App review hysterics come and go but a headline caught my eye recently so I decided to give an old app a new try. Firefox. More specifically, Firefox Quantum. The headline called the new Firefox the fastest browser. Uh huh. They’re all fast.
Well, as it turns out, Firefox Quantum is fast; visually faster; so fast you can see it faster than Safari or Chrome. Thanks to Googles insistence upon tracking its users all the way to hell and heaven (the company probably knows where you’re going anyway) I’ve been looking around for a new #2 browser.
Firefox is good. It’s fast. It can block ads. It can sync between devices. It’s free. What’s not to like? Well, this little venture to check out a faster Mac browser got me to looking around at other browsers and some of the new ones are pretty good. Good enough to beat Safari and Firefox?
To be fair, Vivaldi looks and works much like Firefox or Chrome or Opera. It has themes. There’s a colorful page of browsing activity complete with charts and graphs so you can see where you browsed.
Vivaldi has an option to write notes, add a screenshot, and more browser customization options than I’ve seen since watching Mosaic crawl across my computer screen at school a few decades ago. Tabs, tiles, and themes, oh my! It has all the basics and more, including a good bookmark system (RSS is better), plenty of keyboard shortcuts and it, too, is very fast. Vivaldi scores higher on the HTML5 Test site than Safari or Firefox.
In between the feature packed Vivaldi and the minimalist Min is Brave. It’s a Brave new browser whose claim to fame is a new paradigm on how to brows. The browser looks and feels like a mashup of Safari and Firefox but without the plethora of features. Instead, Brave charts new territory by building in ad blockers, script blockers, cookie blockers, and even tracks how many of each you run into while browsing.
One click to the Brave icon in the toolbar and all the security you could ever want– sans a built-in VPN– is available, including an option to force an HTTPS connection if available.
What’s different about Brave is the option to use BAT. Basic Attention Token. It’s a way to help pay websites while you block their ads.
[BAT] is a utility token based on the Ethereum technology that can also be used as a unit of account between advertisers, publishers, and users in a new, blockchain-based digital advertising and services platform. The token is not a digital currency, security or a commodity.
I like the idea and if implemented across enough websites with enough Brave users could help stem the tide of advertising dollars lost due to ad blockers.
From what I can tell with a look through TeraTalks’ website logs, the most used browser to my site is Safari, followed by Chrome, then Firefox. After that, it’s a free for all for the last 5-percent spread between Opera, Vivaldi, Brave and many others.