Super UserWhat is your default web browser and why?
[+26] [58] Bruce McLeod
[2009-07-15 09:51:09]
[ browser favorites ]

Despite having multiple browsers installed (I am a software tester by trade), I always seem to keep the default browser that shipped with the operating system, Safari on the Mac or Internet Explorer on Windows.

Why did you choose your current browser, and what killer feature(s) would it take to make you switch to another browser?

Apparently there are 55 different "favorite" web browsers >.< - Nippysaurus
@Nippysaurus: Not exactly. There are, we would gather, 55 different combinations of web browser and reasons for using them. - intuited
@intuited: More like 10 web browsers, 2-3 reasons for using each, and then 20-30 people who are too lazy to read the top 5 answers instead of posting their own. - Hello71
@Hello71: Actually there are 58 people who just don't get that "Safari on Mac OSX, because it's the default" is the correct answer. - intuited
[+122] [2009-07-15 09:53:41] Jon Skeet

Chrome. Anything else would have to be snappier or have something going for it which I just haven't seen (and therefore can't say).

I thought I'd miss extensions when moving from Firefox to Chrome, but I really don't. (And of course that's only a temporary difference anyway.)

For a while I was using Chrome on Windows and Firefox on Linux (before the Chrome port was really ready) but I'm so much happier now I've got Chrome on Linux too. Admittedly I still have to switch to Firefox for YouTube, but that'll only be a matter of time :)

(Disclaimer: I work for Google, so I've been using Chrome for a bit longer than most, and I'm obviously biased. I love it though, and I'm looking forward to ChromeOS too.)

(2) Chrome is great on my Windows desktop, where I have a middle-button on my mouse. I tried using it on my Mac laptop, and I'm sad that it's not nearly as fun and useful if you can't middle-click. - Stephen Jennings
(2) My biggest beef with Chrome is that it looks different than every other Windows app, in terms of things like the title bar and such. I like my apps to either be full-screen or blend nicely with the OS that I'm using. - Thomas Owens
@Thomas: I agree that it handles things differently - but at least it's for a good reason (making it more usable) unlike all the media players which go against the grain for no reason other than to look "funky" :) I greatly appreciate the extra screen space that Chrome gives me. - Jon Skeet
(9) I tried Chrome but honestly really missed the extensions. I used Opera for 6 months or so but came back for Extensions too. When support is finalised... - DavidWhitney
(1) Even without extensions, Chrome is still better than Firefox. You just can't beat the speed. - EndangeredMassa
(6) Speed is not all you need from a browser. For me the browser is the entry point of many activities I do during the day. Thanks to the add-ons the time I save is more than the time I would save with increase of page load speed. - Drake
If your willing to live dangerously, version 3.X builds of Chrome support extensions. I've fully migrated over to these builds and have had zero issues. - Matthew Ruston
Has anyone made an adblock extension for chrome yet? I'll have a good go at switching as soon as one appears. - Blorgbeard
(4) Love Chrome, it's "done right". I also love the tab and title bar modifications they did - it eats less vertical screen space and looks so much better than other tabbed browsers, at least on Windows. - Oskar Duveborn
(5) I love Chrome. All other browsers make me angry now. Except that I use Firefox for debugging. - Nosredna
Chrome is the best! - Graviton
(1) There are three barriers for entry for me to switch; Find as you type, NTLM authentication support and EXIF information on image properties. Firefox does the first two "out of the box" and there are plugins for the EXIF goodness - Rowland Shaw
(1) I feel Safari 4 is snappier than Chrome. - Mehrdad Afshari
1 up for Google ChromeOS in disclaimer - s_ruchit
@Mehrdad: On which OS? - Jon Skeet
@Jon: Windows 7 RC x64. Maybe it's just me. - Mehrdad Afshari
(1) @Mehrdad: I've no idea whether Chrome comes with a natively 64 bit version for Windows. My own experiences of Safari on Windows have been awful, but I haven't tried for a little while. - Jon Skeet
(1) Chrome is quickly becoming my must use browser on windows. (mostly thanks to I can't handle that IE doesn't have a spell checker anymore - Bruce McLeod
Why do you need to switch to Firefox for Youtube? Doesn't youtube advertise everywhere "Try youtube in a new browser: download Chrome"? - alex
@alex: That's fine for the released versions of Chrome, but I'm using a dev stream on Linux, which doesn't support Flash yet. - Jon Skeet
I switched to chrome for a while but came back to firefox. the ads killed me. - hasen j
(1) Chrome is great in terms of speed. But the mere thought of Google knowing my every move (like it doesn't already) gives me the creeps. - Yuval A
I'am a minimalist. For me performance and less visual clutter is far more important than anything else. The only thing I really miss in Chrome is some ad blocking functionality (for the same reasons - less clutter :) - Slink84
For those upset by ads, a judicious hosts file blocks most of them - - Lunatik
(1) @Lunatik: Better yet, use privoxy It will block most advertising and is highly configurable (though the filters require understanding of regular expressions and the ability to edit unix-ey text files). - Brian Reiter
@Brian Reiter: I was under the impression that having to edit the filters was normally unnecessary... I find it works acceptably with the default config. - intuited
Not having to reboot the browser to (un)install/(de)activate extensions is wonderful. Admittedly this would be less essential if Chrome supported restoring your browser state after restart. Actually that's pretty much the only thing I miss about Firefox. - intuited
[+118] [2009-07-15 09:54:46] balpha

Firefox: Because I've been using it for a long time and it works for me (tm). And as long as it does everything I want it to, and there's no obvious reason to abandon it (like being end-of-lifed with no more security updates), I'll stick with it.

