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Which web browser is best?

We compare six leading browsers

Apple Safari 5.1.2

Download from: Apple

Pros:

  • Solid security network
  • Mobile syncing is easy if you use an iOS device

Cons:

  • Plods through pages built with HTML 5 and Javascript

Safari is an adequate and fairly intuitive browser but you can do better, especially if your computer runs Windows. Safari didn’t score well on any of our speed benchmarks and though its security has always been top-notch, organising Safari can be troublesome, especially if you’re not already using iCloud, Apple’s cloud-storage service replacement for MobileMe.

Safari at least has solid security features and Apple has long been a proponent of default pop-up blocking, which dramatically improves any browsing experience. Similar to most other browsers these days, Safari lets you open a private browsing window so that you can block all cookies and essentially search the Web unseen with the click of a button; just go to Settings and select Private Browsing.

Safari 5.1.2

Since Apple’s browser comes preloaded on all Macs and iOS products, synching browser settings can be quite easy with iCloud if you have an iPhone. With Apple’s new Lion OS, the latest version of Safari has a number of new security tools and more options for reading on the Web. Another safety measure is browser sandboxing, so websites bearing malicious code never have access to your computer system. Unfortunately, this is a feature of Safari on Mac OS X Lion, not the Windows version.

Worse still, Safari was the poorest browser in our HTML 5 testing and it came in next-to-last in our Javascript test. Safari loaded our static, graphics-heavy page in 4.61 seconds, placing it fourth after Chrome, Opera, and RockMelt.

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