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Google Chrome 12

Free
Reviewed
July 2011
by ConsumerSearch
Google Chrome 12

Fast, secure browsing and search

Pros
  • Fast and simple
  • Enhanced security
  • Customizable
Cons
  • May be too spare for some
  • Incompatible with some sites

The Google Chrome browser takes a minimalist approach, stripping down to basic browsing with an ultra-simple, intuitive interface. Reviewers find it very fast, with superb search features and the best crash protection available. It also makes it possible to use Google desktop applications offline, and users can search the text of pages in the browser's history. Chrome's security also gets accolades. Google uses a technology called sandboxing to prevent fraudulent websites from installing viruses, spyware and other malicious programs. It does so by running web pages and processes (such as JavaScript and Flash) separately (each in its own sandbox), limiting issues when something goes awry. Initially, the browser lacked customization options, but now plenty of add-ons are available, though not as many as Firefox. It's compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux.

We found reviews recommending Chrome as the best browser at PCMag.com and InfoWorld.com. Michael Muchmore at PCMag.com likes Chrome for its speed, simple appearance and security. CNET offers a thorough rundown of Chrome 12's features. USA Today discusses Chrome in its analysis of browser security.

Our Sources

1. PCMag.com

Software reviewer Michael Muchmore gives Google Chrome 12 an Editors' Choice award for its speedy performance, excellent security features and extensions for customization.

Review: Google Chrome 12, Michael Muchmore, June 10, 2011

2. CNET

This thorough review covers installation, features and usability, including tips for Mac users. Seth Rosenblatt notes that its interface hasn't changed much since launch, and it gets speedier with every upgrade.

Review: Google Chrome, Seth Rosenblatt, June 7, 2011

3. USA Today Magazine

Mark W. Smith, a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, ranks Google's Chrome 10 the best in the current crop of browsers. Smith compares the speed of the each browser using benchmarking tools.

Review: Review: Best Web Browser? Google's Chrome Outshines Pack, Mark W. Smith, April 9, 2011

4. Infoworld.com

This detailed report includes technical information for five different web browsers, as well as benchmark test results. It's a bit outdated, though; it covers Chrome's version 5. (The browser is now at version 12.) Peter Wayner recommends Chrome for heavy web surfers who always have lots of tabs open, but warns that some sites may not be compatible.

Review: The Best Web Browser: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, or Safari, Peter Wayner, Aug. 11, 2010

5. Slate.com

While a bit dated because new versions have been released since its posting, this review does a good job outlining the features that have helped Chrome with its meteoric rise in the web browser field.

Review: The Best Web Browser on the Planet: Why Google Chrome Beats Firefox and Internet Explorer, Farhad Manjoo, Feb. 4, 2010

Web Browsers Runners Up:

Apple Safari 5 Free

2 picks by top review sites.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Free

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Dolphin HD 4.5 Free

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UC Browser Free

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Firefox Mobile 5 Free

1 pick by top review sites.

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