When it comes to choosing web browsers for Windows, it all boils down to personal taste. Maybe you like a web browser’s speed, reputation for privacy or security, color, clean lines, straight edges, round curvy tabs, individual functions, add-ons, extensions, developer tools, or a quick way to clear browsing data.
With people being more concerned about privacy nowadays, some web browser companies have started introducing paid browsers or are developing their own search engines.
24 Web Browsers
This page briefly introduces, in no particular order, most of the usable web browsers for Windows. Some of them are available on Mac too. If you’re looking for a lightweight browser, the fastest browser, or the best browser for your needs, you should find it here. (Links to the official pages open in a new tab.)
Vivaldi gets better and better. It’s a feature-rich browser built around privacy, and you should give it a try. We still appreciate simple one-click options right there on the interface, like access to Downloads and History. The Notes feature (for taking notes while you browse) is helpful, and the Capture Page button (for taking screenshots) is handy for content creators. The Take a Break button is unique. The elegant themes invite you to take your time and set Vivaldi up to your liking. Vivaldi comes with a built-in game too. What’s not to like?
2. Google Chrome
Google Chrome continues to be a favorite web browser for many people. A plethora of browser extensions available from the Chrome web store makes it extremely popular. It’s helpful to know that Chrome is one of the very few browsers that doesn’t block third-party tracking cookies by default, though. If privacy is something you are starting to think about, you might consider a different browser.
There are other browsers built around the popular open-source Chromium Engine, which drives Chrome. The developer and performance testing tools built into the Chromium Engine, such as Lighthouse, are handy.
3. Microsoft Edge
The latest Microsoft Edge comes with Windows 10 and is based on the open-source Chromium Engine, making it super compatible with browser extensions formerly only available for Google Chrome. Last year, Microsoft announced the availability of the new Edge browser for all supported versions of Windows and macOS. Some of us have stayed with Edge since the beginning, and it’s constantly improving, and it continues to be my main browser. Also, see Microsoft Edge Tips.
4. Opera GX (Early access)
Opera GX is a browser to complement gaming. Opera GX has a built-in ad blocker, access to extensions, switchable exclusive wallpapers, and in-browser sound effects. You can limit memory and CPU usage, use a free no-log unlimited VPN, access Twitch, and watch pop-out videos. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, and VK are accessible from the sidebar. You can custom colorize your interface and get access to gaming deals and news. Opera GX is currently in Early Access.
Brave has recently passed 25 million monthly active users. `The Industry’s Most Advanced Browser Offers 3-6x Faster Browsing and Ends Surveillance Capitalism with a Private Ads and Payment Platform that Benefits Users, Advertisers, and Publishers’ Brave blog.
Brave has just released their search engine, Brave Search beta.
We’ve always liked the simplistic style and fast page-loading performance of Opera. It was one of the first browsers with a built-in ad blocker, which was tried and tested for ages in the Opera developer browser. Opera now comes with a built-in VPN, video pop-out, a snapshot tool, Twitter, Instagram, and a video player in the sidebar, plus fully integrated built-in messengers, including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, and VKontakte. Check out the clickable tabs, too, to go to the top or back to where you were on the page.
7. Puffin Secure Browser [$20 a year / $2 a month]
With more people concerned about privacy now, Firefox is a top web browser to consider. With an emphasis on privacy, and proudly non-profit, non-corporate, and non-compromised, Firefox is one of our all-time favorite browsers. You feel safe using it. Firefox comes with Enhanced Tracking Protection by default and surpasses Chrome in privacy and speed.
The web developer tools in Firefox are excellent (F12). If web dev is your thing, you might consider using Firefox Developer Edition. Either way, please have a read of The Mozilla Manifesto to learn more about Mozilla’s mission behind the Firefox web browser. Firefox supports tons of add ons and is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
9. Internet Explorer (to be retired on June 15, 2022)
Internet Explorer has been included with all versions of Windows for a long time, and it’s still a web browser that works. However, over the years, it has gotten a reputation of falling short from a user experience, web development, and webpage design consistency standpoint.