(1) +1 for honesty. - Nikhil Chelliah
+1 For "if it works, don't break it" - Richard
Firefox is way too slow, these days. - EndangeredMassa
Too slow indeed. But switching to Chrome is still too much a pain for me. - Tomas Sedovic
Firefox is almost un-usable on a Netbook with a slowish solid-state drive. Opera is much quicker. - user1129
(14) Firefox is #2 for me behind Chrome. Then comes Safari. Then Opera. And that's all of them, right? - Nosredna
(7) +1 wished that I can cast another vote for Firefox. Chrome will never support AdBlock Plus - Bo Tian
I use Firefox because the others simply aren't as good. Safari has been getting much better lately, but it lacks things Firefox has, like some great extensions, and the excellent, intelligent address bar autocomplete (which came in FF 3.0). Safari 4.0 is noticeably faster than Firefox on my MacBook though... Chrome is not ready on the Mac, and also on Windows I always finally end up back to using Firefox after trying it (same reasons as with Safari). I do like the "top sites" view both Safari and Chrome have though. - Jonik
Firefox is slow if you have a heap of extensions loaded, and if you don't run NoScript and block javascript from everywhere but sites you actually need it. - jtimberman
(6) I can personally deal with it being a little slower than Safari and Chrome (havn't done any real comparison with Opera) because I use so many extensions in my day to day life. - alex
(1) @ashh: it works just fine for me! - RCIX
Hm, that argument could be used for IE users too, and users of anything really... hehe - Svish
I love it for the add-ons. NoScript is worth the "price of admission" alone. - Michael Todd
Firefox is eating up all my memory,so i have started using chrome. Will try out a newer FF version if it comes out. - Rishi
(1) When the ORSM-PAGE-RENDERING-SPEED!! argument is no longer rendered moot by most connection speeds, I'll consider leaving behind thousands of awesome addons, a great community and an all-round solid browser. +1 Firefox - Thomas
[+40] [2009-07-15 09:56:07] MrValdez

My favorite browser is Opera. I have it open all the time. It got everything I need for using the Internets.

Opera has a built-in mail and chat client, which I use to get RSS feeds, my emails and for IRC.

Opera Unite allows me to access my files at home from work (or anywhere, for that matter).

(4) Search keywords, fast history navigation, smooth inline search (with . and , keys), mouse gestures <3 - Svish
(3) What I like about Opera is that all this stuff is built in and its still a pretty small download. Also that you can turn stuff off, Opera Dragonfly, the alt debugger - these things are really useful for web development! - MetroidFan2002
I love the built-in Mail client. I have 5 accounts through GMail and I have Opera as an IMAP client so I get all my email without ever "checking" my email. - Chris Thompson
I've noticed, to some amusement, Jeff Atwood's recent expressions of dislike of Opera (from web developer's point of view), - Jonik
Far ahead of other browsers in usability - in a lot of small but convenient things. Well, maybe except Safari - I just don't know it well. - Sergey
I like WAND for password management. I find editing to be very strange (e.g. hitting Enter versus shift-Enter). - Michael Easter
I use opera too. Basically, I can make firefox useable for me, but it takes 4+ separate plugins. Opera has it all by default (mouse gestures, speed dial, keyboard shortcut editor, etc...) - Fake Name
[+34] [2009-07-15 10:09:27] trex279

This might very likely turn into a flame-war, but here's the browser I use and have used for over 7 years now as my default browser - Opera.

I do have all browsers installed on my computer -- Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer 8. But for 90% of my browsing needs, I use Opera. For the rest, I use a mixture of Chrome and Firefox (incompatible pages, JavaScript heavy pages etc.).

And I don't think I will ever shift away from Opera anytime soon. I love opera not just for the awesome features it provides -- notes, mouse gestures, IRC, feed reader, good customisability, good default keyboard shortcuts especially single key shortcuts; but also because I think it is one of the best designed browser out there. The UI always works as expected and the default options are extremely usable (unlike Firefox).

I am a long time user of Opera but I started to like the UI less and less. It's just so drab. And on Linux, things like the menus look hideous. - DisgruntledGoat
[+23] [2009-07-15 12:48:24] Peter Mortensen


I chose it for its speed of startup, speed of operation and the tabbed interface (only one at the time).

