Which Internet Browser?

As most internet users have found out, not all browsers are created equally.  Internet Explorer was basically the one most used for several years, but then quickly got tired of the fact that the internet moved faster but your browser didn’t.  Or that they made the application increasingly more complicated to the point of not being able to even get into a lot of websites without what seemed a required PhD in astrophysics.

I do have to say that Internet Explorer is getting better, but it’s no longer my favorite.

Now we have choice (which we had before but few realized it . . . remember Netscape?).  There’s basically 4 top browsers available and like any tech thing there are a lot of opinions.  I keep 3 of them on my PC and occasionally switch between which one I use.  I also do this to see how a website I manage looks in each.  Here’s a general overview of each:

  1. Internet Explorer which is now up to version 9 and 10 supposedly coming soon.  Version 9 was supposed to tackle the speed issues that Explorer has been lacking but I still find it rather slow.  If you are a Windows XP user you can’t get IE 9.  Occasionally there are a few professional web services I use that require Internet Explorer so I still use it here and there.  The controls could be simplified for users more in my opinion ad the settings are still too complicated.  Have to wait and see what 10 brings.
  2. Chrome by Google which is my browser-of-choice.  I’ll be honest that when this first came out a few years ago I didn’t care for it but now up to version 15 and I have been using it for over a year now.  It’s very quick, simple without sacrificing security, tons of great add-ons, and best of all . . . I can sync it.  The syncing feature is great because it backs up all my custom settings to my account and I can easily bring up my Chrome browser from any internet connected computer.  Definitely one to check out if you haven’t.
  3. Firefox by Mozilla.  This company really opened the door to browser customizing and custom add-ons.  Prior to going to Chrome, Firefox was my main choice.  It’s not as fast as Chrome at startup or surfing but a lot faster than Internet Explorer.  It’s pretty easy to use and there is a great selection of add-ons available.  I just updated to version 9 and have been pretty pleased with it’s performance.
  4. Safari by Apple.  I have very little experience with Safari.  I installed it once and didn’t find any benefit so I uninstalled it.  It’s well-designed and pretty efficient and easy to use.  There is a Windows version available also.

The thing I like is that there is really strong competition in the browser arena and these companies are doing some really nice things to make using the web easier and more enjoyable.  So which browser are you using?

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Author:Brad West

I live in Palm Coast, FL with my family and have assisted my local parish with our website and communications. Our parishes today can benefit a great deal from technology. Whether it's improving communications, community building, evangelizing, business operations, and much more; we have the tools today. To help provide some direction and advice to parishes and parishioners, I wrote and published an eBook titled "The Connected Church" which is available through Barnes and Noble (Nooks and Nook apps) as well as Amazon (Kindle and Kindle apps).
  • Anonymous

    Chrome!!! And I was able to get it onto my computer at work too! 

  • http://catholicservant.com Craig Berry

    I tend to do most of my web development work in Firefox.

    But for general surfing – Chrome. Even after loading some extensions, it still feels like the fastest browsing experience.

    • Alexander Weber

      Same here Craig.  Firefox is the humvee and Chrome is the porche.

  • Rpeterson

    Chrome at home. Firefox in the office

  • Clare Zajicek

    Firefox at work, Chrome at home.

  • Cleoqc1124

    Chrome, both at work and home. Love the syncing capabilities!

  • Joe Luedtke

    I admit I use Firefox although I admonish my development team to use Internet Explorer.  Internet Explorer is still the majority of users within the church community that I’m familiar with.  If you’re a techie, use whatever you like, but please don’t forget to test your site in IE and all current versions: IE 10, 9, 8, and even 7.  I finally gave up trying to support IE6 about 6 months ago!

    • Alexander Weber

      I check my websites on IE….but develop on Firefox.  IE is slowly being squeezed out by Chrome and it’s bestest friend and webkit counterpart on mobile devices.  As long as PC’s come standard with IE then there will always a non-techy bunch that uses it….but Windows isn’t the giant that they used to be in this arena.

  • http://twitter.com/Cade_One Joshua Cade


  • Beth Nicol

    I’m moving from Firefox towards Chrome. There are some web development tools that I use heavily in FF, and while I’m sure most exist for me in Chrome, I’ve not uncovered them yet. OK, Safari is used just for uploading my training runs from my Garmin because silly Garmin is a 32-bit app and I don’t want to restart Chrome of FF just for that! If I simply must check stuff out on IE I roll over to my hubby’s computer and bring it up. Sometimes that is a horrifying experience for a web developer. While IE has come a long way toward reaching a reasonable understanding of web standards, there are still times when things just look wonky. But, it’s still easier to develop on a standards based browser and fix things up later for IE if need be.

    I’m going to have to get the Chrome synching going now after reading these comments.

  • http://cymhub.com Eric Gallagher

    Would be great if you could expand on the “why test a site in different browsers” in a another post.  For those parish employees assigned as a web developer, it may be shocking to them what their site looks like in another browser.

    • Brad

      I like that idea Eric.  Not only browsers what about monitors?  There is a clear movement towards widescreen, but alot of non-widescreen monitors are still out there.  What do you suggest as resolution settings for a website that is best for both?

  • Brad

    Great responses.  It’s interesting to see the work/personal/home difference.  I went to a retired Priest friend’s house yesterday to set up his iPad and sync it with his account.  He had IE and it would not load the video from the USCCB.  It was driving him crazy.  Worked fine in Firefox, but that wasn’t the one he wanted to use.  Turned out it was as simple as reducing the security setting a bit. 

    By the way, Dolphin is really cool for the mobile browsers.  I’m liking it a lot.  

  • Jcavins

    I really like the Unibar function of Google Chrome, but Safari is my favorite. I found a plug-in for Safari that gives it the Unibar search feel. http://www.facebook.com/simplyjeffcavins

  • fisheater5

    Since what happened to Firefox I would like to find a Catholic browser, any ideas?