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Which internet browser should I use?

MMcCarthy
14,534 Expert Mod 8TB
I have been using IE for some years and am currently using IE7.

Due to recent threads regarding security issues and a number of scripting bugs I thought I should ask the question.

Which browser should I be using?

Mary
Dec 2 '06 #1
29 1595
Ganon11
3,652 Expert 2GB
Well, I use Firefox2. Firefox used to be the most secure browser due to obscurity (i.e. no one knew about it, so no one could hack it). This has not been the case for a while, however, since more and more people have become aware of Firefox's existence. I continue to use it, though, because I am comfortable with it and do not see a better alternative.

For comfortability, I'd suggest Firefox, but I can't suggest anything on the basis of security.
Dec 3 '06 #2
AricC
1,892 Expert 1GB
I have IE 6 and Opera they seem to render pages the fastest.
Dec 3 '06 #3
Banfa
9,056 Expert Mod 8TB
I use Firefox, for some reason I appear to be using 1.0.7 but I think that is just that I haven't got round to updating to the latest version recently.

I started using Firefox for the convience of Tabbed browsing. Also I believe it is more secure than IE, not for the reason that Ganon11 gives but because the Mozila Foundation who produce it have a better attitude towards security than MS. That is they are more dilligent in attempting to make he browser secure and when issues are found are speedier at plugging the holes.

A also believe it has a smaller foot-print on the computer than IE (although I have not checked this recently), i.e. uses less resources for the same job.

At various times I have tried Netscape (versions 4.x and 6.x), Opera (versions 6 and 7) Firefox, Lynx (although only ever in the interests of checking web site sin text browsers), IE (versions 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7) and Mozlia.

Because I develop some websites I find the DOM browser facility of Firefox extremely useful and IMO an web author who develops without using this facility of Firefox is giving themselves a severe handicap. Opera also has some extremely use development features.

The reason I settle on Firefox for browsing is a lot to do with tabbed browsing, supported by Opera, Netscape and Firefox when I made the choice and then finally due to the look and feel. Firefox used the least amount of screen space for menus and tool bars at the time and lets face it when you are browsing you want maximum space for the page you are viewing.


My computer computer has just downloaded IE 7 and I did run it briefly, it has tabbed browsing and has reduced the amount of screen space used by the menus and tool bars. Perhaps if IE had this 2 - 3 years ago I would still be using it but for me it is too little too late.
Dec 3 '06 #4
MMcCarthy
14,534 Expert Mod 8TB
Thanks Guys

I think I'll try out Firefox for a while.

Mary
Dec 3 '06 #5
drhowarddrfine
7,435 Expert 4TB
Firefox is good, especially for the web developer because of the tools available. Extensions also 'extend' the use of the browser in a multitude of ways. Opera, too, is a good browser so one should just decide which they like better but the extensions for FF are a real winner.

IE of any version is old, buggy and non-standard. IE7 is nine years behind web standards. Because it is part of the OS, it is a security nightmare giving virus writers direct access to your files. Other browser are standalone apps which won't let this happen.

Within two weeks of release, 3 serious vulnerabilities for IE7 already developed. While other browsers are developing CSS3 support, IE struggles to do CSS1. It does not handle DOM standards from 1998. IT can't do SVG. IE6 can't do png image transperency.

Microsoft has not mentioned any method or schedule for updating IE. Firefox and Opera are updated on a continual basis. Firefox and Opera are very up to date with web standards.
Dec 3 '06 #6
MMcCarthy
14,534 Expert Mod 8TB
Thanks doc

I've just downloaded Firefox and so far so good.

I appreciate all the advice and will let you all know how I get on.

Mary
Dec 3 '06 #7
nico5038
3,079 Expert 2GB
I use IE7, Netscape and Firefox.
As I have multiple email accounts, I've set the startpage of these browsers differently and thus the browser steers the mail I see :-)

Nic;o)
Dec 3 '06 #8
missinglinq
3,532 Expert 2GB
I've used Netscape since the early 90's. Every so often I'll try the "hottest" thing, for about 24 hours, and then go old faithful. In all that time, the only virusus I've ever picked up involved house guests going online without asking and using IE for extended periods! The only reason I keep it on my machine is that once in a blue moon I'll need to go to a site that only works under IE.
Dec 3 '06 #9
sashi
1,754 Expert 1GB
I have IE 6 and Opera they seem to render pages the fastest.
I agree with Aric, i am currently using IE 6 at the moment and i feel page rendering is faster compared to Netscape. Good luck & Take care.
Dec 3 '06 #10
NeoPa
32,101 Expert Mod 16PB
Hello Mary,

I use IE6 and I'm pretty happy with it.
When I tried to use Firefox a year or so back I found that my main web site (for my gaming clan) didn't work properly, so I switched back to IE.
I don't see the fact that there are more hacks for IE than any other as indicating it is less well protected. I know that most of the effort is targeted at IE because it's MS and has by far the largest user base. The ratio's changing as the marketplace becomes more mature, but there are more poor web designers who build pages that only work under IE than there are poor web designers who build pages that only work under other browsers.
I would not recommend IE (nor recommend against it), that's just the reason I use it.

