The 5 Major Web Browsers

 

Why an internet browser?

images

An internet browser is a software application that enables you to browse the world wide web, locating and accessing webpages. Browsers translate HTML code, allowing you to read text, view images, play videos and listen to audio clips on websites. They also interpret hyperlinks that allow you to travel to different webpages when clicked on. While internet browsers are primarily intended to access the internet, they can also be used to access private information on web servers or through file systems.

What you need in a browser:

 Ease of Use – Privacy & Security – Speed & Compatibility – Help & Support

The 5 major browsers in the world today:

Internet Explorer

iexplorerl

Internet Explorer which has long been the most widely used internet browser in the world. The browser delivers flexible parental controls, comprehensive technical support and impressive speeds. However, Internet Explorer’s total usage share doesn’t necessarily equate superiority; the internet browser lags behind other top competitors in terms of security, with its popularity making it a target for malicious attacks.

Microsoft previously put up a website dedicated to eradicating IE6 from the web, and now it’s promoting IE9 by mocking its predecessorsPart of Microsoft’s The Browser You Loved to Hate promotional campaign says, old versions of IE were good for only one thing: “downloading another browser.”

IE9 is faster and offers much better web standards support than previous releases. However, it still lags behind what you’ll find in other browsers like Chrome and Firefox when it comes to supporting the latest and greatest features on the web.

IE10, even while still in Consumer Preview catches up with Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera, and in a few cases even surpasses some of them. It’s too bad Microsoft couldn’t hold off with this promo until it really did have a great browser to show off.

Pros:
Internet Explorer is the only browser that offers every help option we looked for, including direct support via email and telephone.

Cons:
Its vast popularity makes it a target for cyberthieves and hackers.

Mozilla Firefox

firefox-for-twitter

Like many other major internet browsers, Firefox has adopted a useful synchronization feature. You can sync your browsing so you can access your history, passwords, bookmarks and more on your desktop or mobile browsers. The browser also has tabbed browsing, allowing you to quickly navigate between webpages in a single window. You can reorder tabs, organize them into customizable groups using the Panorama feature and perform a redo function when you accidentally close tabs.

Firefox nabs the Top Ten REVIEWS Gold Award

A few of the features Firefox doesn’t have include thumbnail previews and mouse gestures, or mouse movements that represent specific shortcuts. These would be convenient built-in features to have but aren’t essential. You can also install extensions compatible with Firefox that enable mouse gestures and voice interaction.

Firefox recently went live with version 11.0.Version 12 is currently in their beta channel which can be found @ beta

Version 13 (Aurora channel) is currently available for testing as well found @ aurora

The exciting part is in the Aurora channel which has enabled by default support for the new SPDY protocol, a faster alternative to HTTP

SPDY (“Speedy”) started out at Google blog chromium and has been in the works for a while now.  In fact, Google Chrome already offers SPDY support as does Firefox 11, but SPDY support is disabled by default until Firefox 13. SPDY is not standard yet, but sites like Twitter are using it where possible, and when it finally arrives it should make many webpages load twice as fast as they do now over HTTP. You can read about all the improvements over at their blog.

Pros:
Firefox has a secure privacy mode and a new minimalist interface that enables easier and more intuitive navigation.

Cons:
There are no thumbnail previews or mouse gestures, but you can get the latter through an add-on.

Google Chrome

chrome-logo-1301044215-300x300

Since its 2008 release, Google Chrome has been steadily gaining popularity, acquiring a large chunk of global usage share among internet browsers. The browser upholds Google’s reputation of innovation and industry dominance, providing the go-to internet browser for the masses. Chrome’s appeal lies largely in its simplicity and speed, surpassing the competition in both. The web browser earned the Top Ten REVIEWS Gold Award for its rapid page load times and intuitive layout, which cultivate smooth and seamless navigation.

The latest version of Chrome is jam-packed with highly convenient features, including synchronization, tabbed browsing and privacy functions. Using your Google account, Chrome can sync your bookmarks, browser preferences and extensions so that they are available on any computer once you sign into your account. This is advantageous because it allows you to easily access your own add-ons and preferences regardless of what computer you are using. It’s also ideal for households with a single computer.

