Web browsers are just as debated as Operating Systems and Political affiliations. The Web Browser is the program that allows you to browse the web, so you want the best experience possible. And Just like Operating Systems you can also choose the web browser that you use. So which one is it? IE or Firefox. Maybe Safari? Maybe even Opera?
Internet Explorer has been around for a long time now. Microsofts’ Browser came with Windows 95. IE has been the dominate browser for the majority of the Internet Infancy. IE was also available for Macs until a couple years ago when Microsoft had decided to end development.
Firefox actually came from Netscape Navigator. Mozilla was the force basically behind this browser software. Firefox was introduced as the “Open Software” version. It was received with open arms by most and fast became the number 2 browser out there. Since Firefox is Open Source, there is no affiliation to a OS. However, most Linux OS’s will include Firefox in it’s installation.
Safari is the browser that Apple included in their Mac software since 2003. Safari has been growing as of recent – with the additional option to install on Windows machines. Safari is also the main browser on iPod and iPhones.
Opera is also a browser you can use on most Operating Systems and also some gaming systems. It’s been around since 1994 but was not released to the public until 1996. Opera was not free but if you didn’t pay for it, you could get an ad-interlaced version.
IE: There are a host of reasons why IE needs to stay around – There are websites that work best in IE and not in other browsers. IE though has options and integrates well with Windows. IE’s tabbed browsing is pretty decent.
The problem is the only way to get extended functionality is to install IE 7 Pro. Why do we need to install a browser then install an update? Why is this not one piece?
Mozilla: Mozilla has shown it can be a web browser that handles pages in a quick manor. Installation is a snap and doesn’t require reboot. Mozilla works on Microsoft, Apple and Linux platforms. Mozilla has a variety of “Add-ons” that can do anything from decode your webpage to tell you the weather. Firefox is Open Source so more programmers are drawn to Firefox. Firefox also has a “Crash Recovery” which will remember the last set of tabs you had opened.
However, Firefox is a little more finicky with the HTML code it’s given. It doesn’t forgive if a table component is misplaced for example. Some CSS is not really recognized and
Safari has the distinction of being on the iPhone. The most recent version has updated some standard stuff. For instance, Safari will support CSS Animation, CSS Web Fonts and will also support Multimedia HTML 5.
Safari’s biggest downfall is they do not have a phishing feature. Therefore customers will not get warned if the site they are visiting is not truly the site (for instance, it might look like a Paypal site, but it could be some other site like payepall).
Opera is considered the “Fastest Browser on Earth”. Tabbed browsing, popup blocker, fraud protection and download and bit torrent manager are some features to it. Opera also has Opera Widgets to expand the browsing experience (I recommend the Fishtank widget). Opera is the most OS supportive. MS, Apple, Linux, Solaris, Nintendo DS and Wii, and a mobile version for Smartphones and PDA’s.
Opera is like Firefox – if you miss a HTML tag, Opera will not be as forgiving. Opera still has the stigma as the “Pay to play” browser although it is now free to download.
There are other browsers out there. Flock, iCab, Lynx (a TEXT web browser), Omniweb are some of them. To download and use each of them would be monotonous. As for me, I use the 4 above. Yeah, I use IE more than the other 3. I only use Safari if it’s the only browser on a machine. Each browser has its advantages and disadvantages. However you get on the web, via IE or Mozilla on you Windows, Apple, Linux, Wii, PS3 or whatever – it will be an experience you won’t forget. And browsers will get better and better down the road. I’m just waiting for the browser that will make the toast and coffee in the morning.