I have used it a dozen times over as many years when I had a problem. I also use their Mozilla Thunderbird mail so am a convert. I find Google too intrusive of my privacy that is why I use it so little.

      Good luck if you decide to try another browser.

  7. After recent experiences, following btYahoo’s cavalier imposition of their new website and subsequent IE 64 bit lock-ups and apparent inability to operate successfully with Adobe Flash Player, I was pleasantly surprised by Chrome. It’s quick, tidy and user friendly, I am converted!!
    Frankly, I am sick and tired of the ‘help’ available with IE which is convoluted, assumes a level of expertise that the average computer geek simply doesn’t have and, invariably, simply doesn’t provide a viable solution.
    Between them, btYahoo and MS are formidable and autocratic opponents and best left to their own devices!!

  8. What a peculiar test. Why not mention good old reliable Firefox, which has a third of the market and is non-profit making unlike the other two behemoths.

    1. Absolutely agree. Firefox is a very good browser and widely used so only a completely gormless web developer would release their site without testing with it, It’s also the ethical choice. Google and Microsoft are both very pleased with their tax arrangements, sucking revenue out of the UK and other countries. Also, both have an extremely unhealthy market dominance so I’m surprised the Consumers’ Association keeps sucking up to them. But then they voted US behemoths Apple and Amazon top awards this year, so perhaps the CA are in favour of the total US domination of the UK’s digital economy?

    2. Shame on you, Peter. CA sucks up to no-one, and is absolute in maintaining its impartiality – being partial is a sacking offence at Which? – it’s simply corruption. Why were Apple and Amazon given top awards this year? Because Which? MEMBERS voted so! Not staff.

    3. How can you claim impartiality when you scarcely even see the word ‘Linux’ in any of the Which?magazines? They never give ‘the little guy’ equal space in any of their media. No, it’s not them personally being knowingly partial, but unconsciously they absolutely are. They go for the big guys like everyone else. I doubt there’s anyone on the planet capable of being totally impartial.

      Except for me, of course.

    4. You’re right, of course, DuPree. No-one on this earth can be totally impartial. So do we throw out all courts and judges because they’re always biased? Of course not. In a British court, judicial bias is expected and there is a variety of rules to neutralize the effect, working like the ‘placebo’ in medical trials. It’s the same worldwide with organizations like Which? – there are rules to maintain impartiality.

      But ‘being impartial’ doesn’t mean only ‘looking at every possible option on an equal basis’. That’s rather like giving identical press coverage near elections to every party on a minute by minute, page by page basis. So the ‘Free School Milk for Kittens Party’ gets identical media coverage to the 3 main parties? Of course not!

      Which? has no intention, for example, of testing every laptop, every toaster and every vacuum cleaner that comes on the market – it would be an impossible task. Instead, a large sample from leading suppliers is tested, along with occasional models of special interest. Which? is also more intent on serving its subscribers – who are not totally representative of the population as a whole – than trying to give equal coverage to all interests, however exotic. I myself have some exotic interests, like caving and glider flying, that I’d be displeased to see Which? taking much interest in – there are specialist journals to serve these markets. I’d rather my subscription funded more general interests.

      So Consumers’ Association DOES ask members regularly what they want to see covered. It DOES set up members’ panels and it DOES ask members to actively express their opinions. I don’t always agree with the research findings (best Internet Security is a case in point) but I do respect the impartial research, which has been the key feature of Which for over 50 years.

      To get to your specific point then, why isn’t Linux mentioned? It is – occasionally. And that’s representative of members’ interest, which is elicited regularly. And why the ‘big boys’? Because, on this occasion, they are almost the whole of the market for Which? members. We were asked – I was, among thousands of others – and Linux was very, very minority. Having said that, I think it was a mistake in this article we’re commenting on, to restrict the survey to just the biggest two, leaving out Firefox – and possibly Opera. Maybe CA will fix this shortly in an addendum, after reading all our comments!

    5. I guess we’re going to have to disagree on the responsibilities of the press. Yes, I do think the smaller parties, even the ‘Free school milk for kittens’ party, should get at least enough coverage for me to decide if I want to vote for them, and I feel the same about browsers and operating systems. Although I subscribe to Which computing it’s 99% useless to me.

      What really gets up my nose is that when they review products and list the OSs they work on they never mention Linux, even if the product in question was initially a Linux creation. You say people aren’t interested in Linux, how can they be if they know nothing about it?

