Yep, it's all about the timing. We come from south of Boston, and the fastest way is right through the city, over the Tobin Bridge, and up Rt. 1 to 95. On a weekday we have to leave between 9:30 and noon or the traffic will be ridiculous. We listen to the BZ traffic reports and check out Sigalert for any problems. If the Expressway is tied up, we'll go 128. Weekends there are fewer problems. Coming home on weekdays, we either leave around 9-10AM or wait until after 4PM. We're lucky to be retired. My sympathies go out to anyone driving up on Friday night. Check out Mapquest to get the times for each different route.
It depends on when you leave Newton. If it is a Friday afternoon any time after 3:00pm you will wait in RT128 traffic from basically the Mass pike exit to 93 and then all the way up 93 to the new 3 lane configuration in Londonderry. Also after the tolls approaching Concord, NH. I think at that time of day the 95 - 26 option is faster. If you are going off hours or Saturday morning early then the 93 option might be OK.