I stay with it due to its ability to be used in rodent-free mode (keyboard controls to quickly go to links and open them (either in a new background or the current tab), switching between tabs, etc.).

I don't know of any killer features in the other browsers, but I would like to be enlightened.

(As a secondary browser I use FireFox because the NoScript add-on has more fine-grained control of JavaScript.)

(I only use Microsoft Internet Explorer when a corporate reason forces me to.)

Block Content has got to be a killing feature of Opera. - random
I've blocked the adds on youtube - now I only see a big blank space :) - MetroidFan2002
[+22] [2009-07-15 10:22:58] Pacifika

Internet Explorer because too many other applications have ActiveX in their help files. Also it's automatically logging me on to internal websites.

edit re brave comment: I don't use IE when I start a browser myself, but it is the default on my system for the reasons above - which is what the question was. What's absurd about it - just practical.

(12) You are brave! I commend your honesty. But I refuse to upvote your absurd answer. - Nosredna
(3) I have IE6 as my default for the same reason, corporate intranet applications. - Marshall
(1) Yes. IE8 is my default at home and IE6 at work. When i open a browser for most webbery, it's Firefox. But IE is my default on Windows because applications expect IE to be there. - bill weaver
You are very brave to use IE6! That version is very vounerable for security issues. I recommend that you upgrade as quickly as possible. It is also a lot of non-standard implementations of CSS that makes it difficult for web designers/developers to support it in a good way. - awe
I personally don't see a problem with IE. On my crappy laptop, it starts up AT LEAST 5 times faster than any other browser. If I just need to do something quickly, like take a quick look at my banking... IE all the way. It starts quickly, pages load quickly enough, and I'm not tempted to overload myself with tons of add-ons. In Firefox (no add-ons), simply checking my statement takes nearly 3 minutes. IE takes me 1 minute. - Sivvy
Firefox opens slow, I use opera but it also opens slow. But chrome opens fast. Faster than IE for me. - jcasso
[+21] [2009-07-15 09:53:39] jtbandes [ACCEPTED]

Safari on Mac OS X. I chose it because it's default, and nothing else has ever really done it for me. For me to switch, I'd need something else with a UI that matches the rest of Mac OS X and isn't ugly. I can do without major features; it's the experience that matters to me. (Classic Mac user opinion. :P)

(2) I am a fan of Safari 4, although I do find myself using Firefox every now and then because of Firebug. The WebKit Inspector just does not cut it for me. - joshhunt
(2) Firebug is good, but really the WebKit Web Inspector in Safari 4 is pretty great. What do you do with Firebug that you can't in Safari? - jtbandes
(3) Me too! I just dig the utter simplicity and speed, a browser needs nothing more. :) - deceze
(3) Something that can't be beat by any other browser is the CoverFlow history view. The thumbnails of the previously visited webpages beats the list of mildly descriptive page titles any day -- you'll find what you were looking at way faster. - CaptainKeytar
(4) In an open-ended poll like this, IMHO it doesn't make sense to mark any answer as "accepted" (let alone one that is far from the most popular). - Jonik
[+12] [2009-07-15 10:32:29] MiffTheFox

Firefox, mainly because

  • Highly configurable.
  • Extensions!
    • AdBlock
    • Firebug
    • Greasemonkey
    • Xmarks

And, my favorite often overlooked feature of Firefox, smart keywords [1]!


Smart keywords also work in Opera (and slightly better, since POST submissions from Firefox keywords are not properly escaped). And I think they work in Chrome, but I'm not certain. - TRiG
[+11] [2009-07-15 10:00:43] Oscar Reyes

Google Chrome on Windows:

Reason, very simple, the omnibox [1]; integrated web search + address bar without having to grab the mouse at all

With all the other I have to either: tab to go to the search box, or grab the mouse which I hate.

On Mac OS X Firefox:

It has a tremendous integration with the system. But I'm looking forward for Chrome on Mac OS X.


You can also use ctrl+k to get to the search box in other browsers (Firefox at least) - Mark Pim
I've rather enjoyed the "spartan" experience with Chrome and it has stuck with me since. - Dillie-O
Omniboxen are awesome- i use it on firefox with an extension. - Journeyman Geek
[+11] [2009-07-15 09:59:00] Drake

I am using Firefox since version 1.0. I love it because of dozens of add-ons and themes you can install to increase your productivity and the number of things you can monitor.

The rendering speed is very good, and the only drawback is that it uses a lot of RAM, but for me it is not a big problem with 2 GB available. I can afford it.

