1 2 Previous Next 19 Replies Latest reply: Dec 13, 2010 9:31 AM by Allan Eckert
AppleNewbie01 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Recently purchased my Mac and am wondering what others use for a browser.

I know the main options are Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.

Which do you use and why? Just trying to get a sense of what is best.

Right now I use Safari, since that is the default and I assume it is well integrated with the overall Mac OS X system.
  • 1. Re: Best browser for Mac OS X?
    baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (60,125 points)
    It's the only one I use. Don't have any reason to try any others. Just my 2¢. BTW, there's no "best".
  • 2. Re: Best browser for Mac OS X?
    nachdenki Level 3 Level 3 (625 points)
    safari is well integrated and pretty good, but it's just missing some basic features for my use. for example you can't search by just typing into the URL bar, you always have to use the search field.
    secondly, there are no quick searches. in firefox or chrome you can set up keyword for searches. so when I want to search wikipedia I only type "wiki searchword" in the adress bar. safari can't do that.
    good thing about safari: you can search it's history via spotlight, sync bookmarks over to iDevices, it uses the system keychain to store passwords, ...

    I personally use chrome now. It's not perfect, but does the things I need to do pretty well.
  • 3. Re: Best browser for Mac OS X?
    snkhan Level 3 Level 3 (665 points)
    I use Safari with [Glims|http://www.machangout.com>, [AdBlocker|http://www.sweetpproductions.com/safariadblocker/index.htm],[Cookie Manager|http://www.sweetpproductions.com/safaricookies/index.htm] and [Click To Flash|http://clicktoflash.com> and it works brilliantly.

    @nachdenki - Install Glims - it will do what you want and so much more!
  • 4. Re: Best browser for Mac OS X?
    Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (65,545 points)
    If you are using plugins with Safari you should keep a careful note of what you have and remove them before attempting an upgrade, after which you can put them back individually and check that they work. Every time there is an upgrade there is a rash of complaints that Safari no longer works, and 99% of the time it turns out that one or another plugin isn't compatible with the upgraded version.

    Chrome has a lot going for it, not least that each tab is a separate process, so that if a page crashes it doesn't bring the whole browser down with it. It has the irritating habit when opening a link in a new tab of not bringing it to the front but there is an extension to get round that. My main beef is the absence of a title bar - the window title appears in the tab, and these get truncated.
  • 5. Re: Best browser for Mac OS X?
    sig Level 8 Level 8 (35,770 points)
    Safari is the best of the best of the best!
  • 6. Re: Best browser for Mac OS X?
    Tuttle Level 7 Level 7 (29,035 points)
    It really depends on what you want out of a browser. If you're a Web developer, you may want to use Firefox because it has the most tools and add-ons. The many thousands of available add-ons also make for a very robust browsing experience for people who spend a lot of time doing a lot of things on the internet. Updates to add-ons are announced within the browser as soon as they become available, so things tend to work all of the time.

    Chrome is going to be a great browser. It is fast, nice to look at, has great features and has a growing extensions library. It also runs on WebKit which is the engine that powers Safari. Excellent with RAM usage.

    Safari is the best for fast, vanilla (well, chocolate chip) Web browsing. Very few features, slim pickings with add-ons and extensions. Simple and crisp.

    Opera is truly the Mercedes-Benz of browsers. Way too many features for most people, very complicated to learn and use to the fullest extent. It does weird things to markup, CSS and Javascript sometimes, but if you can get it going, is a pleasure to drive.

    One last thing to consider: Firefox and Safari are notorious consumers of RAM. If you have a lot of RAM, this won't be a problem, but for extended sessions with default RAM packages on the Mac, you may find yourself needing to quit and restart your browser several times a day. I don't use Safari very much, so not very familiar with its features, but Firefox, at least, has a Restart Firefox item in the File menu, which clears the memory it's been using and re-opens all tabs and windows automatically. A clumsy workaround, but at least it's available.

    My suggestion is to give all of these browsers a go and see what you feel comfortable with, keeping in mind that default installations in all of them can be customized and added onto.

    Note: Firefox 4 is now at beta 6. It's really amazing, but of course, there are still a few glitches. Definitely worth looking at. If you install it alongside a Firefox 3.6.10 (latest release) version, make sure you keep the two versions in different locations inside your Applications folder so that the earlier version isn't over-written.
  • 7. Re: Best browser for Mac OS X?
    Tom in London Level 4 Level 4 (1,585 points)
    I used Firefox for a while but got tired of waiting about 30 seconds for it to get started. Result: I had to just leave it running all the time which, as someone has said, eats RAM.

    Then I switched to Safari, which starts up very quickly and has greatly improved in recent times. I don't find most of the add-ons very relevant to the way I work, but one add-on I do find useful is "Close All Tabs".

    I have two complaints about Safari: 1. why will it not remember Google searches in history? It remembers everything else. 2. The "new tab" icon looks like my mother's laundry basket with a "plus" sign in it. What is that about?

    As for all those other browsers out there: I can't be bothered with them. Opera makes about as much sense to me as the flight deck of a 747. And as for Google Chrome: no thanks. When I want somebody spying on everything I do, I'll call Mossad.
  • 8. Re: Best browser for Mac OS X?
    Tuttle Level 7 Level 7 (29,035 points)
    If you have a Google account, you can manage how Google saves your Web history, or even if it does.

  • 9. Re: Best browser for Mac OS X?
    Tom in London Level 4 Level 4 (1,585 points)
    Doesn't work for me. I have Google set to save searches, but when I scroll down the history menu in Safari, all I get is "Google" and the blank Google search page. This is one BIG pita- because it means I have to repeat searches all the time.
  • 10. Re: Best browser for Mac OS X?
    Sandra Foster Level 4 Level 4 (1,460 points)
    Tuttle wrote:
    ... Firefox, at least, has a Restart Firefox item in the File menu, which clears the memory it's been using and re-opens all tabs and windows automatically. A clumsy workaround, but at least it's available.


    Tuttle, is that Restart Firefox item in version 3.6.10? I can't find it and am wondering if it's only in the beta version.
  • 11. Re: Best browser for Mac OS X?
    Tuttle Level 7 Level 7 (29,035 points)
    It's at the bottom of the File menu (up in the menubar) in 3.6.x. You can also use option-command-R.
  • 12. Re: Best browser for Mac OS X?
    Sandra Foster Level 4 Level 4 (1,460 points)
    How odd! It's definitely not there in my Firefox (3.6.10). Very strange.
  • 13. Re: Best browser for Mac OS X?
    Tuttle Level 7 Level 7 (29,035 points)
    I don't see it in my add-ons list, so maybe something else I have installed it, but here...

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/10749/
  • 14. Re: Best browser for Mac OS X?
    Sandra Foster Level 4 Level 4 (1,460 points)
    Thanks very much, Tuttle! That should work out nicely.
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