Chromium is a codebase that many popular browsers use mainly Google Chrome and Edge from Microsoft. However, it is prefered because of its performance, reliability and security. 6 Best Chromium Based Browsers allow you to surf the web privately, have a free VPN and install custom extensions so you get more features added. You do not need to have Chome OS (Chromium) installed in order to be able to use them, they can be used on Windows, Mac or Linux.
What is a Chromium-based Browser and what is the difference from a conventional browser?
This is not only a browser but also a project which generates source code that is used by Chrome, Edge and many others. It is open-source and comes for free. Its primary baker is Google, it got kicked off the project when it launched chrome back in 2008, but as the code comes in free others including those who are not employed by Google, contribute to this project.
If we talk about Microsoft for example then it started to give some serious input into chromium by the year 2019 and boasts about how many commits its engineers have contributed to this on regular basis. Redmond, wash the company in the year 2020 said its commits, and changes made to the source code have reached to around 3700.
The browser which is computed from the existing chromium source code is known as Chromium without any surprise. Both chrome and edge began with chromium but did not end with it, rather google and Microsoft add their very own proprietary code to it which has built services such as the browser’s automated update mechanism as well features, like its tab user experience which is also abbreviated as UX, in order to create the actual chrome and edge.
Now, to make it easy just think of chromium as an ancestor of chrome and edge that too not a very close one, which shares DNA with polished browsers.
Chromium-based Browsers Vs. Non-Chromium Vs. Chrome: What is the ACTUAL Difference?
If we start with chromium then it is a subset of both chrome and edge as google and Microsoft bolt on other features and components to the former in order to craft their wares. Each and everything you see in chromium is present both in chrome and edge but mind you that not everything which is in chrome or edge is in chromium.
The main difference lies in services that google provides such as the automatic update mechanism or the in-built support for technologies like digital rights management (DRM) components which let both of these play copyright content.
The biggest difference is not present in the length of both browsers’ features or support lists but it is in their inherent stability. To be honest when it comes to chromium then it is tough and not only around the edges we are talking in practical terms. The existing version has many bugs and is much more prone to crashes when compared with the raw version of either chrome or edge.
Coming to the least polished of the four builds that Google maintains for both of these for an edge, then both label that “canary” is more stable when compared with chromium.
The other difference and the reason why many choose chromium over chrome or edge is that the former is able to collect and also transfer less information to google than the other one.
Both chrome and edge are able to send in cash reports and use stats to google and Microsoft, whereas with chromium this is just not possible. That collection and transmission in turned on by default in chromium. In Microsoft edge, the data harvesting may be either on or off all depending upon the OS.
The most used platform for an edge in version 10 which has its very own setting which are also applied to edge. Many instances of this version shall have diagnostic data-enabled, therefore edge reports to Microsoft. In other operating systems like the MacOS the collection by default is turned off such as chrome, but you can turn this on from the preferences pain.
The table below also shows, in a nutshell, the main differences between Chromium, Non-Chromium and Chrome browsers:
|Browser codebase developed and maintained by Google.||Codebase maintained by their own respective companies.||Browser full built and supported by Google.|
|Fully Open source browser engine.||Codebase is not open source so you may not know any inner workings if you are cautious about security.||Open source codebase used and Chrome built ontop of it.|
|Dependant on Google to make changes to the Chromium core unless companies have the capacity to do it themselves.||Not dependant on Chromium codebase and have thier own browser engines.||Not as much privacy focused as competitors.|
Can you trust Chromium Browsers?
Engineers of both Google and Microsoft have found vulnerabilities, and those rooted out by independent security researchers are patched in chromium on regular basis, which means it is just as secure as chrome or edge.
Coming to the micro level it is not clear when chromium’s ongoing, unfolding development engineers add security fixes. The stable channel of Chrome is refreshed too with patches about every 2-3 weeks, edge follows suit around two days later so that the browser is updated that frequently. As bug fixes hit more unstable chrome and edge channels just like the flakiest build, “Canary”, before they do Stable, it follows that the source code in maintained by its project and thus it browser needs to be altered before getting spun out into Canary.
List of 6 Best Chromium Based Browsers that are also Open Source
There are various browsers available on the webm however not ALL of them are powered by Chromium technology. Below are the top 6 Chromium browsers that you can download for free:
- Brave – Open Source Chromium Based Browser
- Comodo Dragon – Fastest Chromium Browser
- Vivaldi – Best Chromium Browser With Productivity Tools
- Torch – Lightweight Chromium Based Browser
- Opera – Best Free Chromium Based Browser
- Opera Neon – Privacy Focused Chromium Browser
Brave – Open Source Chromium Based Browser
This is a chromium-based web browser that comes for free. It is designed to care for you safety and privacy all by blocking ads and trackers. With its private mode, you can use Tor right there in a tab.
