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The Renewal of the Browser Wars

By Hector Cisneros
Courtesy of flickr.com/



You may be asking yourself, what's so important about which browser I use? It's immensely important! The problem is that most internet users don't pay much attention to which browser they are using, they just use whatever browser comes with the device they own. In 2012, I wrote an article called; "Battle of the Browsers - Internet Dominance and Why Your Choice Matters!" Well today, it matters even more than ever before. Giant Internet companies affect more influence today than the analog TV industry did 20 years ago. More people rely on blogs today for their news, and Internet TV is taking over where analog TV left off. The main difference is that digital Internet giants can track everything a viewer sees and they can decide what content is then offered up as interesting to the user.  

This also means that they can directly influence all purchases, our beliefs, and our political opinions as well. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will discuss the importance of choosing a browser that has your best interest at heart.  We will look at browser performance, privacy, security and most important of all, the integrity of the results provided for any given search. So get ready for battle as we explore the Renewal of the Browser Wars now taking place on a digital device near you.





It's Important - As I mentioned in my opening paragraph, we have explored the importance of which browser is dominant on the World Wide Web. Along with the article I mentioned earlier, we followed up with a second article a few years later called; "Browser Wars – Then and Now".  It showcased how this was not a one-time event. The first war was between Netscape and Microsoft. The second war was between Microsoft (Internet Explorer) and Google (Chrome). Today Google Chrome is the dominant browser and it is facing attacks from many fronts. There are dozens of browsers on the market, especially those using  Android platforms. Your choice of browser directly affects how you access, use and see the web. The browser you use determines your search results and it can directly affect how you make buying decisions, see the news and make political choices on a daily basis. Check out the YouTube video below called; "BROWSER WARS: the True Story of the Internet; a Documentary" It covers the history of the prior browser wars fairly well.





I also recommend reading "The History of the Browser Wars: When Netscape Met Microsoft - The ..." and watching the TV mini-series called; "Valley of the Boom from National Geographics (here the Trailer) and the YouTube video called: "Microsoft Vs. Netscape: A History of the early Internet Browser Wars" for more background information and details.


This article mainly discusses the top 5 players who are duking it out
Courtesy of flickr.com/
today. These include Chrome, FireFox, Opera, Edge, and IE. However, it is important to note that there are many good, secure browsers on the market worth
mentioning. SafariComodo DragonBrave, VivaldiTor, and many others. Many Apple ecosystem users use Safari since it comes with any Apple computing devices and there are thousands if not millions of internet users who support the other above mentioned browsers. In fact, if you're looking for high-end security, many Linux users swear by the Tor system. I highly recommend you check out every alternative browser listed here and find out what each has to offer. I also recommend that you always keep a couple second-tier browsers installed on your computing device to use as a backup in case your primary browser gets compromised or stops working.

Latest on the Subject - If you do a search on the browser wars for 2019, you will find a slew of articles talking about the browser wars as they stand today. Most of them focus on performance showing statistics on speed, resource usage, etc... Many of these articles also mention security and privacy, but few go into much detail on these subjects. Here is a list of articles that I recommend reading to make sure you get a good overview. 

  1. The Best Browsers for 2019: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and More Tested ...
    Courtesy of Pixabay
  2. Edge goes Chromium, and open source wins the browser wars | ZDNet
  3. Microsoft vs. Google: This browser war isn't about privacy | ZDNet
  4. Browser Wars: If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em | Insight for the ...
  5. The Browser Wars Are Over Again | McSolo
  6. The best browser 2019 | TechRadar
  7. The best browsers for privacy

Bench Marks and Stats - I have used and evaluated all of the browsers in this article. I always keep at least three if not four installed browsers on my digital devices because I know it not a matter of if but when a browser fails. It's important to be able to access the internet even if my first choice of browser stops working. I looked up several tests from the current articles I read and found that all of the articles had close results. When you look at the benchmark performance of the top browsers, you will find that Microsoft's Edge browser came out on top. If you're talking about loading HTML pages, both Chrome and Opera had equally fast load times. When it comes to loading and executing JAVA scripts, Firefox came out on top with Chrome a close second. However, my own personal "page load speed test" did not show Microsoft Edge to be the fastest.  In my tests, Chrome was significantly faster. My test showed that Chrome is still the fastest Browser and that Firefox was a close second, Edge was third. 