(3) "dozens of add-ons" Is kind of an understatement. Either way, +1 from me. - Jonathan Sampson
sorry, you are right, I should have said "hundreds of add-ons" :D - Drake
Er, 7678 add-ons listed on - mark4o
Dozens and dozens and dozens of add-ons... - musicfreak
With only 2GB I'd pretty much have to stick with elinks. - intuited
[+9] [2009-07-15 12:13:03] hayalci

Real superusers use Lynx [1],

or Links [2],

or ELinks [3]


(1) w3m ! - dbr
+1 just because Lynx is timeless! - Bobby
elinks is sweet but its JavaScript compatibility is sort of vaporware, I think. I really miss being able to pipe stuff out to a file/command (as is possible with w3m), but I switched over to elinks for . . . some reason I don't recall. Maybe I was lured in by the promise of a full javascript implementation. the 256 colour stuff is neat but mostly I don't use it. - intuited
vimbrowse should perhaps also be in this list. - intuited
It’s been a while since I last used Lynx (not since about 1997). Even then, I prefer Arachne over Lynx for use in DOS (though I don’t think my current NIC is even supported by DOS packet drivers). - Synetech inc.
[+8] [2009-08-18 20:08:14] Igoru


As many people said before me... It's feature-rich, and keeps small.

Mouse gestures, tabbed interface, nice customization (skins, colors, buttons editing, add new buttons, no-menubar option), bookmark shortcuts, Speed Dial, sync, mail, IRC, RSS, torrent (but I never used, I use uTorrent [1] instead but it's useful for quick downloads), notes, debugger (Dragonfly), Unite (data sharing), side panels, fast searchable history, highly configurable, nice on-the-fly code editor.

Dozen of those features have already been copied to Firefox via extensions... but Opera is my default browser since version 7 (with ads), and it will be for a long time ago, I think.


[+7] [2009-07-15 16:03:12] Scott

Internet Explorer 8

Switched to IE from Netscape back in the 90's because Netscape had lots of rendering problems. I stuck with IE because its rendering problems were not as bad (web developers usually worked around them) and because I needed to use IE for Windows Update anyway. I disliked the fanboy hype surrounding Firefox. I tried Firefox, Opera, and Safari, but didn't see anything that made me want to switch. Everything that people praised the other browsers for, IE added in their next version.

Downvoted not because you use IE, but because you only half-answered the question. - intuited
I've elaborated on my answer. I suspect the question was changed since I originally wrote my answer. If the "why" part had been there at the time, I would have answered that too. - Scott
[+7] [2009-07-24 16:19:45] corymathews

Nothing better then Opera 10b. I do however have Firefox, and Chrome installed.

I use Opera because everything I need is built in.

  • Mouse gestures
  • RSS reader
  • email
  • speed dial
  • tab previews
  • auto-complete forms
  • extremely fast
  • bookmark/speed dial/notes synchronization between my home and work computers
  • ctrl+enter auto login for forms that are saved
  • Opera Turbo is god sent when your on a slow connection
  • UI is much easier than Firefox
  • url bar can easily search ANY search engine I tell it (ex "g hello" searches Google for hello, "b hello" Bing. "y hello" Yahoo!)
  • "smartbar" is much smarter then any other I have tried

Chrome is my second choice and I use it to create desktop shortcuts to applications such as gmail and Grooveshark [1]. However I don't use it fulltime because of

  • No mouse gestures
  • No built-in RSS reader
  • No synchronizing of bookmarks

I do use Firefox solely for the web developer toolbar but the reasons I do not use Firefox all the time are:

  • Its so damn Slow (when compared to Opera or Chrome)
  • If you want it to do anything you have to go find the addon
  • not very stable IMHO

Reasons for not using Internet Explorer:

  • for(int i=0; i < infinity; i++) { print reason[i] }

lol, perhaps but I am not blind to the other browsers, I have and still use them all every day. Being a web developer makes you use all the web browsers a lot. - corymathews
+1 For your reason of not using IE =) - Qwerty
+1 for the build in features in Opera. I like them. What I don't like about Opera is that a lot of advanced web layouts are displayed buggy. It is pages that displays perfectly in Firefox and IE, but is not good in Opera. I have also seen that when executing url with dll (that is executed on server and returns valid http response) is not displayed. Opera tries to download it instead, which means that the action taken is based on file extention and not header information. This is BAD! - awe
[+7] [2009-07-15 09:54:00] Bryson

I use Firefox primarily because of its extensibility. I like Chrome's security model and speed, though, but I don't use it because it's not officially available on Mac and it lacks the extensibility that Firefox has.

[+6] [2009-07-15 09:58:03] Rich Adams

Firefox, because I use both Windows and Linux and like to keep the profiles for both sync'd. Also I couldn't live without some of the extensions such as FireBug.

I like Chrome for speed in Windows, but since it's not on Linux yet it's not a viable browser for me to use as a default. When Chrome becomes available on Linux, then I may re-evaluate my default browser.

If Chrome were to ever get FireBug, then there would be no contest.