      For me the simple fact that it isn’t Microsoft or Apple is enough, the fact that it’s responsible for most of the innovations in the OS arena is just a satisfying extra.

    6. I agree, DuPree, but I’ll stick to the point: Which? concentrates almost exclusively on what will interest its subscribers most. Those (like me) who have minority interests don’t expect Which? to cover this stuff. I unsubscribed from Which? Computing for just that reason, as I have several other subscriptions which cover that field for the savvy – Which? Computing is for the interested non-expert, not me! Linux is, sadly, still too hard to fire up without technical knowledge or a LOT of patience. Most people want plug-and-go in their household stuff and don’t expect to have to tinker. That’s why video recording programming was always such a topic of anger for so many. Once it was ‘point-and-shoot’, all the angst went away. I can’t wait for Linux-based systems to get there, but it’s not now – and Which? panel members agree.

    7. @Davidinnotts

      I’ve been following the exchange between you & DuPree. While, I agree with you that Linux is a minority interest and unlikely to be covered by Which?, Firefox is certainly is not a minority interest, and there is no reason why Opera should be.

      I know many ‘mainstream’, non-expert, computer users who use Firefox, and who could equally well consider Opera if they knew of it. IMHO, it’s a serious omission for Which? not to have included at least Firefox in this browser comparison test, because it is a mainstream browser.

      Altho’ you’ve said above that “Which? concentrates almost exclusively on what will interest its subscribers most”, I think you’ve previously agreed that FF should have been included. I also think that Which? does sometimes – and should – include lesser known alternative ‘up-coming’ products (whatever they are testing) that might be or become of ‘mainstream’ interest – and both Firefox and Opera ought to have been included on that basis if nothing else.

      Regretably, in all sorts of product areas – not jut computing – I’m finding Which? testing and comparisons to be less and less useful.

    8. This ‘Linux is too hard to fire up’ thing has me mystified. I was no expert, I just dropped the disc into the tray and let it load. It was no more difficult than switching to OS-X or upgrading Windows. In fact probably easier than switching from W7to W8! I did get a little more expert for a while. It was fun getting back to the command line again, but these days I’ve gotten old or something, I just want the easy life.

    9. You’re right, DuPree. Linux consumer OSs are now easy to start and get running, and so is the supplied software. The problems arise when you want to do more than these offer, or to connect to older software and hardware, or to use specialized programs. Then you have to dig into command structure in a way that Windows machines and Macs rarely require.

      So for the basic user, Linux is a great way to go, especially if you want to bring back life to an older and slower computer; but the deeper your needs, the harder it gets to cope without specialist skills in a way that the commercial rivals have left far behind. I do hope that this changes, but reviews of the few mainstream Linux-equipped computers now available ‘off the shelf’ don’t leave me very optimistic.

      Some years ago, Which? did review Linux along with MS and Apple and came to a similar conclusion; but although Linux has now got far easier to use, so has the opposition. Almost all consumers now expect the computer (and phone and tablet) to give them no more difficulties than their TV or breadmaker. This isn’t yet true for Linux, except for very basic use.

  9. I’d agree Google Chrome is the faster BUT – in both Windows 7 and 8, it doesn’t cope well with FTP sites, especially those going onto Apple Mac systems.
    So ‘Josh’ … now you do know someone uses IE, albeit only when I need to download onto FTP or when Chrome refuses to open (despite Task Manager, telling me that it’s open 5 times!) or when I want to do two lots of browsing at once (which again Chrome don’t like!).
    I’ve tried Opera and Firefox, not particularly impressed with either

  10. When I was a little younger, even quite nerdy (in good sense) people used to believe that there were moral issues involved. Is all now lost to the megalomaniac gigacorporations?
    I prefer to use a browser which does not try to capture all my information, and provide difficult to avoid defaults.

  11. But if you use RoboForm, ie is better. I’ve been a long time user of RoboForm v 6. But that was replaced by a more expensive and annually charged v7. Other Browsers towed the line and stopped v6 working, forcing a move to buy v7. However, v6 works just fine with ie – even on Windows 8.1 and ie 11. So I’ll stick with ie – it’s absolutely finer for all that I do.

    1. “ie” (or, more correctly, “i.e.”) is an abbreviation for “that it”.
      The normall abbreviation for “Internet Explorer” is “IE”.
      I had to re-read parts of your message to understand it, because I automatically read “ie” as “that is”.

