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What's the best web browser for Macs?

We find out which web browser is the best for Macs

"What's the best web browser for Macs?" is one of the most important questions that Apple PC owners should be asking. So here we put the the four biggest Mac web browsers (Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera) to the test.

Web browsers may be the programs that are used the most on Macs these days. But for some reason a lot of people don't choose their web browser with the same care they would for a piece of photo-editing software or pretty much any piece of hardware they buy. So given how much people use web browsers these days, we've made it our task to put the big four to the test and find out what's the best web browser for Macs?

We can't tell you what browser has the best layout, or which browser looks the prettiest, as this is largely down to personal preference - and most browsers can now be tailored to a style that suits you.

However, what we can and will do, is thoroughly benchmark each of the big four browsers available for Macs to, find out what web browser is the fastest and most competent... and therefore "the best".

Let's talk methodology. There are tons of web browser benchmark tests out there, and to run every available Mac web browser through each benchmark website would be impractical. So, what have done here instead is test Safari, Firefox, Chrome and Opera on two major benchmarking websites. These benchmarks are Peacekeeper and SunSpider. We have also performed our own launch test to see which Mac web browser starts up the quickest. S

We ran each test at three times and then worked out the average from the results to ensure we got accurate benchmarks for each web browser, so we can now say once and for all what the best web browser for Mac actually is.

Note: All tests were performed under the same conditions, with only the web browser in question running on the Mac at the time of testing.

What's the best web browser for Macs: Peacekeeper benchmark

The first benchmarking website we used was Peacekeeper. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Peacekeeper here's what the test is all about in the company who designed its own words "Peacekeeper measures your browser's performance by testing its JavaScript functionality. JavaScript is a widely used programming language used in the creation of modern websites to provide features such as animation, navigation, forms and other common requirements. By measuring a browser's ability to handle commonly used JavaScript functions Peacekeeper can evaluate its performance." Here are the results:

What's the best web browser for Macs

What's the best web browser for Macs: SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark

Next up is the popular browser benchmarking website SunSpider. The SunSpider benchmark tests the JaveScript language only, so if this is particularly important to your web browsing preferences, this is the test you should pay attention to the most. Here are each of the web browsers results:

best web browser for Macs

What's the best web browser for Macs: Startup times

Here we tested the startup times of each of the four best web browsers for Macs. The test was simple enough, we set www.google.com as the homepage of each of the web browsers, disabled all add-ons and extensions, quit all other programs running on our Mac and then timed how fast each web browser took to start up. We did this three times for each program and then worked out the average. Here's the results:

best mac web browser

What's the best web browser for Macs: Personal experience

I have all four of these web browsers installed on my Mac, and my personal experience echoes the benchmarking results. Chrome is certainly the quickest and most stress-free to use, however its quickness is sometimes let down by it unreliability. If you start using Chrome, then you better be prepared for it to crash from time to time. That said, more often than not, Chrome will just restart and you can pick up where you left off. I also find Chrome is best at loading the more sizable webpages.

Results:

1. Google Chrome

2. Mozilla Firefox

3. Opera

4. Safari

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