8 Different Types of Web Browsers (and Their Purposes)

Updated Apr 12, 2023.
Different Types of Web Browsers

Web browsers allow you to open websites to get information, order food and check your messages. In a nutshell, web browsing has become an integral part of our daily life, and web browsers make it possible.

In this article, we are going to discuss the most popular web browsers and the purpose they serve, so you can choose one that suits you best.

But before we dive into the features and functions of web browsers, let’s understand what web browsers are, and how they work.

What is a Web Browser?

Back in History: The first web browser, developed in 1990, was named WorldWideWeb, and it had very basic features for web surfing compared to modern browsers.

A web browser is a software application that fetches and interprets the code written in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), CSS, and Javascript to display a webpage that you request. Some web browser examples are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.

Web browsers let users locate, view, and use websites. Not to be confused with search engines that rank websites and are accessible via web browsers.

For example, Google is a search engine that has a database of websites that it maintains and ranks. In contrast, Google Chrome is a web browser that uses search engines such as Google to find information, which it displays to the user after interpreting the code.

How Do Web Browsers Work?

When a user types a URL into the address bar and clicks on the link to access a particular website, the browser sends a request to the web servers of the website web host.

The web server responds to the request by sending the requested data back to the web browser. The requested data is sent in computer code. The code contains HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and any other files required to display the requested web page.

The web browser renders the page by applying CSS and Javascript rules to display the web page to the user. It renders the entire web page, including text, images, animations, and other media files embedded in HTML.

A web browser is one of the most important applications on your computer, tablet, or phone. It displays websites and web pages on your device. But displaying a website is not the only function of a web browser.

Other than displaying web pages, web browsers can also execute scripts, run plug-ins, and interact with other web technologies, such as cookies and cache for web storage. Most web browsers offer features like bookmarks, history, and tabbed browsing. Different types of web browsers allow users to manage their browsing experience and access website pages later quickly (pocket).

Different Types of Web Browsers

Here is a breakdown of the different types of web browsers that you can choose from:

1. Google Chrome

Google Chrome, launched in 2008, has become the most popular browser mainly because of its fast speed. It can load several pages instantaneously with just a single click. The web browser is also constantly updated with the latest security features to ensure safe web browsing. It is the default web browser for all google devices.

It is also compatible with other devices, operating systems, and web technologies. Google’s streamlined design focuses on a minimalistic user interface that is clutter-free. You can also customize your browsing experience with extensions. Its incognito mode will not save the browsing history and site cookies.

Key Features


Google Chrome is the only browser well-known for its fast-loading speed and stability. Even with multiple tabs running and extensions enabled, Chrome is designed to prevent crashes.


Google pays millions of dollars to hackers every year to find vulnerabilities in its system and fix them, making Chrome the most secure browser on the internet. It protects users from websites that steal passwords and infect computers with malware.

Clean User Interface

Google Chrome has an easy-to-use and intuitive interface that allows people of all ages to find what they need on Chrome without much effort. Its Omnibox combines a search bar and web address bar and works like a search engine. The users can type in math equations and unit conversion queries to find answers with just one click.


Google Chrome has the biggest library of extensions, which makes the web browser highly customizable.

Google Services Integration

A list of Google services can be accessed from the Chrome browser, such as Google Meet, Google Classroom, and Google Translate, that make working and studying on Chrome seamless.


Google Chrome can be synced on all your devices so you can access its browsing data and preferences everywhere, such as a bookmark that can be checked on your phone.

Developer Tools

Google Chrome also includes a suite of developer tools that developers can use to optimize or debug their websites.

Pros and Cons

Fastest browser and the most secureConsumes much RAM: slows down other apps on the user’s computer when multiple tabs are open
Largest library of extensionsDrains battery
Allows syncing across devices
Intuitive interface
Developer tools

Final Verdict

Google Chrome is the right browser for you if you want to switch to fast web browsing and better security. If you want to always have your information synchronized on your phone, tablet, laptop, or any other device, all you have to do is simply turn on the sync feature on Google Chrome.

2. Safari

Apple Safari, or simply Safari, is a popular browser invented by Apple and is therefore preinstalled and set as the default web browser on all Apple iOS devices.

Safari has cross-site tracking prevention, which protects you from third-party web trackers when you surf the web. It is a free browser for all iOS devices, and you can sync and access your browsing history on any of your Apple devices.

Key Features

Intelligent Tracking Prevention

This Safari feature blocks third-party trackers from following you across the web for private browsing.