Many web designers and developers don’t even test using IE anymore for the above reasons. Microsoft introduced Microsoft Edge with Windows 10 and 11, and Internet Explorer will be retired on June 15, 2022. If you happen to open Internet Explorer now, a banner at the top recommends you switch to Edge. For anyone always using Internet Explorer, we recommend choosing one of the many other web browsers for Windows here.
Update: Microsoft has announced that Internet Explorer will be retired on June 15, 2022.
Lunascape is highly customizable and comes with the three main rendering engines – Trident, Gecko, and WebKit. It also supports a plethora of add-ons. Lunascape was looking to be a compelling browser; however, development appears to have tailed off since 2018.
11. Pale Moon
Pale Moon is an Open Source web browser for Windows and Linux. It is originally based on the Firefox browser and uses a layout engine called Goanna, similar to or based on the Gecko engine.
12. Comodo Dragon
Comodo Dragon is Chromium-based, has privacy enhancements, domain validation technology that identifies inferior SSL certificates, and stops cookies and other Web spies.
For Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux, Midori is a lightweight browser with a simple UI. It’s practical for less powerful or older computers, and it was the default web browser that came with elementary OS. In 2019, the Midori project joined the Astian Foundation, and the browser now uses the Electron software framework. Development seems to have slowed down since. You can still download Midori, though, to try it out, although, at the moment, there is little reason to recommend doing so.
BriskBard is a new browser with a built-in media player, email client, IRC chat client, RSS and Atom reader, Usenet newsreader, FTP client, and more.
Maxthon uses the Trident and Webkit rendering engines. It also comes with Adblock Plus preinstalled, although I’ve had better results blocking ads with other ad blockers or browsers.
SlimBrowser is based on the Trident engine and has a more advanced UI (compared to Slimjet). It comes with a built-in ad-blocker, a right-click text translation, an HTML validator, downloadable skins, and many other useful features.
16. Epic Privacy Browser
Epic Privacy Browser offers always-on private web browsing, a one-click encrypted proxy (hides your IP address), and blocks trackers and third-party cookies.
Coowon is a web browser built for web gamers. Based on Chrome, it offers translucent and floating windows, record and play mouse clicks, a screenshot tool, a game-friendly sidebar, a hide key, and more.
18. Firefox Developer Edition
Firefox Developer Edition is the popular Firefox browser version designed for developers, and it has most developer tools you need built into the browser. If you fancy a change of web browser, Firefox is one of the top dogs (or foxes) to try.
19. Chrome Canary
Chrome Canary is a `Nightly Build for Developers’ version of the ever-popular Google Chrome. If you’re a developer or early adopter or want to try out the latest features coming to Chrome, this is the version to install.
If web browsing privacy is high on your list of priorities, chances are you’ve heard of Tor. Tor helps you browse the internet anonymously and protect your privacy by using a distributed network of relays run by volunteer users all around the world. If you’re selling state secrets, building the next nuclear warhead, or just worried about your privacy freedoms, give Tor a try.
21. Torch Browser
Torch Browser is relatively new compared to many web browsers here, and it comes with some excellent original features and customization options.
SeaMonkey is based on Firefox and comes with the browser, email & newsgroup client with an included web feed reader, an HTML editor, IRC chat, and web development tools.
IceDragon from Comodo is based on Firefox, and Comodo says they have improved security with SiteInspector malware scanning, and it uses Comodo Secure DNS by default.
Slimjet has a similar set of features as SlimBrowser, but is based on the Blink engine and has a clean and straightforward UI.
So, there you have it—a quick intro to 24 of the available web browsers for Windows. There are a couple more out there. We removed Avant and Maelstrom back in March 2020 and Chromodo in August 2021.
Have I forgotten one? Which web browser for Windows do you use and why?
Grant is the webmaster here and a longtime computer enthusiast. He enjoys building new PCs and fixing old ones. Originally from the UK, Grant lives in Japan, teaches English, and is a part-time vegetable farmer. Lesser-known history about him includes getting his Commercial Helicopter License CPL(H) in the US and being a caregiver in the disabled community. Grant enjoys playing Apex Legends.