A Comprehensive Comparison of Safari, Chrome and Firefox

Browsing the Internet has become the number one use for many computers. The Internet has been transformed from somewhat of a novelty even 20 years ago to an essential part of life, both working and recreational, today. How we view the Internet has also changed, and whilst many people stick with the default browser that comes with their computer, many more are looking around and seeing what there is on offer. Three of the big players are Safari, Apple's own browser, Mozilla's Firefox and Chrome, by Google.

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Part 1. Top 3 Web Browsers that You Should Know

1. Apple Safari

Safari first appeared in 2003 and has been on a journey of constant improvement and development since then. Based on the webkit engine, Safari launched on the premise of being the fastest browser around, and although it doesn't really carry that claim into the present, the software has seen some real innovation appear in its journey from version 1 to the current version 7 release.

Safari has a unique take on favorites and most visited sites, and Safari Reader allows web based articles to be read as you would a PDF or other e-book, stripped of the superfluous ads and other presentation and giving you the text in an easily consumable format. Safari Extensions added customization to the browsing experience and the addition of iCloud tabs in Safari 6 allows tab syncing across devices within the Apple environment.

The current version of safari is 7, although from version 6 onwards which safari you can use has been tied to the version of OS X you have, this stems from the integration of safari into the operating system itself. Safari 6 is only available to OS X Lion (and Mountain Lion) users, whilst OS X Mavericks users get Safari 7, earlier versions of the operating system are restricted to Safari 5.


2. Google Chrome

A relatively late addition to the scene, Chrome is Google's entry into the browser market. Launched in 2008 and promoted with a focus on speed and simplicity, Chrome was, like Safari, built upon the webkit engine, however since version 28 it has been powered by the blink engine, a variation of webkit. Despite its relatively short life, Chrome has seen extremely rapid development, currently on version 35, Chrome has focused on security, speed and usability.

Innovations along the way have seen the merging of the address bar and search box (a browser first), automatic translation which now operated between 52 separate languages, synchronization of bookmarks, history and browser settings across devices through a Google account, and Google has implemented a system of constantly amended centralized lists of malware and phishing sites that Chrome regularly updates itself from to warn users in real time before they visit a potentially dangerous site. Chrome has also benefitted from the implementation of the plug in and extension facilities, providing customization second only to Firefox, with a huge range of utilities, usability enhancement and other additions to make the browser fit to the user's needs perfectly. Chrome is defined by its simple GUI, eschewing the browser trends of the time and influencing them as its popularity increased, Chrome has a simple interface with just the back, forward, home and refresh buttons next to the single URL/Search bar by default. Because the browsers functionality and underlying code is based around the various browsing tabs, these are placed at the top of the GUI above the controls, unlike most other browsers, this change gives each tab its own controls and address/search bar rather than the traditional single window browser with one set of controls and tabs underneath. It does make manipulating individual tabs much easier in Chrome, being able to drag them into other windows, out onto their own window and so on.

Chrome is available on Windows, OS X, IOS, Android and Linux platforms with all versions being regularly updated, it is currently the most used browser in the world.


3. Mozilla Firefox

Firefox is an open source browser developed by Mozilla, first launched in 2002 as a beta and 2004 as version 1, Firefox has been at the top of the most popular browser lists for most of its lifetime. Like the others here, Firefox has seen continuous development to meet the changing internet standards as well as user expectations, which has seen the move to tabbed browsing with the ability to see a thumbnail of each tab, constantly updated and robust security features, and others.

However, Firefox is perhaps best known for its customization. Although other browsers have implemented third party plugins, extensions and themes to compete, Firefox has far more available than any other browser, and the ability to tailor each installation to the user with such a huge variety of options that is one of the main reasons Firefox currently stands as the third most popular browser in the world.

Available on Windows, OS X, Android and Linux, it lacks availability only on the iOS platform.


Part 2. Safari vs Chrome vs Firefox

So now we have looked at the different browsers available to us, the question is, which one is best for us? Here we tabulate the primary features of each to see is we can come up with an answer. We are focusing on the latest version of Safari when comparing it to the others, however this is only available on iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks based platforms, so it is worth remembering.


Apple Safari

Mozilla Firefox

Google Chrome


apple safari
mozilla firefox
google chrome


Free (with operating system) Free Free

OS Compatibility

Version Dependant, for OS X and iOS only Windows, OS X, Android, Linux Windows, OS X, Android, Linux, iOS

Security Features

Highest levels available Highest levels available Highest levels available

Major Feature

Safari Reader, OS Integration Plug ins and Customization Minimalist GUI, Voice Command


Innovative features like reader and top sites Customization through plug ins and extensions Cutting edge tech like the translation ability


OS restrictions means upgrade path is limited Support is a little lacking from Mozilla itself User tracking by Google itself can be an issue for some users

As we can see, all three browsers have aspects where they lead the pack, and others where they do not, and if you look hard enough you can find issues with any of them, however minor. Ultimately, the choice to use Safari is very much platform dependent, if you do not have a device running IOS 7 or OS X mavericks, you cannot use it, and if you have OS X before 10.06 or use windows, you cannot go beyond Safari 5, and so whilst the current version does compare favorably to the alternatives, for many it isn’t an option.

So on to Firefox and Chrome, they each have much to offer, and in the real world, outside of millisecond timings of the test environment, they perform similarly as well. Ultimately, it will come down to whether you prefer the minimalist interface and ease of use of Chrome or the almost unlimited amount of customization of Firefox, but it is certain that either of these, or safari if you have the suitable platform, make browsing a better experience.

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Mar 15,2017 11:19 am / Posted by to Download Video

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