This question is much like asking: What kind of car should I drive? Or, what kind of refrigerator should I buy? While there are certain guidlines you should follow in making your selection (like choosing a newer, energy efficient fridge over an outdated power hog), ultimately your decision will come down to just two things: does the browser do what you need it to do, and which one do you like more?

So how do you go about deciding what is best for you? Just like buying a car, you should start by doing a little research (which you are doing right now!), then take a few new, shiny web browsers out for a test drive.

There are 4 big players in the web browser market; all free and just waiting for you to try them out:

Microsoft’s Interenet Explorer

Mozilla’s FireFox

Apple’s Safari

Google’s Chrome

Go ahead. Download something you haven’t tried before and come back here. It’s ok. Don’t be shy. I’ll wait.

When you try out different browsers, you’re probably going to notice a few things:

  1. They all organize web pages a little differently. So when you are surfing to multiple sites, you’re going to want to go with the browser that you like best. There is no right answer here; it’s purely a matter of personal preference.
  2. They all render we pages a little differently. Some load faster than others. The fonts and graphics will look a little different in each browser.
    This is actually one of the things that drives our web development team nuts. No two browsers do things the same way. You may find that some of your favorite websites work great in IE and don’t work well in Firefox (or more likely, they look great in Firefox but seem a little off in IE). You may find that some of the websites you visit or online software you use actually requires a specific browser. For example if you use Outlook remote access, it works WAY better in IE than any other browser. When selecting a browser, it’s best to try out all your favorite websites to ensure there are no compatibility problems.
  3. They offer different add ons. If you’re just a casual internet surfer, add-ons may not be important to you. But if you’re a blogger or web developer, these add ons can make you much more productive. At Haley Marketing, our web developers all use Firefox. It offers exceptional add ons for web developersthat help us to see IP addresses, edit code, select colors more easily, and grab snipets of graphics.

Regardless of which browser you choose, there a 2 things you can do to make sure your web browsing experience is the best it can be:

  1. Keep your browser updated. This will keep things runnig faster, improve security and ensure that you can experience the latest trends in web design and functionality.
  2. Let me say it again. Keep your browser updated. If you do nothing else but update your browser today, you will have improved your web experience dramatically. Really. Do it now. You’ll thank me.

What do I prefer, you ask? Does it matter? Not really, but you’re curious? Ok. Right now, I’m using Firefox most of the time. Safari and Chrome a little. Last year, though, it was mostly Safari. Internet Explorer, never. Ever. You asked!

Enjoy discovering new browsers, and keep trying them as they evolve. What you like now may not be what you like next year. And unlike cars or major appliances, browsers are all free. You can trade one in for another any time you want.

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