Saturday, April 13, 2013

This page is incompatible with Internet Explorer....

If you are still using Internet Explorer to browse the internet from your PC, you might still be accessing the web via dial-up.  Seriously, IE has been left behind by other web browsers as far as features and performance are concerned.  It is still the most popular browser on the web (most likely because it comes with Windows as the default internet browser) but its market share is slipping as time goes by.  Other browsers simply have more features, are faster, and are even able to display certain web pages better.  There are many alternatives to IE, but which one is the best for you?  The other major players in this game are Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Maxthon.  (Apple’s safari browser is no longer being supported for Windows).
Back in the days of dial-up, I was blown away by how much faster the Opera browser made my web experience than using IE 6.  Ever since the advent of broadband, I have been using Firefox.  Last year I switched to Google’s chrome, and I have to admit, it is a great browser.  The sign-in feature syncs your browser across all the different devices you access the web from.  Tom’s Hardware rated Chrome first place, with Firefox in second, in their March WebBrowser Grand Prix.  So why did I switch back to Firefox?
For me it came down to a few factors.  First, I have doubts about Google’s respect for my privacy.  Although I am a GMail user, I have been trying to find a way to wean myself from Google for a while now; more on that later.  Chrome’s Do Not Track privacy feature is hard to find and disable -no thank you.  Second, maybe it’s just human nature to cheer for the underdog, but I would rather support the not-for-profit Mozilla foundation than the huge multibillion dollar Google Corp.  Mozilla seems like one of the last bastions of the early days of computing, the web, and software, when information was supposed to be free, shared, and collaborated on.  To be fair, Chrome is open source.  Finally, while Firefox’s sync takes a little more time to set up, it is more secure than Chrome’s and works just as well.
So, while Chrome does technically finish first in performance, Firefox is a close second.  As far as the other browsers are concerned, Opera’s performance has been subpar for the last several releases.  Maxthon is another interesting choice, but it lacks hardware acceleration.  One place I do use the Maxthon browser is on my android phone.  In the Tom’s Hardware review on browsers forAndroid devices, Maxthon finished second to Dolphin Browser, but in the speed tests, beat out Dolphin.  Finally, if you are using an iOS device, according to THW, the best browser is the default Safari.  This is due in part to apple’s requirement that any browser made for iOS must run on Webkit. (Webkit is what Safari and Chrome are based on).
The performance gap between all of these choices seems to be closing, and each one offers different advantages.  My recommendation is obviously Firefox, but try the different choices for yourself.  If you have never used anything but Internet Explorer, you’re in for a treat.  Check out PCMag’s browser review for additional information.
Finally I will leave you with some of my favorite Firefox add-ons:
-Flash Video Downloader - YouTube Downloader
-GMail Notifier
-Integrated Google Calendar
-RoboForm Lite

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