    2. peterpuc and Trevor, this is not an examination, it is a Conversation. Some of us are not as adept on a keyboard as you two and your criticism could stop others from taking part in the discussion. Save your corrections for your classrooms.

  12. I use Firefox with little problem – I will not use Chrome as I do not like its intrusiveness. Only problem I have is YouTube stuttering and freezing (anyone know a solution?), whereas this does not appear to be a problem with Chrome.

  13. i use maxthon browser most of the time—-i like its layout for everyday stuff—–but to watch sports channels etc. iflick over to chrome or safari cos they seem to bloke annoying adverts better. but the opera lot ——i just cannot get me head round it!!

  14. I’m dismayed by the title, “Google Chrome vs Internet Explorer – which web browser is best?”

    That clearly should be “which web browser is better?”, as you did not even include the third one of the “big three” in the browser market – i.e. Firefox, which is roughly even with IE or Chrome, respectively, depending on which type of usage statistics one is looking at.

    For a Which? publication, I think this title is simply not acceptable.

    1. I agree with Mark. Which? usually gets it right, but this time, will the author and editor please note that ‘better’ and ‘best’ have different uses, and ‘best’, as used here, implies that only one of these two may be counted in the ‘best’ forum; i.e., Firefox, Safari (though that is a restricted market), Opera, et al are definitely inferior in the opinion of Which? Not what I think you wanted to say, so a careless use of language just where accuracy is critical.

  15. For many years IE has been my preferred browser, but I am getting a tad fed up with stuff not displaying correctly or not behaving as it should. I am switching to Chrome, it is faster and no display issues.

  16. I, too, have been using primarily Firefox since it came out, based on the Netscape code which was favourite until Microsoft gave its customers an impossible-to-remove rival, IE, ready to go (and Google is now also doing on its products). Microsoft is still doing this. Firefox is the most popular browser in several major countries, according to surveys of internet behaviour.

    I choose Chrome to view regular daily sites, but find Firefox far better for everything else; the two have regularly leap-frogged each other on speed. Firefox has better Bookmarking management and now can have a hundred tabs open with no speed impact, because it seems to close unused tabs until you click on them again – when they take a few seconds to open.

    I use IE only when I have to – a few sites using Microsoft servers insist on it, as does Microsoft itself. Still better than Apple’s policies, though.

  17. I stayed with IE because,

    1. At least one site I use still only work with IE – that specific site is very useful for me as it conveniently manages multiple secured site access for me from one log-in.

    2. I frequently print off items and articles from the web and after selecting the section I want to print, the IE’s Preview is great in showing how it will be printed out on the page after easily adjusting the amount of enlargement or reduction as well in portrait or landscape in addition to switching off the headers and footers or not. I have yet to find another browser with this capability.

    1. There are numerous add-ons for FireFox which will permit you to print the page in various formats, including several that will permit you to edit it first and re-format it and/or remove parts you don’t want to print.

  18. AOL has its own browser and it fights off all others…it is slow,pedantic and limited compared to Chrome BUT as soon as you download Chrome ,AOL senses it as a bad infection and ,is a bad loser AOL then makes it impossible for you to navigate your normal requirements on AOL eg e-mails and files….if AOL dont improve this, I am leaving when contract expires..does anyone else have this awful experience of aol’s sensitivity to its genuine and effective rivals ???

  19. I use Firefox because of the ability to have multiple tabs in multiple windows, and because it’s safer than IE. I also use Chrome but so far I have found FF can recover from a browser crash and Chrome can’t.

    Isn’t the apparent high IE usage because it’s installed by default and Windows uses it even if the user doesn’t?

  20. IE11 works fine for me except it does not support Silverlight so for the Ordnance Survey site I use Firefox.
    I keep as clear as possible from all things Google as they more than all of them are driven by the requirement to please the shareholders and thus find ever more ingenious ways to sell my data!

  21. So minimal marks for the comparison as already noted by others.

    I continue to use Firefox after many years for a fairly simple reason. The add-ons NoScript, CS Lite and AdBlock Plus allow me to exert a significant amount of control over who can do what on the browser. I’m exposed to little or no tracking; almost no ads on any browsed pages; Facebook, Twitter and Google only get to see what I’m doing exactly when I choose, plus it limits the ability for malicious sites or pages to have an impact should I get caught out.

    IE allows almost anything to happen and you can’t control it. Chrome is part of the Google environment so tracking is almost de rigueur.

