What browser should I use?

  • Is Firefox better than Chrome?
  • Is Chrome better than Internet Explorer (IE)?
  • What difference does it make what browser I use?

These are all questions I have had to answer. So here are my thoughts.

First, you need to understand what is a browser. So if you’ve not read that post, check it out first. Now you know what a browser is, how do you know which one is best for you? Start by answering this question:

Do you have sites you regularly visit?

If so, try visiting them with the three super browsers – Firefox, Chrome and IE. Is there a significant difference in the experience? If so, pick the one you like the best. If not, read on…

Do you have sites you print from (like bank statements for example)? Browsers handle printing differently. So experiment with the three super browsers to see if there is a difference that matters to you.

Are you a little more engaged in your surfing than the average user? Do you bookmark and take screenshots? Do you like extra gadgets to play with while you surf? If so, explore the different ways the super browsers manage these activities and how well they work on your computer.

Does the top of your browser make sense to you? If not, can you change it around so it does? If not, explore that ability in another browser. You may find you can turn an area that is just taking up real estate into a true tool bar that is meaningful and helps you accomplish tasks.

I keep all three browsers on my taskbar for testing sites. For the most part, the rendering is very similar. But there are differences and sometimes they are significant. For a long time, Internet Explorer did not recognize certain code that developers were implementing. So there had to be IE ‘fixes’ injected into the code to get a desired result (or at least gracefully handle the failure). And often that meant Internet Explorer delivered a less than optimal page. Fortunately that is happening less and less. But there are still variations in interpretation that developers must take into consideration. So as a user, you may see a slightly different version of a site depending upon your browser.

Keep in mind, there is no need to settle on one browser. You too can use a different browser depending on the site you visit. But mostly I think settling on one and customizing it to suit your needs makes the most sense. Spending just a little time to pick the right browser is not a simple task but it is rewarding and will serve you well.

But please, whichever browser you choose, please please keep it up to date. Why? Read my post on why should I update my browser?