The Best Web Browser of 2015

Web browsers are not born the same.

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The best browsers go beyond benchmarks, racing through real-world webpages as well as standard routines. Performing a few benchmarks at a browser just doesn’t cut it any more, browsers should be tested against a collection of live sites. To pick a winner, Google Chrome, Microsoft’s Edge and Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera were put to the test. 

The latest available versions of each browser were used, except for Firefox, which upgraded to Firefox 40 late during the time of testing. Some sites, like YouTube, have begun to transition to less CPU-intensive HTML5 streams. The reality though is that many websites still require flash for their websites, therefore the browser comparison tests where done with and without flash.

Google Chrome and Firefox Came Out Tops

The results of the comparison was based on the following benchmarks : Sunspider 1.0.2, Peacekeeper, Jet Stream, Octane 2.0, Speedometer, and WebXPRT. From our testing, Chrome and Firefox topped the Speedometer and WebXPRT tests, respectively. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Google was the fastest browser under the Google-authored Octane 2.0 benchmark. But Microsoft’s Edge led the pack in the Jet Stream benchmark—which includes the Sunspider tests, which Edge led as well. (For all of the benchmarks, a higher number is better; the one exception is Sunspider, which records its score in the time it took to run.)

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What’s surprising about Edge is that it led the pack in the Jet Stream benchmark, but fell way behind on Speedometer, only to record a quite reasonable score in WebXPRT. (Microsoft claims that Edge is faster than Chrome in the Google-authored Octane 2.0 benchmark as well, but our results don’t indicate that.)

Chrome flopped on the Sunspider test; the only test Firefox failed equally miserably in was the Oort Online benchmark, which draws a Minecraft-like landscape using the browser.

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What does all this mean? It doesn’t indicate a clear win for any specific browser, including Chrome. Based on the benchmark tests done, many of the browsers will handle the modern web just fine, however Chrome and Firefox are the most preferable browsers from the lot.

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