There is nothing called the ideal sealer and it all boils down to the place and application. Find out what type of concrete finish you have, these can be divided into four categories like broom finish, stamped, smooth troweled and exposed aggregate. To this you can add concrete pavers as the fifth option. Again the choice depends on whether it is for cosmetic reasons or for utility. https://www.bestbar.com.au/product/concrete-sealing/ is a treasure trove of information to make your choice easier. Another piece of information tool is premierconstructionnews.com.
Film forming sealers are available in two varieties solvent based and water based and there are suited for different performances. The latter is a low gloss with minimal darkening and increased chemical resistance. On the contrary the former comes in high gloss finish, darkened concrete and enhanced color development. Penetrating water repellant comes with water intrusion properties. It also protects from freeze damage and the appearance does not change leaving it unprotected from stains. The film forming sealers are best for stamped, exposed aggregate, broom finish concrete and pavers. While the penetrating water repellant is suggested for smooth troweled, broom finished concrete, natural or artificial stones and pavers.
For concrete around the pool area consider the elements and the type of contaminants exposed to the concrete. If you are looking for stain protection, chemical protection, freeze protection and water resistant properties then film forming sealers are ideal. In order to prevent slip and fall use Slip Stop additive. Similarly for free protection and salt absorption protection, choose Penetrating Water Repellants. When it comes to enhancing appearance like darkening concrete, colored concrete, adding sheen, penetration and more, film forming sealer is suggested because penetrating water repellants do not change the appearance of the concrete in any way. Both film forming and penetrating water repellant sealers are UV stable but in some cases the sealer change their color to brown or yellow when exposed to sunlight for a longer duration.