[+4] [2009-07-15 12:43:59] dhulk

When I'm at work (as a web developer) I mainly use Firefox (Firebug is like oxygen to me at this point), begrudgingly use IE in its various incarnations for testing purposes and Chrome/Safari a little bit as well. They all have pros and cons and it usually comes down to what you value in a browser. For me it breaks down like this:


Pros: 1. Extensions 2. User friendly 3. Web standard adherence

Cons: 1. A little slow for my tastes 2. Memory hog (for me at least)


Pros: 1. None

Cons: 1. Too many to list right now


Pros: 1. Both are much quicker to load and eat up way less memory 2. Web standards adherence

Cons: 1. None really, just too lazy to move bookmarks over, or I'd use it primarily at home

There are other aspects about each that I like but these are the ones that affect my decision to use any one of these at a given time. If I'm gonna be sitting there for a while I use Firefox, if I'm just need some quick info I go with Chrome. I go with IE when I need to make sure it doesn't jack up a layout I've coded at work.

lol i had to laugh when i saw "IE: Pros: None" - kpoehls
It appears to me that FF will use extra memory w/FireBug, but still it's worth it! - NVRAM
Have you tried Opera Dragonfly for debugging? It's similar to firebug, and comes with opera by default. - Fake Name
[+4] [2009-07-30 08:50:07] dbr

uzbl [1]

uzbl screenshot

Uzbl follows the UNIX philosophy - "Write programs that do one thing and do it well. Write programs to work together. Write programs to handle text streams, because that is a universal interface."

  • very minimal graphical interface. You only see what you need
  • what is not browsing, is not in uzbl. Things like url changing, loading/saving of bookmarks, saving history, downloads, ... are handled through external scripts that you write
  • controllable through various means such as fifo and socket files, stdin, keyboard and more
  • advanced, customizable keyboard interface with support for modes, modkeys, multichars, variables (keywords) etc. (eg you can tweak the interface to be vim-like, emacs-like or any-other-program-like)
  • focus on plaintext storage for your data and configs in simple, parseable formats
  • Uzbl keeps it simple, and puts you in charge.

It's certainly not for everyone, the readme on github [2] explains this well:


  • people want a browser that does everything
  • people who want a browser with things like a built-in bookmark manager, address bar, forward/back buttons, ...
  • people who expect something that works by default. You'll need to read configs and write/edit scripts
  • people who like nothing from this list: mpd, moc, wmii, dwm, awesome, mutt, pine, vim, dmenu, screen, irssi, weechat, bitlbee

This looks pretty cool, thanks for the tip. - intuited
[+3] [2009-07-15 13:25:05] kpoehls

Firefox, by experience with it tells me I can do everything I ever wanted to with a browser (sync bookmarks with X marks, maintain passwords, in-depth customization). I've tried some of the others out there (IE, Chrome, etc) and seems like there's always something missing for me.

As far as development goes, I still am able to use Firefox for most things - given the fact that as a general rule I end up using the IE tab [1] Add-on feature for it since some sites don't behave well on Firefox. You can set the browser to always open certain URLs in the IE tab so you never have to deal with keeping track of which ones & manually switching the rendering engine.


[+2] [2009-07-16 01:01:57] qwertyuu

I use Chrome on my windows machine and Safari on my Mac. Went through a phase where Firefox is on all my machines, but left as I was spending too much time customizing and trying out new extensions.

More often then not I would open Internet Explorer, as A LOT of intranet stuff within the company still opens with only IE. I know this is the problem of the intranet enterprise code, but if you got to use it, you've got to use it.

I would really like to use Opera but incompatibility with so many sites doesn't help even when you pass all the ACID test and is the most Standard-compliant browser.

I really despise sites that can only operate in a single non-compliant browser. Usually because the developers don't try very hard or just don't know how to write smarter. I recently had to try debugging on a site that on the first line of JavaScript stops the page and disallows anything but IE7+. - NVRAM
[+2] [2009-07-15 15:52:52] Hertanto Lie

I use mainly Chrome because it's speedy and it's simplistic looking. Whenever I need to debug or use add-on (like elasticfox), I use Firefox obviously. IE when testing or everything else fails.

[+2] [2009-07-15 09:58:15] ChrisF

I'm using Chrome at the moment because I found Firefox slowing down almost on a daily basis. I tried disabling extensions but nothing seemed to work.

I thought I'd miss AdBlock more than I have.

Now that I've installed FF 3.5 I might go back to using that for general browsing where I'm likely to hit sites with a lot of advertising. For sites like this one with minimal or no adverts I'll stick with Chrome.

(1) Firebug is compatible with 3.5. I have it now, and was using it just last night. - Thomas Owens
Just checked again - still reporting that it isn't compatible. Do I have to manually update FireBug? I've currently got version 1.3.3 - ChrisF
Looks like there's not an automatic upgrade path between versions for 3.0.X and 3.5. I'll upgrade FF and see what happens - ChrisF
I do think that you indeed have to manually update FireBug. But don't quote me on that... - Thomas Owens
@Thomas - yes you do. - ChrisF
[+2] [2009-07-15 10:00:34] Greg Hewgill

I use Safari on Mac OS X because it uses the least CPU. I used to use Firefox, but just sitting around it would use 10%+ of the CPU. A few months ago I switched to Safari, which used 3-4%. Then Safari 4.0.2 came out the other day and it now uses 1-2% at idle. I'm on a laptop so this matters in terms of battery life.

