In today’s digital age, web browsers have become an integral part of our daily lives, serving as gateways to the vast expanse of the internet. As users increasingly rely on the internet for various tasks, including online shopping, banking, and communication, the importance of web browser security cannot be overstated. Two of the most popular web browsers, Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, have emerged as top contenders in the browser market. But when it comes to security, which one is the better choice? This article aims to answer this question by providing a comparison using third-party data from 2021- 2023 of the security features offered by these two browsers.

Understanding the Security Mechanisms

Both Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome are equipped with robust security mechanisms designed to protect users from various online threats, including malware and phishing attacks. Let’s delve into the specifics of each browser’s security infrastructure.

Google Chrome: Harnessing Google Safe Browsing API

Google Chrome relies on the Google Safe Browsing API to combat threats. This technology works, identifying and blocking malicious downloads and phishing sites to keep users safe during their online activities.

Microsoft Edge: Utilizing Microsoft Defender SmartScreen

Microsoft Edge comes equipped with a formidable security arsenal, with Microsoft Defender SmartScreen at its forefront. This feature is designed to block malicious downloads and phishing attempts, offering users a shield against potentially harmful websites and files. SmartScreen is unquestionably a robust security feature in Microsoft Edge and other Microsoft products. It provides reputation-based URL filtering and download scanning to block sites and files associated with phishing, malware and other online threats.

Some recent third-party tests have shown SmartScreen catching a higher percentage of malicious sites and downloads compared to Google Safe Browsing. Part of this could be attributed to Microsoft’s massive cybersecurity signal telemetry from its enterprise customer base.

However, it’s worth noting that Google Safe Browsing is focused more narrowly on detecting deceptive sites, while SmartScreen has broader protections. The two aren’t perfect apples-to-apples comparisons.

That said, Microsoft’s predictive blocking of malicious downloads and websites, combined with Edge’s SmartScreen, gives it a real security edge over Chrome for that specific use case.

As cybersecurity experts, we should avoid making blanket statements and consider the full context. For users prioritizing download security over other factors, leveraging Edge’s SmartScreen capabilities could provide a tighter defensive posture than Chrome/Safe Browsing alone.

Comparing Security Performance

To gauge the effectiveness of these security mechanisms, a study conducted by Cyber Ratings in 2021 provides valuable insights. The study subjected both Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome to rigorous testing in malware and phishing scenarios.

Malware Protection

In the realm of malware protection, Microsoft Edge demonstrated its superiority by blocking an impressive 97.4% of malicious content. In contrast, Google Chrome managed to thwart 86.3% of malware attempts. This significant disparity in favor of Microsoft Edge underscores its robustness in shielding users from malware threats.

Phishing Protection

Phishing attacks remain a pervasive threat on the internet, luring users into divulging sensitive
information. Microsoft Edge once again proved its mettle by blocking 92.3% of phishing URLs, providing a substantial layer of protection. Google Chrome, while commendable, blocked a slightly lower percentage of phishing URLs at 84.6%.

Zero-Hour Protection

One crucial aspect of security is the ability to fend off new and previously unknown threats. Microsoft Edge shone in this regard as well, boasting the highest zero-hour protection rate. This means that it excels in identifying and neutralizing emerging threats that other browsers might miss, ensuring that users are safe even in the face of the latest cyberattacks.


When it comes to privacy, Microsoft Edge is a little ahead of Chrome, offering a slightly superior experience. Microsoft has made strides in enhancing user privacy by implementing features like tracker prevention and a more transparent approach to data collection, giving users more control over their online footprint. While both browsers are continually working to improve privacy, Microsoft Edge’s commitment to providing a more privacy-conscious browsing experience makes it a favorable choice for users seeking to protect their personal information in today’s data-driven online world.

Speed (Not security related)

While both browsers are touted as being fast, we noticed no real difference in loading times while loading the same content. We performed several browser speed tests—in this case we used WebSPRT 4—and the results were neck and neck with Edge coming in at 135 while Chrome scored a 121.

The Verdict: Which Browser is Safer?

Based on this analysis of security features and performance, Microsoft Edge emerges as the stronger choice in terms of security. It provides a higher level of protection against malware and phishing attempts compared to Google Chrome. Additionally, its superior zero-hour protection rate ensures users are shielded from emerging threats, cementing its position as a secure browsing option.

However, it’s essential to note that while Microsoft Edge may have an edge in security, user preferences and specific needs also play a significant role in choosing a browser. Chrome has its own strengths, such as a wide array of extensions and seamless integration with Google services, making it a compelling choice for many users.


In the landscape of internet security, the choice between Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge ultimately boils down to individual priorities. If your primary concern is a high level of security, especially protection against malware and phishing attacks, Microsoft Edge appears to be the safer bet. Nevertheless, users should also consider their overall browsing experience, compatibility with other applications, and personal preferences when making their decision. Regardless of the choice, practicing good online hygiene, such as regularly updating the browser and using additional security tools, remains essential to ensure a safe and secure internet experience.

Cheyenne Harden

Cheyenne Harden


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