These days, most people spend most of their time on the internet. Whether they are on their mobile phone, tablet, or computer, people use browsers day in and day out to view websites and use web apps.
Browsers are your window to the internet. It only makes sense to choose one that fits your needs and provides features that can make your life much easier. It also helps to pick a browser that you enjoy looking at and using, especially considering just how much time you’ll be spending accessing the internet through it.
If you’re on a Mac, you’ve probably wondered once or twice whether you should use the world’s most popular browser (Google Chrome) or if you should switch to Apple’s Safari. Both browsers have their strengths and weaknesses. But in the battle of Safari vs Chrome, is there truly a winner? Is Chrome or Safari better? Read this head-to-head comparison to find out!
Safari is Apple’s native browser built on open-source code and Webkit. First released in 2003, Safari has now evolved to become a fast, efficient, and private browser that provides users with an excellent browsing experience. Although Safari used to be available on Windows for a time (2007-2012), it is now a macOS and iOS-only product.
If you’re deciding between Safari vs Chrome on Mac, you may want to choose Safari. Apple has designed and developed its browser to be fully compatible and integrated into its ecosystem. Safari plays extremely well with Apple machines and devices and usually requires far fewer resources and battery to run.
Safari Pros and Cons
- Seamless integration into Apple’s ecosystem
- Takes full advantage of the Handoff feature
- Built with your privacy in mind
- Sleek and clean design, intuitive user experience
- Reader mode
- Not as many extensions available
- Only available on Apple operating systems
- Not the best if you have other devices using other operating systems
- Not very customizable
About Google Chrome
Google Chrome, built on Chromium, is “the browser by Google.” It is the world’s most popular browser, with a 64.95% market share in May of 2022. It’s easy to see why — when Chrome first came out, it was a trailblazer that knocked Internet Explorer off its throne. Now, it’s available on a great majority of platforms for free. Thanks to its accessibility, Chrome continues to be the most widely-used browser to date.
Despite its popularity, Google Chrome does have its share of problems. Many users complain about Chrome’s privacy issues. If privacy is a concern for you, then the answer to the question “is Chrome better than Safari?” is a resounding no. You might want to consider Safari instead (or one of the alternative browsers below).
There’s no denying that at its core, Google Chrome is an amazing and highly-capable browser. However, it continues to get criticized for its resource-intensiveness. Chrome is known for using a considerable percentage of your CPU’s processing power. It’s also less power-efficient, eating through your devices’ batteries faster.
Google Chrome Pros and Cons
- Cross-platform compatibility
- Works well with other Google products
- Very customizable
- Tons of extensions available
- Allows you to sign in on multiple devices to continue your browsing whichever one you use
- Not great for privacy
- More resource hungry
- More taxing on a laptop’s battery
- Extension store is not as safe as Apple’s
Safari vs Chrome: In Detail
It may help you to look at Chrome vs Safari in a detailed comparison, which is why we’ve put together the section below.
|User Interface and Design||Like all of Apple’s products, Safari looks sleek and clean. It is also intuitive and user-friendly.||Google Chrome doesn’t look as sleek or clean and it might also be a bit more complex to use. However, the advantage that Chrome has is that it’s much more customizable. You can even install themes to fully personalize your browsing experience!|
|Privacy and Security||Safari was built with your privacy in mind. Because Apple makes its money from selling its devices, it can focus on providing you with a safe browsing experience.
Although it is not updated as often as Chrome, Safari remains a secure browser. It uses Safe Browsing (a Google product) to check whether websites and pages are safe for you to visit.
|Google offers a great majority of its products for free, which means they make their money from you and your data. Chrome is not the best choice if you’d like to keep your privacy as you browse the web.
Google Chrome gets major updates almost every month, with many smaller security fixes in between.
|Performance and Speed||With every operating system update, Apple continues to integrate Safari even better into the ecosystem. The result is a faster, smoother browser that takes fewer resources and uses much less battery.||Google Chrome is frequently criticized for being too resource-hungry. Many complain of lag, high CPU usage, and faster battery drain when using this browser. Thankfully, Google does appear to be actively working on resolving the issue, with some minor observable progress.
Chrome also has a built-in task manager to help you shut down tasks/tabs that are not responding or causing issues.
|Extensions||Because Apple added the extensions feature to Safari somewhat late, Safari’s existing library of extensions is much smaller than Chrome’s. However, Safari’s extension store continues to grow every day!
It’s worth noting that extensions must be approved by Apple before appearing on the app store, which does add a layer of security. Apps and extensions from Apple’s app stores are almost always guaranteed to be safe for use.
Is Safari better than Chrome when it comes to providing safer extensions? Our answer would be yes.
|Chrome has over 150,000 extensions available in its web store. However, because Chrome’s web store is less stringent, not all extensions available are guaranteed to be safe.
If you want to be sure an extension is safe, you would have to use Enhanced Safe Browsing to see whether an extension is trusted by Google. Unfortunately, the less tech-savvy probably won’t know about this and may find themselves vulnerable to installing unsafe extensions.