Reader View

To make reading easier and uninterrupted, the web browser has a reader view that blocks ads and popups. This makes Safari one of the most popular browsers for reading.

iCloud Keychain

Safari's iCloud Keychain feature lets users store passwords and payment information across all Mac OS and iOS devices. This makes online payments and ordering quick and convenient.


With the Picture-in-Picture feature, you can watch videos in a floating window and browse the web simultaneously.


With the AirPlay feature, Apple users can stream videos and audio from their Safari browser opened on any of their devices to an Apple TV or AirPlay-compatible speaker.

Developer Tools

Safari browser also has its own developer tools to debug websites.

Energy Efficient

It does not drain your battery like most popular browsers.

Pros and Cons

Secure browser with cross-site tracking preventionCompatibility Issues as some websites are not designed for the Safari browser
Built-in adblocker blocks popups and adsNot available on non-Apple gadgets and devices
AirPlay lets you stream videos and audio on Apple devices
Energy efficient
Tabbed browsing does not drain the battery

Final Verdict

Overall, Apple Safari offers a few features that make it a great browser for users. But it lacks openness and is suitable for Apple Users.

It is known for being one of the most popular browsers for security, as it protects your privacy and supports a wide range of extensions that make web browsing manageable.

3. Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is an open-source web browser built by software giant Microsoft in 2015. It comes as a default browser on Windows 10. It is also available on macOS, iOS, and Android. Microsoft Edge has replaced Internet Explorer, its older and slower ancestor.

This web browser is designed to be compatible with all web standards and is capable of rendering modern websites and applications. Unlike its predecessor, Internet Explorer, it is faster and more secure.

Key Features

Cortana Integration

Microsoft's virtual assistant, Cortana, is integrated into Edge and can provide users with quick access to information and assistance.

Web Note

Users can annotate web pages within the browser window with digital inks, highlights, and text notes using Edge's Web Note feature.


Edge's Collections feature allows users to organize and save web content into easily shareable collections.

Built-in PDF Reader

It can directly open PDFs from the web and your PC in a new tab.

Reading View

Edge has a reading mode that strips away ads and other distractions, making articles and other content easier to read.


Microsoft Edge has built-in security features that protect you from online phishing and malware.

Pros and Cons

Doodle on web pagesA limited selection of extensions
Cortana integration allows better accessibilityNot available on older versions of Windows
Private browsingSome websites don’t work well because they are designed for different web browsers
Reading view and built-in PDF reader
Organize websites into collections

Final Verdict

Microsoft Edge is the right browser for you if you like to read web pages without distractions, view PDFs, and doodle on web pages. It is the new and improved version of Internet Explorer that offers immaculate security and is relatively faster than other browsers.

4. Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox, launched in 2004 by Mozilla Foundation, is a web browser well-known for its security and performance. Its cross-platform compatibility and support for web standards make it a popular choice among users and web developers alike.

Its Gecko layout engine seamlessly renders websites and implements the most modern and current web standards. Mozilla Firefox is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

Key Features


It is designed to be fast and efficient, with a streamlined interface and optimized performance.

Energy Efficient

Mozilla Firefox allows you to use multiple applications on your PC without draining much of your device’s battery.

Web Standards Support

Firefox is known for its support of web standards, making it a reliable browser for accessing modern websites and applications.

Smart Search Suggestion

Mozilla Firefox provides users with search suggestions based on their browsing history and search queries, making it easier to find what they are looking for.

Reader View

Its readers view blocks ads so you can read without any distractions.

Pros and Cons

Top-notch privacy and securityExtensions slow down the browser
Better Performance because it uses less RAMThe mobile app is more power-hungry and uses more RAM
Ad blocking in Reader View
Prevention of cross-site tracking
A good library of extensions

Final Verdict

Mozilla Firefox is a good web browser for users and developers who are looking for a web browser that is not resource hungry. Also, Mozilla Firefox has better performance than Chrome as it uses less RAM.

5. Opera

Opera is a web browser developed by Opera Software and is one of the best battery-saving browsers. It has a customizable interface that allows you to personalize your browsing experience.

Opera browser is on the list of popular web browsers because of its exceptional features, such as integration for messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Telegram. And its speed dial allows you to quickly open your favorite or most-visited websites.

Key Features

Built-in Ad Blocker

Opera comes with an ad blocker, so users can load websites quickly and without ads.

Personalized News Feed

Opera has a personalized news feed feature that displays news stories based on your interests.

