Everyday Internet users may not be aware of all the web browsers that exist and which one is the best fit. The space is not that big to be honest. There are about 4 players in the space including Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome, and Safari. Along with the advent of smartphones, there are a few other smartphone OS browsers out there, but we will leave those for another discussion. For personal computing, it is important to stay up to date with your web browser for the following reasons.
- Security – The top reason that browsers keep updating their code is for security reasons. There are many vulnerabilities in old browsers, so staying up to date will help you avoid unwanted harm to your data.
- Functionality – With each new browser release there is improvements to the user-experience and interface. Staying up to date will help make your browsing experience more efficient.
- Improvements – Websites are moving towards a new standard called HTML5 in the coming years. Although only a small percentage of existing websites are taking advantage of HTML5 now, many of the new browsers are supporting it for the future growth.
- Design – With each new browser release there is better compatibility with the intended design of websites. A poorly designed website may not be compatible with older browsers.
- Apps & Plug-ins – The everyday user may not take advantage of them but Firefox and Chrome have lead the way for additional plugins and apps that can be used within the browser.
Downloading updates is always a pain, but for the above stated reason it is important to do so. If nothing else, consider the security factor of newer browsers. So which one is the best pic? Here is our review…
Internet Explorer (IE) – *****
With about 26% of the market share, according to W3C’s browser statistics, IE has been one of the most well known for years because it used to ship out of the box on new Windows machines as the default browser. Users have gotten smarter over the years by installing Firefox or Chrome as IE has very poor ratings. Web Designers hate IE, because it always presents compatibility Issues. IE used to own more than half the market share before competition stiffened up. Because of this, hackers have always been looking for ways to cause trouble through IE. >>Internet Explorer website
Note – If you are running IE 6.0 as your browser, realize that this is now obsolete and has horrible performance issues. You need to upgrade now (actually a couple years ago). To find out what version you are running go to Help –> About Internet Explorer.
FireFox – *****
One of the stronger browsers on the market. They have increased market share every year for the past decade and for good reason. Firefox is a reliable browser that forces auto-updates to keep users running the latest release. Compatibility is great and their resource of plug-ins and apps is the best there is.
The only downside to Firefox is that you are often asked to update your plug-ins to the latest version which can be annoying but necessary. >>Firefox website
Chrome – *****
Google’s first attempt at a browser was a slam dunk. On the market for 2+ years now, Chrome is the fastest an easiest browser to use. The built in search feature in the navigation bar is a game-changer and their plug-ins have grown rapidly to compete with FireFox. For everyday users this is the browser for you. >>Chrome website
Safari – *****
Safari is notoriously the MAC users default brower and many Apple users know any different way. It is a solid browser than is not very buggy. The favorites websites feature is the best on the market and makes opening your top sites very easy. They recently released a Windows browser which they are pushing with ITunes and QuickTime updates. If you are a MAC user you already know that it is a pretty solid browser, Windows users feel free to try for yourself. >>Safari website
All browsers of course want to be your default setting, but consider having multiple browsers on your machine. They do not take much disk space and offer you the chance to test or use several of them. Enjoy!