Web Browsers: Expert and User Reviews

Updated March 31, 2014
In this report

Web Browsers: Ratings of Sources

1. PCMag.com Which Browser is Best? Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Internet Explorer, PCMag.com, March 13, 2014
Credibility:
Michael Muchmore, PCMag.com's software analyst, reviews the most popular web browsers and gives a slight edge to Google Chrome because of its voice response and instant page loading; Firefox is praised for its extensions, while "third-party" browsers Opera and Maxthon are also mentioned as good choices.
2. TomsHardware.com Chrome 27, Firefox 22, IE10, And Opera Next, Benchmarked, TomsHardware.com, June 30, 2013
Credibility:
Tom's Hardware offers a comprehensive review of web browsers using several indicators (memory, reliability, security and standards conformity) in its well-known "Web Browser Grand Prix." Editors test Chrome 27, Firefox 22, IE10 and Opera Next. As of mid-2013, Firefox comes out on top with "the most punishing margin of victory" against its long-time competitor, Chrome.
3. NSS Labs 2013 Browser Security Comparative Analysis Report: Socially Engineered Malware, NSS Labs, March 31, 2014
Credibility:
As with most tests by the independent NSS Labs over the past few years, Internet Explorer 11 performed superbly here, catching 99.9 percent of more than 650 malware threats. NSS Labs ran their tests over a 14-day period; Chrome caught 71 percent, Opera 29 percent and Firefox and Safari 4 percent.
4. NSS Labs 2012 Browser Security Comparative Analysis: Phishing Protection, NSS Labs, Nov. 28, 2012
Credibility:
Despite performing well in malware and privacy tests, Internet Explorer 10 scored the lowest of major browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Opera) in 12 days of phishing tests run by NSS Labs, catching 83 percent. Firefox 19 was highest at 96 percent.
5. NSS Labs Browser Security Comparative Analysis: Privacy, NSS Labs, July 23, 2013
Credibility:
This privacy report from the research firm NSS Labs found Internet Explorer 10 "performs best with regard to out-of-the-box privacy configuration, with Apple's Safari a close second." The report noted that IE offers tracking protection lists that stop certain sites from tracking your browsing.
6. TechRadar.com Best browser 2014: which should you be using?, TechRadar.com, March 31, 2014
Credibility:
This in-depth review tests Internet Explorer 11, Firefox 28, Safari 5.1.7, Chrome 33 and Opera 20 on a Windows 8 PC and compares the performances of each browser in a multitude of categories including speed, privacy, add-ons, and compatibility with Windows XP, Android, iPad (Chrome) and more.
7. Laptop Magazine Best Android Browser: Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Opera vs. Dolphin, Laptop Magazine, March 31, 2014
Credibility:
This comparative test review weighs interface, speed, special features, standards support and sync ability. Opera wins out here because of interface, speed and standards support, while Dolphin is dead last.
8. New York Times Apple's Serious Security Issue: Update Your iPhone or iPad Immediately, New York Times, Feb. 24, 2014
Credibility:
This is one of many articles explaining the serious security breach that impacted Apple's desktop and mobile operating systems in February 2014. The writer recommends Apple users stop using Safari because the security issue left devices vulnerable to hackers -- even if users thought they were on a secure network -- and to instead use Chrome or Firefox.
9. Download.com Web Browsers for Windows, Download.com, As of April 2014
Credibility:
Firefox and Chrome get 5 out of 5 stars or "spectacular" ratings from CNET's Download.com editors. Firefox has a slightly higher user rating; other browsers are also well reviewed.
10. Macworld Mac Web Browsers, Macworld, Nov. 1, 2013
Credibility:
Macworld.com, per its name, reviews only products designed for Mac, including web browsers. Standouts include Maxthon Cloud Browser, which is praised for its wealth of features, though its syncing features can be wonky. Also praised are Chrome, which excels on all the benchmark tests, and Safari 7, which has battery-saving features and social media syncing.
11. PCMag.com The Best Android Browsers, PCMag.com, April 6, 2012
Credibility:

In this older review roundup, Dolphin wins the Editors' Choice award for Android browsers.

Opera Mobile 12, UC Browser and others are also tested and their features and performance are reviewed.

