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Which web browser

Which web browser should I be using?

Web browsers are often overlooked.

You get used to whatever came with your PC, it works – so you don't want to change anything, and then you forget about it.

But you do have a choice, and that choice effects your security, how fast the pages download, how the pages actually look on your screen, and even the legibility of text.

1950's TV

Put it this way, there's a greater difference between today's browsers, than there is between a 1950's valve telly and modern wide-screen plasma TV.

Web browser rendering

Different browsers interpret a page in different ways.

Web designers have to work round, or generate specific code, purely to solve the bugs and quirks in Internet Explorer.

These effect the layout, restrict the design and slow development. But there is one thing that there's no getting away from – the appalling way IE renders type.

Which web browsers are most popular

When it comes to browsing the web, Microsoft dominates.

Their operating system (Windows XP) has 90% of the market, and their generations of Internet Explorer have 66% of all browsing figures.

August 2009

  • 47.4% - Firefox
  • 15.9% - Internet Explorer 7
  • 13.6% - Internet Explorer 6
  • 10.6% - Internet Explorer 8
  • 7% - Google Chrome
  • 3.3% - Safari
  • 2.1% - Opera

Mozilla The people who build websites, view websites in Firefox

Why? Because Firefox is simpler, safer, faster and smaller, with more time-saving and convenient features than any other browser on the web.

How? Firefox is an Open-Source browser, which means thousands of people all over the world are working on it night and day, for free – to develop the best browser for all.

Whereas Internet Explorer is built by employees, and only has major upgrades every few years.

Browsers

So how come Internet Explorer is so popular?

IE comes bundled with all Microsoft Operating Systems, so they immediately corner the market.

Internet Explorer 6 and older versions are notoriously flaky and are not Standards Compliant (industry standards for viewing and accessibility set by W3C).

After many years Microsoft released IE 7 it was their first compliant browser and is a massive leap forward. But there were loads of bugs with it and in a few months they released IE8. If you're sticking with the devil you know, I would upgrade today; it has caught up with many of the features of Firefox.

Firefox logo

Standards' compliant web browsers

Web standards are set by W3C, a non profit organization dedicated to making the web accessible to all. The following browsers support numerous web standards:

  • Internet Explorer 7 and above
  • Firefox (all)
  • Netscape v7
  • Galeon
  • Opera v7
  • Safari
  • Konqueror

Firefox web browser features – not that I'm biased or anything …

Tabbed Browsing – a great time saving feature which makes it possible to view several web pages in one window.

Fast Searching – Google is built into tool bar, there are Keywords for your bookmarks and an intelligent quick search facility – this brings everything together from your PC, the site your viewing and the world wide web on one screen, fast.

Safety – Firefox is not integrated into your operating system and does not support popular scripts that are known to have security holes – so your personal information is safer. There is a Download Manager, so nothing from the Web will be loaded onto your machine without you first being asked for approval.

Automatic Popup Blocking – stop those annoying popup ads, or you can set it to ask you if you want a pop up to appear.

Dictionary Tooltip - unsure of a word? Double-click any word on the page you are viewing to see its definition.

Awards

Customisable – You can make your browser your own with customisable Toolbars and a Theme Manager.

Up-to-date – Firefox checks on the latest up-dates and improvements, which, unlike IE, are regular.

Compatible – Firefox is available for Windows Vista / XP / 2000, Mac OS X, and Linux.

* Source W3Schools † Firefox or similar, compliant web browsers

 

Article jump menu

"Microsoft is very directly responsible for spyware and adware and the pop-up ads in general that proliferated across the Web after they abandoned their product.

I mean, this is the world's most-used software application ever ... and I just think it's irresponsible for a company to abandon it simply because they can't find a financial incentive to continue development."

Blake Ross

Read article >

Screen sizes and resolutions

Time are changing and so are the size of people's screens.

Just a couple of years ago, the most common screen size was 800 X 600 pixels. It's changed dramatically since then:

1280 X 1024 (and larger): 57%

1024 X 768: 36%

800X 600: 4%

For a pictorial guide which shows screen resolutions in a pictorial guide follow this link:

Screen resolution guide »

Best web browsers - free downloads

Tag: web browser