If you’re on the web, there’s one universal truth: you’re using a web browser. Unfortunately, that’s about where the similarities come to an end. Everyone has individual practices when it comes to their surfing. Browsers today allow for a TON of customization through different personal settings both on the PC and on the browser. I often get asked, “Which web browser is best?” When I hear that question I cringe because just as with so many things in the IT / Web world there really is no “correct” answer.
When we refer to web browsers there are basically 4 that we’re talking about:
I’m not suggesting that there aren’t others out there… there certainly is. In fact there’s a whole bunch 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. If I look at our KTC Digital analytics from this year… Over 91% of all our visitors are using one of those browsers.
KTC Digital Year To Date
- Chrome: 28.74%
- Firefox: 26.28%
- Internet Explorer: 18.76%
- Safari: 17.35%
Based solely on those numbers it would appear that Chrome is the way to go. This isn’t necessarily the case. Personally I use a mix of Firefox and Chrome with IE and Safari thrown in for testing purposes. You may run across some sites that are optimized for a specific browser. In fact, from time to time, you may run across a site that simply won’t work unless you’re running a particular browser. I think that’s a terrible design choice, but that’s another post for another time.
The “Big 4″ are pretty comparable when it comes to available features. That said, it really will come down to your personal preference the majority of the time. There are pros and cons to all of them.
- All of the browsers are free (valid license of Windows to run Internet Explorer)
- Release Dates / Current Version
- Chrome – September, 2008 / 18.0.1025.168
- Internet Explorer – August, 2005 / 9.02
- Firefox – September, 2002 / 12.0
- Safari – January, 2003 / 5.1.5
- Safari is not available for Linux users.
- Internet Explorer is NOT available for Mac or Linux users
- All four browsers include these:
- Download, password and form management
- Add bookmarks
- Privacy mode
- Tabbed browsing and pop up blocker (except on IE for the Mac)
- Only Internet Explorer does not offer built in spell checking.
I’d suggest to get them and play with them. Figure out which you prefer based on your browsing habits. Or you can be like me and use them all. Regardless of which browser you choose, get the most current stable release.
Updated versions can be found below:
Which web browser are you using?