Most internet users are as loyal to their browser as they are to their bank, doctor, or their car insurer.
You have your favourites in one place, your browser knows your (search) history, and, who really wants to enter all their passwords again just because there are different (not necessarily better), options out there?
Even though your browser of choice may have its quirks, it's often 'better the devil you know' and sticking to the same browser makes life just that little bit easier for you.
If this is you, you certainly aren't in the minority, but this could also be a mistake.
Internet browsers have come a long way since you started online searching, and the browser you once may have thought was a lost cause, might not be so anymore.
Here's a review of the internet browser options available to you, and my conclusion on which one is the best for everyday use.
Chrome is growing in popularity and there are a few very good reasons for that.
The biggest benefit of Chrome is its mobile integration. All platforms have access to the app, and by signing into your Google account you can have access to your browsing history and favourites on all your devices.
Apart from its convenience, Chrome has a large range of extensions so you can customise it to suit your own needs, it's fast, easy-to-use and gets the job done with minimum fuss.
Chrome does take up a fair bit of memory but, overall, unless you're using a device with a small amount of memory, it wins hands down for me.
Download Google Chrome here.
Edge is Window's most recent addition to the browsing family and is the default browser for all Windows 10 users.
Edge is super user-friendly, fast to load, it has an app that can be integrated with Window's 10 tablets, and it's a much sleeker version of its predecessor, Internet Explorer.
Edge is a bit plain for my liking. With limited customisation options, I don't feel I get the personal touch that I do with Chrome. The biggest downside is that it's not available on IOS or Android devices which means it can't command the same loyalty among users that Chrome can.
Those nit-picks aside, Edge offers a solid browsing experience and comes a close second for me.
Download Edge here.
Firefox sits somewhere in the middle for me. It's been around for a long time and it still regularly receives updates so it's handy to keep it running in the background. The search bar and URL boxes are still separated on the home page which makes it less streamlined than its newer counterparts.
Firefox lacks energy and can be slow to load but it still does what it says on the tin, just not as quickly or as elegantly as Chrome and Edge.
Download Mozilla Firefox here.
Opera is a great combination of Chrome and Firefox and the European browser provides a comparable browsing experience to Chrome.
It's fast and is less extension-based than Chrome with much of its functionality ingrained into its browser DNA.
Opera's biggest plus is it's ‘Turbo' feature which routes your traffic through its own servers. While someone with lightning fast WIFI might not notice much of a difference, if you're in a bad area for connection, this feature will make all the difference to your browsing experience.
I love the built-in ad-blocker feature in Opera and the fact that you can ‘stash' pages to return to later without having to sign up to a third-party account.
Overall, Opera is a good browser to have around but it gives me the most benefit if I'm working away from home and have to route through mobile data.
Download Opera here.
Vivaldi isn't my personal browser of the hour, but whether I'll be saying the same in a couple of years' time is still open for debate.
There's a lot of work to be done to make Vivaldi one of the bigger players in the game, but I think it has potential to get there.
Vivaldi's significant point of difference above the other browsers is that it's set-up process allows you to customise your browsing experience in a way that suits you. You can select whether you want your tabs and browser at the top or the side or your screen, and you can choose your own theme and colour scheme to make the experience completely unique to you.
While this is a positive for those who have individual access to their computers, the unique customisation option is a big downside for any families or colleagues who share computers. It can get confusing not knowing where anything is which can be a big turnoff. Vivaldi is currently only compatible with desktops which adds another restrictive element.
Personally, I found Vivaldi to be overwhelming as there are so many options on setup and I prefer to get straight in and do what I need to. While it's not my browser of choice at the moment, I can see that it has a lot of potential and it's definitely a ‘watch-this-spacer'.
Download Vivaldi here.
Last but not least, how can we forget our old friend Internet Explorer.
The original stalwart in the browser game is now up to version 11 and it's come full circle over recent years. Internet Explorer has stood its fair share of shaky ground against up-and-coming competitors but it's held its own and the most recent version release sees it stronger and more effective than ever.
It uses less memory than in previous versions and it's smarter and more powerful making it a good option for everyday browsing.
I still find Internet Explorer has difficulty with some add-ons so while it's always running in the background, there are still some of the same issues that make it a bit trickier to navigate.
It's impossible to say which is the best browser for you and it ultimately comes down to personal taste. Some offer better functionality than others but the best browser for you really depends on your browsing goals and which one you're most comfortable using.