Why an internet browser?
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 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.
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.
Internet Explorer is the only browser that offers every help option we looked for, including direct support via email and telephone.
Its vast popularity makes it a target for cyberthieves and hackers.
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.
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.
Firefox has a secure privacy mode and a new minimalist interface that enables easier and more intuitive navigation.
There are no thumbnail previews or mouse gestures, but you can get the latter through an add-on.
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.
Chrome boasts top-notch speed, secure browsing and sync capabilities that allow you to access your customized browser from any computer.
The browser doesn’t have any parental controls, but there are ample third-party applications to address this issue.
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.
Safari’s launch and page-load times are impressive, and the browser provides all the security features we sought.
It lacks some of the customization options many competitors offer.
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.
The browser has frequent compatibility issues.