Having said that, the difference between browser speeds is often only a few seconds at most. In many cases, your internet connection speed and the number of users on your local router has a greater effect on performance than the browser itself. 
Courtesy of Wikimedia.org

On the resource usage front, Firefox is the clear winner in the listed tests followed by Opera, Vivaldi, and Chrome, with Edge using the most resources in the test. I can verify this to be true. I have found Chrome to be a memory hog as well, primarily because every open page and active plugin used seems to spawn another iteration of Chrome in memory. Although Firefox is a bit slower, it does not use as much memory as the other browsers.

It's All About Privacy and Security - For me, the most important differences between browsers has more to do with privacy, security and the ability to trust the search results than speed or resource usage. Opera is the most secure of the top browsers, offering a built-in VPN service. In my opinion, Opera and Firefox offer better privacy capabilities than the others in the performance test. Having said that, it is worthwhile looking at the Brave browser. It offers a wide variety of privacy features and can be customized to any individual's needs. I also like both Firefox and Opera as well and encourage all of my readers to try these options for your self.

Today's browser war is more important than ever. It's no longer just about how fast your browser is or how much resources it uses, it's about privacy, security, and integrity. For the last 10 years, the amount of consumer tracking taking place on the internet has grown to epic proportions. A browser can gather what seems like an unlimited amount of usage information. This includes where you visit, what items you clicked on, what pages you read, what items you highlighted, what you have downloaded and what you have purchased. This information is then used to filter and then serve up content that is determined by the internet media giants. It also allows them to sell your information which then, in turn, allows vendors to target you as a consumer with ads and offers designed to capture your attention whether you want to buy anything or not. This is true for many of the search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing and social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Many of the new generations of browsers allow you to block ads and pop-ups, but you should expect more. You should expect the browser to offer some level of security as well.
Courtesy of flickr.com

Make yourself Heard - Demand real privacy for your incognito tabs and pages. Use a VPN and set your privacy setting on the highest level you can tolerate. The number of security breaches, hacks, and ID theft occurrences will continue to climb if the general public does not adopt a security-first mindset. 

The Internet media giants can go a long way in acquiring our trust and loyalty by providing us products to make our browsing experience more private and secure. I ask that you also tell your congressman and senator to pass legislation that forces vendors like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Facebook to be more transparent with the data they are allowed to collect without your obvious permission. They should not be allowed to hide their intention in EULA's (End User License Agreements) with obfuscating language and ungodly page lengths. Most users are already wary of using the internet because of the constant barrage of news articles talking about the massive breaches that seem to occur almost daily. As a marketing company, we believe that internet commerce will grow and thrive with greater security and privacy. 

Full Transparency Needed - Also, we believe that the Internet media giants need to do everything in their power to be transparent with respect to how search results are provided. Providing skewed search results in favor of a product, service, news article or political candidate is unethical if the search company is professing that it provides unbiased results. I have no problem with someone paying for placement in search, but this has to be a transparent process otherwise we give the Internet media giants too much power and influence over our daily lives. 

If you want to enjoy a free society, we as a people need to make sure the Internet provides us with a safe, secure and private experience. We also need to be able to trust the results we receive for any given search with confidence that what we have received is based not on paid algorithms or ideological bias. We want transparency and integrity to be a major part of the internet experience for all. 

That's my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.

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This article discusses the importance of choosing the right browser for your needs. It highlights the continuation of the browser wars and how browsers affect your privacy, security and how ads track your browsing on the web. Lastly, this article also provides a link to our BlogTalkRadio show that goes with this article.


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Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also the co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success” and the co-author along with his business partner Carl Weiss of their hit book also called “Working the Web to Win.”


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