Is Google Chrome the fastest web browser available?

As I walked downstairs this morning, my wife casually asked me if I used the Google Chrome web browser. After I told her, “no”, she mentioned that she was going to try it out since Safari and Firefox just seemed slow to her. I’ve been a long time Firefox user, but after she made her comment that got me thinking that I should also check out Google Chrome. Being the big tech nerd that I am, I of course want to use the fastest web browser available. But I’m also an “old dog”, so I don’t want to switch from Firefox to something that is too different and doesn’t have all the plugins and extensions that I’ve grown accustomed to.

I currently use Firefox for several reasons:

  • A cross-platform browser (for my Microsoft Windows 7 Netbook and Apple iMac)
  • Has several useful plugins
  • Reasonable fast and reliable

So I installed the latest version of Google Chrome on my iMac and proceeded to hunt down “extensions” (or plugins) which duplicate what I currently use with Firefox. Luckily, Chrome has lots and lots of extensions and I was able to find what I needed. Here are the plugins that I found:

AdBlock (same as for Firefox)

Clip to Evernote (same as for Firefox)

Daily Links (equivalent to Morning Coffee for Firefox)

ezLinkPreview (equivalent to Cool Previews for Firefox)

Foxish live RSS (adds live RSS capability which Firefox already has)

I’m sure over time I’ll find more useful Chrome extensions to add, but for the time being these will suffice. Now, Google Chrome in general has a really sleek interface which I like. One thing that I needed to get used to is that the page tabs are at the top of the main window instead of below the toolbar, but otherwise the appearance is very similar to how I configured Firefox. So after using Chrome for 2 days it seems to work well.

Now, is Chrome faster than Firefox? I’m not sure. It seems faster, but that might just be my imagination. It’s certainly not slower than Firefox, so I’m going to continue using it until I find a reason not to.

Update (19 December 2010) : I’ve been using Google Chrome exclusively for about a week now and I do like it. The interface is very neat and clean, and it does seem quicker than Firefox. I’ve got all my desired plugins, so I have no plans to switch back to Firefox soon (although I still have the Firefox app icon on my Mac dock).

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