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Cover image for I used the web browsers Edge and Brave exclusively for 1 week each here are my thoughts

I used the web browsers Edge and Brave exclusively for 1 week each here are my thoughts

Andrew Baisden
👨🏿‍💻 Full Stack Developer 📝 Blogger 🎮 Gamer ✏️ Creative 👁 Anime Addict ٩(●ᴗ●)۶
・4 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.

Microsoft Edge

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.

Conclusion

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Peace ✌️

Discussion (21)

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mattcobley profile image
Matt Cobley

Hi, despite the existence of the Edge store, you can install extensions from the Chrome Web Store without any issues (in theory) on Edge, so you're not restricted to just those in the Edge store.

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden Author

Not sure if you could always do that in Edge or if it was just recently added but that seems to be the case now.

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luciferchase profile image
Lucifer Chase

It was right from the beginning. At least after the chromium edge came. In fact, earlier there was no Microsoft edge add-ons website, all extensions had to be installed from chrome webstore only 😉

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patricktingen profile image
Patrick Tingen

Edge: settings > privacy, search and services > tracking prevention
Set it to "Strict" to block "the majority of trackers"
Add ublock origin from the app store (or google app store) for more protection

Edge has some extra's like collections. And if you use it on your phone as well, it can sync with that one.

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pcjmfranken profile image
Peter Franken

Edge syncing is not available for $11/mo Microsoft 365 Business Premium accounts. Every other account type, even free Microsoft accounts can use the sync functionality. Ridiculous and frankly unacceptable.

Other than this major blemish, this is essentially a better version of Chrome and I highly suggest anyone give it a chance.

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pontakornth profile image
pontakornth

I just use Firefox right now because I like customization. I have to admit that it has fewer feature. I like send tab feature because it is really convenient when I have to send QR Code link from my phone to my Mac (Physics Quiz) so I can fill the form with university account.

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wkrueger profile image
Willian Krueger

Since I had already tried those browsers, have a different vision but hadnt wrote about it, I just wrote an article about it.

dev.to/wkrueger/brave-vs-edge-vs-o...

TLDR

If you don't need to use profiles, Opera might be interesting.

Brave might be your case if you prioritize a lot leaner website loading (less tracker requests) and you want to help fighting the surveillance economy. Be wary, tough, that BAT increases your CPU usage fairly.

Edge is a straightforward replacement for Chrome, its unlikely that you will miss anything from Chrome on Edge, especially on the DevTools department.

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skirbunk profile image
Skirbunk

It seems to me I always find a reason to try out a new browser, and with all the browsers I've tried out, I still don't use all of them. Here's how it currently works for me.

Brave - Main browser
Firefox - I edit Awwshop with
Edge - localhost (Running a website with IIS Express for programming)
Chrome - Google Play / YouTube

I'd also like to add that with Brave Browser, the iPad rewards do not work, and that works out great because instead of donating, I use the browser with an iPad.

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lorre76 profile image
Lorre76

You can also install and use Chrome extensions via the Chrome web store in MS Edge, and there's even a direct link, however, you have to activate dev mode switch. After that, install all of your favorite Chrome extensions till your heart's content ! It works great, however I should say that I'm on Win10, so you're mileage may vary !

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jonprocter profile image
jonprocter

You don't even have to enable Dev mode in settings - you just go to the Chrome extension store website and click the "allow extensions from this store" button it gives you the first time you visit it

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vinayhegde1990 profile image
Vinay Hegde • Edited

Good post, Andrew! Even I switched to Brave recently from Google Chrome.

My primary reason was being signed into Google by Chrome automatically (tried disabling this to no avail) on using any Google services & being bombarded with ads thereafter (not popups as I block them via Adblock/Ghostery but search results relevant to my browsing history). Too much personalization for my liking 😅

Never looked back since.

PS: Ecosia, AdblockPlus, Opera are also similar to Brave + Vivaldi is a good alternative (lot of customisation available). And the outstanding Firefox, of course

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vaibhav_arora__ profile image
Vaibhav Arora

I too use Brave as daily browser for speed, privacy, and good features or UI/UX of chrome

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icecoffee profile image
atulit023

My choice

Internet explorer ->>> chrome ->> edge (couple of months back) -> Firefox Dev ->> Chrome Dev

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden Author

Is that a progression or your order of preference 😅

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icecoffee profile image
atulit023

order of progression lol

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prithvi2k2 profile image
Comment marked as low quality/non-constructive by the community. View Code of Conduct
Prithvi Reddy

LMAO, that's ABUSE

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cjsmocjsmo profile image
Charlie J Smotherman

No mention of vivaldi? I find it interesting.

vivaldi.com

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden Author

This Web browser is new to me I did not know about it.

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dillman_kevin profile image
Kevin Dillman

You can use the hrome web store on Edge too. I pelieve there is even a way to transfer all your extensionst from Chrome to Edge.

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jeanmouloud66 profile image
Jean Mouloud

Any reason you don't give Firefox another chance? After a little downtime, it's back to being a great browser that doesn't have much to envy to the other ones.

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden Author

So I switched to Chrome because it has the most marketshare on desktop and mobile. It made sense to make it my first choice browser for web development because the majority of users were using it. Firefox is still great though I still have it installed of course.

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