Battery Saver

Opera has a battery saver feature that can extend your laptop or mobile device's battery life by reducing the amount of power used by the browser.

Turbo Mode

You can turn on the turbo mode for faster browsing even on a poor internet connection.

Pros and Cons

Built-in access to messaging appsDespite being based on Chromium, it has security issues
Chromium codebaseLacks modern trends and is not up to date with the web standards
Turbo mode
Personalized news feed

Final Verdict

Opera’s ad blocker and messaging app integrations make it a great choice for users who like to socialize. Its built-in news feed lets you know what is happening in the world.

If you often face network problems, you should switch to Opera browser to benefit from its Turbo mode.

6. Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer, also known as Microsoft Internet Explorer, was a web browser developed by Microsoft and launched on the World Wide Web in 1995. Since then, Microsoft has rolled out 11 versions of Internet Explorer.

Support for Internet Explorer 11 ended on June 15, 2022. It has now been replaced with Microsoft Edge.

Some problems that led to the demise of Internet Explorer include:

  • Slow browsing
  • Lack of active updates
  • Limited Customization
  • Lack of essential browser features

7. Brave

Brave is a relatively new web browser that is open-source. The Chromium-based web browser was launched by Brave Software, Inc. in 2016. Brave offers an exceptionally secure and efficient web browsing experience. It is light on the system resources, and even with multiple pages open, it consumes little RAM, which ultimately offers fast and smooth browsing.

Key Features


Brave blocks trackers and ads by default, which helps protect your privacy and security while browsing the web.


Brave is known to be one of the fastest web browsers available on the World Wide Web, thanks to its lightweight design and efficient use of resources.


Brave is designed to protect your privacy with features like private browsing, fingerprint protection, and script & tracker blocking.

Rewards Program

Brave web browser has a rewards program that allows users to earn cryptocurrency in exchange for viewing ads.

Pros and Cons

Exceptional security and privacy: tracking protectionLimited add-ons compared to other browsers
Lightweight and efficientThe mobile app has limited features
Does not drain the battery
Customization and Theme Support
Rewards Program

Final Verdict

The Brave browser works for you if you are tired of malicious websites infecting your PC. Brave provides an incredibly secure and efficient browsing experience. It is also very fast and efficient, just like other more popular web browsers.

8. Tor

Launched in 2008 by the Tor Project, the Tor browser lets users access restricted websites and the dark web.

It defends you against traffic analysis through multi-layered encryption so that you can browse freely. Tor makes it very hard for websites to trace back your data and location.

Key Features


The primary advantage of the Tor Browser is that it provides anonymity to users. It uses a complex system of encryption and routing to conceal users' IP addresses and make their online activities untraceable.

Privacy & Security

The Tor Browser also provides security to users by encrypting their data and protecting them from hackers and surveillance. It is especially useful for people who use public Wi-Fi networks or access the internet from countries with poor internet privacy laws.

Access Blocked Content

Tor allows users to access different websites that may be blocked or restricted in their country. This can be useful for people living in countries with censorship or those who want to access content that may be restricted in their region.

Pros and Cons

Access restricted and blocked contentSlower than other web browsers
Unbeatable AnonymityLimited functionality
Data Encryption

Final Verdict

Tor Browser is one of the best browsers for users who want anonymity and security, but it can be slow and may not be able to handle all types of websites.

Which Browser is Right For Me?

You can choose your browser based on features that will make web browsing manageable for you.

BrowserImportant Features
Google Chromefast and secure, large library of extensions, syncing
SafariiOS Security, AirPlay, syncing on iOS devices, uses less RAM
Microsoft Edgetracking protection, Cortana support, PDF and Reader View
Mozilla Firefoxfast, private, secure, uses less RAM
Operabuilt-in messaging, Turbo Mode, a good library of extensions
Internet Explorer—discontinued browser—
Braveexceptional security and privacy, lightweight, fast, uses less RAM
Toraccess to restricted and banned websites and the dark web with data encryption

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Martin Luenendonk

Editor at FounderJar

Martin loves entrepreneurship and has helped dozens of entrepreneurs by validating the business idea, finding scalable customer acquisition channels, and building a data-driven organization. During his time working in investment banking, tech startups, and industry-leading companies he gained extensive knowledge in using different software tools to optimize business processes.

This insights and his love for researching SaaS products enables him to provide in-depth, fact-based software reviews to enable software buyers make better decisions.