Web browsers review and compare

Our browser showdown reveals performance winners.
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03.Comparison Table


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Price ($)Overall scorePerformance (%)Ease of use (%)Memory usage (MB)Memory usage - 10 tabs open (MB) (B)Download managerPassword managerSpelling checkPrivacy modeAuto-updaterTabbed browsingPop-up blockingAd filteringAnti-phishing toolsFull-text history searchSupports third-party add-onsWindows XPWindows VistaWindows 7LinuxMac OS XiPhone OSWindows MobileWindows CESymbianWebsiteGood PointsBad PointsBrand
3.5.5Free81739235170Mozilla Firefox
4.03Free80877055416Apple Safari
8Free42256725317Microsoft Internet Explorer

How we test

The overall score comprises 60% for performance and 40% for ease of use.

Ease of use includes installing and configuring the software; navigating web pages, searching and changing browser settings, as well as the ease of clearing private information such as cache, cookies, histories of browsing, download, data from forms and searches, passwords and so on; plus changing the look and feel of the browser (via themes or skins).

Performance is calculated from two benchmarking packages that test each browser for speed and compliance with web standards. Our tester also evaluates how efficiently each browser uses memory.

  • Speed is based on the Peacekeeper (service.futuremark.com/peacekeeper) benchmark that measures browser performance by testing a range of browser rendering features, including JavaScript. A higher Peacekeeper score means faster and smoother web browsing.
  • Compliance is important to ensure web pages display correctly. The Acid3 (www.webstandards.org/acid3) test is used to see how a browser complies with current web standards.
  • Memory is a test of each browser’s memory usage by first launching the browser and recording the amount of RAM used by default, then loading 10 different pre-selected websites each in a seperate tab to simulate a heavier load. Heavier memory usage can impact low-memory systems, such as netbooks and some laptops. This result doesn’t contribute to the overall score.
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