Internet Explorer, despite being the most widely used web browser, isn’t the only option out there. In fact, there are other browsers that may do a better job from a security, speed or resource-usage perspective. Up until the past year, the only web browser I used was Internet Explorer. However, I was tired of the constant updates, the script errors, the warnings over and over again that another hacker had found a way to use the browser to possibly cause harm to my programs and possibly even my business. Yes, I still use Internet Explorer occasionally, but I now use other alternatives and find that my web browsing is simpler, faster and possibly even safer.
Here are four alternatives:
Firefox – This is a free, open-source alternative to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer that is currently the second most widely-used browser in the world. For me, it has become my primary web browser. Because it is open source, the Firefox programmers routinely fix security issues as well as develop many useful plug ins to enhance its operations. I do not recommend you download and install every plug in, but there are now so many that have been written you will find a few very useful ones that will enhance and customize your browsing experience. It can be used with any operating system. Download available at Mozilla.com.
Google Chrome – This is Google’s entry into the realm of internet browsers. Chrome is a free stripped-down browser that is designed to run to “lean and mean.” If you are concerned about resource usage on your computer, this may be the browser for you. The layout of the browser is a little different from what you may be used to so try it for a few days to see if you like it. It also runs on all operating systems.
Safari – If you are reading this article on a Mac, you are probably using Safari as your primary web browser. Safari was designed for the Macs and offers a simple, intuitive free browsing experience. The good news, is that It is now also available free for Windows users. Download available at apple.com/safari/download.
Opera – The least known web browser, made by Opera Software, is free and works on all operating systems. It is one of the fastest browsers now available and has the added advantage of being optimized for use on mobile devices. It is also specially designed for users who have visual or motor impairments. Opera has also received very positive reviews and is winning industry awards for usability. Download available at opera.com.
All five of these web browsers have strengths and weaknesses. You don’t have to just settle for whatever was installed on your computer. You now have really powerful options and they are free! Try them out and give each of them a test drive. You will then be able to determine which of them you like, fit your web browsing style and are the most beneficial to you.