What is the Fastest Web Browser?

While Chrome and Firefox may still feel new, each browser made its debut more than a decade ago. In the meantime, a new generation of browsers has emerged. Are Chrome and Firefox outdated? What do new entrants like Brave offer that the old ones don’t? Which one is the fastest web browser?

We’ll look at the fastest web browser in this article, and we’ll also discuss some of the factors that affect browser speed.

What makes a web browser fast?

No one likes to click on a web page and wait. We want our browsers to load pages quickly, download, and stream videos instantaneously. Actually, we don’t really want to even have to think about a slow or fast browser.

If you DO think about what makes a web browser fast, you have to start with the external factors. Obviously Internet bandwidth, computer processing speed, and the platform itself can make a material difference between a fast browsing experience and a slow one. But when most people talk about a fast web browser, they’re assuming that those things are roughly equal.

So what factors, within the browser itself, affect speed? There are any number of them, but at least two big ones that are worth looking at.

Layout or browser engine

Every browser uses a different engine. Now, like a car company, some browsers might share an engine: Chromium-based browsers like Brave all share the Blink browser engine. Mozilla uses Gecko, all iOS browsers use Webkit. These engines drive the browser through the web page - they determine how and in what order the different elements of the page are processed.

How does that affect speed? Well, different engines will have a different loading order, so you’ll notice particular elements of the page loading at different speeds and times on different browsers. If you dive a bit deeper into the technical details, you will notice that some browsers handle particular elements better than others. Combine those two, and you’ve got significant differences between how browsers load a web page.

Javascript engine

Javascript determines a user’s interactions with the web page. Fill in a form or click a button, and Javascript jumps into action. Every browser uses a Javascript engine to handle these actions. Of course, not every browser was founded by the same person who created Javascript, Brendan Eich; Brave was.

Brave, and the other Chromium browsers, use the V8 Javascript engine.

Most of the popular browsers share their underlying code. Google Chrome, Brave, Microsoft Edge, and Opera are all based on the open-source Chromium language. Given that shared source code, you can expect broad similarities in performance. However, it’s the details of each browser that make the difference.

Test results

When it comes to fast browsing speeds, Brave more than holds its own. Advertising, trackers, and other material take time and data to download and even more time to run. When Brave’s Shields block those processes, Brave actually executes less code on a given website. As a result, sites load more quickly. The increased speed is even more noticeable for slower connections, where every bit counts, or on older systems with fewer resources to go around.

Reviews bear this out, giving Brave an edge over Google Chrome even though both browsers are based on the Chromium code. Brave’s Shields do their job by protecting users and speeding things up: the seconds not spent loading ads and trackers are seconds saved.

Brave - Estimated Time Saved

One of Brave’s unique features is the Estimated Time Saved tracker. Every time you open a new tab, you’ll be able to see an ongoing analysis of browsing time you’ve saved by using Brave. It’s a quick and easy way to see how fast the Brave browser is.

Brave’s browser speed derives from its radically different approach to Internet privacy. Because Brave blocks 3rd-party ads and trackers, it streamlines the website loading process. There are two major benefits here that result in a faster user experience.

  • Reduced bandwidth use Brave cuts out 3rd-party ads and trackers, so it doesn’t need to load those elements. Fewer elements to load mean reduced bandwidth required. And reduced bandwidth means that the overall experience feels quicker.

  • Reduced Javascript CPU use

Javascript runs automatically while you view a web page. Brave doesn’t cut those processes out, but it executes less of them thanks to Shields.

Together, these two factors determine how Brave calculates its Estimated Time Saved.

Fastest web browser for Windows 7 (and later)

Given their shared Chromium code, it’s no surprise that Chrome and Edge, two of the most popular browsers for Windows, score roughly similar marks. This isn’t to say that there’s no difference between them, only that the differences are slight.

How do you choose the fastest web browser for Windows, given that there’s no clear winner? It can be helpful to use the following tips:

  • Use a next-generation browser.

This means the newest builds of Edge or Mozilla, or better yet a browser like Brave that shields you from unwanted ads - the latest and most advanced Internet browsers.

  • Balance speed and privacy.

Speed isn't the only important factor in the browser world. Security and privacy issues are becoming increasingly important, so be sure to examine both when choosing a new browser. Brave compares well to other browsers in speed, but with increased security measures and a privacy-first approach.

  • Choose features that fit you.

Different browsers have different personalities, little things that each one does better. Brave offers a radically different approach to the Internet economy and gives users a chance to opt-in to ads to earn Basic Attention Tokens (BAT). Google Chrome provides the smoothest integration with Google Drive and Docs. Each browser does its own thing, and the newest versions do them well. Choose what suits you best - and if you like earning rewards while also being in control of your own data, choose Brave!

Fastest web browser for Mac and iOS

Safari is the default option for all Apple products. But Brave, Chrome, Edge, and Opera all work on Mac and iOS, and with Apple’s recent announcement that iPhone and iPad users will soon be able to change the default browser, it’s worth considering a faster alternative to Safari.

Brave offers advanced security features that Safari lacks. If you want something that prioritizes your privacy and provides an extra jolt of surfing speed, consider adding the Brave browser to your Mac - the powerful, secure, and speedy alternative to Safari.

How to improve browser speeds

Is there any way to improve browsing speed within your browser itself? You probably notice an improvement if you upgrade your Internet bandwidth and invest in a new computer, but how can you improve your speeds solely through your browser?

1. Clean up your browser

Some online housekeeping can go a long way in making your browser faster. Reduce the number of tabs open on your browser to reduce the load, especially resource-heavy tabs like streaming sites or YouTube.

2. Remove extensions

Extensions are immensely popular, useful software add-ons for your Internet browser. Brave is compatible with most extensions for Google Chrome, and you can find extensions on the Chrome web store.

Used correctly, extensions are immensely helpful: they can store passwords, automate tasks, and improve your browsing experience. However, it’s worth remembering that every extension you add is an extra bit of work your browser needs to do. Add too many extensions, and you’ll start to notice a significant decrease in your browser speed.

If you want the fastest browsing experience possible, remove any old extensions and be careful which ones you add. You can read here to find out more info.

3. Install a next-generation browser

It’s no surprise that, in general, the fastest browsers are the newest ones; so if you’re looking for the fastest web browser, install a next-generation browser like Brave. Any of the new browsers, like Brave, Chrome, Mozilla, or Edge, will be significantly faster than older browsers like Internet Explorer. If you’ve been using the same browser for years, be sure to update to the latest version.

Certain browsers, like Brave, reduce the need to install extra extensions. With Brave, blocking trackers isn’t an after-market add-on, but is seamlessly integrated into the protection of the Brave Shields feature.

Speed and security - the Brave browser

Brave’s speed comes from the increased privacy and security it offers. On actual websites, Brave’s Shields make the web 3x to 6x faster. It’s the combination of faster browsing and increased security that makes Brave such an appealing choice. Shields that block trackers and creepy Internet things, and the ability to earn BAT simply by watching opt-in ads: all of these make Brave one of the safest and fastest Internet browsers available today.

Download Brave and see the benefits for yourself!

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Brave is built by a team of privacy focused, performance oriented pioneers of the web. Help us fix browsing together.