We tested various browsers on Windows 11. Internet Explorer (IE) is still on board as the iexplore.exe file in the operating system, but no longer runs from there. However, for academic reasons, we put IE to the test under Windows 11: With Open Internet Explorer or KMPlayer, you can create an IE window that would not otherwise be available.
The mediocre Edge and IE, Faster Edge
The IE web browser was already hidden in Windows 10 and, unlike Edge, Microsoft’s IE successor, was no longer tied to the default taskbar. In Windows 7/8.1, on the other hand, only IE was present in the system and on the taskbar. Since it had stagnated a lot over the years in terms of tempo, we wanted to measure the divergence with respect to other clients. However, we didn’t include Edge Legacy in the test: this first version of the Edge browser came out in 2015 and ran on Windows 10 1507 (the first version of Windows 10) through and including Windows 10 2004 (the May 2020 update). Starting with Windows 10 20H2 (October 2020 update, 2004 successor), Chromium Edge is used instead. Also, since Microsoft no longer offers security updates for Edge Legacy, we did not include the old client in our evaluation.
Test Winner: Brave Browser
To see directly which programs perform as they do, scroll down to the “Conclusion: The Fastest Browser” paragraph of the article. Details about the programs tested and the testing methodology can be found in the following paragraphs. The winner in this comparison test was Brave Browser. Google Chrome and Chromium Edge share second place. In the old test, the latter was 193% faster than the old Edge (legacy) browser.
Opera follows right behind Chrome and Edge in fourth place.The client recently reached version 100, catching up with some of its competitors. It’s interesting that there are any pace differences at all between the clients, since they are now mostly based on Chromium. So far, Microsoft has managed to outperform Google Chrome (considered the fastest) in certain disciplines of the speed test. And Brave is currently doing that as well. By the way, Chromium-Edge no longer has anything in common with Edge Legacy: aside from speed, the Chromium variant just slips in more because the surface and therefore performance are at a much higher level.
The Google Chrome fork is now also from Microsoft
Google Chrome is considered fast, which is justified: it usually opens websites quickly. Google Chrome methods from Google’s open-source Chromium project are also used in Opera, Vivaldi, Brave and Microsoft Edge. Mozilla makes its own soup when it comes to website display technology. Microsoft also did the latter some time ago: its Edge browser was exclusive to Windows 10 and not available for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. EdgeHTML served as the engine.
EdgeHTML’s successor has been in development for several years: Chromium Edge. The add-ons from the Chrome Web Store work here as well, only the default search engine is more cumbersome than the Google Chrome transition. Microsoft uses Bing by default as such, but most users prefer Google and need to do some research to change this setting.
The test: The fastest browser
Checking which browser is the fastest is easy: first of all, it takes a lot of time. Various benchmarks are used, i.e. the web services on which you usually click to run the test. Depending on the service, a higher or lower value is better — usually high scores indicate a fast browser. Testing takes a long time because there are different benchmarks, and each one takes anywhere from a few seconds to minutes to determine a score. The more browsers involved in the tests, the more difficult they become: the number of courses, their duration and the number of clients increases.
Therefore, only a few important browsers are included in the comparison: Firefox , Google Chrome , Opera , Internet Explorer , Chromium Edge , Waterfox , Vivaldi and Brave Browser.
Smaller vendors are unlikely to create a faster browser than the big players Google, Microsoft and Mozilla, although such tools have a raison d’être, mostly due to useful extra features. The Pulse browser follows a special approach with preconfigured about:config values , so it is prepared to be especially fast. However, because it got stuck during testing with one of the tests we used, we decided not to run it through all the test runs; it dropped out as a test candidate fairly early on.
Ranking of the fastest browsers:
- Brave Browser
- Google Chrome
- Water Fox
- Internet Explorer
Browser Speed Ratings: Who’s Leading?
