More Than One Way To Surf The Web
More and more of us are using the web for everything from finding an address or phone number to paying bills and banking. Those tasks, for the most part, can be accomplished without problems. Unfortunately, there are some more complex web applications that are much more prone to failure or intermittent operation. When this happens it can be frustrating.
For most people using Microsoft Windows computers, Internet Explorer is the “browser” of choice. (A “browser” is the software loaded on your computer to allow access to the web.) I guess the word “choice” may not be quite accurate since many may not know that there are others available and those browsers often do a better job than Internet Explorer.
Many find Firefox a great alternative. This software is known as “open source” software meaning that computer programmers all over the world can modify and improve it without having the Microsoft legal team increase their billable hours.
You can download the Firefox software free at http://www.mozilla.com/. Downloading and installing it on your computer takes only a few minutes. I have both Internet Explorer and Firefox loaded on all my computers and I often find that if I am having a problem with retrieving content, especially video and graphics from the web, just using the other browser fixes the problem.
There are other options. Google has a browser called Chrome. It is much newer than either Internet Explorer or Firefox and has yet to gain a lot of use. It can be downloaded free from www.google.com/chome. I have used Chome only sparingly. It does have a snappy look, but I did not find it any better that Firefox.
Finally let’s look at another option. All of the browsers discussed above have been designed for installation on a Windows PC. Many people have adopted a Mac platform and as such have been using the Safari browser developed by Apple. Safari is also available in a version that runs on a Windows PC. Like many products coming from the land of Steve Jobs, Safari is a clean, speedy browser that allows the user to have several web pages open at once and visible as panes on the screen. It can be downloaded free from Apple at www.apple.com/safari/ Downloading takes only a few minutes but setting up the various video configurations may take longer since Windows Media files and Flash Media files are not embraced by the folks at Apple.
Having more than one browser on your computer is a good idea and any of the ones listed above are good choices and are free.