10 Reasons To Stop Using Google Chrome

Google is perhaps THE Internet company, with dozens of products and services that revolve around the technology that has kept us connected for decades. For most people, the gateway to that Internet is, in fact, another Google product, with Chrome taking up the lion's share of the browser market. It's arguable that Google Chrome is the most used piece of software in the world, given how it's used on almost every computing device imaginable. That doesn't immediately mean, however, that it is the best way to experience the Web, and there are also serious reasons why you would want to avoid using Chrome if you can afford it.

Just because it's the most used doesn't mean it's the best. There are various factors that have contributed to Chrome's success in the market. And while credit has to be given to some features that did help sell the browser to users, it is far from being the most impressive when it comes to performance and stability. In fact, some Chrome users might even begrudgingly admit that they are forced to use the browser for this or that feature, despite having had many heartaches and headaches over the browser's performance

The Internet is filled with anecdotes about Chrome's insatiable hunger for RAM and battery power. At a time when people have become more dependent on laptops with relatively limited hardware resources as well as on the Web for work, study, or entertainment, a voracious web browser is probably the last thing they need. Actually, the last thing they need is for Chrome to crash because it ran out of memory or, worse, some bug from an extension.

To be fair, Google has been working to improve Chrome's performance and reduce its footprint, primarily by restricting how much Javascript works behind the background. At the same time, this may sometimes lead to suboptimal user experiences, which Google is also trying to avoid. It does still imply that Chrome is a huge beast by default, one that has to be tamed and put on a diet.

Once upon a time, web browsers competed in the number of third-party add-ons, sometimes known as extensions, they supported. The extension system allowed the browser to remain slim, at least in comparison to the behemoth that was Internet Explorer, while leaving the door open to functionality that the browser developers didn't envision or even intend. That, of course, required that the software had hooks that extensions could connect with to implement those features, which sometimes include being able to modify what users see on a web page or even touch files on a user's computer.

Unfortunately, extensions have also become a source of problems in the long run, endangering the stability of the browser as well as the security of users. Complicating matters is how Google ran its Chrome Web Store, which was even more open than its Google Play Store for Android. In exchange for a more open ecosystem, there was barely any quality control, and a lot of malware-laden extensions were able to slip through the cracks, often masquerading as extensions coming from reputable developers.

Google has been trying to plug up that large hole, but its strategy has been a two-edged sword. It has restricted what extensions can get access to in order to mitigate the negative side effects of harmful extensions but also removed functionality that some extensions needed. Unfortunately, it isn't a done deal either, and there are still some problematic add-ons that get past Google's scrutiny.

Add-ons and extensions were supposed to make browsers simpler and lightweight, but things didn't always turn out that way in the end. In addition to being a resource-hungry piece of software, Chrome is also a complex one, and its complexity bleeds into its configuration options. Almost like any Google product, Chrome has pages upon pages of settings that the browser itself requires a mini search engine to look for the appropriate controls.

There are pros and cons to this "feature," of course. On the one hand, it gives the user more control over how a browser behaves, allowing them to tweak almost every aspect of the experience. On the other hand, it is almost too easy to get lost in a sea of options, and it's also just as easy to bury important privacy or security settings to discourage users from looking for those. There is, indeed, a search option, but that presumes you know what to look for in the first place.

Despite being considered to be "heavy," Chrome is ironically slow to actually add new features, at least compared to something like Microsoft Edge or even Opera. Yes, there is a new Chrome release almost every month (though Google is now adjusting that), but that rate only means that most of the changes are bite-sized and focus on fixes rather than big new features.

This means that Chrome doesn't always catch up with the latest trends or users' wishes, but that might be fine for some people. Given the browser's infamy for resource usage, users might definitely prefer that Google focus on polish rather than fluff. Extra functionality could be added by extensions, but the way Google pulled the rug from under those may have caused some disgruntled developers to walk away from the browser entirely.

Chrome is one of the most ubiquitous gateways to the Internet, where most of Google's money-making products and services can be found. In other words, it is pretty much the portal into Google's services, and it is becoming increasingly obvious that Google is shaping it up to be like one. It works the other way around as well, and some of the best Chrome features can only be experienced if you are already using other Google products.

There has been an increasing number of features that integrate other Google products into Chrome. While that might seem logical from a business perspective, it also raises regulatory red flags when it comes to anti-competitive and monopolistic business practices. It naturally runs the risk of favoring Google's other products even when a web browser should mostly be indifferent to anything outside of it. Conversely, it also makes it harder to switch away from those other Google products once you're already knee-deep into them, thanks to Chrome.


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