    IE I have to use for some personal banking, but every time I look at the alternatives, the inability to control what the browser is broadcasting about me brings me back to FF every time (so far).

  22. Can you actually publish the benchmark scores? I have run all the major benchmarks and IE wins most of them now. Also do you have an anti-virus tool running, if so what is it. Can you disable it and rerun your benchmarks?

    Also do you have some public URLs to test and load. I would like to run a comparison on my machine to see what I see.

  23. Personally I just don’t trust anything that Google produce. The way they ‘mine’ personal information so that you can be ‘targeted’ by advertisers is how they make their money and I want no part of it.

    1. Personally, I find that a strange attitude. People pay for clothes advrrtising the brand, ditto supermarket bags. What’s wrong with targetted Ads? They don’t cost you anything. I’d rather see an Ad for something that interests me than for tampons or holiday cruises.

    2. The AdBlock addon is pretty good at helping to choose the adverts I want to see – i.e. none.

      One problem with “targetted adverts” is the badly targetted ones. I was buying my own HRT before I could persuade my GP to prescribe it. I guess the logic went:
      HRT – that’s sex isn’t it?
      Interested in sex – must be a male adolescent.
      Send lots of fake viagra and “miraculous penis extension” spam.

      I did appreciate the one offering “Unbelievable growth”. In my case that was quite accurate.

  24. On my android smart phone I use Dolphin which which I strongly recommend.
    On my PC my main browser is Chrome (I used to use Firefox some years ago but it had a period of problems so I gave it up), I like Chromes single entry of URL or search item and in general its design. It allows either a superficial usage or a detailed technical usage. My main critism of it is that its memory management doesn’t give up memory when minimised (assuming system management will sort it, (as opposed to what Outlook does for example) and that this in conjunction with the number of back ground processes it creates make it a memory eater for older PCs.; However I also use IE (V11) which is quite good, I use this in an attempt to avoid google getting too close, so if I have to log in to google, eg for calendar, I do it via IE in the hope that my searches via Chrome can not be cross correlated with who I am!

  25. If this guy is your expert’ I’d look for another. Why on earth anyone would select these 2 browsers for a comparison and ignore everything else is beyond me. Are you going to confine future dishwasher tests to Beko and Hotpoint ?

  26. Hi. I just tried to install Google Chrome on my computer to give it a try. But when I installed it, it came with so many other programs that I did not understand that I got very confused, including a program that offers to clean up your computer, (well the first few problems and the rest if you pay for it. But the real problem is it took me ages to loose this program off my screen. In the end I had to return my programs to a previous time to loose it. I must admit I am not a computer genius. and there may have been a way to stop it. But I couldn’t find it after trying all sorts of attempts,
    A.T.V.B. HAB

    1. Sounds as if you may have got it from some dodgy download site – not a good idea. I haven’t had any problems (or any extra programs) getting Chrome directly from Google. Personally I prefer Firefox, although I use Chrome too, and IE very occasionally as a last resort.

  27. I had been using Chrome until I found I was getting far too many pop-ups, so I switched back to IE only to find it (for some reason) incredibly slow. I therefore thought I would try Firefox and, WOW!, what a difference. I can’t understand why your survey only includes the big two.

  28. I mostly use Firefox, Chrome occasionally, and IE only at work if I have to. I think Firefox beats both IE and Chrome, but it’s all down to personal preference.

  29. I use Mozilla (Firefox and Thunderbird) and have never had a problem with them. Google Chrome tries to download with something else if it gets the chance, becoming the main browser but I uninstall it due to security issues i.e. they know too much about you etc. Hope this helps someone.

    1. I agree, Google have far too much access to info about each individual and keep trying to push use of their apps, G+ for example. I use IE increasingly for financial dealings, it feels slightly more secure. Too many pop-ups with Firefox which I don’t seem to be able to selectively disable. All 3 have plus and minus points. Why stick to just one?

    2. In defence of Google, you get an awful lot for nothing.

      Google Maps and Google Navigator – second to none. I’ve used this for navigating around India, Sri Lanka and from UK to Greece. There’s also Earth and Panoramio.
      Calendar: syncs your PC/Phone/tablet, sends SMS or email reminders ensuring you never forget any anniversary, appointment or event.
      Camera sync: take photos on your camera and by the time you get home they have synced with your PC and tablet without need to email or ‘upload’ them. You can also edit the photos ‘on the go’.
      Email and Contacts (also synced across all devices and available to you from any access across the World).
      Search engine: best there is.
      Presentation, document, drawing, forms ( with group surveys), flow charts and spreadsheet apps.
      Cloud storage (Drive).
      Blog, Groups and Talk.
      Developer tools for nerds!

