Providing IT Support to small businesses we often get asked questions about a lot of loosely related topics. From making recommendations on smart phones, operating systems, apps, to email systems, web hosting and accounting software. The question of which Internet browser to use falls squarely amongst this group ...
the turtles each have their own personality and so do the browsers we use
Quite often the question is couched in terms of "which do you use?" rather than which I would recommend and the answer is that I use several depending on what I'm doing. In this blog post I review the four most popular browsers and relate them to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as each browser has its own personality.
For me Firefox is like Leonardo, a devoted student of the art of browsing. It is my personal favourite and is what I use for everyday browsing. I like it because it has a vast array of add-ons which you can use to customise your browser and improve your browsing experience. Just like Leonardo it is constantly learning and making changes to bring new things on line. It is not yet the courageous leader that Leonardo is, but mostly because of the popularity of Google.
Internet Explorer for me is the Michelangelo of the group. In previous versions it had serious security issues and in the 1980s Michelangelo's nunchaku weapon was deemed too violent for the UK market until the censorship laws were relaxed! Michelangelo is deemed the easy going member of the group (despite his violent weapon) and Internet Explorer is much the same. As a Microsoft cloud partner we have to use Internet Explorer to access all the features on the Microsoft partner websites.
New versions of IE have seen security features improved significantly on earlier versions however I still lack confidence in it because of previous security flaws. It's much quicker than it used to be and it handles HTML 5 code quickly. But like many others I only use IE when I absolutely have to; its reputation for lacking the functionality and security of the others overriding any recent changes.
From a technical perspective Google's browser has features the others lack, for instance Chrome runs tabs as separate processes, so if one of them crashes, the entire browser doesn't go down with it. Many would consider Chrome to be the leading browser. I can't say I am a massive fan of it myself and some people are concerned over the information it collects on behalf of Google. It has certainly cornered the market quite aggressively since its release.
For me, I guess Safari is like Donatello - reliable, consistent and quite happy to plod away without getting all aggressive over market share. Safari has always had a reputation for rock solid security and has been a long proponent of default pop-up blocking which dramatically improves your browsing experience. Just like Donatello, knowledge of how you browse is more important that throwing weight around for Safari.
Safari also utilises browser sandboxing so websites bearing malicious code never have access to your computer system. Unfortunately it doesn't handle HTML 5 code particularly well so is quite slow with graphics heavy webpages but still has its fans especially those who love everything Apple! I tend to only use Safari on my Apple mobile devices as I am too lazy to install anything else so for the small amount of browsing I do on those devices it is absolutely fine.
Ultimately the decision on which browser you use depends on what you browse for. If your experience is that some site are much better on a particular browser then use that browser. I would always recommend you consider the safety features to avoid calling us in to clean up the malware and viruses that some sites expose you to!
The use of the Internet is to have knowledge at your fingertips and make running your business smooth, so pick the browser that makes it feel that way, not the one that that you think you should be using!
Until next time ...
More about Neil Barrett ...
KEBA COMPUTER SERVICES
I have always worked in the IT industry both for in-house IT departments and outsourcing companies. My first position was for a large managed services provider in Coventry, based full-time on a customer site in Northamptonshire. It was during this assignment I was exposed for the first time to the UNIX & Linux operating systems which I still enjoy looking after today. By the time I left there I was running the Department and went on to head up the IT department of the distribution arm of a manufacturing company on the Warwickshire / Northamptonshire border.
Although the position was well paid and had great benefits, it wasnt particularly challenging and that's when I set up my own business. Keba was born. It was about nine months later in the summer of 2002 that that I decided to do it full-time and never looked back.
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