Over the past couple of weeks we have covered several well-known and popular web browsers on our site which all had their positive traits making them a desirable choice for certain user groups. We’ve talked about Opera and Vivaldi’s many customization options, about Edge’s speed and good performance and about the versatility of Firefox and IE 11. However, we have still not gone over what is currently the most popular and widely-used browser program out there – Google Chrome. Therefore, today’s browser review will be centered around this one web browser, outlining both its many positive sides as well as a number of problems that users might have with it. Even though pretty much everybody has already had the opportunity to use Chrome at a certain point and most people are familiar with it, no series of browser reviews would be full if there isn’t one about the biggest browsing program there currently is.
Google Chrome is a heavy-duty browser program that is famous for it’s wide array of different settings and customization options as well as for its versatility, speed and performance. It is considered by many to be the best browser there is and there’s certainly a lot of evidence to support such a claim. That said, however, users must bear in mind that Chrome is certainly not flawless which is the reason why many people still seem to go for other alternatives when it comes to choosing a web-browsing program. Regardless, there is no doubt that Google Chrome has been the most popular and most commonly used browser for quite some time and its constant evolution and improvement is what ensures that it remains on the top.
As you might expect from a modern browser, Chrome supports tabs and following the current trend among browsing programs, the Interface of Chrome is minimalistic and clean. Similarly to IE 11 and Edge, Chrome too has its search and address bars combined which is normally seen as useful, but one must bear in mind that it reduces the privacy that the browser provides as anything typed in the Omnibox (the address+search box) gets sent to the Google servers even if you haven’t hit Enter to issue the search.
Chrome’s new tab page is similar to that of Firefox as it has a search engine bar and tiles with recently visited sites. The customization of the new tab page isn’t anything amazing as there are browsers such as IE11 and Opera that offer much more in that department. Still, it can be useful and you can always change the new tab page to something else from the browser’s settings.
Chrome handles tabs well, however, there is something that we do not like about this browser’s tabs and it becomes apparent once the users has opened a lot of them. If you open many enough tabs in Chrome, you will no longer e able to tell them apart at the top of your screen as the only thing you will see from each tab would be a tiny triangle-like shape with no website icon or title. Firefox and Opera handle this aspect of tabs in a much better way as Firefox simply hides excess tabs leaving enough space for the visible ones and allows the user to access the hidden ones by clicking on an arrow, whereas Opera always shows the icon of the website on each tab regardless of how many are opened at once.
Chrome has pretty much always been one of the fastest browsers out there and still offers satisfying performance. However, it is no longer the fastest one as there are other, lighter browsing programs that outmatch Chrome in terms of speed. One other thing we should mention here when it comes to performance is that Chrome is one of the most demanding browsers. It is infamous for it’s high RAM consumption and if you are using it on your laptop that is working on a battery, you will also notice that the battery would get drained much faster than it would if you are using some other browser. Chrome might be a lot of things but being a lightweight browser isn’t one of them. To use it effectively, you’d better have a computer with enough RAM and, if you are a laptop user, a good, strong battery. Otherwise, there are other good web browsers out there that aren’t as power-hungry as Chrome is.
Chrome indeed has a lot to offer in terms of versatility and customization. Chrome’s web store offers a rich library of all sorts of extensions and add-ons to boost the functionality of your browser and the extensive settings that the program provides can help you modify it so that it suits your needs. However, when it comes to ways you can tweak your browser, there are other alternatives that have more to offer such as Opera and Vivaldi. That said, you can hardly find greater variety of of options for expanding your browser via add-ons, which might also be a problem in Chrome. There are many instances of not so desirable or not so safe extensions which could lead to a number of issues so one must always be careful what they are installing on Chrome. Also, a lot of add-ins require access to different aspects of your browser and oftentimes tend to collect personal data which is the reason why Google Chrome isn’t the most privacy-oriented web-browsing application.
There are a lot of neat features that Chrome has to offer – it has a built-in Flash and also supports PDF so it can be effectively use as a reader so you might not even need to download and install a dedicated reader program. It should also be noted that the browser was one of the first to provide its own Task Manager (separate from the Task Manager of Windows) to help the user monitor the activity of the program.
On the other hand, Google Chrome lacks certain rather common features that other browsers posses such as reading mode or integrated social sharing which is no big deal but would still be useful to have it.
A positive trait of this browser is that is has a very good syncing and installing it and switching to it is very easy and happens in about a minute.
Security and privacy
In terms of security, Chrome is considered to be one of the more secure browsers – it receives frequent updates and has very high-level support. However, when it comes to privacy, many users and researchers frequently point out that Chrome isn’t concerned with the privacy of its customers and oftentimes violates the user’s personal space. Web-site tracking, collecting of information, extensions that require way too many permissions, etc. This has lead to a lot of people leaving Chrome for more privacy-oriented alternatives and there indeed are a lot of other good browsing programs that allow for a much more private web experience.
Google Chrome is still one of the best browsers out there and is a solid tool for exploring the internet and helping with your work. You will hardly find anything that other browsers can do that Chrome cannot (with a few exceptions). It is a versatile program that gets innovations introduced on a regular basis. There is even a version of Chrome that allows users to experience beta changes to the program that are still not officially introduced.
However, as was said in the beginning of the article, there are several things that certain users might find unpleasant about Chrome such as the high RAM and battery use or the low privacy levels that it offers. Still, there is no doubt that it is a good program that can gets the job done which is why it is still the most popular browser out there.