Now, Brave not only hides your history but also encrypts your location from the websites that you pay visits to all by routing the browser via different servers even before they reach your destination. Why the connections are encrypted? Well, to increase anonymity.
If you are looking for a browser which is clutter free that too with good privacy and security then this is a good choice as it provides support to both desktop and mobile platforms. You can also install a third-party Firewall to strengthen to add another layer of security if anything does leak out of the browser sandbox.
Comodo Dragon – Fastest Chromium Browser
This is a chromium-based browser that has been produced by the Comodo group. It is an open-source Chromium browser that comes for free. It is supported to work on Windows 11 and 10.
It supports a small interface to chrome but it does not implement its user tracking and other features. It shall give you extra security measures like indicating the authenticity and relative strength of the site’s SSL certificate.
It features its very own in-built updater instead of Google updater, if it gets uninstalled then you have the option to keep its cache and cookie files or delete them.
Vivaldi – Best Chromium Browser With Productivity Tools
This is a cross-platform web browser which is based on Chromium which has been developed by Vivaldi technologies. It comes in free as well. In the browser market tis is a new big player, its stable version came out back in 2016.
Its user interface is minimalistic with some basic icons and fonts and coming to the color scheme then it changes according to the background and web page design being visited. With this, you can customize the appearance of the user interface elements like the background color, overall theme, address bar and tab position and start pages. Moreover, it also provides support to google chrome extensions.
It carries other features too, mouse and rocker gestures, tab stacking, tilling, hibernating and preview options, cycling, page action such as page CSS debugger, content blockers, side panel to have view of the bookmarks, download and web pages, custom keyboard shortcuts and quick commands, reading in the view mode, save and load all tabs in the custom session and much more.
Torch – Lightweight Chromium Based Browser
This is yet another option on the list which has been developed by Torch Media. It has compatibility with all the add-ons and extensions which are present in the chrome store, it also has compatibility to both windows and Mac OS X platforms.
It has many features including an in-built BitTorrent client, free social music discovery, music grabber, able to customize the look and feel of your FB pages by using pre-set themes and an embedded player which streams torrents which have been downloaded before the process of download is complete.
Opera – Best Free Chromium Based Browser
This has been in the market for quite some time now and it has introduced many popular features of browsers. Back in 2013, it made a decision to walk away from its very own Preston engine in favor on Blink which for those who don’t know is a browser engine produced as part of the chromium project.
The best part is that it comes with an easy yet unlimited VPN service. Moreover, it also carries an in-built ad blocker which is able to speed up your browser experience while protecting both your privacy and security. The adblocker can allow you to view the content behind paywalls which is a great feature in Chromium powered browsers. If you want to take Ad blocking to another level you can setup a PiHole.
If you want to have access to social media and messaging then it has too. You can open FB messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Telegram and Vkontakte right from its sidebar.
Now, this means you do not need to check you phone while you’re browsing the web. If are looking for more unique features then you can add these chrome extensions which ensure it even better.
Opera Neon – Privacy Focused Chromium Browser
Opera released an experimental Chromium Browser for testing which was based on Blink back in 2017. It is radical to rediscover the new look for the browser of the future.
The future is sure as for the very first time you are being greeted with a background which blends in well with the background of your desktop.
In this the cards are represented by circles which are arranged vertically rather than the usual rectangular card strips.
Moreover, it also comes with few great usability features and a split-screen mode and in-built screenshot tools.
It does not have extension support as for now neon is a conceptual web browser.
Frequently Asked Questions on Chromium Browsers
Are Chromium browsers secure?
Chromium is as secure as their developers try to make it and patch any security vulnerabilities reported to them. In general Chrome and other Chromium browsers are secure as Googles own security team do test it for any issues and patch them regularly.
Which is the fastest Chromium browser?
Chromium browsers are just like any other browsers but the browsing engine that powers them is extremely sufficient. This allows developers using it to tune their browsers for optimum performance and some fast Chromium browsers include Opera, Brave and Vivaldi.
Which is the best Chromium browser?
Chromium browsers are fast and reliable in general but what distinguishes them from others are their extra features. The best Chromium browsers based on their speed and features are Opera, Microsoft Edge, Brave, Torch and Vivaldi.
Chromium browsers are preferred because of their agility and performance. Hopefully, the 6 best Chromium Browsers list will help you in browsing the web in a more reliable and consistent way. Open Source Chromium based browsers are good if you are very security focused and would like to review the codebase of the browser you are using. This is good so you know if you can trust the saved passwords or not.