Do you trust your web browser?
It’s your gateway to the web, a guardian against the multitude of infected websites and a foothold on your computer for some of the largest, most data-hungry organisations in the world.
The major web browsers are fast, highly sophisticated pieces of software backed up by slick distribution channels and clever advertising. They’re participants in an intense and never-ending competition with each other, with rapidly evolving web standards and ever-more cunning cyber-criminals.
They represent countless hours and millions of dollars of investment but they are a commodity that’s taken for granted and given away for free.
The days of paying for web browsers (and yes kids, there were such days) are ancient history, as are the days of competing on fancy new features and the naked aggression of embrace and extend.
These days, we know what we want our web browsers to do. The last great innovation was probably tabbed browsing almost a decade and a half ago and no amount of interface shaving or marketing puffery can hide the fact that web browsers have settled down to a solid, dependable and unexciting middle age.
As price and then features dwindled as reasons to choose a web browser, they were replaced by speed and then security and privacy.
Of course most of us don’t have the skills or the time to objectively determine such things, which leaves us choosing browsers based on a belief that one will watch our back better than another (or tolerating browsers we don’t actually trust).
And that raises an interesting question; one that I’m asking you for the third time in three years – which web browser do you trust?
We know it doesn’t mean that the winner is the most secure, but that’s not what we’re asking – we want to know what you believe to be the most trustworthy.
Is it Firefox, our winner two years in a row despite its reliance on funding from data-hungry search giants and a dwindling market share?
Perhaps it’s Internet Explorer, the browser that won the original browser war and absolutely nobody’s affection, or its shiny but poorly known successor Microsoft Edge.
What about Opera, the desktop also-ran that’s rapidly turning into a mobile and tablet also-ran, or Chromium, the decaffeinated Chrome that most people haven’t heard of?
Or maybe you believe that Chrome will live up to Google’s claim to do no evil, that Safari has substance to go with Apple’s style or that Tor’s paranoia is enough to overcome the people who are out to get it.
Tell us which web browser you trust…