What should you look for in a web browser for Macs? It needs to be stable, secure, and as speedy as possible — plus, add-ons are always a good option to have. The one you go for is not always an easy choice.
After all, as a Mac user, you might find yourself using Safari. But is it still the best browser for Mac?
If you’re wondering which web browser is the safest, speediest, or most customizable, there are quite a few to pick from. We’ve done the research and are ready to make several top recommendations.
Here are the best web browsers you can get on a Mac. Apple has done an incredible job of optimizing Safari for today’s internet needs and Mac machines.
The result is a web browser that’s usually the best option for getting things done on MacOS. It has cross-site tracking and some built-in ad targeting prevention for privacy.
Add Apple’s famously locked-down system, and you have a browser that’s secure and reliable (HTTPS certificates for sites on Safari must be renewed every year, for example). It’s also speedy, with the 2021 Jetstream 2 browser benchmark giving it a score of 136, higher than other popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox.
For Apple fans, Safari also offers amazing integration.
At a moment’s notice, you can search for a title on the App Store or hand off your web browser session to another device like your iPad or MacBook.
Integration with iCloud also allows you to use Safari’s password-management services if you prefer to avoid third-party apps. All in all, Safari offers excellent performance, is available on your Mac right out of the box, and has a growing number of extensions that allow you to expand its capabilities.
Chrome has made a name for itself with its minimalistic interface and rich collection of extensions for adding tools or apps directly to the web browser — nearly 190,000 of them in total.
The web browser also can aid you in translating webpages, double-check your security, and has robust settings that allow you to toggle nearly everything on or off as you desire. While not quite as speedy as Safari, our Jetstream 2 tests gave it a score of 130, which still is very respectable.
The 7 Best Browsers for Mac, as Voted by the MacUpdate Community
Chrome also excels at multitasking, and it’s one of the friendliest browsers for managing multiple windows and long strings of tabs in intuitive ways, so it remains a strong choice for those who need a lot of organization.
It’s not entirely perfect — sometimes bugs can creep in, and it can be greedy for RAM — but it is frequently updated and offers strong customization options. It’s also very friendly with Chromecast devices and, of course, Chromebooks if you use Google’s system elsewhere.
Firefox is one of the few mainstream browsers with an open-source origin, giving it a broad portfolio of add-ons for users to play with and customize as they see fit.
This can also introduce some security concerns, but in recent years Mozilla has proven adept at frequent updates, fixes, and optimization (including privacy restrictions that keep providers from selling your data).
While Firefox is in excellent shape these days and makes an efficient alternative if you want to switch, it did perform notably worse on our Jetstream 2 tests with a score of 74, so it’s not the best option if speed is your primary concern.
Where Firefox really shines is its personalization options.
So, What Do You Need from a Modern Web Browser?
If you’re worried about privacy, you can use the Enhanced Tracking Protection to block or review whatever you want. If you want to build the web browser out as a workplace hub, you can download whatever add-ons you need to support work apps, content checking, analysis, and much more.
Even native features like picture-in-picture support or Pocket app integration make Firefox incredibly useful. The downside is that you’ll have to spend time learning it all if you’re new, and its add-ons aren’t quite as easy to navigate as something like Chrome’s extensions.
Microsoft Edge’s revamp appears to be a strong success, as the browser is officially more popular than Firefox among worldwide users. The interface is also better than it has ever been, with the Chromium base of the browser inspiring a Chrome-like clean look that’s excellent for organization and intuitive to understand.
Chromium also gives it access to all the extensions on the Google Chrome Store — they may not always run as well on Edge, but you can still find the solution you want. Microsoft also has added some neat categorization that allows you to do things like save webpages in a Collection for future reference.
Brave: Best Browser for Mac
Whether you’re switching from Chrome or just looking for a capable alternative web browser on Mac, Edge is certainly worth a try. Users who have had problems with slowdowns or buggy performance using Chrome on their Macs may be able to find serenity in Opera, another web browser-based in Chromium but more focused on a lean, privacy-oriented structure.
It’s made to be as efficient as possible, which is why it’s generally better for avoiding RAM shortages or unexpected crashes. Opera also is filled with intelligent, native features that modern-day internet users will immediately appreciate, including built-in ad blocking, built-in chat messengers that are always available, and even a free built-in VPN that you can enable for additional privacy.
