Browser speed comparisons: "There is a speed war on the web. Browsers compete on many fronts; security, standards support, features and speed. Most people are aware of which major browser fails on three of these, but one of them is still open for grabs. Speed.
Many organisations and users try to claim that their browser is the fastest. The Opera site claims that Opera is The Fastest Browser on Earth!. The Mozilla site claims that Firefox 1.0 empowers you to browse faster (faster than what?). Mozilla itself is quoted as being an alternative to Microsoft IE and it's faster to boot. Apple's Safari pages claim that Safari loads pages more quickly than any other Mac web browser (although they failed to show any results for Opera, and their charts fail to show results for pages that contain images). Internet Explorer users often claim that they use it because of its speed, as the alternatives take longer to start and load pages.
Opera and Firefox users are quite vocal on the subject, but none of them can actually show any research to back up their statements, ususally just saying "X takes way longer than Y to start" or "my friend uses X and it is much slower on his computer than Y is on mine". Those that did try more than one usually say "X just felt faster than Y when I tried them" (although this may refer to familiarity with the individual user interface - something that I do not cover here). I have even heard people comparing Firefox and Opera, then realised they were referring to Opera 6 (even though historically, Opera 6 is about equivalent to Netscape 4), something that was replaced with a completely new engine long before Firefox even existed.
Well, I've had enough of these unfounded arguments. I present my research. This is an honest, unbiased view (or as unbiased as I can be). Unlike most people, I not only test all the browsers, I test them all on the same computer as each other - grouped into Linux, Mac and Windows (using the same or equivalent hardware for each). This, I hope, gives an accurate comparison, not only of the browsers compared with each other, but for those that work on multiple platforms, it also gives a fairly accurate comparison of the different optimisations for each platform.
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