If you’ve been using your Apple device for some time then you are probably familiar with Safari web browser. Safari is indeed a solid web browser that is fast and reliable when browsing the web. However, it’s important to note that you can also use Firefox and Chrome on your Mac and they will offer different things that Safari can’t or things that Safari doesn’t do as well.
So, in this post, we’ll look at Chrome, Firefox and Safari and go over what they can individually offer your web browsing experience on your Mac.
First off, let’s look at Safari, the built-in web browser on your Mac.
Good for: readability and security and simplicity
Safari has had many iterations over the years and it has now improved on many features with the release of Safari 13. The Safari web browser was of course built for Apple devices so it’s likely going to give you the best and cleanest web browsing experience compared to other web browsers thanks to its simplistic interface.
Apple has an obvious focus on privacy and this is noticeable in its Safari web browser. For example, Intelligent Tracking Protection is a built-in feature that protects advertisers from following you around online and serving you ads which slows your page speed rate.
There’s also full integration of Apple Pay which makes it easy for you to pay through the Mac’s Touch ID sensor so you don’t have to keep entering your password every-time you want to make a purchase. All you have to do is present your fingerprint on your Touch Bar.
Not only that, Safari has such a clean UI. Safari made ‘clean and tidy’ web browsers popular and other web browsers subscribe to this kind of design now too. When you open up Safari, you’ll be presented with the typical bar that stretches across the top of the page. You’ll also have a bookmarking button and a button at the top to go to the settings where you’ll be able to change passwords, enable safe search etc.
For an even more clean experience, you can use Safari’s ‘reader mode’ that will strip away all images, videos and ads from the screen, allowing you to just read the text on a web page without all the usual color stimulation.
Safari does everything that you’d want a web browser to do and being arguably much faster than Chrome or Firefox because it’s developed specifically for Apple devices, it’s worth using on your Mac.
Good for: extensions library and Google products
Now, let’s take a look at Chrome from Google. Google Chrome is still the most popular web browser on the planet. Perhaps it’s due to its convenience or maybe it’s because of its jam-packed features. Chrome is very flexible and there are a whole host of (150000+) extensions that you can install on the toolbar.
Whilst Safari does boast some extensions, Chrome takes the game to a whole new level. For example, you can enable programs like Grammarly, Office Suite, Honey, Google Keep and much more. You can find many different extensions for your Chrome web browser that act like the kind of plugins you might find on WordPress, essentially allowing you to customize your experience how you want in a unique way.
Chrome also renders pages quickly but has a good focus on security. For example. Thanks to recent updates, Chrome will notify you if it thinks a website you have landed on is unsafe or not by popping up a message and turning the search bar red. A lot of the time it does this to legitimate websites that have not yet upgraded to having SSL certificates showing on their websites. However, it’s a nice touch and shows that Chrome is taking security seriously.
Just like Safari, you can store your passwords and encrypted bank details in Chrome’s password settings so you don’t have to enter your details everything you want to make a purchase.
All in all, Chrome is a very solid choice that definitely rivals Safari.
Good for: security, privacy and page load speed
Lastly, we’ve got the Firefox web browser which has fallen out of favour for many in recent years but it still has a lot to offer in web browsing. If you don’t get on with Chrome for any reason, we believe Mozilla’s Firefox is still the next best choice.
In an age of data privacy, Firefox has tried to position itself as the best web browser for online security and privacy with its slogan;
“No shady privacy policies or back doors for advertisers. Just a lightning-fast browser that doesn’t sell you out.”
Quite arguably this is a smart move as they try and re-establish themselves. Firefox isn’t the best web browser when you compare it to Safari or Chrome but it is now trying to offer its users something different in the form of data protection. For example, Tracking Protection stops websites following you around so they can collect your data and serve ads to you. Alongside this, Firefox says that they actively block needless scripts on webpages which means that page loading is lightning fast. Supposedly, this script blocker makes web pages load 44% faster than before.
This is unique because if you’ve ever used Chrome you’ll have no doubt come across the error pop up that is activated when a page can’t load due to so many scripts being activated on a web page. Firefox bypasses all of these annoying ads and animations to deliver the most important parts of the web page. Firefox also blocks social tracking so you won’t get those related ads popping up the next time you go on Facebook, for example.
Firefox doesn’t have as many extensions as Chrome but the reality is, most people don’t have more than three or four extensions running on their Chrome web browser because the more extensions you have, the more scripts need to run and your page speed can decrease significantly.
Firefox has cool built-in tools too that you’d normally have to download extensions for;
- spell check tool
- screenshot tool
- reader mode (cleans the web page for simple reading with no ads)
- auto-suggested URL’s
Not only that but Firefox works with all of your Google products so you don’t have to choose between Firefox and Chrome.
So, although Firefox has fallen to the side in terms of popularity, it is quietly building something very important in this digital age of privacy.
Best Browser For Mac: The Bottom Line
All of these web browsers have unique qualities. It really comes down to what you personally want in a web browser. Safari does a great job at simplifying the web browsing experience whereas Chrome has more functions thanks to its many extensions. However, this also means that Chrome can end up running a lot slower than Safari so that’s going to be a trade-off. Next to these two sits the Firefox web browser which has been redesigned to put your online privacy at the forefront. Firefox still lacks in certain areas but it still boasts a clean interface like Chrome and Safari and won’t disappoint you.