I used the web browsers Edge and Brave exclusively for 1 week each here are my thoughts
5 min read
For a few years Firefox was my web browser of choice. It was very popular and had very few competitors back then other than Internet Explorer. These days the competition has really heated up and there are now many web browsers to choose from. When Google Chrome was released that became my first choice browser and Safari was my second choice up until now. However I was curious how it would compare up against the likes Microsoft Edge which recently became available on macOS in April. And the Brave Browser which has been around since 2016. I never really thought about trying it until now.
In my first week I used Microsoft Edge and in my second week I used The Brave Browser. Both browsers are built using Chromium which is an open-source codebase which can be used for building web browsers. Google uses this codebase to create the Chrome browser hence the name.
After I had downloaded and installed Microsoft Edge I started to install extensions. I wanted to mirror my Google Chrome setup so it felt the same. Microsoft has an Edge add-on store which is very similar to the Google Chrome web store. I was able to find and install almost all of the extensions that I already had installed with Google Chrome. However there were some that were missing like ColorZilla. Fortunately I found an alternative called ColorFish which is very similar.
One of the nicest features was being able to make the toolbar horizontal or vertical. It gives you slightly more space and you can keep open tabs out of the way by having them on the side as small icons. The default search engine is Bing which is fine because its a Microsoft browser after all but I wanted to set it to Google as default. It is possible to change the default search engine but I found that it was quite hard to find it in the settings I think they really want you to use Bing 😅
The developer tools are basically the same as Google Chrome as far as I could tell. That's perfectly fine because they are already great. Another two great features that I liked were having the ability to "Read Aloud" and also "Creating a QR code for a page". Read Aloud basically turns on the voice assistant that reads all of the text on a page. Many web browsers can already do this but made Microsoft Edge standout was the fact that a lot of the voices sounded natural and not robotic like in other browsers. It felt more like a news reader on TV. I also like the fact that it can turn generate a QR for any webpage so you can use a phones barcode scanner to go to that page. I'm sure other web browsers can do this too I could be wrong but I think it would require an extension though as its not a built in feature.
The Brave Browser
The Brave Browser was slightly easier to setup because it seems to use the same Google Chrome web store that the Google Chrome web browser uses. Because of this I was easily able to install all of the extensions making it feel just like Google Chrome. Apparently The Brave Browser is 3 times faster than Chrome. In my daily usage I did not notice that much of a difference probably because I have a M1 MacBook Pro. But it did feel a bit faster I suppose.
One area where it did win though was in privacy. It has a built in ad and tracker blocker so you don't really need to install a 3rd party one. It works just as you expect it would keeping your browsing safe and uninterrupted. My laptop is normally plugged into the mains when connected to my monitor. I did test it on mobile though and as far as I could tell the battery life seemed to be slightly better than Google Chrome in some cases.
A big standout feature for The Brave Browser is Brave Rewards. Essentially you can get rewarded for browsing and it lets you support your favorite content creators. This is how Brave explains it in their own words.
When you join Brave Rewards, your browser will automatically start tallying (only on your device’s local storage) the attention you spend on sites you visit. Once a month, Brave Rewards will send the corresponding amount of BAT, divided up based on your attention, from your local browser-based wallet to the sites you’ve visited. You can remove sites you don’t want to support, and tip creators directly too.
Content creators can use our partner Uphold to convert the BAT they earn into a currency of their choosing.
Microsoft Edge and The Brave Browser are really good alternatives and worth using as a main browser. The fact that they are Chromium based means that most websites should render exactly the same way that Google Chrome does. I also installed the mobile versions on my Android phone and the experience was more a less the same I have no complaints there. In terms of performance I used the Activity Monitor on my Mac and neither one seems to be that resource intensive on my M1 MacBook Pro. Results my vary on different computers though. I think all of them make great choices so if you have grown tired of Google Chrome then you should give them a try.
I really hope that you enjoyed reading this article and learned something from it. As a content creator and technical writer I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and helping other people reach their goals. Let's connect across social media you can find all of my social media profiles and blogs on linktree.
Did you find this article valuable?
Support Andrew Baisden by becoming a sponsor. Any amount is appreciated!