If you think back to when you began exploring the Internet, the first thing you probably did was send and receive email. The second thing you did was navigate or surf the web on one of the browsers offered by either Microsoft or Apple. The browsers provided by the two rival companies could only be used with their respective operating system, also called an OS. Neither browser was compatible with any other OS. They came bundled with the computers offered by the companies at the time. Even Houston managed IT services companies had no choice but to use Internet Explorer for computers running MSDOS. Apple products included the Apple II and the very earliest versions of the Macintosh. They came loaded with the only other available browser, which was called Netscape. Netscape is rarely seen any longer. It was replaced by the newer browsers Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome. They provided an alternative to Internet Explorer, which had a tyrannical grip on Internet browsing before they came onto the scene.
All browsers do the same basic task. They permit computer users to surf the web. However, surfing the web now and back in its infancy are two different things entirely. Computers were slower. They only had megabytes of memory as opposed to the gigabytes most computers are loaded with today. Internet ads were static. They were similar to a magazine ad except that they had a link to the company that placed the ad. Now, ads are interactive and frequently feature video clips that begin running the moment a user lands on the page where they are hosted. As memory increased, ads got bigger and gobbled up that extra memory.
Today, there are four browsers that are most commonly used. They are all free to download on any comuter. As any Houston backup and disaster recovery service would attest, web browsers have their advantages and disadvantages.
Microsoft’s IE was the first and the most widely used browser. It was pre-loaded on Windows-based personal computers. Its main strength initially was that most developers created pages that worked well with IE because of its wide usage. However, that popularity made it the target of computer hackers who took advantage of flaws in the code to gather the personal information of the individual users through so-called viruses and malicious software called malware, which can be removed from computers by Houston network security firms.
• Easy to use
• User-friendly interface
• Used worldwide
• Frequently the target of hackers
• Flaws or bugs in the system
• Has trouble handling software like Adobe Flash and Java
Mozilla’s Firefox browser became IE’s chief competitor after Netscape lost favor with users. Many people migrated to Firefox simply because they disliked IE.
• Better security
• Easy to use
• No thumbnail previews
• Requires more memory
• Slower than other browsers when dealing with pages containing many images or videos
Safari is Apple’s current web browser that replaced its previous browser named Panther. It has strengths and limitations too.
• Runs on Apple and Windows-based computers
• Easy to use
• Speedy page loading
• Secure interface
• Not as easy to customize as other browsers
• Help system not as robust
• Has issues with Google search engine
• Does not delete cookies on exit
The popular search engine Google has come out with its own browser named Chrome. Many people like it, and some say it is the most widely used browser currently.
• Available in over 50 languages
• Better support of Flash and PDF files
• Works better for Google searches
• Robust security
• No parental controls
• Site incompatibilities
• Incompatible with some graphic cards