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Google Chrome 49.0.2623.87

Google Chrome Editor's Review

The number of people using Google's Chrome browser has almost doubled in the past year, and most analysts expect it to take over from Firefox as the lead challenger to Internet Explorer sometime in 2012. Why the growth? Well, simply put it just works.

That might seem an obvious thing to say, but sadly it's not always true of other browsers. Both Internet Explorer and Firefox have notorious problems for some users: security risks and pop-up hell with the former, and frequent memory problems leading to freezes and crashes for the latter.

Google Chrome avoids both these issues through a technique known as sandboxing. That means it treats each tab you have open as if it were a completely separate and self-contained program. If you are unfortunate enough to visit an infected website, the damage is prevented from spreading to the rest of your computer. And if a website freezes or crashes, your other open tabs carry on working without problems.

There are some other cool features too. With Google Chrome you can reopen a tab that you've recently closed, such as when you click the close button by mistake, and even go back to previous pages from the same tab. If you've got a Google account you can synchronize your bookmarks: that means you can use Google Chrome on any computer and get immediate access to your favourite sites.

Pros: Smooth performance; no security headaches; simple and effective design.

Cons: Running large numbers of tabs at once (such as more than a dozen sites) can be messy.

Conclusion: Could one day be the world's favourite browser - but why wait till then?

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