What’s the best browser

Last night I was at the launch of the Blog Awards Ireland 2014 as I am one of the nominees. I got chatting to Amanda Webb who was one of the organisers and is also a social media trainer, strategist, blogger, videocaster and speaker. We discussed my previous blog post Bye Bye Internet Explorer 8 and what is the best browser.

After our conversation, I started pondering what is the best browser available. According to http://www.netmarketshare.com in July 2014 below is the browsers listed by popularity.

Browser Popularity by %
Internet Explorer (IE) 47.67%
Google Chrome 19.91%
Firefox 12.40%
Safari 12.35%
Android Browser 3.99%
Other 3.67%

The table above lists browsers used on computers and mobile devices at home and in the workplace. Other browsers include Opera. It is also worth noting that Internet Explorer has 4 versions, IE8, IE9, IE10, IE11, and Safari has 2 versions, one for the Mac and for IOS devices. If the above table only listed home and personal users, you would see Google Chrome and Internet Explorer trading places.

As I have mentioned previously certain apps especially legacy ones only work on Internet Explorer and some organisations favour only using Microsoft products. As there are at least 4 versions of Internet Explorer still in use in the workplace this can cause a massive security headache. You also have a lot of machines using older Operating Systems like Windows XP and Vista which will have Internet Explorer as their default browser.

These older machines will have IE7, IE8, or IE9 installed on them which is a big no no. They are old slow browsers as well as also being a great security risk. If you are using an older Operating System then it is time you moved to an open source browser. Open source browsers have their code freely available which makes it easier to find bugs and security risks. They also have a lot of great plugins available to make your browser more secure and easier to use.

The 2 most popular open sources browsers are Firefox and Google Chrome and the great news is that they can work on all operating systems which is worth noting if you are using an older version of Microsoft Windows as your operating system. They also load up faster than IE which makes your internet browsing experience more enjoyable especially if you have an older computer with not much memory.

Open source browsers have a few objectives in mind, top notch security coupled with an open standard. Top notch security is a must these days as we rely much more on the internet to do things we can’t do in the high street anymore, such as booking flights. Open standards is a web developers dream as it means websites and web apps will work on open source browsers without any problems. If you have to modify websites or web apps to work on different browsers, you increase your development costs and if you are on a tight deadline corners maybe cut.

Since Google use their browser to sell advertising and other products, they consider all users of its Chrome browser as customers. As a customer Google want to make sure our browsing experience is not compromised, so they make sure it as secure as possible and they also want to make sure we continue to use Chrome..

Microsoft has come a long way with IE11 but they still have a lot to do to reassure users that it’s worth using and until that happens, open source is the way to go. Open source browsers will always be updated on a regular basis and have less security issues. If you have an older computer or operating system, then it’s time you use Firefox or Google Chrome. So embrace a safer and faster browsing experience by going open source and that’s one decision you won’t regret.