No doubt, Google Chrome is the world’s no. 1 browser, however, a lot of people are confused about its doppelganger; the Chromium. They say Chrome wouldn’t exist today if not for Chromium, which serves as an open-source project that sustains it.
Even though their names are very similar, Chrome and Chromium are two different web browsers, however, they are closely related to each other.
So, what exactly is the Chromium browser?
To explain, Chromium is not just the only name of this browser. This is an important part of Chrome because it serves as the open-source project, which helps generate the source code used by the latter. Google itself is the one that creates Chromium—it was first launched in 2008 by Chrome, however, because its code is open source, other programmers or encoders who are not connected or employed with Google can freely contribute to Chromium’s development.
The browser that was compiled from its current Chromium source code is still considered the same and should be called Chromium. Chrome, meanwhile, starts with Chromium, however, it does not end with it. Instead, there’s an additional proprietary code created by Google for Chromium, either if its own, just like the browser’s mechanism to update itself regularly, or done by someone else to create Chrome.
To put it simply, Chromium is likely the ancestor of Chrome, however, it is not entirely its immediate ancestor, either they share the same identity as a complete browser.
What’s the difference between Chromium and Chrome?
Chromium is considered as a subset of Chrome, considering that Google has bolted on other features as well as components to the former to design and make the latter. Technically, everything you see and use in Chromium is found in Chrome, however, not all of the things in Chrome can be found in Chromium.
The very noticeable differences that lie between Chromium and Chrome can be accompanied by the services that Google offers to its users—such as the mechanism to update itself, or its ability to support other applications and software through its built-in technology which let chrome use copyrighted content without any apprehension.
Another noticeable difference between Chromium and Chrome is its inherited instability and stability, and not its features or its support lists. Chromium is just simply rough, and not just around its edges because it contains a lot of bugs especially its latest versions. It is prone to malfunction and crashes compared to Chrome’s most basic version. Google itself warns users that Chromium has a lot of issues with bugs in its download page.
Canary, one of the four least polished builds that Google maintains for Chrome is considerably more stable than Chromium according to tech experts.
To add more to the difference between Chromium and Chrome is that Chromium collects and transfers minimal information to Google compared to the former. Usually, Chrome automatically sends crash reports as well as usage data and statistics to Google’s algorithm and system, while Chromium does not. Chrome by default collects and transfers data that can be enabled through its settings panel.
Chromium, meanwhile, has virtually no feature like this one.
How and where to download Chromium?
You can easily download Chromium through Chrome. When you download Chromium, it will instantly recognize your computer’s operating system and will suggest the most compatible version of it. If it does not provide you any suggestions, it will give you a list of the operating systems for you to choose from. You can choose different versions such as x86, Mac, Linux x64, Linux x86, Windows x64, and Mac.
Its download page can also identify your current build number, as well as its age in minutes which is remarkably fast to identify this information. For those using a Windows operating system or Linux, the users can easily click on Chromium’s most recent known good version that can be found on the bottom page of its site if you wish to retrieve Chromium’s previous version.
Is it okay to run Chrome and Chromium on the same operating system?
For obvious reasons, yes, since Chrome and Chromium are two separate browsers. You can run both of them at the same time and on the same operating system. There are no complications or errors if you run both at the same time.
Who commonly use Chromium and Why Are They Using It?
Since Chromium is completely compatible with the extensions from Chrome Store’s extensions and plug-ins, many people use it. There are several reasons why there are people that use Chromium instead of, or to add more to, Chrome as well as other browsers. Primarily, developers use it for the necessity to see its real function, and how it can be modified or tweaked, as well as how its updates can perform.
For non-developers, they have the same experience as Chrome when they use Chromium for browsing without any connections to Google. This gives the users the freedom wherein their data and information are not necessarily collected by Google so it’s technically more private than Chrome.
To add more, Chromium has several benefits because of its ability to work regularly with Chrome and Google’s extensions. This means that you can commonly transfer from Chrome to Chromium and freely install all your preferred extensions.
What Browsers Need Chromium?
Chrome by default needs Chromium as its source code, however, several other browsers are built with the very same platform that takes the source code from Chromium wherein they can add their own proprietary features as well as interfaces to make their unique user experience.
These browsers are:
- Yandex- A Russian made browser that comes from the search engine with the same name, however, it’s based on the similar Blink engine that runs Chrome, Chromium, Opera, and Chromium-based browsers.
- Vivaldi- This browser is based on Chromium and it is a successor to Opera as this was made by Opera’s former CEO by adding back features that are removed from the latest Opera browser.
- Brave- This browser was designed and developed by Mozilla’s co-founders; however, this is also based on Chromium. What makes Brave popular is its ability to remove all intrusive ads as well as preventing sites to track its user’s behavior without installing any plug-ins. This includes the option wherein you can pay for your favorite content creators instead of viewing annoying ads.
- Epic- Just like Brave, this is also designed to enhance privacy for users, and this is also built around on Chromium. This is always in privacy mode, as it instantly removes cookies as well as clear your browsing history and your cache each time, you’re done browsing.
- Opera- Surprisingly, Opera, one of the oldest browsers around is built based on Chromium. This is also used and is based on its very own proprietary code. It relied on Blink since 2013 and started basing its code with Chromium in that same year.
Is Chromium Hounded with Security Issues?
Even though Chromium is completely a legitimate browser, but due to its characteristic to be an open-source code platform, it is used maliciously for years. You might notice that Chromium was suddenly installed on your computer without your permission after you visited a random website or from a pop-up window.
Well, this is considered as a rogue Chromium. This is the malicious version of Chromium that is used by hackers to inject adware that maliciously directs your browser to different sites and track your browsing activity. It also installs unwanted software or programs on your computer. This is a threat to privacy, and could potentially infect your computer with a harmful virus.
However, there are many ways to prevent this from happening, all you need to do is to install a legitimate Chromium browser, which is pretty easy to find using your preferred browser. Chromium is safe since it regularly updates its security patches.
However, it does not automatically update its features. Chrome updates its features automatically. It solely relies on how often the user updates Chromium’s features.
Even though Chromium’s source codes can regularly update its security patches, most of its features require manual updates by the user.
What’s the Best Alternative for Chromium?
Google developed an alternative for people who are skeptical of Chromium’s capability. They come up with the Chrome Canary which is an alternative to Chromium.
For users who prefer safety and a browser that regularly updates itself through Google, then Chrome Canary is the best one for them. According to tech experts, Chrome Canary is the upgraded version or the improved version of Chromium.
Chrome Canary frequently updates itself to get brand new features, new bug fixes, and brand-new security patches that are far quicker than the regular Chrome browser. Chrome Canary is Chrome and Chromium.
So, which one you prefer? Chrome or Chromium? If you’re using either Mac or Windows, your choice should be followed. Chromium is just very fussy to use, mostly because you cannot get a stable version or build that can automatically update. However, Chromium is safe to use.