Safari vs Chrome vs Firefox

jwolf6589

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Dec 15, 2010
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I use Safari 99% of the time. I only use Chrome with one gaming site that refuses to run on Safari and runs slow on FireFox so Chrome is the ideal choice. What are the pros and cons of each browser?
 

techwarrior

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Jul 30, 2009
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Pretty broad topic, and you will get numerous replies based on factors that might not apply to your use. Each of these undergoes considerable changes over time, so it is probably best to install all three, try them and choose your favorite based on your use.

In my opinion, Chrome works best for sites that were primarily designed for IE, but those are converting. I am not a fan of Google (privacy), but Brave browser is Chrome based and is designed with privacy in mind. Firefox is generally my second used browser after Safari.
 

06tb06

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Sep 12, 2017
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2,711 miles from Apple Campus
I use Safari 99% of the time. I only use Chrome with one gaming site that refuses to run on Safari and runs slow on FireFox so Chrome is the ideal choice. What are the pros and cons of each browser?
I also use Safari for almost everything. It seems to utilize system resources better.

Firefox is very demanding. It's a memory hog and can cause the cooling subsystem in your MacBook Air or Pro to ramp up during demanding use. I went back to using Safari on my 13-inch rMBP because of this.

Safari supports H.264 and HEVC, but lacks Theora as well as VP8 and VP9. Firefox and Chrome support all these codecs except HEVC.
 

jwolf6589

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Dec 15, 2010
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I also use Safari for almost everything. It seems to utilize system resources better.

Firefox is very demanding. It's a memory hog and can cause the cooling subsystem in your MacBook Air or Pro to ramp up during demanding use. I went back to using Safari on my 13-inch rMBP because of this.

Safari supports H.264 and HEVC, but lacks Theora as well as VP8 and VP9. Firefox and Chrome support all these codecs except HEVC.
Is this why Safari refuses to run on some gaming sites?
 

oldhifi

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Jan 12, 2013
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I only use Safari on Apple, otherwise I use Firefox on Linux, and Edge on winders..
 

jwolf6589

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Dec 15, 2010
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Some older sites still require Adobe Flash to view the content. You may have to manually install Flash player if you wish to play games via the web browser. Apple adopted native support HTML5 opposed to Flash back when Steve Jobs was still at the helm.
I have flash installed on all my browsers, but for some reason he gaming site will not work with Safari. The developers all use Windows so do not know anything about the Mac.
 

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
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Colorado
I have flash installed on all my browsers, but for some reason he gaming site will not work with Safari.
Installing Flash is one thing, Safari by default leaves Flash (and other plug-ins) disabled unless you specifically enable for specific sites.

Be sure to install Silverlight as many Winders oriented sites use that.

Using Macs in a Windows oriented world comes with a few of these nuances. Unfortunate, but thankfully there are reasonable workarounds for most.
 

jwolf6589

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Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
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Installing Flash is one thing, Safari by default leaves Flash (and other plug-ins) disabled unless you specifically enable for specific sites.

Be sure to install Silverlight as many Winders oriented sites use that.

Using Macs in a Windows oriented world comes with a few of these nuances. Unfortunate, but thankfully there are reasonable workarounds for most.
I have silverlight installed and flash is enabled on the site. It just refuses to work with Safari so I use Chrome or FireFox, specifically Chrome since it works better with that gaming site.
 

jamietshaw

macrumors member
Sep 25, 2009
86
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UK
I know it’s fashionable to like Chrome but I prefer Safari for a few reasons which may all seem minor but it’s what keeps me using it:
  • When you start typing something in the address bar, Safari is better at picking up your history. For example, say I have looked at a few pages on epicurious.com in the past. If I type just e, or ep, Safari suggests the full URL to me and I just press Return to go to the website. Not only that, but it also suggests the pages on that website I visited which is really handy when I want to go back to a specific page. Chrome, by contrast, just gives me Google search suggestions.
  • With downloads, I prefer the way Safari just puts the file into your Downloads folder. I don't like the bar Chrome puts at the bottom of the browser window to show your downloads because it's another click to close it.
  • I prefer Safari’s standard Print dialog over Chrome’s custom one
  • I like the “snapback” feature of Safari, i.e. you start with a search, click on a result and go down a bit of a maze of pages. Press Cmd-Alt-S to get back to search results.
There are, however, very occasional websites which don’t quite work properly on Safari (probably because the developer tested them on Chrome!). The calendar view of Outlook Web Access, for example, displays blank.

It also depends what you use on your phone and if you want to be able to work between the two. I use Safari on my phone too and like the fact I can open pages on my phone which are open on my computer, and vice versa, and also be able to close tabs on other devices.
 

mikzn

macrumors 68020
Sep 2, 2013
2,166
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Vancouver
I use Fire for most browsing where I need to be logged in and for general use.

Safari for "personal access" like banking or accounts with any type of billing / payments.

