If you’ve been an active internet user over the past decade, you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about the many different types of web browsers available to consumers. Many people just stick to the default browser because they believe the other browsers are too fancy or techy for them. However, taking the time to try out a new browser can lead to a much more enhanced browsing experience. Mindscape is here to give you a basic overview of the browser options available to you, as well as make recommendations based on your internet experience level.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
We’ll get this one out of the way quick. If you are still using Internet Explorer (IE), you should stop immediately! With the exception of IE 9 (the newest version), Internet Explorer is what we call a legacy (or old) browser. It lacks many features that make it far inferior to modern day browsers. I could sit here and list the many different issues with IE, but I will boil it down to this: website’s are uglier and slower if you are using IE 7 or 8. If you work in an office environment that still enforces the use of IE, petition to get it changed! It will be well worth it. If you must stick with IE, then you should definitely upgrade to IE 9. It is starting to come around and can keep up with the other modern browsers much better than 7 and 8. Download it here.
Recommended for: Grandmas and people trapped in the 90’s. IE 9 is a decent choice for those with no other options.
Safari is the default browser that comes with any Mac machine. It is a well-equipped browser and will be sufficient for most users. It has a slick layout and is very useful in integrating with other Apple products. While not as cool as the Mac version, there is also a Windows version of Safari. It is not as user-friendly as other browsers, but it is still considered a modern browser and will provide an adequate browsing experience. The biggest draw is its integration capabilities with your Mac machine. Download it here.
Recommended for: Mac users and individuals already heavily invested in Apple products.
Firefox is considered a modern browser and performs well in almost any situation. It already has some support for future technologies including HTML5 and CSS3 (the two main up-and-coming internet standards), that allow it to render advanced website elements that wouldn’t normally be supported by older versions of IE. It has many different plug-ins and toolbars that consumers and developers alike will find useful including the ability to install custom themes and appearances. It has also made searching more convenient by allowing you to type your search directly into the address bar. A solid browser choice for the modern user. Download it here.
Recommended for: Casual and moderate internet users looking for an upgrade from IE.
A very slick and simple browser, Google Chrome is quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular choices for viewing the Web. It has many features that make it stand above most of the competition including: search built directly into the address bar, cross-computer session sharing so you can have the same browser setup on multiple machines, an app store, 100’s of customized themes and appearances,social media integration, and many others. As you might expect, Chrome is considered a modern browser and is future-ready once new HTML standards are more universally adopted. It also has an awesome tab management system that makes browsing multiple sites and pages a breeze. From a developers standpoint, Chrome has many key tools that are essential in developing websites. If you’re on the web several hours a week and you’re looking for the best, Chrome is the answer. Download it here.
Recommended for: Frequent internet users looking for a smart and feature-filled browser to make surfing the web more enjoyable.
A little know, but powerful browser, Opera is a feature-packed under dog in the browser world. While not officially supported by most companies, its worth checking out if you have some free time. A very unique browsing experience, it is sure to leave an impression. Download it here.
Recommend for: Hipsters and café poets looking for a cool new browsing experience.
Stay tuned for our next blog to see which browsers the Mindscape team is using! Feel free to leave us comments about which browser you like best and why.