-Ade.
Dec 3 '06 #11
PEB
1,418 Expert 1GB
In my work i'm using FireFox. it is faster... some Internet applications work better on it /the Javascript is better adapted/ But there is also applications that need only IE. For exemple aspages. They can't be open by Mozzilla.

So if u use asp u need IE

If u don't need IE for something special you will surf easily and better on FireFox.. There is also more facilities.. /or exemple multi tabs with different pages on them till IE should be open multi time/

Better to heve both.. By default FireFox and if need appears IE!
Dec 3 '06 #12
MMcCarthy
14,534 Expert Mod 8TB
Better to heve both.. By default FireFox and if need appears IE!
I think that will work for me. I won't be getting rid of IE but I think Firefox may be the better default application for general browsing. I only loaded it this after noon and I've noticed an improvement on overall preformance. The scipting bugs that were irritating me are gone.

Mary
Dec 3 '06 #13
drhowarddrfine
7,435 Expert 4TB
Paul Thurott says "IE is a cancer on the web"
PC Magazine gives Firefox browser of the year award.
CNET magazine recommends "Do not use IE7 for every day browsing"
Kevin Mitnick says "Avoid IE at all costs"
Microsoft says "We apologize that IE7 does not meet current standards"

The last two I am paraphrasing because I'm too lazy to get the links.
I know that most of the effort is targeted at IE because it's MS and has by far the largest user base.
Not necessarily true. IE is easier to attack because it is part of the OS, thus making access to files and programs easier. No other browser has direct access, thus making attacks more difficult to come by.
Dec 3 '06 #14
MMcCarthy
14,534 Expert Mod 8TB
Paul Thurott says "IE is a cancer on the web"
PC Magazine gives Firefox browser of the year award.
CNET magazine recommends "Do not use IE7 for every day browsing"
Kevin Mitnick says "Avoid IE at all costs"
Microsoft says "We apologize that IE7 does not meet current standards"

The last two I am paraphrasing because I'm too lazy to get the links.
Not necessarily true. IE is easier to attack because it is part of the OS, thus making access to files and programs easier. No other browser has direct access, thus making attacks more difficult to come by.
All I know is I was already having scripting problems with IE6 and they got worse with IE7. I'm sure they were being created by my firewall but I wasn't going to decrease my firewall settings because I cannot afford any secutity breaches.

Mary
Dec 4 '06 #15
MMcCarthy
14,534 Expert Mod 8TB
All I know is I was already having scripting problems with IE6 and they got worse with IE7. I'm sure they were being created by my firewall but I wasn't going to decrease my firewall settings because I cannot afford any secutity breaches.

Mary
No problems along these lines with Firefox so far. Early days yet.
Dec 4 '06 #16
NeoPa
32,101 Expert Mod 16PB
Not necessarily true. IE is easier to attack because it is part of the OS, thus making access to files and programs easier. No other browser has direct access, thus making attacks more difficult to come by.
While I wouldn't argue with this - I don't see it has any bearing on the point you were trying to disprove - about the user base.

Also, quoting various sources can sound impressive but :
1. How many professional scientists are prepared to say they have evidence to show that there has never been any links between smoking cigarettes and Cancer? (hard to believe I know but many do) You can always find respected experts with different opinions if you just look.
2. I've been burned before by articles claiming that such and such software is better than the MS variety, only to turn back later when various of the claims proved false. Usually compatibility issues with the rest of the world.
I'm not unsympathetic to your opinion, and I don't want to hold back the advance of alternative software, but I won't accept that it's the only valid opinion simply because you or anyone else thinks they can tell me so.
Dec 4 '06 #17
MMcCarthy
14,534 Expert Mod 8TB
Back on your soapbox Adrian. <grin>

Mary
Dec 4 '06 #18
NeoPa
32,101 Expert Mod 16PB
Back on your soapbox Adrian. <grin>

Mary
Troublemaker!
I only posted in here in the first place because you asked me to :(.
Dec 4 '06 #19
MMcCarthy
14,534 Expert Mod 8TB
Troublemaker!
I only posted in here in the first place because you asked me to :(.
I must have been crazy. <grin>

Now Adrian, you know I respect your opinion even when you are on your soapbox. I heard the one about the experts and smoking before. In addition there is a lot more evidence to support the link between stress and cancer which doesn't get a lot of press.

Mary
Dec 4 '06 #20
drhowarddrfine
7,435 Expert 4TB
I won't accept that it's the only valid opinion simply because you or anyone else thinks they can tell me so.
Oh. You want statistics! Why didn't you say so?

Secunia Vulnerability Reports:

For IE6, 106 Vulnerabilities
For IE7, 3 Vulnerabilities just three weeks after introduction.
For Firefox 2.0, 1 vulnerability

IE7 actually has four because it has the same vulnerability FF has but it's slightly more difficult to get to. It was discovered just last week under strange circumstances. But I'll bet Mozilla fixes it shortly and IEs version will still be there years from now.
Dec 4 '06 #21
Cyberdyne
627 Expert 512MB
Firefox hands down.

Why?

