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Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari – which browser should I use?

Currently you have a range of choices regarding which browser you can surf the web with. This article covers each of the top 5 browsers giving a brief explanation of each.

Originally, Internet Explorer was the default browser on any install of a Windows operating system, resulting in the majority of people starting and continuing to use the browser.

After some legal battles with the EU, Microsoft has been forced to give the users of Windows OS the option to form the five most popular browsers. So which browser do you choose?

There are five main options, all with varying applications, both pros and cons.

Mozilla Firefox

For a user who likes to customise their web experience, this is the browser for you. Firefox has a massive library of plug-ins and add-ons, with categories ranging from 'Appearance' through to 'Privacy & Security'. Although it's important to note that compared with Chrome and Opera, Firefox does slow down after adding too many plug-ins. However, with every new release, this is changing very quickly.

Chrome

Renowned for being the fastest browser available, with a simple and easy to use interface. The ability to add plugins (extensions), has recently been implemented, as well as increased security for passwords. However, a lot of people are concerned about how much information they would be giving to Google, if they are using a Google browser Gmail, Buzz, Maps and Search.

Opera

Unlike Google Chrome and Firefox, Opera comes ready, with extras and add-ons already included. However, it doesn’t support extensions in the same way Firefox and Chrome do. However, a lot of web programmers don’t test websites on Opera, so in some cases web pages may not load correctly. Opera is still a fine choice for those of you who don’t want to have to mess around adding extra security or changing various settings. Safari: A browser primarily associated with Apple products, Safari can be used across all platforms. Previously, Safari was not as competitive as Chrome, Firefox, or Opera in terms of security, speed, and customisation. This has changed as of June this year with the latest version.

Internet Explorer 8

Internet Explorer was previously installed with every version of the Windows operating system. Version 8 is a vast (and desperately needed) improvement on all previous iterations of the browser, specifically in terms of speed and security. However, even with this improvement, IE8 is still lagging behind its competitors.

Which Should I Choose?

Personally, I choose Firefox, purely for its security, customisable functions and plug-ins. Chrome is beginning to grow on me, particularly with the integration of other Google Products, it makes for a seamless web experience. It all depends on what you want to get out of your browser. The most important thing to note is that whichever browser you’re using, make sure you update it regularly. With all the increased competition, newer, faster and more secure versions are being released almost constantly. If you would like a more in depth review of each browser head on over to Joveeno's post covering the latest browser statistics.

You can check out the popularity of each browser type here:

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

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