The users should be very happy – they have free and fast Windows web browsers that they can use, and all of them are in compliance with the new web standards. In addition, each browser has its advantages and features that may suit one’s need at one moment or another. The truth is that people use each browser at a certain period of time and for certain tasks. Naturally, the users will do just right with each of the popular browsers, yet there are a few things that make each of them competitive over the others. Thus, the main question now seems to be which browser is the most secure one to use in 2014 – Internet Explorer, Chrome or Mozilla?
Each of the three main browsers has its uniqueness and special appeal. For example, Chrome uses modern technologies including instant loading of the search page and voice response. The Internet Explorer uses graphics hardware acceleration, works on 64-bit program and implies a very powerful tracking protection against the site code. At the same time, Firefox has special extensions that allow the user to customize it according to one’s own needs.
A matter of security
All browsers have encountered security problems in the past. Today Chrome and Firefox rely on the Google’s Safe Browsing API to detect the sites that are potentially dangerous. With the constant updates, Chrome and Mozilla are able to make security updates all the time. Chrome even scans for potentially harmful downloads. All three browsers also offer a privacy session option and prevent the storage of history, cookies and temporary internet files. Internet Explorer 11 works with the Tracking Protection security measure and can completely block trackers from contacting your browser. In fact, Internet Explorer blocks trackers of more than 90% of the potentially hazardous sites.
- The number of the vulnerabilities that have been found in the commonly used browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer have dropped with almost 20% compared to year 2012. In 2013, the five most popular browsers got 727 vulnerabilities.
- Currently Internet Explorer has a market share of 99% percent. At the same time, Firefox and Chrome are installed on 63% and 60% of the computers running Windows OS.
- There are quick patches for vulnerabilities in browsers, which means that the browser vendors find security important. In fact, most of the browser vulnerabilities that have been found in the last two years were patched in less than one month.
In fact, it is not possible to pick one browser that is most secure as they all have their weak and strong points. Even so experts claim that Chrome is the most secure browser. This statement is based on a study organized in 2011. Many things have changed until then, and Google seems to be careful with the security issues. Chrome also has the second highest malware detection rate, just after the Internet Explorer.
Firefox is also regarded as safe and secure. For example, this browser is handling well the SSL certificate. It is lighter than the rest of the browsers, with fewer features and less code. Firefox is further quite good in terms of privacy, just opposite to Chrome.
The Internet Explorer is the least secure of the three browsers. Even so, the new improved versions 10 and 11 are pretty good, and most of the security issues are handled. Besides that the Internet Explorer is very good at keeping the user safe from accidentally getting infected while browsing. Yet, the programming of the Internet Explorer had numerous vulnerabilities through the years, and this makes this browser not so popular. It also has a closed source, just opposite to Mozilla where you can crack the source and see the code. To sum it up, in terms of security Chrome and Firefox are very good, while the Internet Explorer is okay; in terms of privacy Firefox is best, then comes the Internet Explorer and then Chrome.
Installation and updates
The enumerated browsers are modern and well organized but even they can encounter certain sites that will not display there correctly. That is why most users usually have more than one browser being installed on their computers, which gives a good choice. The installation of the browsers is easy and fast, and only the Internet Explorer will require a reboot of the computer. The rest will need just a quick closure of the browser. The updates are very easy with Chrome and Firefox, as they are done in the background without any fuss, applying the new software when the programs are launched. On Firefox, the manual updates are also an option. With the Internet Explorer, the updates are not that quickly done. With all browsers the users should keep the automatic updates on, as turning the off will put their computers at risk since every browser adds security fixes.
New trends in the browsers’ design
All three major browsers focus on the minimalistic design. Google Chrome uses an elegant address bar configuration, and the user can minimize it or expand it depending on the need of space. Chrome also uses an easy bookmarking method that is one click away. Mozilla Firefox has similar layout with a tab bar above the bar with the address. It also uses the one-click bookmarking. The Internet Explorer has a single bar that unites the search and the address bar. All three browsers are fast speeded and are compatible with the web standards.
The three main browsers differ in their features. For example, Chrome is different with its various updates and a huge Web Apps Store. That is why Chrome is the most integrated software when it comes to accessing your Google related applications. Chrome has mobile versions for the iOS and the Android devices.
Firefox also provides a great choice of extensions, including the useful built-in PDF viewer. For now Firefox offers a mobile version of its browser only for the devices that operate on Android.
Internet Explorer has many useful functions including site spinning and turning tabs into new windows. The mobile version of the Internet Explorer is preinstalled on the devices operating on Windows.
Which browser to choose?
Since the beginning of 2014 and especially in May 2014, the statistics of StatCounter show that the most popular browser was Chrome. It covered more than 45 % of the global browser market share. At the same time Firefox (20%) and Internet Explorer (18%) also continued to be popular. So, the question stands – which browser is the best to use?
In fact, it seems that everything is a question of preference. Each of the three browsers has its weak and strong points. For example, Chrome is the largest one and offers an impressive selection of extensions and apps, as well as many updates. Firefox also uses frequent updates, and Internet Explorer 11 is best in applying the benchmark standards of Sunspider.
Currently, the users prefer modular and minimal browsers. Chrome offers app browsing experience, while Mozilla Firefox is ideal for speed managing of interactive webpages. In general, all major browsers provide good browsing experience with just a few downsides.
If users are looking for the best combination of privacy and security, the Firefox is the best option. It is also very easy to use. However, if users do not care that Google collects data and knows more about them than it should, and especially if they are used to the Google interface, then they should stick to Chrome. It seems that the Internet Explorer is the one that is least secure browsers, so users should try to use it rarely. Users should know that the security is based on their behavior, so if they have safe habits, their browser will be protected.
Update (as of August 31, 2015): Find out which is the most secure browser for 2015.