      I have nothing to hide, so I don’t mind sharing my details for all that convenience and having to skip over targeted adverts.

    3. You’re quite right, terfar. Google have become probably the world’s top company by supplying what people want and prefer, first with a search engine which best found them what they were looking for, then the best mapping and photo system, and so on. And now extremely successful hard products.

      But their main income, especially to fund those free products, is from advertising. And because of their success they have, like Microsoft, become the favoured target of criminal networks which want to steal data, take over people’s computers and phones and rob US of all they can get.

      People are getting increasingly worried that:

      1) Google will eventually begin to use their integrated services to do more than any of us would want – and we won’t be able to stop them;

      2) criminals will crack their systems (nothing is theft-proof) and steal stuff about US;

      3) criminals will learn their methods of integrating data and use it to rob us; and

      4) Governments are already doing this and we can’t stop them. And especially, non-democratic governments, like post-communist China in particular, will do this.

      Google is now huge, and other comments have made it clear that they don’t like where they see Google going with their integrated services that gather – and tie together – such varied data about us, from our on-line habits. Targetted ads are the least of it; in fact folks I’ve spoken to don’t mind that; they mind what might come next using a ‘profile’ of them which is out of their control. It’s like the argument as to whether we should have an integrated health profile in the UK, and what if insurers could have full access to it? In theory, it could have huge benefits, in each case, but the unknown downsides are what worry people.

      So comments above show why some people are avoiding going the whole do-it-all-with-Google path.

    4. @Davidinnots

      I can understand the worry, but I think it’s overblown and there are far worse organisations and governments out there.

      I have a personal crusade against the institutions that gather our personal financial data, SELL it to other organisations without express written permission and have the audacity to charge us to see what information they are storing about us. I believe that it should be mandatory they should have written permission to disclose our information and tell us who has requested it, why they requested it and they should pay US for it.

      Then there is the DVLA. I’m happy for them to share information with the police, but I am totally against them providing information to anyone else.

      That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Information is valuable and people are flagrantly breaching the Data Protection Act all the time, whether hiding behind the act or passing on information. Or even incompetence as has been highlighted by what is found on tips and dumps.

      Google publicly display ethics which many of the other organisations don’t.

    5. @terfar

      Google may “publicly display ethics”, but:

      – Do we know that they keep to them?

      – Do you know – and can you ascertain – what personal data they have collated and stored about you from various sources?

      – You say that you “have a personal crusade against the institutions that gather our personal … data, SELL it to other organisations without express written permission and have the audacity to charge us to see what information they are storing about us.” Yet that is what Google are doing with our personal data and, as far as I know, you cannot even “see what information they are storing about us” – even if you pay them.

      – And I’m sure that some of that data is likely to be at least pseudo-financial, in revealing what types of products and websites we visit, and hence what our level of ‘financial class’ we fall into.

      – And they quite likely know our age – at least approximately – and hence whether to pass out details to pension providers, etc., to pick one example.

      – You say that “people are flagrantly breaching the Data Protection Act all the time”. Do we know that Google aren’t?

      – If I understand correctly, the EU & Google are currently in dispute about Google’s consolidated T&C about data protection and use of personal data.

      – If I recall directly, Google is one of the companies allegedly practising ‘tax avoidance’ in the UK on, inter alia, their use of our personal data.

      Finally, even IF we do know everything about what they currently do with our data, this is still just a continuing creep in the direction of lack of privacy; of international organisations knowing more and more about our personal lives; of using and abusing our personal data for their gain; etc..

      I don’t think that Google are the ‘saints’ that they try to portray themselves as.

    6. Yes, I can see all these points, terfar and Trevor.

      Think of the ‘global village’, as it was put years ago. In a small agricultural village of 20 or so families, whether now in (say) the hill country of Bangladesh or 200 years ago in England, it’s very hard to hide your doings and goings from everyone else. London then was always a place to disappear in, and towns and cities today can be very anonymous if we wish it. But with internet everything today, and Google et al in full tracking mode, we really are getting back to the point when everything we do is seen and any change in behaviour is noted.

