Lately, I’ve been using Google Chrome. As much as I hated the fact that Google decided that none of the other browsers were good enough and had to make yet another to make web developers’ lives that much more complicated, they’ve done a good job. Chrome is fast, compatible and stable.
That got me thinking about how browsers have improved over the years and what my browser of choice has been.
1994-5: Lynx & NCSA Mosaic
I used both back when the web was born. Mosaic had graphics, but Lynx sure was fast over a modem.
1996-1998: Netscape Navigator
1998-2003: Internet Explorer
When IE 4 came out, it was simply better than Navigator. It was faster, less crashy and pages looked better.
Extensions, less bloat and better compatibility made Firefox great in its day.
2009-Present: Google Chrome
Firefox got more and more bloated over the years and its performance suffered. It seemed to be always using ridiculous amounts of CPU when it was doing nothing. Chrome was a welcome alternative with plenty of extensions and notably faster performance.
Safari is a strong contender these days as well and will get better as more extensions become available for it. For now, I’m pretty happy with Google Chrome.
The pace of browser improvements over the last 16 years has been impressive. I’m sure what we have today will still be laughable compared to whatever my browser of choice will be in 2026.