Which browser is for you?

Submitted by john bowen on Fri, 03/20/2009 - 14:14

If you've been browsing the Internet for long, you're probably familiar with Internet Explorer, the web browser bundled with every Microsoft Windows installation. IE, as it's called, is a very popular browser, though some would argue it's popular only because of that bundling.

Did you know there are plenty of other web browsers out there, and that many of them can beat IE in important areas like security, speed, and features? The most popular browsers are free for you to download and install, and will integrate into your Windows computer seamlessly.

Web site developers often have several browsers installed on their computers so they can test their new web applications in as many different browsers as possible. I find that I prefer a certain browser for specific kinds of web surfing. For example, [Google's Chrome browser|http://www.google.com/chrome] is great for listening to [Pandora Radio|http://www.pandora.com] and interacting with Google applications like [Reader|http://reader.google.com], [Calendar|http://calendar.google.com] and [Docs|http://docs.google.com].

I won't go into a detailed comparison here, because it's been done thousands of times before and any comparison done here will be invalid in a few days. Instead, I'll offer a short list of popular browsers, along with some advice that you might want to try installing and using them. There's no risk in giving them a shot, and you might find a new favorite...

[Firefox|http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/] - Firefox is a product of the Mozilla project, and is a strong contender. It's generally more secure and feature rich that Internet Explorer, and is supported by a whole array of 'add ins' that you can install to extend it's ability WAY beyond 'just' browsing the web.
[Chrome|http://www.google.com/chrome] - a relative newcomer, Chrome has some very technical differences (behind the scene stuff) that many users won't care to hear. What those differences mean, though, is you get a very stable and clean web browser.
[Opera|http://www.opera.com/download/] - touted as a very fast browser, Opera is a mature product that leads the way with some neat features (like the 'speed dial' interface/startpage).
[Safari|http://www.apple.com/safari/] - Apple's major web browser offering. If you're reading this from a Mac, you're probably using Safari already. If you're reading this from a Windows machine, you can install Safari and see the web world like a Mac user.

One last comment I'll offer is that some web pages behave better in one browser than another. If you have a couple browsers installed, when you run into that page that just won't load correctly, you might be able to load it up in another browser and have better luck. Have fun!

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