      Google is a business, not a charitable institution set up to look out for our interests, as a democratic government is (in theory). As a business, Google must satisfy its shareholders, generally by satisfying its advertisers – who REALLY want to be able to get their ads exactly to people who might buy from them, with no ad wasted on the disinterested. Google certainly have made a point of ethical behaviour, terfar, but the cynical will always doubt anything altruistic and all of us must monitor what such powerful organizations as Google are doing. But at least Google wear their ethics on their sleeve, and breaches of this will be noted – to their detriment and affecting their profits. When Google Street level collected personal information by accident, they did declare it voluntarily, and were heavily punished for the breach. That is ethical behaviour.

      In the end, we live in a society where public bodies and business are required to be accountable; we then have to decide how much we can trust those we’ve asked to protect us (including the covert agencies) and decide what to do if we’re not sure that we can trust them all. At least Firefox (being open source and, in effect, written by the fiercely independent) gives you basic privacy as the default and has a clear full privacy mode. You can also delete all or any cookies directly from the browser address bar with a couple of clicks. Firefox has many, many powerful and accredited add-ons to help protect you even more; they’re optional because they’re developed independently. On top of that, my Kaspersky security gives me a special totally secure Firefox session for banking, etc. including a track-free onscreen keyboard. They will, of course, have to work hard against companies which (for the US govt maybe) are working equally hard to give us an internet experience which is safe and secure – except that THEY are privy to all we do. And will use that data ethically, of course.

      Last comment: My newish Windows 8.1 laptop has IE 11 (maybe just downloaded?) and I opened it in curiosity this morning for the first time. It began by telling me that it would collect my personal data to use any way that Microsoft wanted to (my paraphrase) and that I should quit if I didn’t like it. So no choice there, as we had in all previous versions. Then I was asked to set it up to help them track me better, with the promise of nagging me continually if I didn’t agree. So Microsoft is now going the way that Google did last year: tracking not optional.

  30. PS I note the comments by other users, re pop ups. I use NoScript to prevent this happening and it also gives you the choice of allowing sites or not. Very useful.

  31. I used to use Chrome, but found that it was not as efficient as Firefox for some purposes, so returned to using Firefox and am quite happy with that.

    1. A major requirement I have is the ability to sync my bookmarks across various devices, e.g. Windows PC & laptop and Android phone (and tablet if I had one!). Firefox does this quite well, although I tend to prefer Opera Mini on my phone.

    2. I use Xmarks ( It is browser-independent and syncs between multiple browsers. It will also store your bookmarks inthe cloud, enabling you to access them (if required) from other computers and other devices.

  32. I must be very boring, I have tried Firefox,IE,&Chrome on different computers over the years.I found FF to be unreliable at times, and often slow.I occasionally got unwanted downloads with IE, although it was the required browser when using some MS partnered organisations.I use Chrome most of the time as it is faster,more reliable,and has a variety of functions available which are user friendly and useful- in other words I far prefer it.I have no information that I need to conceal from corporations,and can not be bothered to indulge in `politics` about my supplier (as a comment i have a Volvo-an excellent Swedish car manufacturer now owned by Ford of the USA…so what.. it still does what is wanted!) For all round good service it has to be Chrome- I also have IE loaded & available if and when necessary, switching between them only takes 1 or 2 seconds… where`s the problem there? (Chrome also offers a pop-up blocker if you want to use it)

    1. Hi, TH.
      You’re not boring, yet you have to realize that with the competition (IE stagnated for years, having 95% of the market, until Firefox made a serious challenge) ALL of these browsers have recently got vastly better. So any experience of a browser more than, say, 18 months ago, is entirely irrelevant to the current release.

      What you say about Firefox was true for a while not long ago, as they tried to catch up; yet they have, and if you use many tabs together, it’s probably the fastest now. It also has a staggering range of add-ons (I suppose we should be calling them ‘apps’ now) many of which are so useful as to make Firefox outperform all others if you have specific requirements; ad-blockers and download tools are the least of it. You can also widely customize its look and usability. Chrome has a lot of this, too, and is faster for new users; and IE 11 is a vast improvement on its predecessors.

      But in truth, any of these three is far, far better an experience to use than any browser of 5 years ago, and unless you have some particular need, any of them will serve you well.

  33. Try Epic Browser if you want a no frills experience that offers a bare bones but rapid surfing session.

    There are no adverts, it keeps no track of which sites you visit and shreds your history when you close it down.