[+1] [2009-07-15 10:03:30] kastermester

I use Firefox for 2 main reasons:

  1. No Chrome for Mac yet
  2. It's the only browser I know of, that has the ability to use "search as you type" (about:config, search for "typeahead" and set it to 1) - I use this all the time and really cannot do without it.

Typeahead is cool.. I didn't know about that! - Dexter
I think you are talking about inline search in Opera... try to type '.' and what you are searching for, if you enabled one key shortcuts. ;D - Igoru
[+1] [2009-07-15 10:28:23] Dexter

Firefox, primarily for two add-ons

  • Ad-blocker, and
  • GMail Notifier

Ads, particularly the flashy ones, annoy me to no end..

[+1] [2009-07-16 08:24:56] Jon Hopkins


Anything that doesn't have addons is always going to struggle to compete now I'm used to Firebug, LiveHttp headers and so on.

That said, I'd like it more if they'd sort the interface out - even with the best skins it doesn't look quite as slick as IE or Safari.

At least most of the features of Firebug are pretty much included in Chrome's builtin functionality; it also provides access to the request headers and the raw content, even for AJAX requests. I've mostly stopped using Firebug, and find for most things the Chrome way is better. - intuited
[+1] [2009-07-24 17:46:19] weazl

To me it depends on what I'm doing.

Firefox is unparallelled when it comes to web development, the extensions that are available just makes everything that much easier.

When it comes to surfing though, I always use Chrome, the raw speed of not just the javascript engine but the enitre browser it quite noticable, and the process isolation makes it very stable. Even Flash doesn't bother me as much anymore.. if videos start stuttering I just restart Flash, not the entire browser.

[+1] [2009-07-15 17:47:46] Ivo Flipse

I use Firefox most of the time for all it's extensions and keeping track of my passwords/bookmarks across pc's

I use Chrome for reading Google Reader and random internet searching, since it performs faster on some sites

I have Opera installed for my girlfriend, since she wants to erase her steps every time she stops browsing (don't ask) and thinks it's the best browser in the world

I have IE8 in case a website is really stubborn and won't work in Firefox/Chrome, in which case I will try it there

[+1] [2009-08-25 07:17:47] presario

I use Opera all the time. It's the best browser. It's very fast and customizable. It has so much built-in: Mail, RSS, Chat, SpeedDial, Synchronization (Bookmarks, SpeedDial, etc), Developer Tools (DragonFly, similar to Firebug), Mouse Gestures, Unite, Turbo (for slow connections), Content Blocker (can be used to block ads, etc). In short I think Opera is the best BROWSER and Firefox is the best TOOL for web development.

[0] [2009-08-25 10:28:12] cdb

I have used

Internet Explorer when I was new to Internet.

Then Opera.

Then Firefox.

Now FireFox Itself(3.5.2). It's rocking. Not an advertisement, but the fact.

[0] [2009-09-07 00:49:47] Ivan Vučica

All of them!

Really, depends on where the mouse pointer ends when I push LMB. And it also depends on situation.

Under Linux, I'm extremely happy with Google Chrome, despite it being very very VERY alpha. Opera with its Opera Turbo is a must under bandwidth constrained GPRS connections. It's also good in other situations, except when some pages break under it. For those pages, when you just want to be sure you're using the right thing, I use Firefox (more precisely, Iceweasel under Debian). And for web development, really, there's no better than Firefox.

Under Windows, it's really all random. Mostly Chrome because of its speed and its cool interface when using web apps such as Gmail. Somewhat rarely I use Firefox, but sometimes I fire up Opera, too.

The only major browser I don't use is Microsoft's Internet Explorer :-)

[0] [2009-09-07 00:57:01] Thilo

Camino [1] on the Mac. Mozilla Power, Mac Style.

For development: Firefox (because it has Firebug)


[0] [2009-09-08 07:59:19] awe

I use mainly Internet Explorer 7.

I have tried to use Opera as default browser, but too many pages are not displayed correctly. I like some of the built-in features, though. I specifically use Opera for pages where I need to log in, because of the way it handles automatic filling in of login credentials.

I use the developer toolbar in Internet Explorer (as plug-in, this is actually included in Internet Explorer 8). This is a very useful tool to extract design parts of a page including HTML and CSS. You can activate a mode where you click on a section of the page, and you get the HTML/CSS details of that element in context with the rest of the structure.

For debugging JavaScript errors, Firefox is the only choice.

Based on other answers on this post, it would like to try Chrome (I have not tried it before!). One of the reasons I have tried Opera in the firs place is speed, and it looks like speed is one of the good things about Chrome, so I will try it...

