Edge vs Chrome: Which One Is Safer?

Posted on May 19, 2023 by Kristin Hassel

Microsoft has been battling to be the best browser ever since Chrome appeared, stealing the market with its quick searches and (let’s face it) superior functionality. The old Internet Explorer never stood a chance, but has Microsoft finally trumped Google in a vital category? Could it be that we have another reason to use Edge other than to download our preferred browser?

If so, it had a bit of help from its competitor. The new technology in Edge is Chromium-based and the improvement over previous versions and IE is noticeable. Edge is faster and safer than ever, but it still isn’t the most popular browser. Chrome holds over 60% of the market share for browsers as of April 2023, despite Google’s bad reputation for data collection.

We’ll look at both browsers and determine who wins the title ‘Safest Browser’ in Edge vs Chrome.

Which Browser Is More Popular?

Regardless of its massive data collection and excessive use of RAM, the majority of mobile and desktop users still prefer Chrome to Edge. Based on a report by StatCounter, Google holds 92.61% of the global search engine market share as of April 2023. Microsoft didn’t even hold enough market share to register on the projections.

For anyone quick to dismiss Edge, don’t forget that Microsoft also owns Bing, which took second place as the go-to desktop search engine with a market share of 7.23%. The popular AI Bing chatbot is only available for Edge right now, which could influence the browser’s market shares short-term.

Despite failing miserably in the mobile market, Edge did secure 11% of users in this segment in 2023, up 2% from 2021. By comparison, Chrome is still favored by the majority of mobile users, securing a safe 63.51% of market share.

What Each Browser Has to Offer

Chrome and Edge are extremely similar. Both offer compatibility for mobile and desktop devices, allow synchronization across all your devices and have optional anti-tracking features. Each browser also provides the following:

  • Bookmarks/favorites
  • Password managers
  • Compatibility with browser extensions
  • Horizontal tabs
  • Browser history
  • Easy installation
  • Incognito/private browsing

Chrome and Edge may vary in the level, name, or execution of the features above. For example, Edge calls saved pages Bookmarks while Chrome calls them Favorites. 

In terms of cross-platform compatibility, the two browsers are equally matched. Both are compatible with all major operating systems, including Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, and ChromeOS (you’ll need to use the Pro Tip below to make Edge work). Just download the correct version for your operating system from either Microsoft or Google and run the installation file to complete basic setup.

Pro Tip: You’ll need to use the Linux version of Edge to run it on ChromeOS, but it isn’t difficult to install.

Edge vs Chrome: Which One Is Safer?

Keep in mind we’re just comparing Chrome vs Edge in terms of safety and they aren’t the only two browsers on the market. You now have the option to use browsers specifically built with security in mind, like Firefox or Tor.

Still, the two mega browsers do offer a variety of security and privacy features to help diehard fans stay safe and increase anonymity while browsing. So, which browser is the safest option overall? Time to find out.

Updates & Security Patches

This round almost ended in a tie, if not for the tiny difference in response time Chrome holds over Edge. Chromium search engine is used for both Chrome and Edge, so the browsers share many of the same vulnerabilities — including zero-day exploits. 

According to Mandiant, a total of 55 zero-day exploits occurred in 2022 in total. Of these, 11 were on web browsers. Chrome and Edge shared the same 9 exploits, while the other two concerned Firefox. 

Chrome wins this round because it implements the patches and updates for vulnerabilities faster than Edge — about once a week or as needed. It’s also faster to discover vulnerabilities.

✅ Chrome wins the Security round.

Private Browsing

It turns out Chrome’s Incognito mode isn’t as private as it seems. According to Search Engine Journal, in June 2022, Google Chrome became the target of a lawsuit because the company still intercepted and collected user data while in Incognito mode. Google tried to get the case dismissed, but a judge ruled the $5 billion lawsuit could move forward — the case goes to trial in November 2023.

Microsoft sends information about which websites you visit and how you use its browser, but Edge offers Super Duper Secure mode. Yes, that’s the actual name and, even though it sounds ridiculous, it seems to be far more secure than Chrome’s Incognito option. 

You even get a choice between Balanced or Strict mode. Balanced mode increases your security on sites you visit for the first time or sporadically, but blocks security threats without affecting site functionality. Strict mode increases security on every site you visit, but there’s a good chance it will interfere with some sites’ functionality. 

The Balanced mode collects information to determine frequently visited sites, while Strict mode lets you add your exceptions, this means you choose which sites are visible to the browser. 

✅ Edge wins the Private Browsing round.

Anti-Malware Technology

Malware eats up valuable resources like memory, bandwidth, and data. Worse, cybercriminals can use it to take control of your device and steal sensitive information. Luckily, Chrome and Edge both have built-in anti-malware technology

Chrome calls its anti-malware Total WebShield. The technology uses AI and cloud-based software to discover and block malware and phishing attempts in real time. The browser also prompts you to choose whether to continue to a site if it notices it doesn’t use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or return to the previous page.

