Web Browsers

On this page, I'll share my opinions of the various different Web browsers which I use and/or have used.

Google Chrome - It's honestly quite depressing that this is the "standard" Web browser nowadays. I've seen some people compare Chrome right now to IE in its heyday, but I think the big difference there is that IE didn't send every link you click or every key you press back to Microsoft. I started using it around 2015, when I got my first netbook, and the first straw for me was when they changed the tab design to the more square type, which really offended middle school me.

I took a break for a while and then started using it again around 2019/20, but then stopped using it once and for all years ago when it stopped syncing right, and now, since the privacy issues are becoming more and more publicized, I'm never going back. It wasn't that good anyways; it was basically just a piece of crap, that was somehow both bloated and overly minimalistic, masquerading as a good browser. Good riddance!

Microsoft Edge - After I stopped using Chrome, I switched to this, and at first it was pretty good, especially since I trust Microsoft at least a little more than I trust Google, and it's compatibly with Chrome extensions and Chrome-only sites (Google Chrome is the standard browser. Resistance is futile.) without actually being Chrome. However, I eventually started disliking the interface, as it's somehow even clunkier than Chrome's (mostly because everything is big and blocky, like it was made for a Surface running Windows 8 and no other device whatsoever), and the sync stopped properly working.

I'm also kind of concerned about the privacy nowadays, since I realized how terrible Windows 10 and 11 are with privacy and how Microsoft probably wouldn't restrain themselves with Edge. On the upside, at least the surf game is cool! It's a lot brighter than Chrome's dino game. But of course, you can play a stripped-down version on the Net, so you don't even need Edge for that.

Mozilla Firefox - This was my go-to browser for a while, back in 2016-18 or so, back when the tabs were nice and curved. I always really loved that interface, and whilst I appreciated the speed improvements, Firefox Quantum getting rid of that made me like it less. (Looking back, the removal of XUL extensions also really sucked!) I feel like over the past few years, it's turned into a Chrome imitation, just with less spyware, and it's honestly sad to see.

Also, whilst the Quantum theme wasn't too bad--at least still pretty decent--this new Photon theme really sucks. Seriously, why are the tabs just floating there? I wish Firefox would bring back the older interface and XUL extensions, and then I'd seriously consider switching, though I realize that those two things happening are very unlikely. Also, what the heck is with their new icon? They got rid of the fox's freaking arms! Minimalism has gone too far. Bring back the fox's arms and face!

Apple Safari - I used to be a Safari devotee for a while around 2020, but of course that, like every other big browser I liked to use, got messed up. I especially dislike the redesign that they added around OS X Big Sur. Seriously, people, what's with all the white space? Are you trying to make our eyes bleed to death? Also, that feature they almost forced with the tabs in the address bar would've been horrid.

But the big thing that made me stop using it back in 2020 was the fact that on my iMac, for whatever reason, it would only keep me logged in to five or so sites at one time, and I was a social media junkie back then, so that wouldn't do. Anyways, these days I only use it for YouTube, since it has the native Mac picture-in-picture rather than the built-in one with other browsers that doesn't work with fullscreen programmes.

Waterfox - Around 2018 or 2019, I found Waterfox, which was at the time a fork of older Firefox with the old extensions and theme and all, and immediately became enamoured. Its main focus was privacy, but I couldn't've cared less. I ended switching away for some reason or other, maybe because they switched to having it based off of newer versions of Firefox? I'm not sure; all I know is that eventually I stopped using it except for the occasional Flash game, before Adobe stupidly discontinued Flash. But I digress.

Looking back, apparently, for their third and fourth generations, Waterfox had a theme based off of old Firefox whilst still having it be based off of modern Firefox, but then got rid of that relatively recently, which sucks.

Opera - I've never really used this as my main browser, but for a good while it was my go-to browser for Flash games, before our good friend Adobe put an end to that. I have a very specific memory of the winter of 2019 or 2020, when I was playing Super Mario 63 in Opera and a tree fell on our roof. Anyways, I think that their Opera Neon browser is a rather interesting concept, but not really all that good for everyday use, and other than that, I don't really care much about or for Opera.

Microsoft Internet Explorer - Honestly, not as bad as everybody always said it was. Whilst IE6 wasn't the best, and IE4's weird integration with Windows 98 definitely wasn't the best, IE7 and later started to catch up and add nice new features, and I think IE9's interface (before they got rid of the gradients) was really nice and decluttered, whilst not being overly minimalist. I also liked that they had the option to have the tabs under the address bar. Overall, it wasn't the best, but the last few versions were pretty good, despite everybody's insistence otherwise, and it's sure as heck a lot better than Edge.

Pale Moon/White Star - Of all the browsers I've used in my life, Pale Moon (and the Mac version, White Star) has probably my favourite UI. This, however, comes at the expense of it being laggy, since it's based off of old code not made for the modern Web, although the development team, which, by-the-by, is apparently falling apart at the seams (?), have tried their best. Also, if you ever comment about it on the Firefox subreddit, don't listen to the automoderator whining about how it's sooo insecure. If you surf the Net cautiously and don't visit any shady Web-sites, you'll almost definitely be just fine and dandy, even if you're using IE8 on Windows XP. (Assuming sites even still support it? I've tried to load my site on it, but it didn't work, I believe because its SSL is out of date so https doesn't work. But I digress.)

Vivaldi - Of the modern browsers I've tried recently, it's the one with the most customization and the one whose interface looks least like it an ugly over-minimalist abomination that was made for an iPad and shoddily backported onto a real computer. In contrast, I generally actually like its interface! I also appreciate its focus on privacy, and it's much speedier for me than either Chrome or Edge.

Seamonkey - This is actually a suite, and basically the grandchild of the Netscape suite through the Mozilla suite. I actually quite like the old-fashioned interface (especially the throbber), and it seems to be significantly speedier than Pale Moon or Waterfox. So in the end, this is going my back-up browser, and Edge will be my last resort.

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