Should you use the Safari browser?

Anton P. | August 8, 2022

The Safari browser comes pre-installed on Apple devices and automatically renders as their default browser. It has many benefits, synchronizing browsing across devices linked to your iCloud. Additionally, it uses less RAM, has advanced privacy protections, and features a clean interface.

The Safari browser speed also has a competitive edge, with some experts labeling it the fastest. However, Safari is not an option for everyone. For instance, other browsers’ features might look more attractive. Also, the Safari browser might not be worth it if you do not use multiple Apple products.

safari browser

How does the Safari browser compare to others?

The Safari browser is Apple’s native browser you can find on iOS and macOS. One of its biggest strengths is its strong integration with other Apple products. For instance, it can use iCloud for its syncing features.

The interface of Safari might seem bare-boned, which some users appreciate. Furthermore, one of its selling points is security and privacy. Like most of its competitors, Safari offers Private Browsing.

For security, it runs websites in a sandbox, meaning devices won’t get compromised by malicious scripts. It also has an Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature, which minimizes users’ tracking.

However, the Safari browser has certain downsides compared to Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. Its lacking customization through browser extensions could irritate users over longer usage.

Moreover, people notice that some websites loading normally in other browsers get broken in Safari. It is not the Apple product’s fault since incorrect site code is likely the one to blame. Nonetheless, repeatedly encountering broken websites can be aggravating.

The Safari browser recently hit an impressive milestone: 1 billion users. So, the tendency illustrates that more people choose to browse the web via Safari. However, it does come pre-installed into Apple products. This automatic arrival can contribute to the increase.

Why choose the Safari browser for macOS and iOS

While some users might still be on the fence about the Safari browser, it has proved convenient for Apple users. They appreciate syncing tabs, favorite websites, and bookmarks across all their devices. So, it is likely the top choice for users with multiple Apple products.

Apple Pay also boosts the convenience of online shopping via the Safari browser. Find Apple Pay during checkout, and you will be able to confirm your purchase.

You can perform this verification via Touch ID on Mac, Apple Watch, or iPhone. However, Apple Pay might soon extend its functionality beyond Safari. Users will likely be able to use this payment type on Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

Can you install the Safari browser on Windows or Linux?

Unfortunately, Safari is bound to its Apple ecosystem. So, users of different operating systems won’t have the pleasure of trying the Safari browser. However, while newer versions of Safari are unavailable, a workaround exists.

Users can install older Safari versions on Windows, but it might bring compatibility issues. Furthermore, while the Safari browser has many advantages, its operation is not ground-breaking compared to other browsers. While it is a clever choice for Apple users, it does not make sense for Windows or Linux.

Advantages of using Safari

The Safari browser is a worthy contender for becoming your default browser.

  • Cross-site tracking blocked. This type of tracking means that companies track users’ activities across multiple websites. The Safari browser lets you enable protection against this. Cookies get deleted unless users interact with third-party content suppliers as first-party sites.
  • Private Relay. The Safari browser features a VPN-like feature, sending traffic through multiple relays. It prevents ISPs and even Apple from seeing what you do online. However, this Private Relay is only available to iCloud+ subscribers.
  • Apple ecosystem. Safari complements your usage of other Apple products.
  • Power efficiency. The Safari browser may use less memory compared to others. However, while Safari uses less than Chrome, Firefox could be even more lightweight.
  • Running websites in a sandbox. Running certain websites outside the browser can prevent devices from getting tainted with malicious scripts.
  • Fights browser fingerprinting. The Safari browser stops fingerprinting by revealing a simplified version of your system configuration. So, you do not stand out from other browsers.

Disadvantages of using Safari

Of course, Safari might not be the promised safe haven from digital threats or privacy invasions. It has battled flaws capable of webcam takeovers or browsing data exposure.

  • Limited compatibility. Safari is strictly available on Apple products. Thus, if you use Windows or Android, this browser is unavailable.
  • Issues with privacy-oriented features. Some features within the Safari browser might not be as private as assumed. For instance, Intelligent Tracking Prevention has had issues with doing its part of stopping cross-site tracking.
  • Lack of plugins. Safari does support some extensions available through the App Store. However, their number is much more humble, meaning users cannot extend browsers’ functionality however they like.
  • Closed-source code. The advantage of open-source browsers is that users can edit their code based on individual needs. Furthermore, open-source code also facilitates programmers outside the company to find errors or exploits.
  • Broken websites. Unfortunately, some websites get broken on Safari. It is because Safari uses WebKit, which is less popular than the chromium engine. Therefore, more websites are likely to adjust to the latter.

More tips for secure and private browsing

The Safari browser or another program can do a lot to protect your activities and redirect you from suspicious websites. However, considering the vulnerable nature of any software app, it is important to take precautions.

  • Adjust default browser settings. It is helpful to visit the Safari browser settings and make appropriate changes. For instance, you can change your default search engine at any point. However, some browsers come with more user-friendly settings, while others need more tweaking.
  • Disable autofill. Completing online forms in seconds might be convenient. But a more secure approach prevents browsers from saving data inputted via forms.
  • Reject tracking cookies. Almost all browsers let their users block third-party cookies. If other anti-tracking settings exist, enable them.
  • Do not allow automatic downloads. Do not let your device download software automatically as it might contain malware or viruses.
  • Limit access to location, camera, and microphone. You can make browsers require permissions before enabling a camera or microphone via the web.
  • Update browsers. Whenever a browser update rolls out, apply it as soon as possible.
  • Install a VPN. a Virtual Private Network does a lot to protect and disguise your online presence. It masks your IP address, preventing entities from learning your location. Moreover, a VPN encrypts web traffic, making it far more difficult to breach.
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Anton P.

Anton P.

Former chef and the head of Atlas VPN blog team. He's an experienced cybersecurity expert with a background of technical content writing.

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