Many of our clients don’t give much thought to the web browser they use. Both Windows® and Mac® computers come loaded with a browser—using the default browser is so convenient. However, it’s not always the best option so it is worthwhile to take a look at the browser landscape and make sure your using the best browser for you.
When choosing a web browser the most important aspect to pay attention to is security. There are numerous ways in which the bad guys can compromise your computer with a poorly secured browser. Even if you stay away from porn sites (still a popular way to infect computers), it’s easy to run across a site that has been set up to compromise your computer for their nefarious purposes.
Beyond security, consider the functionality of the browser. Is it easy to use? Can you customize it to meet your browsing habits? Do the web pages you view look and work okay? Some websites are developed only for the most popular browser Internet Explorer and don’t work well in other browsers, although this is becoming less and less the case.
Internet Explorer and Firefox have the bulk of the browser market but there are other browsers out there. Here are the 5 main browsers:
Internet Explorer® is the Windows default browser and it is the most commonly use browser. I’ve found that most people use Internet Explorer because it came with their computer, not because they actively chose it. Internet Explorer 7 is far superior to earlier versions, but I don’t find that it is very fast or secure compared to other browsers. If you use Internet Explorer be sure that you are using Internet Explorer 7 (not version 8 which is still in testing) and keep it updated or risk your computer being compromised.
Firefox® is the second most widely used browser. It works on both Windows and Mac computers. The Windows version is more secure than Internet Explorer so that alone is a great reason to switch to it. Its speed and the hundreds of add-ons that allow you to customize Firefox is a great bonus and its what makes Firefox the browser of choice at Chaos To Clarity for both our Windows and Mac machines.
Safari® is growing in use mainly because it is the default Mac browser. Like Internet Explorer, many use Safari because it comes install on Mac computers. It’s a fine browser and it loads web pages fast—faster than Firefox. If you just want to view web pages and don’t need the customized experience that Firefox can bring, then Safari is a good browser for you.
Chrome® is Googles foray into web browsers. It is lighting fast and in Google fashion has a simple interface. If you have a slow Internet connection (like dialup) or don’t need all the bells and whistle of Firefox, Chrome is a great browser choice.
Opera® has been around since 1996 and works both on Windows and Mac. It was one of the first browsers to incorporate tabbed browsing and speed dialing. It’s as good as Firefox, but is not as customizable. It’s a solid secure alternative to Internet Explorer.