Comparing Internet Browsers – How to Choose the Best Web Browser for You
Comparing internet browsers has come a long way since the days of discussing only Netscape Communicator and Internet Explorer. From sophisticated premium browsers to free, lightweight mobile versions – nowadays there’s a browser for every type of internet user.
The History and Development of Internet Browsers
Before the World Wide Web came around, there was no way to navigate through the information that was stored on the internet. In an attempt to solve this issue, Tim Berners-Lee created the HTTP protocol and the HTML language. Originally, he created it for CERN to help scientists share their research information.
HTML is a language used to format and display text within a browser. Tags divide the elements in the page’s code so that the software understands how to render the text they contain.
Web Safety – The Safest Internet Browser
You can no longer ignore safety when browsing the internet. Most experts recommend you use additional malware protection, but some browsers have built-in safety features. They include address filtering, privacy enforcement, and user-prompted downloads.
These features enable modern browsers to detect malware attacks and prevent the installation of unknown software packages in real-time.
According to various recent studies, the safest browsers are:
Mozilla created Firefox as an open-source browser, originally built for speed and performance. The latest versions have additional built-in security features.
Some of these features include:
- Built in Phishing and Malware protection
- Secure connection verification
- Encryption using Extended Validation Certificates
Although the above features are not unique to Firefox, they do have the highest rating when it comes to how well they’re enforced.
2. Microsoft Edge
Designed with security in mind, Microsoft Edge attempts to block the many holes left in Internet Explorer’s protections. It does not support any of the legacy technologies such as Active-X or Browser Helper Objects. It makes it safer than its predecessors were, but it doesn’t have backward compatibility with web applications specifically built for Internet Explorer.
Microsoft Edge uses SmartScreen to check websites’ reputation and warn users if the site could be a phishing attempt. The browser also uses extensions to make it more secure, but approval is slow, leaving it with fewer add-ons available than Chrome has to offer.
3. Google Chrome
Google’s Chrome is currently the most popular mainstream browser. Developed with extendibility and web applications as part of its core philosophy, you can still argue that it is the most secure browser. Yet because you have to set up some of the standard security features, makes it come third in the rankings.
Chrome uses two blacklists, one for phishing sites, and one for malware delivery sites. If you attempt to visit a site that is on one of the blacklists, you will receive a warning but can still choose to proceed in some cases.
It’s also worth noting that as Google develops Chrome, it automatically tracks your online behavior and provides data to Google to improve its advertising delivery systems.
Core Technologies in Modern Internet Browsers
There have been upgrades to the languages used in internet browsers since the days of Tim Berners-Lee.
Modern Web Browsers are compatible with three core web technologies. These are:
1. HTML 5
HTML 5 is the current standard, first released in 2008 followed by an update in 2014. HTML 5 solved many compatibility issues between platforms that required developers to do additional coding in previous years. With the release of HTML 5, mobile devices and web-based applications are now easier than ever to build.
2. CSS 3
CSS is a Cascading Style Sheet and it determines the presentation of tag elements delivered via HTML. CSS 3 is the latest version of the language and extends browser functionality while also dividing the specification into modules. It allows developers to extend the modules and add new features, without having to rewrite the original specifications.
Modern Internet Browsers absolutely have to support all three of these core technologies and versions.
Choosing the Best Internet Browser
The best internet browser will be a happy medium between security and performance, while also being compatible with the latest core technologies. By this measure alone, Firefox will perform the fastest while implementing the security features without needing user interventions.
The second best will be Chrome, which has the biggest market share and includes loads of extendable features – available from the Chrome Store. However, in order to make your browsing safe, you will need to take some additional steps.
Finally, Microsoft Edge and Apple’s Safari are both good performing browsers. They’re built for specific operating systems though, meaning they’re not always compatible with other systems. When it comes to compatibility alone, Microsoft Edge has an ‘edge’ over Safari.
There are many more browsers available, all most too many to mention. Doing research on what exactly their niche benefits are can help you narrow down the right one for you.
Driver Support and Browser Faults
Although Internet Browsers are self-contained environments, experiencing issues with features on a webpage – such as video playback – could point to a driver error. Driver Support actively monitors your device drivers and ensures you use only the correct drivers for your PC’s hardware.
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