Which browser is best for me?

Click on each icon for a link to their free download
Firefox
Chrome
Opera
Safari

After the April 27th announcement that Homeland Security warned people to stop using Internet Explorer, we notified our clients and offered solutions to their needs.  It was then that we realized that many people didn’t really know what a “browser” is.  We all use them, we just didn’t know the technical name and that there were others out there besides Internet Explorer. (

According to TecTerms.com,  “a web browser, or simply “browser,” is an application used to access and view websites. Common web browsers include Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari.”

Don’t confuse a browser with a “Search Engine.” You may actually like your search engine and the browser doesn’t matter.  Search engines include Google, Bing, MSN.com, Yahoo or Ask.com.

“The primary function of a web browser is to render HTML, the code used to design or “mark up” webpages. Each time a browser loads a web page, it processes the HTML, which may include text, links, and references to images and other items.  The browser processes these items, then renders them in the browser window.”

Microsoft Office comes with Internet Explorer, the most common browser and a Microsoft product.  The other common web browsers include Google Chrome and Firefox as well as Opera and Apple’s Safari.

Which one is right for you?  It’s mostly personal preference.  Many people are used to Internet Explorer and feel it is the best.  It seems that those who don’t care for Microsoft are more apt to like Firefox or Google’s Chrome.  People with a MAC tend to use Safari but we also know some that insist that Internet Explorer is better and use it on their Mac.

As a non-expert who has used Internet Explorer almost exclusively, I like the familiarity of IE.  I created a simple experiment by going to Google in each browser. (Google is a Search Engine)

I didn’t see much difference is load time, although several tech sites that I visited rated them by speed and the differences were milliseconds.

Not a very scientific examination I know that some banking programs will only allow you to use Internet Explorer.  Since browsers use different rendering engines, websites may not appear the same across multiple browsers. We do know from website development that, in some cases, a website may work fine in one browser, but not function properly in another. We make it a point to check our websites in the major browsers just for that reason. 

So, what’s the verdict?  We suggest that you have more than one browser installed on your computer.  Use each for a while and pick your favorite but keep the others available.   Make each one your “default” for a week or so to give them a good chance.

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