12. PCPro.co.uk Best browser for 2013, PCPro.co.uk, July 27, 2013
Credibility:
PC Pro tests leading browsers in two performance benchmarks and a memory-consumption test. Firefox 22 scores 5 out of 6 and is named "the most memory-efficient of the browsers on test, using only three quarters of the RAM Chrome demanded for the same 20 tabs." Chrome 28 is ranked second, scoring 4 out of 6. Internet Explorer 10, Safari and Opera 15 are also tested -- Safari scores the lowest, with just 2 out of 6 thanks to a cumbersome setup and the browser crashing several times on a PC.
13. PCAdvisor.co.uk Battle of the browsers 2014: which is the best web browser for Windows?, PCAdvisor.co.uk, Dec. 16, 2013
Credibility:
PC Advisor reviews the features and performance of Internet Explorer 11, Opera 18, Firefox 26 and Google 31, but does not test them. The website names Chrome and Opera the best browsers, but says that Firefox is a decent performer and offers many add-ons that work with older version of Windows.
14. Midas Blog The Best Web Browser? Internet Explorer 11, Chrome 31, Firefox 25, Opera 17, or Safari 5?, Midas Blog, Nov. 13, 2013
Credibility:
Midas Blog tests the leading browsers for speed, performance (including memory usage) and compliance with HTML5 and CSS3. Chrome comes out ahead of the other browsers in eight of 15 tests to win the first place award, but is far slower than other browsers when multiple tabs are used. (Internet Explorer 11 shines in this category.)
15. ZDNet.com The best Windows browser today: IE 10 or Chrome 25?, ZDNet.com, Feb. 26, 2013
Credibility:
This short review tests the speed of IE 10 against Chrome 25 in five benchmarks. Chrome outperforms IE 10 in the tests, has better compatibility with HTML5 and runs on most Windows platforms, making it the choice for ZDNet's reviewer.
16. DigitalTrends.com Battle of the best browsers: IE vs. Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Safari, DigitalTrends.com, March 31, 2013
Credibility:
This browser review and speed performance test pits Google Chrome 25 against Firefox 19, Internet Explorer 10 and Safari. Chrome is the fastest, particularly in HTML5, but the reviewer notes that while most everyone at DigitalTrends.com uses Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox have become much faster and user-friendly.
17. PCAdvisor.co.uk Maxthon Cloud 4.05 review: a web browser you should install and try today, PCAdvisor.co.uk, April 29, 2013
Credibility:
PC Advisor gives Maxthon 4.5 out of 5 stars because of its plethora of features. Waddilove doesn't make any comparisons except to say that other browsers don't have the same level of functionality.
18. Macworld (U.K.) What's the best internet browser for Mac?, Macworld (U.K.), Jan. 31, 2014
Credibility:
This review focuses on the features of leading Mac browsers: Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Omniweb. Hattersley offers up pluses and minuses for each, but doesn't actually declare a winner. In a Macworld poll, Safari was the most popular, just ahead of Chrome.
19. Google.com Google Chrome Privacy Whitepaper, Google.com, April 8, 2014
Credibility:
This lengthy white paper explains Chrome's privacy policies and practices, detailing everything from the browser's use of Omnibox predictions to its Do Not Track feature.
20. AndroidCentral.com Dolphin Browser hits version 10 with a fresh design, new features, AndroidCentral.com, June 19, 2013
Credibility:
This one-off review at AndroidCentral.com, which covers Android apps and devices, is one of the most recent for Dolphin Browser. Martonik discusses the browser's new, more robust features and clean interface and likes what he sees.
21. AndroidPolice.com (Hands-On) Dolphin Browser Makes Huge Update to Version 10, Revamps UI, Amplifies Search, Debuts Web App Store, and More, AndroidPolice.com, Not dated
Credibility:
This is a detailed review of Dolphin Browser's newer features, along with helpful screen shots that explain each feature. The reviewer doesn't compare Dolphin to other mobile browsers, however.
22. Sitepoint.com Internet Explorer 11: the Review, Sitepoint.com, Nov. 7, 2013
Credibility:
This test review of Internet Explorer 11 covers everything from installation to benchmarks for speed to innovative features. The reviewer calls Microsoft's new browser "awesome" because of its speed (it beat Chrome and Firefox in two benchmark tests), developers' tools and security. Limited add-ons and support for just a few operating systems (Windows 8 and 7) are cons, according to the reviewer.