You also can customize it with options from a dark mode to web browser-specific keyboard shortcuts. Opera may have welcome privacy features, but if privacy is your primary focus, we suggest going with Brave.
It offers in-depth privacy management for ads, scripts, and cookies, along with a built-in password manager and a constantly updated total of what’s been blocked. While phishing attempts and malware are automatically detected, you can customize other various security settings to work site by site or for the entire web browser.
It’s also extremely efficient, so if you are trying to save on battery life or similar goals, then it’s worth trying out.
What Makes the Best Internet Browser for Mac
Vivaldi’s cross-platform web browser structure has several unique features that may be perfect for online experiences.
First, the interface is incredibly customizable compared to the somewhat limited options of other web browsers, allowing you to string out or stack tabs as you want, divide into multiple sections for apps or menus, switch to thumbnail perspectives for certain webpages, and much more.
There’s also plenty of compatibility for Chrome extensions and robust privacy measures that include blocking all kinds of tracking.
It’s excellent for micromanagement, especially if you’ve been disappointed by web browser limitations in the past. 17 January 2020. Switching web browser is often overlooked by Mac users as Safari comes pre-loaded.
But in this day and age, where privacy and security are so highly valued, choosing a browser geared towards keeping your personal data safe and secure is as important as having antivirus software installed.
So, which is the most private browser for Mac? The most secure? Most customizable? In this article, you’ll learn:. The 7 most secure browsers for Mac, as chosen by MacUpdate community.
The key characteristics of a modern web browser. The most common online threats. How to browse safely. Fast, feature-laden and customizable, Vivaldi for Mac is a terrific web browser. It’s laser-focused on providing a unique user experience, so much so that during the initial setup process, you have the opportunity to decide the theme, layout, tab and address bar placement, and so much more.
And when you’re syncing browser data between devices, everything is sent using end-to-end encryption for further peace of mind. Can run Chrome extensions.
An excellent bookmarks system. Built-in page capture. No built-in adblocker. Does not offer automatic translation. Vivaldi is built on the same browser engine as Chrome, meaning it shares a number of the same security concerns.
Given that Chrome is so popular, many of the hacks that will work on Chrome can also be applied to Vivaldi. Like Vivaldi, Opera is another popular alternative to Chrome. It’s also built on Google’s Chromium browser engine and shares a number of key characteristics with Google’s browser.
The user experience is very similar, and Opera is just as quick, light, and easy-to-use. Where Opera differs is the built-in features.
It values user experience, privacy and security right out of the box, with its own ad blocker, free VPN, crypto wallet, unit converter, and more. It prioritises speed and performance while making sure you remain safe as you browse.
Opera’s secure browser protects you from fraud and malware and minimises online tracking.
Built-in unlimited VPN service. Built-in “Stash” feature for saving web pages to read later.
Fast and reliable, with a sleek design.
Not always compatible with older websites. The “baked-in” security features are a great starting point, but not as comprehensive as dedicated, paid-for antivirus software.
Chrome is everywhere, so it’s little wonder that it stands alone as the most popular browser on the planet.
At last count, it took 64.3% of the worldwide browser market share, making it four times as popular as Safari. And there are a few good reasons why it’s so commonly used.
The feature set is robust, with options geared towards productivity, security, and convenience, while its built-in tools help you answer questions faster and more accurately.
It’s also the gold standard when it comes to syncing. Simply log into your Google account and have all of your preferences, bookmarks and data at your fingertips, from Macbook to iPhone to iPad.
Built-in password manager, auto-translator and adblocker.
Syncs preferences and bookmarks across a number of devices. Alert to phishing schemes, ransomware, and other malicious software. Larger file size when compared with other browsers.
And the Winner Is...
Often slows down when navigating between web pages. Apple’s default browser may not have the popularity of Chrome, or indeed the speed, but that doesn’t mean Safari isn’t worth considering.
If you’re a fully-fledged Apple fan, you’ll appreciate the level of integration with macOS and iCloud, with the ability to sync across all of your devices.
And thanks to some Mac-specific optimizations, you’ll also enjoy a far greater battery life when compared to some other, CPU-hungry browsers.