Opera for "not logged in" site testing sites and logins with out access to any passwords etc
 

campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,413
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I only use Chrome with one gaming site that refuses to run on Safari and runs slow on FireFox so Chrome is the ideal choice.
There's a couple of bits of input I can add, not reading about them above.

First bit, since you're focusing on one web site that you use Chrome, consider using the epichrome single site browser (SSB). I use SSBs for several sites - this one, Wunderground, Sigalert, Feedly, email accounts, WaPo/Guardian - each SSB doesn't talk to any other SSB, I can use Chrome Extensions like uBlock Origin/Dark Reader/Dropbox, each SSB gets updates when Chrome is updated, site-specific preferences. What's not to like? I also use the $5 paid version of Fluid for some of my SSBs, using Fluid when I don't need to concern myself with Extensions and the like...

Second bit, I occasionally have issues with Safari as well. I use the Develop Menu>User Agent options when I get "stuck" - along the lines of I'm using Safari and the site just doesn't work quite right, and then I switch the User Agent to "Chrome" for Windows (the relevant version in Safari's menu options) and "magically" the web site works perfectly. And, then I know the IT guy for that site is a tool who likely hates macOS. One of the reasons I like Fluid is that I can set the web app's User Agent when I set up the SSB...

I dabble with Vivaldi a bit, it's come a long way - AFAIK it's built in part by former Opera employees. I liked Opera, since a Chinese company purchased that browser's resources there's no way I'd use Opera for any site that requires security - the move by a bunch of the browser's programmers vectored to Vivaldi shortly after that purchase left me leaving Opera pretty much on a sideline. I try FF from time to time but there's just nothing choosing me to launch it when I need to use a browser - now that they're pushing ads a bit leaves me feeling FF's days are numbered.
 

jwolf6589

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
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Colorado
There's a couple of bits of input I can add, not reading about them above.

First bit, since you're focusing on one web site that you use Chrome, consider using the epichrome single site browser (SSB). I use SSBs for several sites - this one, Wunderground, Sigalert, Feedly, email accounts, WaPo/Guardian - each SSB doesn't talk to any other SSB, I can use Chrome Extensions like uBlock Origin/Dark Reader/Dropbox, each SSB gets updates when Chrome is updated, site-specific preferences. What's not to like? I also use the $5 paid version of Fluid for some of my SSBs, using Fluid when I don't need to concern myself with Extensions and the like...

Second bit, I occasionally have issues with Safari as well. I use the Develop Menu>User Agent options when I get "stuck" - along the lines of I'm using Safari and the site just doesn't work quite right, and then I switch the User Agent to "Chrome" for Windows (the relevant version in Safari's menu options) and "magically" the web site works perfectly. And, then I know the IT guy for that site is a tool who likely hates macOS. One of the reasons I like Fluid is that I can set the web app's User Agent when I set up the SSB...

I dabble with Vivaldi a bit, it's come a long way - AFAIK it's built in part by former Opera employees. I liked Opera, since a Chinese company purchased that browser's resources there's no way I'd use Opera for any site that requires security - the move by a bunch of the browser's programmers vectored to Vivaldi shortly after that purchase left me leaving Opera pretty much on a sideline. I try FF from time to time but there's just nothing choosing me to launch it when I need to use a browser - now that they're pushing ads a bit leaves me feeling FF's days are numbered.

I tried that and it failed to work. The only way to play this game is to use Chrome or FF. Sorry Safari does not work.
 

stillcrazyman

macrumors 68030
Oct 10, 2014
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In Exile
I tried the latest Firefox browser. It's come a long way since the last time I used it on a regular basis. If I can sort out a printing issue, I may dump using Chrome at work.

For everything else, I have been using Safari for a few years now, and have no intention of switching to another browser.
 

MacBH928

macrumors 601
May 17, 2008
4,423
1,624
If you care about privacy and not being tracked... do not using anything Google and therefor do not use Chrome.

I suggest using Firefox since its open-source and you know nothing fishy is happening behind the scenes. There is also Brave which I believe is open source too. Its pretty decent give it a try.

Otherwise, use Safari if you trust Apple. At least, I trust them more than Google since they make money on actually hardware and software and not selling my data.
 

jerwin

Suspended
Jun 13, 2015
2,895
4,646
Safari because it's fast, efficient, and I like the reading list.
Chrome for youtube because it's the only browser that supports 4k (on my machine, at least). Not that efficient though.
Firefox is installed, but I don't use it that much. But maybe it has better javascript debugging tools.
 

jwolf6589

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
1,925
299
Colorado
Safari because it's fast, efficient, and I like the reading list.
Chrome for youtube because it's the only browser that supports 4k (on my machine, at least). Not that efficient though.
Firefox is installed, but I don't use it that much. But maybe it has better javascript debugging tools.
What is the Safari reading list?
 
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