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What Browser Should I be Using?

Browser Wars - Which Browser Should I Use?

In the early days of the Internet, browsers were a bit like the Wild West – no rules and no precedents. There has long been a heated debate surrounding web browsers. Long ago, when the Internet was becoming popular with the public, there was pretty much one option for a web browser – Mosaic, which emerged in 1993. Mosaic became Netscape in the mid 1990s and remained at the top of the browser game until 1995. In 1995, Netscape found a competitor in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 1.0. The Netscape vs. Internet Explorer battle became known as the “First Browser War”.

This was a time when Internet browsers were not free – Internet Explorer started the trend of providing them free of charge. Netscape later evolved into Mozilla Firefox, one of today’s most popular browsers.

In the mid 90s, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) began to create Internet compliance standards so that websites would be viewable with any browser. Today, the W3C is still the biggest player in deciding web standards. Many people don’t know that different browsers display content differently.

Definitively saying that one browser is superior is impossible. Your choice of browser is primarily influenced by what you use the Internet for. Today the primary browsers being used around the world are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Internet Explorer. The W3C implements tests that can assess the support of features in different browsers.

HTML5 Support - In terms of HTML5 support, Google Chrome and Opera score the highest, with Internet Explorer scoring the lowest. HTML5 support is crucial because it influences the way that items are displayed on the web page. Websites will render better on Google Chrome and Opera than they will in Internet Explorer. If you appreciate design and layout, using one of the well-supported HTML5 browsers is for you.

Accessibility - Mozilla Firefox and Opera are the best for accessibility, providing the most features and support with screen-readers. If you have a disability or have others in your household who do, Firefox and Opera are great options.

Technology Support - The browser that supports the most technologies (Like XHTML and CSS3) is Opera. Firefox comes in second, and Internet Explorer brings up the rear. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is what styles your website. It turns standard web elements into true design.

Mobile Viewing - Opera and Microsoft Mobile Explorer score the highest for mobile viewing. If you spend a lot of time browsing on your phone, Opera and MME are the best options.

Plugins and Content Support - Regarding plugins and syndicated content support, Internet Explorer ranks the highest, with Opera coming in last.

JavaScript Support - All of the major browsers have great JavaScript support, which is important as JavaScript continues to grow in popularity and provides dynamic content.

Browser Security - Chrome, Opera, and Safari offer the lowest amount of unpatched security vulnerabilities. Firefox has had some in the past, but has since fixed them.

Overall, Chrome, Firefox and Opera take the cake. Your choice of browser is up to you. Consider how you utilize the Internet and see what option meets those needs. Happy browsing!

Resources:

Download Chrome
Download Firefox
Download Opera

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