Other Options Than Internet Explorer: Browser Review

Thank you Microsoft for giving us such a crappy web browser in Internet Explorer and then bundling it into every PC in the world!  If it hadn’t been for your lack of compatibility with all other web browsers, this review would not be possible!  I know people fear change, but sometimes change is good – especially when it doesn’t cost you anything.  We’ve taken a look at five different web browsers and have chosen the best the internet has to offer.  Here they are:

Social Media Browser: Flock
This internet browser is targeted towards that specifically meets the needs of online social networkers by helping you keep informed when friends post or a favorite site is updated. It has a slick interface and plenty of features.  It is designed to keep you updated with friends on Facebook, mySpace, Twitter, and Flikr.  It is very easy to use, but lacks parental controls.  A great feature of this browser is that it allows you to click and drag pictures, videos, links, and text.  The Flock Internet browser is secure, with pop-ups, viruses, and spyware being blocked. You can also clear your browsing history quickly.  What is really nice about this browser is that it integrates a blog editor, and has all of the advantages of Firefox. If your main concern is social networking, Flock is the internet browser for you.  If you are looking to just browse online, you will find its speed is not comparable to the other ones on this list.  The extras that come with the site take up a bit of screen space and can be distracting, which is why I didn’t list this site higher.  However, by comparison, it is more stable than Internet Explorer.  It is available for PC, Mac, and Linux.  You can download this browser for free at: http://flock.com/

Most Simple To Use: Safari
Once a Mac-only browser, you can now use Safari on Windows and Linux.  Safari’s features are comparable to the other top-notch browsers. Additional features include spell checking, snapback, and resizable text boxes. One standout feature is integration of Top Sites, a feature exclusive to Safari which offers an at-a-glance preview of your favorite websites. We also like the colored progress bar on the toolbar that shows how fast a page is loading and how close it is to being complete.  Safari is a solid web browser, and has most of the features a good browser should.  The only exception to this is that it lacks anti-phishing software.  It does block adware, malware, and viruses.  You can download this browser for free at: www.apple.com/safari/download/

Underdog With The Biggest Bite: Opera
Opera is the underdog of web browsers, but I actually really like it.  If you find that your computer is slowing down and you don’t have much memory, this is the web browser for you!  PC Magazine actually ranked Opera the same as Firefox (see below) when it came to best browsers.  Opera’s smaller file size makes it ideal for older computers. Like Firefox, it can be used on a Mac, and though Firefox is the top-ranked Mac browser, reviews recommend Opera for older Macs.  Opera takes so much less memory and CPU power that it’s ideal for older or underpowered computers. This can make it a good option for machines that came equipped with earlier versions of Internet Explorer that need upgrading for security reasons — since IE7 and IE8 take huge amounts of memory (and are slower as well).  Opera is secure and easy to customize.  You can host your bookmarks on an Opera site, for example, so they’re easy to synchronize among all the computers you use — including a cell phone that uses the free Opera mobile browser, called Opera Mini (I use this on my iPhone).  You can download Opera for free here: www.opera.com/download

Lightning Fast: Google Chrome
When Google Chrome was released, it had some issues, but one thing can be said about it.  It’s fast. Google Chrome is an open source application, which means they have tons of people writing applications for them.  Also, it is relatively, easy to use and offers an “incognito mode” which allows you to browse in private (which is good for gift shopping and people who go to those “naughty sites”).   dditionally, cookies and passwords are deleted after you close the incognito window.  You can even have one browser window open in normal mode and another in incognito mode, which is a nice feature.  Another nice feature is the “anywhere drag and drop”, which allows you to drag text or a link from anywhere on a web page and put it directly into your search bar. The smart toolbar gives helpful suggestions while you are typing in it, and makes it easy to revisit a previously viewed site that you’ve forgotten because the toolbar searches through titles as well as actual in-page text.  Chrome is safe and secure, protecting from phishing schemes, malware, pop-ups, and viruses. Chrome warns you if you’re about to access an unsafe website. As with other browsers, you can have Chrome remember your passwords or opt not to.  Chrome is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux.  You can download it for free here:  www.google.com/chrome.

Best Of The Best – The Winner: Firefox 3.0
This is, by far, the most recommended web browser in the world.  According to w3schools.com (a great web tutorial site), Firefox is used by 46.9% of all internet users.  The price is right (it’s free); it comes as a stripped down basic version that lets you choose to run Flash, Shockwave, Java, or Quicktime; and let’s you customize your user experience by having 1000s of plugins allowing you to do virtually anything you want online. It is sort of like the iPhone for your computer.  They’ve got an app for anything you need from business applications to things that will help you with your homework.  Also, they don’t allow plugins that haven’t been tried for security.  Test results show that Firefox is slower to load than other browsers, at first, but once it is opened, you can jump between web sites very fast.  It also uses less memory than most of the other sites listed here (Opera is the only exception).   Computer geeks around the world unite to say that this is THE best browser that you can use.  Download it for free at: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/personal.html