23. Fixya.com Fixya Mobile Browser Report: How Users Feel About Chrome, Safari, IE, Opera, and the Android Stock Browser, Fixya.com, Oct. 16, 2013
Credibility:
Safari shines in Fixya's Mobile Browser Usability Report, a reliability indicator that focuses on how many "fix-it" requests there are for each browser. In addition to reliability, Safari's reading lists and the ability to mail and tweet links were pluses. Coming in a distant second to Safari was Stock Android, then Opera, Chrome and Internet Explorer.
24. NDTV UC Browser review, NDTV, March 8, 2014
Credibility:
India's NDTV provides one of the more recent and in-depth reviews of UC Browser, which is popular in China and India. UC Browser is well-reviewed here; pages load quickly and features like the download manager are commended.
25. Appstorm.net Everything You Need to Know About Safari 7, Appstorm.net, Oct. 22, 2013
Credibility:
This is an in-depth and largely complimentary single-product review of Safari 7, which the reviewer states is the "one browser that brings a 100 percent native feel to the web." Safari 7's strong points include faster browsing and tab isolation (problems in one tab won't slow down another) and a simpler design with easier access to features like the browser's famed Reading List.
26. Softpedia.com Windows Software Reviews, Softpedia.com, As of April 2014
Credibility:
Softpedia.com reviews several web browsers, including Maxthon, which gets a perfect score because of its fluid syncing between different platforms and its competitive speed. Other top performers include Internet Explorer and Opera; each earns ratings of 4 out of 5 stars.
27. IT Pro "Android browser head-to-head: Chrome vs Dolphin vs Firefox vs Maxthon vs Opera Mobile vs Skyfire, IT Pro, Oct. 29, 2012
Credibility:
IT Pro has an informative but older comparative review of top Android browsers. Opera Mobile is praised for using less data than competitors. Android's stock browser and Chrome are recommended over the other competitors but none are formally tested.
28. Arstechnica.com New Opera for Android looks like Opera, tastes like Chrome, Arstechnica.com, May 21, 2013
Credibility:
ArsTechnica.com, a news and reviews website for IT professionals, has a detailed review of Opera Mobile. The review focuses on its new technology (Opera uses Google's code) that puts Opera's speed on par with Chrome. Features are a major focus here; Opera Mobile's Speed Dial page with favorite sites and bookmarks is praised.
29. CNET A tour of the WebKit-based Opera for Android, CNET, Feb. 26, 2013
Credibility:
CNET's pictorial tour of Opera Mobile highlights its interface, usability and features like Off-Road mode. This isn't a review but provides useful information on the browser.
30. TechAdvisor Dolphin Browser 8.8.1 review, TechAdvisor, Sept. 27, 2012
Credibility:
This older review from TechAdvisor (part of PC Advisor) gives Dolphin 3.5 out of 5 stars because of its many features. But the reviewer, who doesn't make direct comparison to other mobile browsers, says it needs to perform slightly better to warrant a higher rating.
31. Google Play Android Apps: Browsers, Google Play, As of April 2014
Credibility:
Millions of Google Play contributors rate Android browsers here, including Dolphin Browser, Firefox, Opera Mini and Chrome. Most browsers get at least 4.5 out of 5 stars overall, but Dolphin has the most ratings, with more than 1.5 million.
32. Engadget.com Dolphin browser for Android adds redesigned UI, new store for web apps, Engadget.com, June 20, 2013
Credibility:
This short write-up of Dolphin Browser version 10 for Android highlights the browser's features (drag-and-drop support for speed dials, gestures, new app store) and user interface. While it's brief and there aren't any tests or comparisons, this positive review nicely sums up upgrades to the browser.
33. TopTenReviews.com 2014 Internet Browser Software Review, TopTenReviews.com, As of April 2014
Credibility:
TopTenReviews.com uses an easy-to-read chart and ratings system that ranks each browser, though it's not clear that editors here actually did any testing. Google Chrome and Firefox come out on top based on features, security, speed, ease of use and support.
34. ReadWrite.com Dolphin Browser Demonstrates Why Mobile-Only Is a Losing Bet, ReadWrite.com, Jan. 18, 2013
Credibility:
Writer Dan Rowinski doesn't review Dolphin Browser but instead details the limitations of the browser (and the mobile-only browser market) because they don't have desktop versions. He instead endorses "cross-platform browsers."
