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This $30 a month browser wants to fix the worst thing about Chrome

Published Apr 29th, 2021 4:45PM EDT
Mighty vs. Chrome
Image: Mighty

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Chrome is the world’s most popular browser because it’s made by one of the biggest software developers in the world: Google. That’s also the reason why Chrome is free to use. The majority of Google’s products are available for free because users effectively pay for access with their data. Google collects information to sell targeted ads, and those ads pay for things like Chrome.

But Chrome is hardly perfect. Google might be adding new, valuable features to the browser regularly, but it’s also making controversial changes, like the new FLoC tech to track users now that third-party cookies are going away. And while that’s the kind of problem that users can fix, a huge Chrome issue remains that users have no say about. Chrome can be a massive resource hog, which is incredibly annoying on laptops. Chrome consumes battery power as it uses more resources, and it’s often the app that will turn on your notebook’s fans to cool off the device.

There is a way to fix all of that if you’re willing to pay $30 a month for a faster web browsing experience that’s still based on Chrome, but one that will not eat your battery like Chrome does: The Mighty browser.

Mighty is a startup that came up with an idea that will sound familiar to any gamer who has tried cloud gaming. The browser is placed inside a virtual machine on Mighty’s servers, which are hooked up to a 1Gbps internet connection. Websites load quickly, cookie prompts are never shown, and the data is beamed back to the user.

The feature sounds great in theory. The laptop will use fewer resources to render pages, and this will lead to longer battery life. Also, the web session remains active at all times, even if your computer loses power or dies down. The information is in the cloud, and everything is protected with strong encryption. The company says that it doesn’t collect any user data and that nobody will have access to your browsing history or browsing session.

Mighty only collects keystrokes from your computer so you can control the browser. They’re sent over the internet on an encrypted connection —here’s more information about Mighty security.

Mighty is still based on the Chromium engine, which means you’ll still be able to use the extensions you’re used to inside Chrome. In other words, Mighty will offer you a Chrome streaming experience that could deliver a much faster internet experience even if your home connection isn’t that great. That’s because everything will already be loaded over on your virtual PC on Mighty’s servers.

That said, there are some obvious caveats — first, the price. Paying $30 a month for a faster internet browser only treats the symptoms, not the underlying disease. If your internet connection is slow, then the monthly fee could go towards a better data plan if one is available. Also, paying $30 a month to speed up an internet browser on an older, slower computer might make no sense. You could consider investing in newer laptops that can handle Chrome better.

Not to mention that you’d have to trust Mighty with your data. Mighty makes a great case about its security practices, but the company is a startup. Trusting Google to manage the security of Chrome seems like the safer choice.

Finally, there’s also an obvious solution at hand for fixing Chrome performance issues and alleviate privacy concerns. You can ditch Chrome for a different browser, including other Chromium browsers that run on your machine, for free. Microsoft Edge and Brave are two examples. Safari on Mac is another browser to try, although it’s not based on Google’s tech. The Chromium ones will still work with Chrome extensions, and some of them will include advanced protections, like anti-FLoC technology.

If you want to try out Mighty, this is where you can get started.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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