    It also gives you access to many censored sites!


  34. This article was very one sided for google chrome you missed out the biggest issue with Google chrome.

    I chose internet explore over google chome for one main reason its safer.
    Internet explorer has why better security tools and cookie blockers and keeps sites from forcing them to open up or force u to Visit there sites.

    I felt For the price of Browser speed having a more Secure browser that blocks spam cookies and pop ups and much more is why better then google Chrome.

    Ill never use google chrome for its horrible security features…wait there isn’t any lol only one warn me first before downloading.

    Internet explore has so much security features to protect its user over google chrome.

    What would u rather have more patients to be safer as u surf the internet or faster browser loads with high risk that can end up costing you.

    I found with google chrome mainstreaming videos like youtube or sites like cokeandpopcorn I kept being forced to visit other sites and the pop up spam was dumb.

    internet explore blocks it all and keeps sites from installing cookies and blocks your IP to sites better and gives u more Privacy giving you a safer experience.

    Don’t Believe me go to internet explorers tools internet options and see the many many features they allow you to do and change to make internet explore more custmisable to better suit you.

    You can incress internet explore browser speed but most people are too dumb to use the internet explorer options to turn them off to incress speed.

    Internet explore loads slower cause it has mor default security and other features to protect its users.

    Any whys you left this all out.

  35. As of now, I would say Internet Explorer 10 is far more reliable than Chrome v33. The latter constantly grinds to a halt as I wait for a website to load up, yet when I go to IE it loads that site up straight away, while Chrome has still failed to connect. I emptied cache and cleared out malware, but it’s still crap, and I may soon ditch it.

    Incidentally, I tried IE11 when it was first released but due to one or two issues I experienced (that I can’t remember) I reverted back to v10.

  36. Hey!
    I also prefere Google Chrome because of all you say and…
    I’m a blogger using Google AdSense to earn more money, and I have seen that IE doesn’t display the ads. ):
    So, yes, once and for all, I keep using Google Chrome.

  37. Thanks for this fairly reasonable discussion everybody.
    I really use only IE on my Win 7 desktop; however I do want more than 8 sites saved, so they are there to click through when I start up IE each day. I know I can experiment my self, but how many SAVED sites will Chrome and Firefox let me have please?


    1. I use Firefox and Opera, and both of them seem to offer unlimited tabs, or at least I’ve had over 20 saved on both of them. FF allows you about 10 and then starts to scroll them, so you have to remember they’re there, and Opera just goes on squeezing them up, so eventually you can’t read what they are and have to rely upon the little previews that appear when you hover over them.

      Incidentally, Opera invented tabbed browsing. I still remember how miraculous it seemed not to have to keep opening a new browser window for each new site you visited.

    2. Yes, Bob, current versions of both Firefox and Chrome (as well as Opera) will keep opening tabs until they groan to a halt (each tab needs a little RAM to store). As far as I can see, Firefox helps with this by discarding most of this cache for tabs that haven’t been opened for a while. So more tabs can be kept available in the window, but when these are opened, it takes a few seconds for the content to load (depending on how efficient the web page is).

      Both Chrome and Firefox can be set to remember your whole tab-set on closing, so that when you’ve shut down and restarted the computer, opening the browser will (sometimes optionally) reopen all of those tabs. But there always IS a memory hit, so here’s a tip: why not store your favourite but not daily pages in Favorites/Bookmarks, to be shown permanently on the Bookmarks Bar near the top of the window? Best of all, create a set of Bookmark Folders on the Bar for your main topics and as you use a page, drag and drop it into that folder. Then when you want that page, a few sweeps of the mouse, a click and it’s open! One page opening, by the way, opens in the tab you’re on. Two or more all open in new tabs. And Firefox, if you’re opening 20 or more together, warns you about the possible slow-down.

      I keep several hundred pages this way. Some of my Bookmark folders and sub-folders are for opening only when I’m working on a certain topic (like taking a peek at my rivals’ websites) and once a week, I go to the containing subfolder, right-click it and open the whole set at once – usually in a fresh window. All very efficient once it’s set up.

      At the end of a working day, I may have 40-150 tabs open, and I spend a few minutes tidying it all up ready for tomorrow. Very efficient!

