Step 2: Click the download button to download it as per your Windows/Mac version.
Step 3: Locate the file in your system and initiate the installation steps.
Voila, you can now use the browser on your computer. It can also be downloaded on other devices, such as Android and iOS smartphones.
Now that you have a fair idea about Google Chrome, let’s understand Chromium.
Introduction to Chromium
In 2008, Google released another browser along with Chrome, the Chromium Project. You must have come across a logo similar to Google Chrome but in blue color. Yes, that’s Chromium.
In terms of look, feel and interface, it’s very similar to Google Chrome. Despite the similarities, it has features that set it apart from Chrome.
Chromium is an open-source and free web browser that allows you to modify the code to extend functionalities per your needs. This can be done seamlessly via the Google Developer community only by developers.
Since this is an open-source browser, other browsers can also be built using Chromium as its base code. For example, Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge are two browsers created using the Chromium code.
In addition, many applications also use the chromium source code in their frameworks.
Pros and Cons of Chromium
Here’s a table that illustrates some of the pros and cons of this browser.
As Chromium is an open-source browser, it has frequent updates and improvements for an enhanced user experience.
The updates have to be initiated manually.
It does not keep track of your browser data.
It does not have built-in support for media codecs and Adobe Flash.
It does not restrict the users to use extensions from Chrome Web Store only.
The security sandbox mode is disabled.
It allows you to build other browsers and applications using its code.
Anybody from the developer community can rewrite its code to enrich its features and functions.
There are several ways to download Chromium, and while most of them can be complicated, we’ll go over the most convenient method here. You have to follow just 3 simple steps to download it.
Step 1: Go to the download page of Chromium. It’ll automatically detect your device and operating system.
Step 2: Click on the Download Chromium button at the center.
Step 3: Unpack the zip file and complete the installation to start using it.
You can now browse the internet, play with the code and do some cool stuff if you’re into developing things.
What are Chromium-based browsers?
As discussed earlier, Chromium is used as a base code to derive and build many applications and browsers. All of the browsers that use Chromium can be called Chromium-based browsers. They are evolved and advanced and come with features of their own.
Popular Chromium-based browsers
In this section, let’s go over some of the most popular Chromium-based browsers out there apart from Google Chrome.
#1. Microsoft Edge
Perhaps one of the most popular and recent browsers made from Chromium is our very own Microsoft Edge. If you’re a Microsoft user, you’re in for a treat because this browser comes with privacy patches and features that do not allow other websites to collect your browsing data.
It is also built to protect you from phishing, malware, and files that contain viruses. This feature is known as Microsoft Defender Smart Screen.
The browser is integrated with MS Office 365 to make it easy to collect, share and export data to Word, Excel, and other formats.
Slightly lesser-known but as good as Microsoft Edge, the Vivaldi browser comes with a minimalistic interface and offers a great user experience. It has an amazing in-built feature that changes the browser color scheme based on the last websites you visit.
Alternatively, you can customize the browser according to your preferences, such as theme, background, tab positioning, etc.
This browser also provides a very smooth browsing experience, so you should check this one out.
Popular Non-Chromium-based browsers
In this section, let’s go over some of the most popular Non-Chromium-based browsers.
#1. Mozilla Firefox
How can this one not top the list when it comes to popularity? Mozilla Firefox is a veteran and is free to use and download.
Not to mention, it’s fast, has built-in protection, and comes with many add-ons that you can use at your disposal.
#2. GNU IceCat
Made by the idealists, the GNU IceCat browser is free from spyware and does not have pre-built Windows/macOS binaries. As it is made as part of the GNU project, it also comes with free add-ons, plugins, and language packs, which can improve your browsing experience.
Safari is a very popular browser among Apple device users for various reasons, one of which is its clean user interface. It offers a fast-browsing experience with the topmost security.
As Apple develops it, Safari is quite compatible with all of their devices, be it iPad, iPhone, or Mac.
Pros and Cons of Chromium-based browsers
Browsers created with the codebase of Chromium perform very well, but it also has its disadvantages that are important to address. Here are some of the pros and cons of Chromium-based browsers:
It has a great reputation, given that it powers the likes of Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
It uses many system resources and can slow down the computer when the browser runs.
Extensions built for Google Chrome will also work on other Chromium browsers.
Not all Chromium-based browsers are well-equipped with the essential features, apart from Google Chrome.
Browsers built with Chromium have a minimal, clean, and easy-to-use interface.
Most browsers provide high-level protection.
It’s important to note that the above pros and cons differ from browser to browser.
Google Chrome vs. Chromium
It’s time to go over some of the major differences between Google Chrome and Chromium head-to-head. Let’s compare and find out how they stand against each other.
As Chromium is an open-source project and can be edited by developers, the browser is designed not to transfer any user data or browsing behavior to any of the servers.
On the other hand, Google Chrome’s spiders are constantly tracking, analyzing, transferring, and storing data in Google servers.
Chromium allows third-party extensions but doesn’t have the above built-in tools like Google Chrome.
Chromium includes only these free and basic licenses:
While Google Chrome includes basic licenses, as well as the following ones:
Since Chromium doesn’t support licensed codecs like Chrome, you won’t be able to play media in it. This means to stream video from sites like Netflix and YouTube; you’d have to install the codecs manually.
#5. Update Process
Chrome automatically updates the security patches as and when they come, while the process must be done manually in Chromium.
When it comes to Chromium, the sandbox feature is not enabled in many cases, while Google Chrome has the feature on by default. Both browsers get timely security patches, which is great news.
Since they both share the same code, there aren’t many differences in security. One thing that remains constant is that you’d have to download the security patches manually on Chromium, while on Chrome, it gets updated automatically.
Google Chrome supports Adobe Flash Player, while Chromium does not. However, one of the areas where Chromium gets ahead of Chrome is that it allows extensions to be installed from outside of the Chrome Web Store.
Sure, Google Chrome might already support all the essential extensions that you might need, but if a need arises for an extension that is not available on the Chrome Web Store, you won’t be able to use it.
This is where Chromium edges past Chrome a little bit.
Chromium is much more flexible if you see it from a developer’s point of view. It allows you to alter the functionalities as per your need and introduce features of your will – that is, only if you know how to code.
Google Chrome does have a lot of impressive built-in features, but it lacks flexibility. It also has restrictions, such as no warning before accidentally closing the window with several open tabs.
Another restriction is that it doesn’t sync across apps and devices. Browsers like Mozilla Firefox have the capability of syncing with multiple computers with the help of Mozilla Weave.
While both Google Chrome and Chromium might seem similar, you’ll notice they’re quite different in nature if you dig deeper. Both of them serve users for different purposes, so according to your requirement, you can easily choose which one you wish to use.
Google Chrome is great for a regular, average user, while Chromium is more suitable for advanced users who’re well-versed in coding and prefer more privacy.
Adnan is a BMS graduate and a senior writer for Geekflare who loves breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand pieces. He has also written for sites like Sparkian and Techkle. Besides work, you can find him on the football turf or… read more
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