What is a Chromium based browser? To understand that, we need to first cover what Chromium is in the first place.
“Chromium,” is an open-source code that can be used to make web browsers. (At the minimum, that’s what it mainly seems to be used for; there is Chromium OS too). And while the primary initiator of the project was Google, the developers of the Code also belong from Microsoft, Yandex, and Igalia.
Famously, two of the conventional Chromium based browsers are Google Chrome (obviously), and Microsoft Edge. (A bit more detailed list on the frequently used Chromium based browsers to follow).
Why Was Chromium Made Open Source?
When the early rumors of Google launching its own web browser (Google Chrome) started, a misguided belief began to foster in peoples’ minds that Google will use the browser to pry on its users. For that reason, Google just went ahead and made the core code open source, in other words, available to everyone, to dispel the misconception.
Since then (September 2008), we’ve seen a couple of iterations of the code, with the latest version being Chromium 71. Note that the chromium updates are different than browser updates & releases.
How Does Google Chrome (Browser) Differ From Chromium?
It should not be a surprise that Chromium powers Google Chrome Browser. However, there are varying differences between the two. The features that Chrome (browser) has, that Chromium doesn’t, are:
- Automatic updates in the background.
- A few extra codec support for an enriched user experience.
- Flash Support.
- And while Google Chrome Browser is free, it is not meant to be open source.
Some of the Common Browsers That Are Chromium Based
- Google Chrome: With one of the largest market shares globally, Google Chrome continues to be the first choice for chromium based browsers.
- Microsoft Edge: Starting January 2020, Microsoft declared that its Edge browser is Chromium based. With the extra Chromium power, combined with its proprietary features, users have been raving about the new Edge.
- Brave: This has been a fantastic up and coming browser whose core focus is on the user’s privacy. It can easily allow you to block ads and trackers, and instantly speeds up your browsing experience. Additionally, they have a TOR feature, that many other browsers’ private mode supposedly doesn’t.
- Opera Browser: When initially launched, Opera provided earned critical acclaim for giving its users a unique impression on how the internet can be browsed around. Later, sometime in 2013, Opera switched from its engine to Chromium, and added extra functionalities such as Ad blocking, VPN choices, and more.
As we speak, there are tons of other Chromium based browsers, most of which, are focused around privacy, and blocking scripts, ads, and other trackers. As a marketer, this seems to be steadily converting into an uphill battle.
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How to Install Chromium on Your Windows OS?
Currently, Chromium is maintained under the “Chromium Projects.” However, as a fellow enthusiast, if you’d like to install Chromium on your device, go to this website here–>https://download-chromium.appspot.com/. Then, select the appropriate bit version from the footer (where it says Supported Platforms). Once done, at the center of your screen, you should get the option to download Chromium for your Windows Operating System.
Note that the download might be compressed. So, you’d have to “extract” the files out. Afterward, from the folder, find the “chrome.exe” file, to launch the Chromium Browser.
Chromium, that goes hand-in-hand with the Google Chrome browser — as far as the names goes, is technically a different iteration, and most importantly, its code is open-source for anyone to leverage.
Chromium serves more as a platform to build things, rather than an end product with full functionalities & features.
On a final concluding note, a reminder that there are numerous browsers based on Chromium. Google Chrome, just happens to be the most used one. And, do give Brave, and Microsoft Edge a try! I’ve personally been having amazing & seamless experiences with both.