This question, of which web browser to use, troubles a lot of folks, but it really shouldn’t. The simple answer is that, for most web sites, any browser will work just fine.
A “Web browser” is a computer program that is used to view stuff on the World Wide Web. There are differences between web browsers but, for most users and most websites, the differences aren’t significant.
Think of browsers like cars. There are Chevys and Fords and Dodges, and while there are differences between them, they’ll all take you down to the grocery store and back.
If the Web is the information highway, then web browsers are the cars.
Just as there are many car brands, there are also many browser brands. The five most commonly used web browsers are (in order of popularity): Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.
Windows PCs come with Internet Explorer. Macs all come with Safari. These are both very good browsers and it is perfectly OK to stick with the one that came with your machine.
On the other hand Google’s Chrome is more popular than any other web browser (according to the world-wide traffic report on Wikipedia: http://goo.gl/FRJA), even though it must be explicitly downloaded and installed by the user.
Granted, Chrome is free – as are Safari, Firefox, and Opera – and the all-automatic installation takes only minutes; but Chrome’s popularity is driven, at least in part, because it is visually neat and trim, and it seems to paint a web page faster than some of the others.
That doesn’t make Chrome “the best” – it just makes it the most popular.
Chrome is actually built from the best internal features of the other three most popular browsers. Literally. Google licenses the features that they like from the other browsers, and the Google programmers have knitted those things together, with a good bit of their own invention, to make Chrome.
The #3 browser, Firefox was #2 until Chrome came along. It is claimed to be safer or more secure than MSIE, but statistics don’t back up that claim.
On the other hand, Firefox is a fine web browser and a free alternate to Chrome and Internet Explorer. So if you want to try it for fun, or because you’d like to use a browser that’s not sponsored by the two Internet giants, Microsoft and Google, then do download and try Firefox.
Just don’t be badgered into Firefox for “safety.” No matter how good the browser, web safety is always going to be up to you.
One note for safety’s sake; if you decide to download an alternate browser, just be very sure to only download it from the genuine website:
As always, if you have any questions about web browsers and which of them might be most useful for you, please call any time; Mike Pepper ~ Pawling Computer Guy. 845-855-5824