Microsoft – Which Is the Best Browser in 2021?
Ever since the release of Google Chrome in 2008, it quickly became an industry standard. When Microsoft Edge was released alongside Windows 10 in 2015, Microsoft hoped that users would finally look back towards their native browser. Fortunately for Google, Microsoft Edge failed to dent Chrome’s status as the best web browser for Windows 10.
An Edge vs. Chrome debate would have been ridiculous a few years ago. But, now that Microsoft has adopted a Chromium engine for Edge, the fight to be the best web browser for Windows 10 is more open than ever.
This comparative review is based on Google Chrome 89 and Microsoft Edge 89.
Design & Engine
Both Edge and Chrome are pretty similar in terms of design. Edge now has a much cleaner look and uses sleek rounded buttons. The search/URL bar is almost identical to Google Chrome, and so is the layout for the bookmarks bar, extensions and settings. A familiar design will attract more users towards Edge, and Microsoft is counting on it.
Google Chrome has recently integrated a new feature that allows you to group tabs. By grouping tabs together, you can clear up your work-space and increase productivity. But be warned, this will come at the cost of increased memory usage.
Microsoft might just have pulled one over with their in-built dark mode on Microsoft Edge. However, on Google Chrome, you need to tinker in the Windows Personalization settings to turn on dark mode. If you don’t want to change your Windows 10 settings, third-party extensions can also enable dark mode in Google Chrome.
You can, however, use customized themes on Google Chrome. The Chrome Web Store has an extensive collection of available themes that you can put to good use.
The new and improved Microsoft Edge is built on the Chromium open-source browser, just like Google Chrome. Chromium is known for having a minimalist user-interface that makes web browsing fast and lightweight.
To accurately compare both browsers’ performance, we decided to test Edge and Chrome with some of the best industry benchmarking tools. We carried out three different tests to have a more reliable and unbiased comparison.
We first measured the HTML5 compatibility test. This test indicates how well a web browser supports the HTML5 standards. Unsurprisingly, since both Chrome and Edge essentially run on the same engine, the HTML5 test was a tie with a score of 577.
Before running the following tests, we reset the web browsers to their default settings, and all extensions/add-ons were disabled.
The WebXPRT 3 benchmarking tool is an industry-standard benchmark that measures web browsers’ performance when put through different scenarios that replicate the average daily use. After a rigorous test, Google Chrome scored a decent 81/100, whereas Microsoft Edge scored an exceptional 90/100.
Similarly, in the Speedometer2.0 test, Edge outshined Chrome by scoring a whopping 48.5 compared to Chrome’s score of 37.1. These results are testament to Microsoft Edge being far superior in terms of performance on Windows 10.
It is no secret that Google Chrome hogs a large chunk of your RAM (Random Access Memory). Ironically, Chrome was once reputed for utilizing minimum system resources. Microsoft Edge, in comparison, uses fewer memory resources, making it ideal for systems with limited memory.
You can open the Task Manager by right-clicking on the Taskbar to view the amount of memory being consumed by each program. Our results showed that ten tabs of Google Chrome occupied approximately 1100MB of RAM, whereas ten tabs of Microsoft Edge consumed merely 800MB.
On a PC with limited resources, you will experience a significant increase in performance when using Microsoft Edge. In terms of memory usage, Microsoft Edge is much more lightweight than its counterpart Google Chrome, which is why Edge comes out on top this time around.
Privacy & Security
In today’s digital world, data privacy plays a vital role. Organizations such as Facebook and Google constantly struggle to balance their need for user data and user privacy.
In 2020, Chrome 83 was released with several new user security and privacy features. Despite the additional security features and an improved privacy options menu, data privacy remained baffling for the average user. The ill-designed user interface makes navigating the privacy and security settings quite complicated.
Another essential security feature in this update was Safe Browsing. This would provide you with different levels of cyber-protection based on your requirement. Google recommends choosing “Enhanced protection” for faster and more proactive protection. Unsurprisingly, this requires you to agree to send your browsing data to Google in return for extensive protection.
On the other hand, Microsoft Edge has undertaken proactive measures that have made handling privacy and security much more straightforward for users. During the installation, users are provided with an easy-to-follow set of privacy options. Edge provides you with Basic, Balanced, or Strict tracking prevention, and the potential consequences of each are well explained.
When we compare Edge and Chrome’s privacy and security features, it’s pretty astonishing to see how Microsoft Edge is the better choice. Microsoft focused on making privacy and security comprehensive and accessible for users, and it has paid off. While both browsers provide you with the ability to configure identical security settings, you can do so much more quickly in Edge.
Google Chrome has been around for over a decade, so it is no surprise that Chrome supports a much more extensive range of platforms.
Chrome is the default web browser and search engine for almost all Android devices and Chromebooks. Apart from Windows and macOS, Google Chrome is compatible with iOS and even provides Linux support for Debian, Fedora, and Ubuntu.
Microsoft Edge is the Superior Windows 10 Browser
Edge consistently beats Chrome in terms of performance, privacy & security handling and system memory usage. However, looking at the compatibility support of both browsers, Chrome comes out on top, but this may tilt in favor of Microsoft Edge in the coming future.
2021 might finally be the year when you realize that Microsoft Edge does have the edge over Google Chrome.
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