I would like to give a list of pros/cons for Internet Explorer as most of other post just say: none/ininity. I actually agree on this in general, but I would like to point out some things:

Internet Explorer


  • Easily configurable search box in the toolbar (new in Internet Explorer 7). I like this a lot. You can add ANY search provider that supports a URL based search.
  • Internet Developer Toolbar is great for figuring out how things are done on a web page, so you can use it in your own designs.
  • It handles some of the buggy advanced Microsoft sites very well (some might put this under cons, but...)


  • Bad implementation of some CSS standards (although this has improved with Internet Explorer 7).

  • The option to remember username/password is kind of a "hidden feture" after you decline it for one page...
  • ...and of course many more...

As an answer to the original question:

Why using this as default browser?

At the beginning of my answer, I told you why I don't use Opera as default. I guess why I turned back to Internet Explorer, is that I am used to it, and why I am used to it? Because it's default on Windows...

One concrete reason for not having Firefox as default, is that it is slow startup. When I tried to start it up just now, I clocked it to 33 seconds!

This post has made me curious on Chrome, so I will try that.

EDIT: I have now installed Chrome, and my first impression is that I like the minimalistic view - very little space taken by toolbar, so much space available for the page content. Very good. And of course it's fast. :-)

[0] [2009-09-25 04:30:22]

My favourite browser is Firefox with two main reasons. The first one is that there are so many great add-ins for Firefox such as Xmarks for syncing bookmarks, Firebug [1] for debug or reveal information about web pages, and Vimperator [2].

Vimperator is a add-in only available for Firefox. I just cannot do browsing without it! I have 5 blogs on Vimperator [3]. It was very strange UI after I installed it. All the menu, address bar, and toolbar are gone. It leaves maximized space for web page. Basically, it inherits most vi [4] keys for your browsing. Literally, you would not need to use mouse. I list some very commonly used keys in my blog. I showed this tool to many of my friends in just minutes and they all love it.

Even I like Chrome and Safari's speed, however, Vimperator is not available for them yet. I am stuck with Firefox. Just love it. Trust me, if you just make a little effort and spend some time to lean those basic keys, it will benefit you for your lifetime.


[0] [2009-09-26 04:37:12] community_owned

Firefox most of the time, but I'm considering switching back to Safari (I was using Safari on Mac before, but came back to Firefox since Safari 4 : more bugs, lost some things I liked in Safari 3, and difficulties to find some plugin features I need). However, Safari is far faster than Firefox, that's incredible ! I'm currently working with a real slow connection from time to time, and in that configuration, Safari is better than Firefox (that can sometimes even not load pages, or load them incorrectly).

So I'm currently switching back to Safari, even if I use Firefox some times for its awesome plugins...:)

[0] [2009-11-08 18:33:19] Sylvain

Chrome, Internet Explorer 8 and Flockr.

And this is not a joke :)

For anything social, Flockr is a must. Everything is built-in and works pretty well.

For transactions (e.g. banking, paying taxes...), I almost always use Internet Explorer 8. It always works since most corporate websites have been tested using Internet Explorer (and most never got tested using Firefox or Chrome). Same thing for website development : I use Internet Explorer 8 (but it's a corporate decision ;-)

For anything else (and most of the time, I'm doing anything else !), I use Chrome. This is by far my favorite.

[0] [2010-01-06 14:04:59] Ben Shelock

I use Firefox most of the time, usually just because it's there the addons are really useful but I could live without most of them. Except mabey Firebug.

I could easily live with Chrome, it seems really light weight whilst still looking pretty.

[0] [2010-03-06 09:40:35] Rob Farley

My default web browser is whatever my clients' Standard Operating Environment dictates. This is generally IE, but the question around which version is generally the biggest issue.

"Favourite web browser" is a different matter - but I prefer to default to whatever the client uses.

[0] [2009-08-18 20:38:39] AppsByAaron

Chrome. As the only IT guy in my office of 20+ employees I am constantly in need of very fast answers. Chrome has a faster Internet connection (even on our bonded T1 lines) than any other browser I've used. Pulling up Chrome from Launchy is almost instantaneous which is needed not only for Internet services but also for router, Wi-Fi, printer and other non-Internet resources. It's just fast and reliable.

[0] [2009-08-18 20:46:29] NycLifeG

Firefox all the way with all the add-on support, speed and stability. It can't be beat.

[0] [2009-08-18 21:48:07] Benjamin Dobson

Chrome on Windows and Safari on Mac OS X. Both have a minimal interface and are pretty speedy, which lets me focus on browsing the web, fast.

[0] [2009-08-19 00:10:57] Zifre

I use Firefox 3.5, for AdBlock Plus. But I really love the UI of Chrome, so my Firefox installation looks like this:

Firefox Screenshot

As you can tell, I really like Chrome...

I have the following extensions installed:

  • AdBlock Plus
  • Chromifox Companion
  • Chromin Frame
  • Fission
  • Flashblock
  • Hide Menubar
  • Pimpoflage
  • Speed Dial
  • The usual stuff that comes with Firefox 3.5 (e.g. Prism, DOM Inspector, etc.)

