Which Browser Should I Use?

by | Jul 12, 2011 | Practical Tips, Product Review

When it comes to surfing the web there’s one thing that we all have in common – we’re using a web browser.  Unfortunately, that’s about where the similarities come to an end.  Everyone surfs the web differently, with different personal settings on  their machine and on their web browser.  I often get ask, “Which browser should I use?”  Every time I get asked that question I cringe because like so many things in the IT/Web world there really is no “right” answer.

When we talk about browsers there are essentially 4 that we’re referring to:

  1. Microsoft Internet Explorer
  2. Mozilla Firefox
  3. Google Chrome
  4. Apple Safari

That’s not to say there aren’t others out there because there certainly are.  In fact there’s a whole slew of “alternative browsers” out there to choose from.  However, we typically talk about these 4 because those are the ones that the VAST majority of people out there are using.  Take a look at visitors to Acroment’s site this year.  Over 96% of all visitors are using one of those browsers.

Acroment Year To Date

  • Internet Explorer: 40.34%
  • Firefox: 30.32%
  • Chrome: 14.71%
  • Safari: 10.69%

If we look at numbers for last year, the numbers are even higher at over 97%.

Acroment 2010

  • Internet Explorer: 51.17%
  • Firefox: 29.95%
  • Chrome: 11.25%
  • Safari: 4.66%

Based on those numbers it would appear that Internet Explorer is the way to go.  Not necessarily.  Personally I use a mix of Firefox and Chrome with IE and Safari thrown in for testing purposes.  There are some sites that are optimized for a particular browser.  The “Big 4” are very comparable when it comes to features so it really will come down to personal preference most of the time.  Quite frankly there are things about each browser that I like and others that I don’t like.

  • All of the browsers are free with the only caveat being you need a valid license of Windows to run Internet Explorer.
  • Release Dates / Current Version
    • Chrome – 9.2008 / 11.0.696.65
    • Internet Explorer – 8.2005 / 9.0
    • Firefox – 9.2002 / 4.0.1
    • Safari – 1.2003 / 5.0.5
  • For Mac or Linux users out there Internet Explorer is NOT available to you (without some modifications to your system)
  • Safari is not available for Linux users.
  • All four browsers give you these abilities:
    • Add bookmarks
    • Download management
    • Password management
    • Form management
    • Available search engine toolbar
    • Privacy mode
    • Tabbed browsing (except on IE for the Mac)
    • Pop Up blocker (except on the IE for the Mac)
  • For bad spellers out there you want to stay away from Internet Explorer – it’s the only one of the bunch without a built in spell checker.

As you can see, there are quite a few similarities between the major browsers.  My suggestion would be to get them all and play with them to determine which one you prefer.  Or you can be like me and use them in tandem.  Regardless of which browser you choose, I’d strongly urge you to be on the current version.  If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Updated versions can be found below: