Choosing a Web-Browser

February 3, 2009

In the internet today, there are many different browsers to choose from. They all share the same basic function: browse the web. The most popular browsers are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Opera. The majority of people all just use the standard windows browser Internet Explorer. In order to choose a browser, it is important to understand the differences between each of them.

Internet Explorer (IE) is the most common browser. It comes with windows, and is what most people are familiar with. The current version, IE7 features “tabbed” browsing, which enables a user to have multiple websites up in the same window. The most important aspect of IE is that it enables users to perform critical windows updates. Despite the importance of IE, there are many security vulnerabilities as shown in last month’s article. Additionally, the widespread use of IE makes it the favorite target for hackers.

Mozilla Firefox is the second most popular web browser and is the recommended browser from Emerson Technologies. Firefox is an excellent browser which also allows tabbed browsing, and it also has the ability to install numerous plug-ins and themes to enhance browsing and make it look more aesthetically pleasing. One of the most useful plug-ins is a very powerful pop-up blocker which allows for faster browsing and the removal of advertisements on websites. Firefox can run on Windows, Mac and Linux. It also has a built in spell-check feature which is very useful for composing emails or entering other information on various websites. See THIS ARTICLE for steps to configure Firefox, or send an email to if you would like us to set it up for you.

Apple’s Safari is the standard web browser for Macs, but it can also run on Windows platforms. In fact, if you are an iTunes user, Apple includes Safari pre-packaged with iTunes and Quicktime in their monthly updates. Safari also has a pop-up blocker and spell-check feature, but it does not have the extensive library of plug-ins or themes are Firefoxdoes. Safari is also a very fast browser and loads up quicker than Internet Explorer, but Firefox is still a better choice.

Google’s Chrome is a very lightweight quick browser, and I personally really like it though I still use Firefox. Chrome basically was built to be a fast, quick, lightweight browser and it does just that. It has some very nice feature for displaying sights that use Javascript, or sights with “flashy” graphics. Chrome does a very nice job of loading pages and even though it is still considered a beta, it is a very stable browser.

Opera is another good alternative browser, though it is not as popular as the other browsers. It has some very nice features. Opera features a pop-up blocker, and has a pretty good size library of “widgets” (which can be equated to plug-ins). My favorite feature of Opera is called, “Speed Dial”. This enable a user to very quickly load bookmarked pages. In my experience, Opera is actually the fastest browser. Opera also features some very nice picture/video viewing widgets making Opera a great multimedia browser.

So, there are many different browsers how do you choose which one is the best for you? I would recommend trying Firefox first, and then Opera. Stay away from IE. Perhaps the new version of IE will be a little more promising but until then, the worlds most popular browser will have to wait.


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