… are raining down on us in 2021.
Whatever combination of needs and wishes the individual end-user may come up with for work and leisure, there is one or more browsers available for download. Some of the potential candidates even work remarkably well.
Some browsers are better than others at certain tasks
Most browsers won't be spread in large enough numbers to make them profitable, and the market is pretty much saturated with browsers that do not offer anything that will make them stand out from the crowd. Thus, few individual “names” survive long enough in anything but names, to be worth setting up and getting used to.
A few browsers do stand out to such a degree that it is hard for people both with and without “special needs” and working minds not to notice them.
Whether end users like what the individual browser has to offer regarding interface, customization and privacy, or not, is a different matter. Not all are happy with the fact that hardly anything in the world works the way they have come to expect from reading ads, etc., and that s.c. “quantum leaps” in software development may have taken years, even decades, to prepare.
most popular vs. best in class
A browser's popularity should be easy to determine by looking at statistics. Except that not all browsers will show up as unique brands, but instead identify themselves as the majority browser they share main engine with – mainly as a result of misused browser detection on web sites. Thus, such statistics do not tell us much of value these days.
Which browser that is “best” (technically speaking) is also near impossible to determine, as that depends entirely on what the individual browser primarily is gonna be used for. No single browser on the market is fastest, most reliable, and most secure, in all areas and for all tasks. Thus, based on personal preferences, end users have to thread between what the various browsers are weak/acceptable/good at – if they have the patience.
One alternative is of course to “gamble” and just choose one, and hope for the best. Sometimes
– quite often actually – that works just fine, simply because the basis for nearly all browsers on the market today are one or
another of the same few “rendering engines”, with variations on which, and how, other “engines”
(for scripts, etc.) are included in their packages.
Some professional end users may have a series of tests to sort the useless from the potentially usable browsers. Most will nevertheless end up with one of the major browsers for daily tasks, but may play around with one or more “minority” browsers on the side and for private use.
whatever you like…
We probably all have been presented with whole ranges of reasons for why this or that browser is the perfect choice, and why this and that browser should be avoided. Some of it may make perfect sense, while lots of the reasoning is based neither on facts nor common sense. Next year, or next month, all reasoning may have changed, but most likely won't make more sense if one check the details.
Most end users have no idea about the complex collection of separate and interacting code blocks – individual programs and control code – that have to be trimmed and tuned to make up a fully functioning browser, and why should they. They only want easy-to-use products for surfing the world wide web.
In the end it comes down to… Of course your choice of browser is right. Now, which one is it, and what do you use it for? … and whatever the conclusion happens to be, it is probably right, for you … at least for a while. You are free to change your mind in a week, month, or a year or two, if you like. Nothing is set in stone.
For the time being my main browser is a lightly customized Vivaldi for just about anything related to work and leisure, with Firefox and an outdated MSIE11 running some fixed tasks. This setup covers nearly all my browsing needs.
Some of those “best browsers right now” listings that pop up on the web every year, make for interesting reads in comparison with my personal preferences and testing regimens, but haven't had much of an impact on my choices. However, as I am not tied to any particular setup or brand(s), anything may change locally as/when the browser landscape and the world wide web changes.
last rev: 14.oct.2021