Which Internet Browser Should I Use?

February 17, 2011 at 11:17 am

When it comes to updating your Facebook status, you have options. The de facto standard for Windows users has always been Internet Explorer. It is the default browser for all versions of Microsoft Windows, and say what you want about its flaws in the past but it’s a pretty good option today.

In years past, Internet Explorer has been known for having numerous vulnerabilities. On top of that, it was pretty slow to load pages compared to the competition – especially pages with Javascript content. You may have thought that the internet connection you pay for every month is what makes things load faster or slower, but it’s more complicated than that. Web pages are nothing more than lines of code which define where the text and media should appear on the page. The browser is simply a tool to interpret and render that code into something humans can see and understand, and each browser does this in its own way. Instead of patching the leaky boat that was IE6, Microsoft essentially built IE7 from scratch and the current version, IE9, is pretty darn good.

The other major browsers in order of popularity according to W3Schools include Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome (the browser I’m using while writing this article), Safari and Opera. Each browser has its niche, but in my opinion Internet Explorer and Google Chrome are the top two. Chrome has been gaining popularity and while Firefox has the largest share of users by a wide margin, they have been losing share to Chrome since it was released.

So why would you use anything besides Internet Explorer if you have a PC, or Safari if you own a MAC, or Firefox if you run Ubuntu or some other distribution of linux? Some switch because their browser is unstable and hangs or crashes. Google Chrome shines here because if one page freezes for whatever reason, it is not likely that it will cause all other open pages to close unexpectedly. Some switch because their favorite website works better in a different browser. Others simply like the look and feel or features of different browsers. Firefox is so popular today because of the add-on market. There are literally thousands of plugins for Firefox to do anything from control your music, change the theme of the browser, or automatically refresh a webpage on a user-defined interval (for you Ebay lovers).

I’m not really picky when it comes to my browser. As long as it supports tabbed browsing (open multiple sites in the same window but different tabs), Facebook, and GMail I’m happy. My only recommendation is to install at least one other browser just in case your primary browser is broken by a Windows Update or virus/malware. If all you have is Internet Explorer and it doesn’t work anymore, it’s going to be complicated for you to find and install tools to fix the problem.

If you’re curious, try out one (or all) of these browsers and see which one fits YOU best!

Google Chrome

Mozilla Firefox

Apple Safari

Opera

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