Most people know that to view information on the internet, you need to use a web browser; but which one? There are 3 main players in this arena: Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome. While they will all allow us to surf the web, there are definitely some pros and cons for each one. Internet Explorer (IE) is considered the industry standard business-oriented web browser. This means that all business-oriented websites, such as those used by-commerce websites, CRM interfaces, etc. have all been tested and approved to work with IE. Most websites will work with other browsers as well, since those browsers will adhere to the standards used when developing websites, however there can be display formatting issues since there are so many different sets of standards. It also comes preinstalled with most PC computers and updates as part of Windows Update, which can help in making sure it has the latest security updates. On the negative side, it is slightly slower than Firefox and Chrome, lacking in many of the optional add-in modules the other two offer, and has no sync option for backing up and keeping in sync with other computers (such as your laptop and desktop, or office and home office).
Firefox is number two of the Big Three in terms of performance, and has gained support and compatibility with more complex and powerful websites (such as online databases and financial portals) since it has risen in popularity over the years. One feature shared with Chrome is synchronization. This is an incredibly useful tool and potentially a huge time saver. Many people have lots of different websites that they refer to on a daily basis, and if those bookmarks were to be lost, they would definitely feel the impact. With this feature, you sign up for an account and it then can keep your bookmarks, saved website passwords, your preferences and options, history, and installed add-ons out in the ‘cloud’. It can even do this for smartphones. If they are lost due to a computer crash or some other circumstance, they are easily recoverable. Firefox also has a plethora of add-ons for customizing the browser and is able to be re-skinned to customize its appearance. One rather large drawback is the way it handles tabs – they are all considered one ‘process’ -meaning that if something goes wrong in one, it goes wrong in all of them. This is not the case with IE or Chrome. It is good about recovering the other open tabs but this is not always going to work – if there are 5 tabs open and a video crashes in one, there is the potential that the other 4 crash and can’t be recovered, which can range from a minor inconvenience to a severe drop in productivity.
The new kid on the block is Chrome. Initially considered the browser of choice for the younger generation and techsavvy, it is quickly taking market share from its two competitors-mainly due to its reported performance. In testing done it does tend to rank the fastest of the Big Three, being generally 1.5-2x faster than IE and beating out Fire fox by less of a margin. It shares Firefox’s ability to sync and while it does not have as many add-ons as Firefox, it certainly has its fair share – and that share is growing quite rapidly. However, part of being the new kid is that not everyone knows who you are – in this case, it has the least amount of support from business oriented websites (and by least amount I mean that if 100% of all websites worked in IE, 95% work in Firefox and 85% work in Chrome).
There are certainly other browsers out there, but they do not have nearly the amount of use as the three listed above. We recommend using IE or Firefox at work since they are the most widely supported, and kept up to date during most maintenance cycles. Chrome and Fire fox are certainly options to use at home,as they provide much more customizability but are not quite so widely supported.
If you have any questions what browser is right for you contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 866-964-8324.