New names, new features shake up web browser marketplace

It all starts with browsers: If you want to surf the Internet, there is no way around them. While Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari are almost household names, Opera and Edge, the designated successor of the Internet Explorer, are only gradually achieving higher recognition.

Opera came out among the top performers in a recent browser test by German consumer rights organisation Stiftung Warentest.

It is very fast, has a no-frills design and also manages to score in terms of security, the testers say.

The Opera founder has branched out by launching a new browser named Vivaldi. Both Opera and Vivaldi offer additional functions and extensive personalization options.

With few features and less intuitive handling options, the Internet Explorer has become increasingly outdated.

This is why Microsoft has higher hopes for its successor Edge. The design and operation is more clear-cut and more manageable.

“The biggest advantage of Edge is its set of security features,” Marcus Pritsch of Stiftung Warentest says. In terms of security and speed, the new browser surpasses Internet Explorer.

However, Edge only runs on Windows 10 and there also are many websites that aren’t compatible with the new Microsoft browser, which means some content won’t be displayed correctly, the expert says.

Google’s Chrome used to be notorious for collecting large amounts of data on your browsing history. But this has changed.

“If you don’t log into your Google account while using Chrome, it will not collect any more data about you than other browsers do,” says product tester Pritsch.

The so-called Chromium software serves as the open-source foundation of the browser. The German Office for Information Security (BSI) regards Chromium-based browsers as the most mature security solutions. Both Opera and Vivaldi are also based on the technology.

Chrome uses a “sandbox” technique to isolate any malicious software before it can infect your computer. “Sandbox technology offers good protection from malicious software,” explains Tim Griese of the BSI. -DPA