      Lastly, by using a not-now-documented command in Firefox, CTRL-SHIFT-D, I can save the whole of the set of tabs in a window as a bookmark floder. This is great when you’re updating the browser, for example, and don’t want any accidents. You can save the whole open set to a folder with today’s date, then if the update crashes, restore from that backup once it’s all fixed. I also use this feature when I’m researching products on the Which? website. In a fresh window, I have a tab for each product under consideration (say, washing machines) for side-by-side comparison of more than the website allows, then – while we ponder the decision – save them all to a folder. I can return to the whole set or just a few with just a few clicks, and delete the lot once the purchase is made.

  38. Hi again,

    I tested Chrome and can get at least 10 pages to start up when opened so I’ll probably change to Chrome as default browser.
    But still interested to hear your comments


    1. Bob

      I’ve got 29 tabs open in my current FireFox (FF) window! I often also have 3-4 separate FF windows open with different sets of tabs in each.

      FF allows you to ‘pin’ tabs, such that they display on the left of the tab row only as icons, which permits you to see more tabs at a time. Right-click on a tab and select ‘Pin tab’.

      FF also allows you to have ‘Tab Groups’ within a window, so that you currently see only the tabs in the current Group – until you switch to a different group.

      FF (or at least some of the adds-ons for it) also allows you to save ‘Sessions’, which may be (1) saving a single FF window with its set of tabs (which may themelves be in ‘Groups’), or (2) saving a group of FF windows, each with their own tabs.
      These Sessions can be named, saved, and be re-opened at any time – months later if necessary (provided you haven’t deleted the sessions!). I use these if, say, I’m working on a project, and then have to put that project aside for a while; I can then return to the set of web pages at a later date, where I left off, without having to redo searches, etc. I currently have over 100 saved Sessions.

      I use ALL of these features to manage tabs/web pages/etc..

      (I’m not saying other browsers don’t have some or all of these features – just that I generally use FF – especially with so many sessions saved in it!)

  39. 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.

  40. 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

  41. Hi All

    Would like to let you know of a virus that i install has an add on to Explorer ,which got in to reg.
    Then hidden it self also lock its self so you could not disable, delete or uninstall in programs thought control panel. Did manage to find said file in reg but still could not delete there either.

    File name is 1nMusk.x64.dll – toPDeal

    Which then also start chrome to start switching my first pages on chrome to a bogus website ask you to download java, which you don`t get a choice not to even if you say no (x or Cancel options) it downloads a file call setup.dll over and over again.

    Now i get to the point i wanted to make.

    Chrome let you uninstall it then remove any bad add-on when re-installing it (on it list of bogus item) but Explorer don`t let you uninstall it so problem still in add-on so all i can do is switch off Explorer never to use again Please tell me why.
    Have search web for possible solutions but all completely high tech using reg-edit which leave me to think i could crash laptop at any time soon

    Very disappointed with Explorer on this account. If they would fix this it would be a great help has i think many more people will be leaving Explorer behind soon and not going back just switch them OFF.

    Sorry for tall story to start this post needed to lay it out Problem with Explorer.also spelling & grammar?

    If only all add-on can be disable this wouldn`t be a problem why not on or off no third option

  42. I really like Chrome on my PC, but prefer the leaner Dolphin Browser on my Android phone (for the same reasons as I prefer Chrome on my PC: add-ons, speed, smaller footprint). I can use Dolphin Connect to open tabs on my phone that are open on my Chrome, just like if I was using Chrome on my phone.

    1. I have trouble getting google connected to my email-It always state”‘error in connecting will keep trying. I have checked other possibilities and the problem is always google.I have reported this in writing(comment section)but never received a response.

  43. Im not to up on the tech comments on browsers web pages I just want to know why
    it is that when I load up Google chrome I get this note of a V9 connection what the hell is this , I have been told that is a virus in Google chrome is this true or not
    some one help please.

  44. i have a desktop with win 7 and i have to use IE it is really slow and painful and often freezes so i am gonna get chrome becuz i have a chromebook and it is real fast and never freezes.YAY! GOOGLE FTW

  45. Today, 1 August 2016, Thursday. I stepped away from Google for two nights and one day. Started using IE 11 with the current version of Yahoo as a browser, just like the old school. Sheesh. The browser would not accept my text fast enough and most everything I tried to run was spotty and did not connect with my pc correctly. From the stand point of my address and personal use, I stand with Google.

  46. Internet Explorer these days is far better than Chrome, which has become a total memory and CPU hog that is slow and heavily prone to regular crashes.

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