Google Chrome remains the king of web browsers with a market share of almost exactly 70%. Microsoft's latest Edge browser, which uses the Chromium open source engine, took second place from Mozilla's Firefox with 7.9%. And now Microsoft is pushing the new Edge to all Windows 10 desktops, replacing the old Windows 10 version and giving Edge an integrated advantage.
But which one should you actually use? The two have a lot in common, but some important differences make you a clear winner.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends
Let's start with the obvious: what is everyone like for general surfing? In terms of design, they are almost identical. Many of the old design elements of the original Edge browser have disappeared and have been replaced by rounded edges and cleaner user interfaces.
Sure, the arrow buttons and other icons in Edge and Chrome look a little different, but the URL / search bar is essentially the same, and the icons for extensions and add-ons are in the same place. Right click to the right of the tabs and you will see exactly the same tab menu. In short, if you switch from Chrome to Edge, you will hardly notice a difference in your daily browsing. However, there is an obvious difference in the standard search engine and the homepage. Edge naturally uses Microsoft Bing by default, while Google uses the Google search engine by default. However, both can be switched at will and is therefore only a temporary annoyance.
Edge and Chrome are both based on the Chromium open source browser that uses the Blink rendering engine and are therefore more similar than different. I sometimes have to remember what I'm using.
The similarities continue in performance. These are both very fast browsers. Admittedly, Chrome only marginally beats Edge in the Kraken and Jetstream benchmarks, but it's not enough to recognize it in everyday use.
Microsoft Edge has a significant performance advantage over Chrome. Memory usage. Edge simply uses fewer resources. Chrome used to be known for how little RAM it used, but now it's bloated. Edge used 665 MB of RAM with six pages loaded, while Chrome used 1.4 GB – this is a significant difference, especially on systems with limited memory.
If you're someone worried about how much Chrome has become a memory hog, Microsoft Edge is the clear winner in this regard.
Switching from Chrome to Edge is quite simple in terms of features. Simply install Microsoft's new browser, accept the offer to sync your passwords, bookmarks, addresses, and more from Chrome, and you're good to go. This is a nice feature in itself, although most modern browsers offer the same basic functions.
Edge also offers some features that Chrome doesn't. For example, there are edge collections that you can use to group and name similar websites. You can then easily access these groups by clicking on a collection to quickly and easily return to a specific work state.
Then there is the editor, Microsoft's built-in answer to spelling and grammar checks like grammar. The editor uses artificial intelligence to keep your writing up to date and promises to work well for anyone who is unwilling to spend money on another add-on.
Extensions are another strength of Edge. You can add Edge extensions from the Windows Store with limited selection, as well as extensions from the Chrome Web Store, although manual access is required. So far I haven't come across an extension that can't be installed and run on Edge without problems. In theory, this means that Edge could get more extensions than Chrome if the developer community supported the Windows Store. Edge used what was once a Chrome strength.
Edge also offers a reading function that can be used to read everything on a website in a pleasant voice. It's a great accessibility feature that allows people with limited vision to access written words.
Both browsers support the conversion of websites into apps. Although the process is slightly different, the net result is the same. Apps run well on both platforms.
If you want to transfer your content to another device, Edge uses the Miracast and DNLA protocols, while Chrome outputs to Chromecast devices. Which is preferable depends on which devices you want to broadcast to, although Chromecast is probably the most popular solution.
One area in which Chrome offers advantages is the integration into the entire Google ecosystem such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Maps. If you are dependent on this ecosystem, switching to a different browser can be a challenge.
Chrome can sync almost every aspect of the browser across systems. The list is complete and includes everything from passwords to bookmarks to history and much more. Just look at the number of things that can be synced:
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends
Chrome processes the synchronization perfectly and enables almost seamless functions between your phone, laptop, iPad or anything else where Chrome can be installed.
Microsoft Edge is still in a relatively early stage of development, and limited device synchronization has always been the biggest lack of functionality. You can sync passwords, bookmarks, and more from one device to another, but this isn't perfect.
Edge lists the history and open tabs as two important synchronization features that are still under development. These are very important, especially if you frequently switch between devices. While it's almost guaranteed that Edge will eventually come out, it's an important reason to stick with Chrome for now.
Chrome runs on almost every platform, including Chromebooks and Android, by default. It can also be installed on Windows, Linux, MacOS, iPadOS and iOS.
Edge is also available on a range of devices, including Windows by default and MacOS, iOS, iPadOS, and Android by installation. Linux support will be available soon. While you can't natively install on Chrome OS, you can install the Android version if necessary.
Security and privacy
Edge has more privacy settings than Chrome and is more accessible. In particular, Edge Tracker can block websites that you have visited and websites that you have not visited and prevent your personalized information from being shared on websites. You can choose between three tracking prevention levels to easily choose your own comfort. Edge also uses Microsoft Defender Smartscreen to protect itself from malicious websites and downloads.
Chrome, on the other hand, limits itself to blocking third-party cookies and enabling safe surfing by identifying dangerous websites, downloads and extensions. In both Chrome and Edge, you can install ad blockers as extensions and determine which website has which permissions on your devices.
Chrome may be everywhere, but Edge has … the advantage
Surprisingly, Edge is a more complete browser for us. It uses less resources, has better privacy policies, and offers some useful features that Chrome can't keep up with. Not everything is synced to other devices, and that's a major weakness right now.
However, it is no longer true that you should simply install Chrome and set it as the default browser by default. Microsoft Edge offers some useful features that make surfing more robust.