Friday, February 4, 2011

What internet browser to use?

There is always some discussion online over what the best internet browsers are. I have used many of them and have liked parts of each while disliking others. Here is my comparison.

1 - Internet Explorer 8 This is the default internet browser that comes with Windows. It supports the use of toolbars and a few other addons, but it does not rely heavily on these. Internet Explorer Has a protected mode for safe browsing and Inprivate. You can use the favorites folder to quickly navigate to a page you visited and liked in the past. Internet explorer is one of the most insecure browsers around.
Upside - Moderate speed, many people use it.
Downside - Not a huge selection of addons that you can use for this browser. The browser is a small security breach.

2 - Google Chrome
Google Chrome can be downloaded directly from www.google.com, a widely used search engine. It does not allow toolbars to be active in the window, but enables the use of extensions. Extensions are simple to use addons for your browser that can display information or change the way a webpage or function behaves. It features a most visited section, recently closed tabs, password remembrance, and a favorites bar. You can also have something called a theme to personalize your browsing window. A lesser-known aspect of Google chrome is the ability to inspect element upon right click. This allows you to inspect a page's source and change anything you want. This is similar to what the addon firebug does for firefox. Only you can see the changes, but it is good for certain screen shots where you need to fake or edit something. Once you are a skilled in editing HTML in this fashion you can edit an entire webpage to anything you want it to be. I could even edit this post to say something of my choosing, but only  I could see it.

Upside - Extensions can affect the way pages work towards your advantage. Passwords are easily saved and sites can be saved in a bookmarks bar for easy navigation.
Downside- Some webpages cannot be opened using Google Chrome. This can be fixed with an extension called "IE tab" which opens sites in an internet explorer window. The downside to IE tab is that it can access all of the information on your computer.

Firefox
Firefox is an open-source web browser from the Mozilla community and it's contributors. Firefox is one of the top three used browsers in the world and is heavily modifiable through addons or hacking the program, which is allowed since this is open-source project. Firefox is on a cascading update schedule, which means you can subscribe to an update channel and either get beta, aurora, or nightly updates. Once one is updated, that version is passed down to the one below it.
Upside: Firefox is used by quite a few people, is open source, has a cascading update shedule.
Downside: Firefox is known to have memory leaks.

Opera
Opera is a closed-source web browser. However, it has the most features out of any of the browsers covered in this post. With a FTP client, mail receiver, web hosting, turbo, and many other features built into it at only 14-ish megabytes, it's a lightweight browser with a lot of power. Opera has a few rendering issues on certain websites.
Upside: Many features, lightweight
Downside: Rendering issues

Conclusion
This is just opinion. All of these browsers can be practically used. I feel that firefox is the best browser out of the bunch because it is open-source, relatively fast, has a lot of addon support, and update channels.

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