For me, I actually prefer three of them, with the browser of choice being depending on what I'm using/viewing.
Firefox - The main browser I use on my PCs at home and work. I mainly use it for the range of plug-ins available and how seldom I had an issue in recent years. I use the web developer plug-in for debugging and testing (mostly MyCE-related) and Ad-Block on my Netbook when tethered to my mobile to cut out the bandwidth hogging flash ads due to my mobile provider's tight 50MB/day limit.
Chrome - A very nice browser for netbook use due to its slim headers. I often use it in place of Firefox on my netbook when on Wi-Fi, as it gives a lot more viewing area than the others, while also giving direct access to the tabs, address bar and task bar which all disappear when using Firefox's F11 full-screen mode. It also seems to be the quickest of the browsers with the Netbook's limited Atom CPU.
Opera Mini - The main browser I use on my Nokia mobile phone. It's far quicker than the phone's own browser, as it has the images compressed before being sent to the phone, which also reduces my mobile data cost.
IE8, Safari & Opera (PC) - I use these from time to time, but for testing purposes only. IE8 typically requires the PC to be rebooted to install updates, unlike the other browsers. Safari does have one annoying feature in that it periodically tries getting me to install iTunes and QuickTime. Opera has given me compatibly issues with some CMS systems, which is a problem for me.
Speed - Despite one browser claiming to be quicker than another, from my experience, on a reasonably quick PC and low latency Internet connection, they all appear to load up pages in about the same time in realworld use. There are a few websites where I found IE8 to take longer, but in general, the main factors that affect web browsing performance include latency to the web server and especially what browser add-ons are present. For example, IE8 with 10 browser clumsy add-ons is obviously going to perform worse than a clean installation of any other browser and the same can be said vice versa.
Firefox slowdown - One thing I can confirm with Firefox is that it does slow down over time as its databases grow even with regular history clean-ups, especially with long term heavy everyday use.
A simple way to restore Firefox performance is to do the following every couple of months:
- Backup Firefox's bookmarks (Bookmarks menu -> Organize Bookmarks -> "Import and Backup" menu -> Backup).
- Take note of any Firefox extensions you use, as some may need to be reinstalled.
- Close completely out of Firefox.
- Go into the Start menu -> Run, type "%appdata%\Mozilla", click 'OK'.
- Rename "Firefox" to something else, e.g. "Firefox Back".
- Start Firefox and choose the "Don't import anything" option.
- Restore Firefox's bookmarks (Bookmarks menu -> Organize Bookmarks -> "Import and Backup" menu -> Restore -> Choose File)
- Restart Firefox and then check if there are any extensions you need to install again.