Edge uses Microsoft Defender SmartScreen technology to block malicious software and potentially spammy websites from infecting your device. It also guards against phishing attempts and screens your downloads. If a download is from a site known to host malicious software, SmartScreen will automatically alert you and block the download. 

Microsoft’s browser also has a typo-squatter checker, just in case you follow a malicious link you may think is legitimate, e.g. clicking on an advert for an item on Amazon and getting sent to amazonshop.com.

= It’s a tie for the Anti-malware Technology round.

Tracking Technology & Tracking Protection

Technically, tracker blocking should be in with anti-malware, but since one browser does it better we’ll separate them. Edge allows you to choose between three levels of tracking protection — Basic, Balanced, and Strict. Basic tracking protection blocks all known malicious trackers while allowing all others, so your content/ad suggestions are still personalized… if that’s something you’re interested in. 

Balanced is Edge’s recommended level, which blocks all known malicious trackers and trackers from sites you don’t visit regularly. Sites continue to work normally when you enable Balanced protection, but your content/ad suggestions are less personalized. Strict mode blocks malicious trackers and the majority of all other trackers as well. Some of the sites you visit in Strict mode may not work properly and ad personalization is minimal.

Chrome allows you to send a ‘Do Not Track’ request to websites, but the choice to honor the request is made by the host. So, while the rest of Chrome’s anti-malware protection is good, its tracking protection falls short.

✅ Edge wins the Tracking Protection round.

Password Protection

Chrome and Edge both have password managers, as well as built-in two-factor authentication (2FA) options

To view a saved password in Chrome you first need to enter your Google account password — and you need to manually enter it. You can also set up a secure pin or choose to have a code sent to your mobile phone, you will only need to enter it once to view all of your passwords. However, if you leave and re-enter password manager, you’ll need a to enter your pin or receive a new code to view any saved passwords again.

Edge calls it’s password manager ‘Credentials Manager’ and stores your saved online passwords in ‘Web Passwords’. Once you click to view a password in Edge, it will prompt you to enter your Windows password before displaying the information. 

Both browsers perform regular password checkups using hacked or data breach reports. If one of your passwords is found in a report, the browsers notify you immediately so you can change it on all applicable accounts.

= It’s a tie for the Password Protection round.

All Things Considered — Which Is Safer, Chrome or Edge?

After tallying all the pros and cons regarding the safety of each browser, the answer is clear: Edge… although not by a landslide. 

Edge collects far less data than Chrome and its tracker blocker doesn’t rely on a website to do the right thing. Edge also offers more protection against malicious sites and software. Its Super Duper Secure mode event allows you to choose your level of privacy. 

Chrome does provide updates faster, but the browser’s Incognito mode isn’t as private as it seems. Google also collects an exorbitant amount of data from its users: it stores an average of 3.5 billion searches per day. 

Use A Combination of Your Favorite Browser and A VPN

If you’re still unsure if your browser provides enough protection, boost your security with PIA VPN. Chrome and Edge both offer good security features but they don’t provide the same traffic encryption you get from a VPN. Both may anonymize some of your online activity, but neither one gives you full privacy protection. If browser security fails, anyone can track your activity back to you. 

PIA VPN allows you to browse using a secure server connection and encrypts your traffic, so your location and browsing data remain private on any browser.


Which browser is safer, Chrome or Edge?

Edge is slightly safer than Chrome. It provides better anti-tracking protection and collects less data than Chrome. Google is notorious for collecting and storing browsing history, personal information, and how you use the browser. While you can opt out of certain data collection, you need to trust the service will honor your request.

You can use Edge, Chrome, Firefox, or any other browser safely with a VPN. PIA gives you the option to use AES 128-bit or 256-bit VPN encryption to mask your traffic and make it unreadable — no matter which browser you choose.

How Many People Use Chrome vs Edge?

As of 2023, over 50% more people use Chrome over Edge for desktops, and more than 64% prefer it on mobile. Despite its popularity, Chrome doesn’t provide adequate security, so you put your data at risk every time you use the service. 

Use PIA VPN to improve your online privacy and security, PIA works on all major operating systems and with all browsers, including Chrome and Edge, so you can use any browser you want on virtually any device.

Which One Is Better, Edge or Chrome?

It depends on what you need the browser for. Edge consumes fewer resources and doesn’t collect nearly as much information. Chrome is better at providing updates and security patches in a timely manner and is compatible with most systems.

PIA limits data collection and improves your overall online security — regardless of which browser you use. We offer high-level security and privacy features to protect your digital privacy, so you can stay safe online.

Does PIA VPN Keep You Safe On Both Chrome and Edge?

Yes. Our service works for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Surf, Opera, and several other popular browsers. Just download PIA and connect to one of our NextGen servers to increase your privacy on everything from apps to browsers

You’ll get unlimited connections, too, so you can cover all your mobile and desktop devices. That way, you can disguise your IP address and mask your traffic for secure, private browsing on any device.