All computers, smartphones, and tablets are configured with a default browser. This is the browser that opens automatically when you click or tap on a hyperlink.
Examples of Default Browsers
- Windows 10: Microsoft Edge
- Windows 8 and earlier: Microsoft Internet Explorer
- Apple macOS (for Mac computers) and iOS (for iPhones and iPads): Safari
- Android smart phones and tablets: Google Chrome
If you use several devices, like a laptop, a desktop, a smart phone and a tablet, you might find yourself using several different browsers. This can be confusing and adds an extra layer of difficulty to the very common activity of browsing the web. If you find yourself in this situation, consider using one browser across all of your devices. There are several advantages:
- Using one browser means you only have to remember how that one browser works, instead of learning and remembering how to use several different browsers.
- Most modern browsers allow you to sync your browsing history, bookmarks, and other account information across all of your devices. If you find a page or site on your computer that you’re interested in reading later, using browser sync features means you can open that page easily later on your smartphone.
The disadvantage of the single browser approach is that you have to configure all of your devices to use the same browser by default, which often means downloading new software and changing the default settings for each device. If you are using a company computer or smartphone, you might not even be able to do this. But if you can, and you’re willing to invest a little time and effort up front, using a single browser will save you a huge amount of time and mental energy down the road.
The Best Browsers for Multiple Devices
If you want to select a single browser to use on all your devices, there are really only two choices:
These are the best two choices because these two browsers run on all of the major computer operating systems:
They both also run on the major mobile operating systems, especially:
- Apple iOS
- Google Android
This way, if you select, say, Firefox, as your default browser, you know you can use it on pretty much any device you will encounter.
Which Browser Should You Use?
The best single browser option for most people is Google Chrome. If you are using an Android device, you are already using it as your default browser. Google Chrome also runs on Google’s confusingly named Chrome OS, which is especially useful if you use a ChromeBook.
If you are concerned about privacy, however, Mozilla Firefox is the best choice. Because Google’s business model depends on learning as much as possible about you and your web browsing habits, Google’s computers are constantly watching and recording where you go on the Internet. If this is troubling to you (and there are many reasons to be troubled by this) consider using Mozilla Firefox to protect your privacy.