Cross-Browser Testing: Overview Table

The following table summarizes services that were tested and analyzed in the article Cross-Browser Testing: A Detailed Review Of Tools And Services on Smashing Magazine. I have included some metrics for each service to make it easier for you to choose the best one based on price, features and performance trade-offs.

Supported BrowsersCapture speedPrice (1 year)InterfaceAuthenticationCapture delayScroll barsSpecial features
BrowserShotsIE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Dilo, SeaMonkey, Minefield, Epiphany, Flock, Galeon, Konqueror, K-Meleon, Avant, Netscape, Shireteko, Kazehakase, Iceweasel45 minsFreeBadNoNoNoNone
BrowserCamIE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Konqueror, Camino, Netscape, AOL2 mins$999.95GoodYesYesYesMobile browsers support, remote access service
BrowserLabIE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari1 minFree (till end of 2010)GoodNoYesBuggyNone
SuperPreviewIE, Firefox and Safari1 min$149GoodNoNoYesNone
BrowserSealIE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari1 min$49GoodYesYesYesStandalone browser versions, support for automation scripts
LitmusIE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Flock, Camino, SeaMonkey, Netscape5 mins$588BasicYesNoNoNone
Multi Browser ViewerIE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Flock, SeaMonkey, Netscape, K-Meleon, Camino, Konqueror, Epiphany, Kazehakase2 mins$129.95GoodNoNoBuggyStandalone browser versions
BrowseraIE, Firefox, Safari3 mins$588GoodYesNoYesRecursive crawling

Obviously, we have no clear winner. Each service has its advantages and disadvantages, and you are left to decide what is the best trade-off for your case.

Professional developers would likely not use BrowserShots because of the unreasonably long response time. SuperPreview and Browsera are probably also impractical because of their very limited browser support.

BrowserLab will probably remain popular as long as it is free. Once Adobe starts charging about $20 per month for it, one would hardly have reason to use it, unless you worked in Dreamweaver, which has a BrowserLab extension, because there are much better alternatives.

When choosing a tool, one of the most important factors in your decision will be whether to use a Web service or application. Some people prefer Web-based tools because they do not require installation. Personally, I prefer applications, at least for the development tools that I use frequently. They generally have a better interface and faster response time; they never have outages, and they can be used to debug locally (i.e. on my hard drive or company intranet — although some Web-based services offer a workaround for this issue).

BrowserCam, BrowserSeal, Litmus and Multi-Browser Viewer are all very good choices. But they do vary significantly in price. If you need to test mobile browsers, BrowserCam is probably your only option. For everyone else, I would recommend either BrowserSeal or Multi-Browser Viewer; both come with standalone browser versions that are extremely important for testing. Unfortunately, both of them are Windows only, so Mac users will probably have to go with BrowserLab or BrowserCam. If automatic testing is important to you, then the BrowserSeal automation edition is your best bet.