Hello once again and welcome, welcome, welcome to Friday Factday! I'm your vendor of veracity, Ben, and this week I thought we'd take a look at a piece of software that you're using right now - web browsers!
Browers are something that we almost take for granted in our modern-day, internet-fuelled existences, yet most only have a kiddie-pool depth understanding of the options and functions behind them. Hopefully, after reading this article, those people will have... well, not a deep understanding, but maybe a slightly less shallow understanding.
The WorldWideWeb Browser
As I often like to do, I'm going to start at, well, the start, with the first ever internet browser created – aptly called the WorldWideWeb browser. Later renamed Nexus to avoid confusion, this browser editor was created in 1990 by a coder named Tim Berners-Lee.
As far as UX design goes, it's not exactly pretty, but it would be many years before users would start getting things with more polish. For its time, it was groundbreaking, and the myriad browsers that now exist owe a debt of gratitude to the greyscale beginnings.
Tabs, Tabs, and More Tabs
One question I've always been curious about but never bothered to look into – whether through lack of time or fear of the answer – is what the average number of open tabs is. If you're like me, you're a shameless tabber, to the point of not just having double-digit tabs open at once, but having multiple windows of double-digit tabs open. Whether that's a problem is up for debate.
According to a relatively small study done in Finland, the average number of tabs open is... 5-10. Okay, yeah, I might have a problem.
It won't surprise many to hear that, in the fight to be the King of Browsers, Google's Chrome is the clear victor. It is the default browser for Android devices and has heavy desktop usage as well.
What may surprise people is just how much it is dominating; the fight is more like a slaughter. According to Statista, Chrome took the top spot in 2012, rapidly growing the gap to the point that, as of last year, it had a staggering 66% share of internet users.
The dominance of Google Chrome is such that huge swathes of competitors actually build their browsers using the Chromium engine. Whilst this engine is open source - something we approve of - and has contributions from many sources, it is increasingly forcing a monoculture problem when it comes to web development.
Demand For Privacy-based Browsers
As people have become more and more privacy-conscious over the years, the demand has risen for web browsers with a focus on privacy. Most web browsers track and record a ridiculous amount of data about users, which has been a significant contributor to the ever-growing digital data market that so dominates internet life.
Several browsers out there put privacy first, with two of the most notable being Firefox and Tor. The former is notable because it's the most recognizable brand, and is the only “big dog” that has made commitments and efforts toward protecting users' privacy. The latter is famous for being the most secure browser option out there and is the go-to for hardcore privacy advocates.
Windscribe Has Browser Extensions
If you want to make your browsing experience extra secure, then you might be interested to hear that Windscribe has a few browser extension options! At the time of writing, we have options for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.
These extensions give you a lot of Windscribe functionality without the need for a desktop application. Best of all, you can get them for free! Check out our download page here.