Pros:
Chrome boasts top-notch speed, secure browsing and sync capabilities that allow you to access your customized browser from any computer.

Cons:
The browser doesn’t have any parental controls, but there are ample third-party applications to address this issue.

Apple Safari

hero_safari

Known for its intuitive usability, Safari is Apple’s lightweight and super sleek internet browsers. Safari trails behind other browsers in terms of market share, simply because it was a Mac-only application for so long. It wasn’t until 2007 that Apple launched Safari for Windows, opening the browser to the largest portion of computer users in the world. But it’s not just Safari’s late debut to the entire computing world that keeps it from being a top contender in our lineup; the internet browser is fast and easy to use but lacks the customization features that so many users are seeking in a browser these days.

Every internet browser on the market boasts a handful of proprietary usability features, and Safari is no different. A few of our favorites include Reading List and Top Sites. Reading List is a slick way to save the URLs of interesting webpages that you want to revisit and read later. Top Sites offers an at-a-glance preview of your favorite websites. The concept is similar to an RSS feed but it allows you to preview a site in full rather than a simple list of new content.

Safari also offers all the browsing basics you’d expect from any browser, including tabs, spell check and a password manager. Where Safari lags behind the competition is customization. The internet browser is noticeably less flexible than competitors when it comes to customizing toolbars, and it doesn’t have syncing capabilities. Safari also lacks parental and zoom controls.

Pros:
Safari’s launch and page-load times are impressive, and the browser provides all the security features we sought.

Cons:
It lacks some of the customization options many competitors offer.

Opera

images

As the second-oldest internet browser currently in use and with more than 200 million users worldwide, Opera is a top internet browsers in its own right. Opera is a multimodal browser, meaning it contains features that enable multiple modes of interfacing with the browser – think keyboard shortcuts and voice commands. Subsequently, the internet browser is ideal for users with motor or visual impairments.

Opera’s multimodal interaction is just one of its many cutting-edge features, and the browser also boasts competitive launch and page-load times and comprehensive user support. Such well-rounded capabilities would make Opera a first-rate internet browser, if not for some hindering compatibility issues.

Opera is known for debuting original browsing features that have become standard on most internet browsers, including tabbed browsing and built-in search. Opera continues to stay ahead of the curve with a new integrated mail client, one-click bookmarking and tab stacks. The latter is a tab grouping mechanism that allows you to stack related tabs vertically rather than horizontally.

As mentioned above, Opera delivers versatile multimodal interaction. For instance, it is possible to control virtually every aspect of the browser with a keyboard. You can use voice commands to navigate the web and even have the browser read text to you. Opera also supports mouse gestures, which are similar to keyboard shortcuts but with the mouse. These features alone make Opera a more accessible browser for a wider range of users than many of its competitors.

Cons:
The browser has frequent compatibility issues.

Sources: Top Ten Reviews and Tech 101


6 thoughts on “The 5 Major Web Browsers

  1. I was an early adopter of FireFox soon after it was released. However, after the years it just became too bloated I think. There was a period where I used Opera, but for the last few years I am using Safari, because I simply try to avoid to accumulate various software on my Mac if there is not a significant advantage. But I have to say, Chrome is good, too!

  2. You forgot to mention a very fast and useful Mozilla webbrowser: Seamonkey, which works the fastest on older computers. On our older computers Google Chrome takes ages, but we also have a laptop where it is the fastest of them all. Making Bookmarks is also very handy in it, and opening and closing tabs or windows goes automatically as wished in the settings (a missing attribute in Google Chrome)
    On the main computers we do prefer Seamonkey, but one of us prefers Google Chrome, which also works fine on his modern computer and laptop.

  3. My brother suggested I might like this website.
    He was totally right. This post actually made my day.
    You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information!
    Thanks!

  4. To say that Opera has frequent incompatibility issues is wrong.

    It used to and that is far from the case today.
    Actually, I find that it has issues less often than any other browser in 2016.

    They care more about your privacy, tracking etc AND it has built-in VPN free – a feature none of the others have.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s