Well lets just say your windows pc uses Explorer as its backbone, so anything that's wrong with your Explorer will immediately affect the rest of windows.

Firefox on the other hand is smaller and can always be reinstalled in just moments.

I have been using Firefox for about a 2 years now and even installed it and mandated it work, it makes my life easier and keeps my users safer.

www.getfirefox.com
Dec 4 '06 #22
Banfa
9,056 Expert Mod 8TB
I won't be getting rid of IE
Just to comment on this and to the other people that have said that they have kept IE just in case.

You actually do not have a choice about it, IE is such an integral part of the Windows operating system that it would be impossible to remove it.

IE is what runs Windows Explorer, Windows Explorer is what runs the Task Bar, so no IE no Task Bar which would be rather inconvienient.


It is this integration and Microsofts approach in enabling various forms of scripting so that they could make things easier and automated for their users that makes IE such a large security risk.

I do believe that MS have put some effort in narrowing the gap on security issues and that Firefox (and other non MS browsers) have been shown not to be the completely impregnible fortresses they were orginally portraied to be but I think that MS IE is still lagging.

Coupled with poor standard support this makes it not the browser for me.


However that said if you are designing websites it is imperitive that it works in IE because 90% of the worlds browsing population still uses IE which is of course because IE comes bundled with Windows and the standard user is not really computer literate enough to understand why using IE is a bad idea or to have the confidence to download and install an alternate browser.


I can remember a few years back when IE was not a integral part of Windows but was just supplied with it. Netscape took IE to the US equivilent of the Monopolies Commission because bundling IE free with Windows was pricing them out of the market. MS were about to be found guilt of anti-competitive behaviour and forced to sell IE separately when suddenly, low and behold IE became and integral part of the OS. Handy huh.

And that is my final reason for using Firefox. IF MS had it's way everyone would be using IE, then it would have control of the web and web-standards. They are a big corperation and their first concern is their share-holders, it is natural for them to do everything possible to increase their market share. However I do not want a web ruled by MS or for that matter any part of the computer world if possible. Using other peoples software is my way of ensuring that, as long as enough people don't use MS software then we have a way of keeping them in check.

Do not get me wrong, Windows is an amazing OS. How many other OS's do you know that run on such a wide variety of hardware (OK Linux is one and some embedded RTOS). There are not many.

I am just exercising my right to impose what little control I have my choosing to use what I think is the most appropriate software for any given job rather than just doing the same as everyone else.
Dec 4 '06 #23
AricC
1,892 Expert 1GB
Not sure if they still have it but I downloaded Netscape about 6 months or so ago and it had this nifty feature where you could switch between IE and Firefox, it was a very handy to especially for web coders. I just can't get past the rendering issues with FF, I did however read on Slashdot that they were going to be working on the issue.
Dec 4 '06 #24
Ganon11
3,652 Expert 2GB
...if you are designing websites it is imperitive that it works in IE because 90% of the worlds browsing population still uses IE which is of course because IE comes bundled with Windows and the standard user is not really computer literate enough to understand why using IE is a bad idea
This doesn't scare so much as realizing that another 9% of the world's browsing population uses AOL...*shudder*
Dec 4 '06 #25
drhowarddrfine
7,435 Expert 4TB
Well, no, AOLs browser is based on IE, but someone could tell me I'm now wrong because AOL did make some changes and I don't recall how it may have affected their IE use.

IE is now down to 85%. In Germany it's 40%. Finland is about that. France is 30%. Tech heavy sites are around 50% and some report 80%. I always point out to non-tech users that IE is least used among people who know the most about how the web works and how browsers work.

IE does not run explorer. Explorer runs IE, that is, Windows always had Windows Explorer. MS attached to it to create Internet Explorer which is one reason they have similar names.
Dec 4 '06 #26
Chrisjc
375 256MB
I use IE7 because of the TABBED Browsing..

Plus I am big on the SIMPLE layout of it... I do not like other Browsers... especially FIREFOX.....
Dec 4 '06 #27
drhowarddrfine
7,435 Expert 4TB
But that doesn't make sense. Firefox and Opera have had tabbed browsing for years. And FFs interface isn't any more complicated than IE; plus you can customize it. So what do you mean?
Dec 4 '06 #28
AricC
1,892 Expert 1GB
But that doesn't make sense. Firefox and Opera have had tabbed browsing for years. And FFs interface isn't any more complicated than IE; plus you can customize it. So what do you mean?
Haha he means he doesn't like FF Doc!
Dec 5 '06 #29
bartonc
6,596 Expert 4TB
snip...

IE does not run explorer. Explorer runs IE, that is, Windows always had Windows Explorer. MS attached to it to create Internet Explorer which is one reason they have similar names.
I have to agree with the doc here. And Banfa, in a way. I have (sort of) come to believe that if an MS program like Help and Support or Outlook need internet access, they use the IE engine in one of their own windows. So IE is integral in this way. The legal issue (like the title of this thread) are about browsing. MS said "sure use any browser" and the courts were happy. I'm sure MS can't be forced to use (although registry settings may permit the use of) an alternate internet connection engine.
Dec 5 '06 #30

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