[0] [2009-08-19 00:41:48] Nippysaurus

Safari 4 on Mac OS X and Windows. I use this setup because:

  • Safari is a simple, yet powerful browser
  • I use MobileMe [1] to sync my information between my two Mac's, iPhone, and Windows machine.

[0] [2009-08-19 01:54:16] silent

I use Firefox for personal uses. It's because I can modify it to meet my specification. I can even modify it's real estate to match Google Chrome:D

As for office, I uses Opera for it's feature to not refresh the page when hit back button. I need it for phpMyAdmin [1]. Because I need to hit back to refine my query. On Firefox this will caused phpMyAdmin to refresh and remove my query :(


[0] [2009-08-19 04:07:15] eidylon

Well, I'll post mine as no one else has mentioned it...

I use Flock [1], which is a variation on Firefox, and is compatible with most Firefox extensions. I NEED my extensions, as someone else mentioned, they are INDISPENSABLE for development work. But, I also rely heavily on RSS for keeping up with everything going on in the world of interest, and i just could NOT find a good RSS extension for Firefox, while Flock has a very nice RSS integration.


If you have a lot of RSS feeds have you tried FeedDemon? It syncs with Google reader, and is a pretty decent program for reading RSS. And you can read it from google reader on the web too when you are using another computer. - trex279
Actually Ive found a decent new addon for FF that kind of works, Boox. I try to stay away from TOO many small little bit-and-byte programs. Try to slow computer brain-rot! ;) - eidylon
[0] [2009-08-25 06:02:42] community_owned

Firefox because of the add-ons.

[0] [2009-08-18 13:10:42] Evert

Chrome, both at the office (IIS environment) and at home. Using the latest 'unstable' version with little/no problems.

Only use Internet Explorer when I have to (OWA looks a little better in Internet Explorer...)

[0] [2009-08-18 13:23:20] community_owned

Firefox. The extensions make browsing better, and some are critical for my job, like Firebug [1]. I dig Safari, and would gladly use it all the time, except for the lack of a good extension architecture. I tried using both for a while, one for work, one for personal stuff, but I prefer keeping it simple.


[0] [2009-08-18 13:42:56] Omar Abid

When I was with my old computer, I used Chrome (with Windows XP). Reasons:

  • Fast, easy and render well web pages
  • take little memory and don't hook

When I switched to my new powerful PC, I really enjoyed IE 8: Same speed and nearly same performance with correct rendering of web pages: So why make the move to Chrome?

[0] [2009-07-15 23:46:27] voyager

Konqueror [1] for most websurfing, sharing Firefox and Opera a second place.


[0] [2009-07-16 00:51:11] dbr

On Mac OS X I primarily use Camino [1], with the FireTabs Input Manager [2] so I can use Cmd+1 .. Cmd+9 shortcuts to switch tabs.

I use it over Firefox almost entirely because it uses the Keychain for storing passwords, the Mac OS X Firefox port also wasn't too great (but v3.5 seems much better)

I use it over Safari because it supports my Firefox's user-content.css without any SIMBL plugins, and because of the Firetabs cmd-1..9 shortcuts.


[0] [2009-07-15 12:22:20] Jim C

At work Firefox. At home Chrome.

[0] [2009-07-24 18:05:53] bpapa

Safari. I'm on a Mac and have no need for Firefox extensions. When Chrome is released for Mac I'll give it a shot, but unless it's IMMENSELY faster I won't bother. I like how my Safari bookmarks sync up with my iPhone.

[0] [2009-07-16 08:21:05] community_owned

Firefox is my default and best, where I've tried Safari and Google Chrome for a while... Yes, Chrome is fast but looks like a mosquito :)

[0] [2009-07-15 14:30:01] Paul Lefebvre

On Mac OS X, I primarily use OmniWeb [1]. It is nearly as fast as Safari, but the UI is much slicker in my opinion. With widescreen displays, tabs on the side are much better than tabs on the top, once you get used to it.

On Windows, I primarily use Google Chrome.


[0] [2009-07-15 10:29:45] Alexis Hirst

I used to use Firefox due to the amount of add-ons i could get, but now i use safari due to its speed plus it integrates quite well with my iPhone.

I use Safari ad-block so i don't get ads.

[0] [2009-07-15 10:56:32] David M

For me, it's Firefox with the IETab plugin. I like to be able to view sites in either browser within a single tabbed interface (need to use IE for certain internal sites where I work, and need to ensure IE compatibility with the sites I develop). To switch to another browser, I'd need it to offer the same multiple-engine rendering in a single container.

In Firefox proper, I use the quick links feature a lot, and also have plugins like fast dial, download status bar installed.

[0] [2009-07-15 10:21:15] Diago

Safari 4 on Mac OS X, Safari 4 on Windows.

However I am a developer and web designer so I do use Firefox and IE. I am not extremely fond of Chrome, mainly because there isn't a descent Mac OS X port as yet.