In case you missed it, here are some highlights from this month’s ACS E-News.
In the spirit of change, is it time to look at the Internet browser you’re using? Maybe you’re not sure. Sometimes researching such topics can take hours, but you’re in luck. Our IDD team have done that for you, and share some great information about Internet Explorer and other browsers.
A Comparison of Browsers
by Mark Thompson
What the Tech Geeks Say
If you’re still using IE, should you jump ship? Maybe, but maybe not …
The Internet is awash with opinions and reviews of the different browsers. I could never hope to do them all justice, but will try to sum up the present mood. By and large:
- Chrome wins for ease-of-use.
- Chrome and IE win for security.
- Chrome and Firefox win for speed.
- Firefox wins for features and its extensive range of plug-ins (often free enhancements that give your browser new abilities or let it work other programs).
If you want to do more comparing for yourself, I’ve usually found cnet.com to have useful reviews. Here is their opinion of each browser’s most recent major version:
In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I use Firefox. While I haven’t taken a formal poll, it also seems to be the preferred browser among the software developers and testers I work with and has the reputation of being “the geek’s browser”.
Should You Switch?
NOW. Having said all that, I’m going to say something both surprising and comforting to all of you who struggle with the question of which browser to use.
It’s not that big a deal! Here’s why:
- As far as ease-of-use is concerned, most browsers work basically the same. You enter a URL or click a link and go where you need to on the internet. If you don’t like change, that’s fine. Stick with what you’ve got; you’re not missing much. But if you like new experiences, you can download all three of the major browsers and try them for yourself. They’re free (use the same cnet links above) and can all co-exist on your computer.
- As far as security is concerned, which browser you use pales in comparison to keeping your browser up-to-date. All browser developers issue regular security updates. If you use IE, Microsoft will update the browser when you update Windows – which you should do often. Firefox will notify you through its browser when updates are released. Accept them as soon as you can. Chrome updates stealthily in the background; you shouldn’t need to do anything.
- As far as speed is concerned, we’re talking milliseconds of difference between the three. That’s negligible to the average user.
- Last, and here is why I did that little “browser war” re-enactment, you can see that the competition among the browsers has been going on for 20 years now. The remaining players are extremely vigilant to keep up. When one discovers a serious improvement, the others copy it. Even Microsoft has awakened from its years of complacency. As a result, the differences between browsers are becoming smaller all the time.
Finally, please understand that we’re just talking about desktop and laptop options. The best browser for your mobile device? I’m afraid that’s a whole other article.
Mark writes the help documentation for Stratus. He received a Master’s in English which, when combined with a sausage biscuit, is worth one sausage biscuit. He has taught English and worked for PeopleSoft, Progress Energy, and Borland before coming to ACS Technologies, where he has been for the last 3 years. He has a cat. That’s right. He’s THAT guy.
You can always read the complete, current ACS Technologies E-News here.