If you end up deciding that you don’t want to use Chrome or Safari, don’t worry — there are plenty of other browsers available for you. Let’s take a look at some of them!
Don’t be fooled by the cutesy name — DuckDuckGo is a browser that packs a punch when it comes to protecting your privacy. This browser has been around for a while, but as more people become conscious about their data and privacy, we can only see growth in its popularity. DuckDuckGo allows you to search for keywords in private search mode to prevent tracking as you browse. Among its many other features, it also gives each website you visit a privacy grade. Safe browsing gets an A, and compromised privacy receives an F grade.
We’re not joking — Microsoft Edge actually makes for a great option these days! In 2020, Microsoft made a major change to Edge by releasing a new version that’s based on Chromium. If that sounds familiar, that’s because Chromium is the same open-source code that Google used to create Chrome. So now, Edge is must faster and more resource-efficient than ever before. It doesn’t do a bad job at protecting your privacy, either. And yes, you can use Edge on macOS and iOS!
Keep an eye out for incentives as well; sometimes Microsoft has promotions that reward you for using Edge or searching with Bing!
Brave has had its share of controversy. One of the biggest ones was when Brave was found to have injected its Binance affiliate link whenever users typed Binance into the browser address bar. Many users have decided to switch away from Brave after this violation of trust, but the decision of whether to use it or not remains yours. Under the surface, Brave still remains a good free browser that comes with privacy features and an ad-blocker built right in.
Related: 9 Best Alternative Browsers to Try Instead of Chrome
Safari vs Google Chrome: Our Verdict
In the head-to-head of Google Chrome vs Safari, it’s tough to declare a clear winner. Our answer to the question “which is better, Safari or Chrome?” is Safari — but only if you are already fully invested in Apple’s ecosystem. The privacy features alone are a great enough reason to make the switch, but it’s also tough to overlook the resource and energy efficiency of Apple’s native browser.
Is Google Chrome better than Safari? Yes, if you have multiple devices that don’t all run on the same operating system.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is better, Google Chrome or Safari?
Whether Google Chrome or Safari is better is quite subjective, so it’s challenging to pin down a single answer to this question. The answer to this question pretty much depends on your situation and needs. If you are deep into the Apple ecosystem and all of your devices are macOS and iOS, then Safari might be better for you. The seamless experience offered by the Apple browser when working within the Apple ecosystem is quite unbeatable.
If you have a mixture of devices, such as a gaming PC running on Windows, Android mobile devices, and a MacBook for work, for example, you may find yourself preferring Google Chrome. The fact that Safari is only available on Apple devices makes it difficult to enjoy continuity across all your devices.
When choosing Safari or Chrome, also consider the features that matter to you most. Do you want better privacy? Would you rather have Chrome’s near-weekly security updates? You can also consider all the extensions you use daily and see if some are only available on Chrome.
Should I switch from Chrome to Safari?
The choice of whether to switch is yours to make. However, there are some reasons that may help you make that decision. For example, you may want to use Safari if you want a browser that’s more resource and battery efficient. You can also switch if you prefer Safari’s sleek user interface and user privacy-centric design. Plus, if you already have iOS devices, you’ll most likely enjoy the Handoff feature that keeps you browsing between your devices with basically no downtime.
Is Safari safer than Google Chrome?
Not necessarily! In fact, you may find that Google Chrome might be even more secure considering how often the tech giant updates its offerings. Chrome in particular gets major updates roughly on a monthly basis. On top of the major updates, Google also pushes many smaller updates whenever necessary.
There may be a bit of a misconception that Safari only gets updated once in a blue moon when Apple does major OS updates. However, Safari actually gets updated a few times a year. These security updates often coincide with the patches that Apple releases about five to six times each year.
So is Safari safer than Chrome? It’s tough to answer this question accurately. Both are probably just as secure, considering Safari does use Google’s safe browsing database. Remember that regardless of the number of security fixes and updates a browser gets, it’s still a good idea for you to be careful as you browse the web!
Should I download Chrome on my Mac?
If you have use for it, go ahead! Many people use Safari as their main browser but keep Google Chrome downloaded as a backup just in case they need one of its features. Some people also keep Chrome because of some extensions they need that are only available on Google’s browser.
Can you have two browsers?
Why not? There’s no rule saying that you cannot have more than one browser on your computer! You can choose one as your default browser and use the other as a supplementary option. Some people even keep one browser as their all-around window to the internet while keeping another dedicated only to school or work.
So which browser wins the battle of Safari vs Chrome? Quite honestly, there’s no clear-cut winner. We like Safari for its privacy features, sleek look, and resource/battery efficiency. But Chrome’s got its own advantages, such as cross-platform compatibility, frequent security patches, and a massive extension library.
One of the best and easiest ways to figure out which browser is better for you is to try both! There’s no harm in downloading and installing Google Chrome — it’s free, after all. Try both browsers for a while and see which one just feels better to you overall.
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Chriselle has been a passionate writer for over 10 years, working with many publications worldwide. She currently writes for Productivity Spot, The Grad Cafe, and Hackr.io, among others.