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Whats New in Software: Web Browser Comparisons
Internet Explorer 8® beta2 was joined by Google Chrome® beta 1 in the race to compete for position amongst web browsers for a multitude of operating systems on September 2nd, 2008. I would not recommend that you run out and download the betas just yet though. There are some things to consider before you make a final decision on the browser that you are going to use. The team at Geeks of Nevada has tested and ranked web browsers and we would like to share our opinions.
Best All Purpose Browser
Reviews indicate that the Firefox web browser is an ideal combination of performance and security, suitable for nearly anyone from pleasure shopper to power user. Power users praise its usability, lean size, lack of ActiveX security holes and convenient features, including tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, and an RSS reader. The browser also contains a download manager, password manager and form auto-fill feature.
Firefox also has the most ways to customize your online experience specifically for the way you use the web. There are more than 5,000 Add-ons (little extras that augment Firefox to meet your unique needs) just waiting out there to help you do more, have more fun and be more creative online Firefox can be downloaded for free at http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/.
Most secure browser.
Most people agree that the current version of Internet Explorer is vastly more secure than its predecessors and a leader in that regard. Features include security management (including ActiveX opt-out), a URL parser to block malware and advanced anti-phishing technology. Internet Explorer is also the first and only browser to be billed as EV-ready, a high-level designation regarding the browser's ability to protect against phishing attacks, though the next generation of other browsers are also expected to have that same capability. For more information on Microsoft’s® browsing products, please visit www.microsoft.com/ie7.
Opera is the fastest, leanest and most efficient browser available. With its small following, Opera has most of the features of Firefox, plus a few more. It does use fewer resources and is nearly endlessly customizable. Where Opera falls short is in the security. Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Opera, allowing for execution of arbitrary code. Although developers are always closing up those holes in the software, it leaves the user to constantly update their browser software. For more information the Opera browser, please visit http://www.opera.com/.
What’s on the Horizon?
Google’s Chrome admits that it’s borrowed heavily from Firefox’s code which accounts for its speed and security. What sets Chrome apart, clearly, is how it manages resources. The browser is the operating system, and like with any modern OS each application is handled separately. One problem with multi-tabbed browsing is that if one tab hangs, it has a tendency to freeze the whole application. The fact that Firefox has the ability to restore sessions after a crash or browser restart is great, but Chrome has the ability to shut down just one tab in the application.
Microsoft, perhaps acknowledging its declining market share among Internet browsers, is borrowing several popular features from Firefox, Safari and Chrome in its release of Internet Explorer 8 beta 2. These features include search suggestions, InPrivate Browsing, Compatibility View, Accelerators, Web Slices and its SmartScreen Filter, which adds malware prevention, actively scanning a downloading page for malicious content. As with all beta and new product releases, wait for it to be tested for awhile before you make the jump. For more information on Microsoft’s new browser, please visit www.microsoft.com/ie8.
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