For quite a while now each browser has had its own appeal for various reasons. Some of them are fast, simple and convenient. Some are a massive pain, but once they work the way you want, they’re gold. And there are some (well, one) that are made to tie you down the old internet protocols.
The most prevalent browsers today are Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Opera. While there are certainly pro’s and con’s to all of them, some weigh out better than others. Ideally something that’s simple to use, improves the user experience and provides you with the tools you need on the internet are what will ultimately make a good browser.
Firefox is far and away the most popular browser out there. It works on everything except for Apple’s iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod); it has a wide variety of plugins that allow you to do nearly anything you would ever want to do, such as synchronizing your bookmarks, ad-blocking, remotely managing resources, even pretending like you’re from some other country. It’s highly stable and works with nearly all web applications. It, as most of the rest of the browsers, doesn’t really work with Microsoft’s ActiveX plugins or some of the more antiquated Java language. On balance, that’s not really a huge loss.
Safari is a very nice, clean and simplistic browser. In so many ways, if all you need to do is view information and have the odd multi-media experience, it’s a great browser. I haven’t seen any protocol, with the exception of the above mentioned ActiveX and old Java, that it can’t handle. You can run it on everything except for Androids and Linux.
Chrome is a very simple browser. Not a lot of customization you can do, which will be fine for most. Google had some security issues with Chrome when it was first out that left a bad taste in many mouths, mine included. All things considered, it’s a bit more convenient, if you have a lot of passwords that you like your browser to remember, but still, if you’re using Windows and Chrome, I’d be pretty concious of what I’m having it remember for me. It is fast and sleek though.
Internet Explorer. Statistically only used by people with low IQ’s. No really, someone actually did a study. It’s ridden with security flaws and inefficiencies. It has no distinguishing features that make it better than any of the other browsers here with the exception of: You HAVE to use it if the application you’re using was designed using ActiveX controls, Silverlight, RemoteApp functionality or was ever rubbed gently against anything with Microsoft on it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really like to be forced to do anything.
Opera is my personal favorite. Realistically, not the best out of the bunch. Needs some customization to make it work right, but everything that comes with it out of the box is all you’re really looking for in a browser. They pioneered that grid layout that shows thumbnails of the pages you like to visit, you can sync bookmarks and tabs across all devices, without limitation. It has some issues if the website programming is a little off, but that’s the only real drawback.
In conclusion then, Firefox and Opera have a sizable lead over the rest in terms of usability, security and general experience. Firefox has to take the win with the added benefit of being highly stable and having the best plugins. It may not be quite as fast as Chrome or Safari, but for leveraging your software to make your life better, it has to be Firefox.
Thanks for reading!
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