Choosing the right web browser is a surprisingly important decision which many people fail to consider in any depth. However, a good web browser can ensure that you enjoy the best internet experience possible. While you may be comfortable with one particular browser program, sometimes making a change will be better in the long run, even if the transition period is jarring.
Best of all, you can install multiple web browsers on your PC and determine which is your favourite by trying them all to find the most suitable.
To help you get started, here is a look at the three main players in the web-browser market at the moment.
Millions of people will have used Internet Explorer (IE) because it is developed by Microsoft and has been bundled with its Windows operating systems over the years. The current flagship version of this web browser is IE 9, although Microsoft is also working on IE 10 in order to launch it in tandem with Windows 8 later in 2012.
IE 9 is a very different browser to some of the versions which have come before as it borrows heavily from its rival platforms to deliver a smooth, uncluttered experience of the web.
It supports modern standards such as HTML5, which means that websites can really come to life providing they are coded to take advantage of this. The main problem with IE is that it still has something of a bad reputation, gained largely because users failed to upgrade rather than because Microsoft has let the platform stagnate.
Security issues with older versions mean that you should always keep Internet Explorer as up to date as possible. If you have an older version of Windows than Vista then you will not be able to run IE 9. In fact, IE 10 will also exclude Vista support, so getting Windows 7 or 8 will be vital to give you the best of the web.
Developed by Mozilla, Firefox has managed to capture 24 per cent of the world’s web-browser market, which means it is currently in third place in terms of popularity. Firefox receives regular updates and it has made integrating these as easy as possible, so keeping on top of security and functionality is never difficult if you decide to use this browser.
Firefox offers a heavily customisable user experience, which means you can change the look and feel of the interface and also implement add-ons and other third-party assets as you see fit. It is also a good browser to choose if you want to keep your web service synchronised across multiple platforms and computers.
You can easily have things such as your web history, passwords and even tabs and extensions synchronised automatically so that moving from machine to machine will be a seamless process.
Created by the search-giant Google, Chrome has managed to win over 32 per cent of the world’s web users thanks to its innovative approach. It was one of the first web browsers to adopt the idea that less is more, as Google chose to adopt a minimalist design which eschewed the clutter of toolbars in favour of a more site-oriented approach to the web. Chrome is widely recognised as one of the fastest web browsers and this is largely because of the fact that it integrates a lot of hardware acceleration.
Security is another benefit of using Chrome, since it is excellent when it comes to identifying and avoiding malware.
You can customise your experience with extensions and also enjoy an impressive degree of prediction, which means that sites can start to load before you have even let the browser know that you want to visit them.
We’re living in an age of superfast broadband and our time on the internet needs to be suited to our needs. If you put a bit of research in and find the best browser for you, then you’ll find the whole experience a lot more enjoyable.
Article by Ben Hughes