35. PC World Maxthon 4.2 review: Browser integrates cloud functionality and multiple session logins, PC World, Jan. 20, 2014
Credibility:
PCWorld's reviewer gives Maxthon 4.2 a score of 3.5 out of 5 stars, citing some performance issues. Harac says it's worth checking out though due to all of its features.
36. Laptop Magazine Internet Explorer 10 Review, Laptop Magazine, Sept. 13, 2012
Credibility:
Laptop Magazine gives Internet Explorer 10 3.5 stars out of 5, citing its speedy page loads (the website runs numerous tests on the browser). This review weighs IE's Modern (full-screen mode) against its desktop version, noting that the two aren't synonymous (Modern doesn't have browsing history for example) and that the desktop version "isn't as touch-friendly as its Modern counterpart."
37. Webmonkey Review: Internet Explorer 10 Bests the Competition on Windows 8 Tablets, Webmonkey, Oct. 26, 2012
Credibility:
The author provides an in-depth review of Internet Explorer 10 based on his own monthlong use of the browser on a tablet. He strongly recommends the browser for Windows 8 tablets because of its touch-screen functionality, but says the desktop version isn't much better than Chrome or Firefox.
38. Infoworld.com Review: Google Chrome wants to be your OS, Infoworld.com, Feb. 19, 2014
Credibility:
This detailed report includes technical information for Chrome's 32 version, as well as benchmark test results. Chrome wins Infoworld.com's Editor's Choice award for its features, performance, ease of use and other attributes, scoring a 9 out of 10.
39. Gizmo's Freeware Best Free Web Browser, Gizmo's Freeware, Feb. 17, 2014
Credibility:
This updated review doesn't test the leading browsers, but describes their performance and features in some detail and weighs the pros and cons of each. Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Maxthon and Sleipner are reviewed. Chrome gets the highest rating, 5 out of 5 stars, for its features like automatic updates and its built-in flash and PDF viewers.
40. Naked Security Firefox burns Chrome in our trustworthy browser poll, Naked Security, Sept. 23, 2013
Credibility:
Naked Security's (part of security company Sophos) informal poll found just over 50 percent of respondents trusted Firefox the most of six browsers: Chrome, Chromium, Safari, Internet Explorer and Opera. Chrome came in second, with 27 percent of the vote. While the results are interesting, the poll is unscientific and it's unclear how many respondents there were.
41. SoftwareCrew.com Opera 20 FINAL released, beefs up Bookmark bar, Speed Dial, SoftwareCrew.com, March 4, 2014
Credibility:
This isn't a review but instead describes updates to Opera 20, including drag-and-drop features on the bookmark bar and speed dial.
42. About.com Best Mac Browser Performance Benchmark 2013, About.com, Not dated
Credibility:
About.com runs performance tests for iCab, Safari, Firefox, Opera and Chrome in five top benchmarks. Chrome scores the best for speed overall, leading About.com to declare it the best Mac browser.
43. Appstorm.net 6 Reasons Dolphin Should Be Your Default Browser, Appstorm.net, Nov. 30, 2012
Credibility:
This somewhat dated review from AppStorm, a blog focusing on Android apps, gives Dolphin Browser a 9-out-10 score largely because of its features, like voice and gesture commands and friendly user interface. The browser itself is not tested.
44. Digitizor.com 5 Top Browsers for Android In 2013, Digitizor.com, Dec. 2, 2012
Credibility:
The write-up for each browser -- Google Chrome Beta, Opera for Android, Dolphin HD, Boat and Overskreen -- is limited to a short paragraph. It's unclear whether the browsers were tested although the reviews describe speed, performance and design. The browsers are not compared or ranked.
45. AndroidAuthority.com Opera Browser updated with new look for Tablets, AndroidAuthority.com, Nov. 22, 2013
Credibility:
AndroidAuthority.com looks at Opera's new interface for tablets in this one-off review. Hindy doesn't compare it to other tablet-optimized browsers though.
46. Engadget.com Opera Max beta compresses most of the data going through your Android device, Engadget.com, Dec. 17, 2013
Credibility:
This short write-up of Opera Max beta, which compresses data at unprecedented levels, praises the service for making it easier to stream music and video and view images and other multimedia. As Opera Max was in beta phase at the time, the app isn't fully tested.
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