In the series of pictures above, you’ll find the gallery entry for each test. The browsers in it are sorted according to their tempo test results; the fastest client at the top, the last one at the bottom. Internet Explorer doesn’t support web standards well and has subsequently abandoned many applications. Faster is Firefox, which lags behind the Chromium-based armada of competitors, but doesn’t feel slow in everyday use. Subjectively, Firefox’s interface and rendering speed are high.
Depending on the place in individual tests, we awarded points to determine the overall web client rating. First place in each test received five points, second place four, third place three, fourth place two and fifth place one. IE was often the slowest; it received partially zero points only because it refused to render.
Test system (in a home office)
About the test device: it is a Medion laptop with an Intel Core i7 processor, 8 gigabytes of RAM (RAM) and Windows 11 22H2. The hardware has some influence, so the test results may vary from device to device. The author of this article tested this with a hardware downgrade: he reduced the number of processor cores from 4 to 1 using the Windows tool msconfig .
Microsoft Edge initially scored about 37,000 points with four cores in the Octane test; with only one core, performance dropped to just over 23,000 counters. Firefox dropped to about 9,000 points on one CPU core, and performance on all four cores was about 21,000 points. Enabling Super Duper Secure Mode in MS Edge is also detrimental to speed . It makes web surfing more secure. The measure has almost no noticeable effect on speed, but performance drops noticeably in tests as a result of activating this security option.
Since test results are known to fluctuate, we double-checked all browsers for performance and calculated average values. The tests took place in a home office with an ADSL Internet connection (30 megabits per second). The computer was running on AC power, not battery power. Windows never went into suspend mode.
During the tests only the browser was running, background programs were not active as far as can be seen. No add-ons were installed in any browser. We used 64-bit versions of programs everywhere. Testing with 32-bit browsers would have been possible, but it would have unnecessarily increased the testing effort, and you are usually better off with 64-bit browsers – they usually offer speed, security and stability advantages. The only thing that speaks in favor of 32-bit browsers is that they often require less RAM than their 64-bit counterparts. However, nowadays PCs usually have a lot of RAM installed, so you hardly have to pay attention to memory shortage. By the way, the Windows 11 “Driver Booster Power Plan” has been activated; in addition, “Balanced” since Windows 10 1709 the only preset power profile . This should have a small effect on the performance ratings.
Conclusion: The fastest browser
In fact, Brave, Chrome and Edge are among the top three ranking categories. Firefox and Opera can also be seen on the winner’s podium, but not enough for them to take the top spot.
Brave proved to be the fastest browser in terms of measurement, followed by a tiny distance between Chrome and Edge. Edge may lag a little behind (it was the test winner last year) because Microsoft has cluttered it with features that not everyone needs. Vivaldi also has a large repertoire of full-length movies, perhaps more than Opera – Vivaldi comes from Opera’s former founder. Perhaps the creators of browsers should have reduced the number of features to improve speed. Chromium-based programs, which are essentially very similar, stand out precisely because they offer special features. And the settings menu, often not very subtle, gives you a lot of freedom. Modern PCs are turning into conglomerates. In terms of resource consumption, with modern PCs the limits are hardly necessary. On the other hand, older PCs would benefit from more compact code; there was once a project called Firefox Light in this direction, it was discontinued.
When choosing a browser, it is better not to put it on the basis of speed, but rather on the ease of use and whether all the desired features (built-in or upgradable with an add-on) are available. Opera, for example, has the advantage that clicking on a tab on the corresponding Web site automatically scrolls up.
It is impossible within the scope of this article to provide all the details about the browsers mentioned. As an interested person, it is better to make your own opinion through several parallel installations. Then you will discover some functional cherry on the cake, which in itself makes no difference either for or against the client, but can definitely make a difference overall. And there’s neither here nor there: if you like several surfing themes, you don’t need to uninstall any of them. Unlike most antivirus programs, parallel operation is possible without problems. Thanks to the appropriate auto-update mechanisms, you don’t have to worry about updates.