Browser Comparison

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Posted on 29th December 2008 by Krow in Browsers |Miscellaneous |Tips & Tricks

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all_browsersAfter my recent post of Internet Explorer I was asked by many of you “What browser should I use?”  “What browser do you recommend?” “Where do I go to download a new browser?”

I can’t give a perfect answer because everyone likes to surf the Internet in their own way. So somethings that matter to me (add-ons and plug-ins) may not matter to you. But one thing that should matter to all of us is security. Another that should be important but the average public does not know about is web standards. Microsoft is trying to be better at this but is still falling short, but many of the other browsers follow the standards.

I am a huge Firefox fan, and I use the browser on my home computer, although at work I use a combination of IE, Firefox and Opera, (for testing purposes). Each browser has its own strengths and weaknesses. However, I have found Firefox to be a strong contender for the best all-around web browser.

Firefox 3 (download)

  • Strength – Thousands of add-ons, themes and the community of developers / designers behind it.
  • Performance – It employs Gecko 1.9 to enhance the existing layout engine. It passes Acid2 test and gets better results on the Acid3 test compared to Firefox 2. Basically, it means that Firefox 3 is more CSS and javascript friendly.
  • Security – Does not allow a website to download onto, install onto, or execute code on a user’s computer without the user’s agreement.
  • Usability – The download manager and bookmark storing system are redesigned, and are easy to use. Also, it separates the themes for Mac, Linux and Windows, and that means users will have a more native look and feel on different operation systems.

Opera 9.6 (download)

  • Strength – Fast and small, standards-compliant, and available for many operating systems.
  • Performance – Provides textual content before ANY other browser, and noticeably faster than IE for total page loading time. Opera’s cache (especially the back/forward performance ) is simply faster than any other browser.
  • Security – Opera has a very good reputation in the security community for always fixing any possible security issues as soon as possible
  • Usability – The first browser to introduce mouse-gestures. The whole User Interface, including all the menus, keyboard commands, mouse gestures, tool bars, and even individual buttons are extensively and easily customizable, using a user-friendly GUI driven interface for most features

Safari 3 (download)

  • Strength – It is the default browser in Mac, and it has an elegant interface.
  • Performance – It has support for CSS Web fonts and animations and improves support for SVG and HTML 5 media.
  • Security – Uses robust encryption to ensure that your private information stays private
  • Usability – As-you-type text search, Quartz-style font-smoothing

Google Chrome (download)

  • Strength – It is fast, secure and multi-processing structured.
  • Performance – Chrome uses V8 JavaScript engine to generate javascript code dynamically and hide class transitions automatically. It also uses multi-processing architecture, which allows the browser to shut down a single Tab or a plugin wherever problem occurs but to keep the whole browser alive.
  • Security – Chrome warns users when they attempt to visit a harmful website based on google’s phishing and malware blacklists, which is being updated periodically.
  • Usability – The Tabs are placed at the top of the window in order to make the navigation faster and smoother. Additionally, Chrome displays 9 most visited web sites and sites most often searched on the home page.

Internet Explorer 8 Beta (download)

  • Strength – It is the default browser in Windows
  • Performance – Accelerators, Automatic Crash Recovery
  • Security – InPrivate, allows IE8 not to save searching and browsing history, cookies and form data. In another word, it clears the browser cache by default.
  • Usability – Search Suggestions, Web Slices, Tab Color Grouping

Acid3 Scores:

Chrome: 74/100
Safari 3: 87/100
FF3: 71/100
Opera: 60/100
IE 8: 17/100

I don’t know much about the Flock browser but have heard a lot of good things about it. I may look into running it just to see what it is and how it works, so for now here is a link to download it and some information I have found about it.

Flock (download)

  • Strength – built on Mozilla’s Firefox code base that specializes in providing social networking and Web 2.0 facilities built into its user interface.
  • Security – Automatically set up with strong privacy and security settings
  • Usability – Integrates social networking and media services including MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Blogger, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, etc. Notably, when logging into any of the supported social services, Flock can track updates from friends: profiles, uploaded photos, and more.

Temporary IE Update

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Posted on 17th December 2008 by Krow in Browsers

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prevxiefixAs much as I don’t want to post this on my blog I figured I should post the good news equally.

Microsoft has announced that they will be pushing out an unscheduled security patch for Internet Explorer, but a company known as Prevex has released a temporary patch.

The small utility will allow users to disable the affected component of Internet Explorer and apparently keep you safe from that specific exploit.

“Just avoiding using IE will not protect user’s computers as malicious code targets users through a number of other means also,” said Prevx’s head of research Jacques Erasmus.

“Prevx has addressed the weaknesses exploited by this approach, providing consumers with next-level protection.”

TechRadar reports that simply not using IE won’t keep the vulnerability from affecting your PC; an estimated 2 million PCs have already been infected. The vulnerability affects IE 6 and above, including Internet Explorer 8. Chances are most users (not reading this) won’t get to the Prevx temporary fix before tomorrow.

With this vulnearblilty now being exposed I am hoping that this people will now realize why Internet Explorer is a terrible browser and has been for years. I hope that all readers of this blog or the many other blogs that have exploted this have now switched to a much safer browser. If you have not done so yet go download and install a better browser.

Stop Using Internet Explorer

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Posted on 16th December 2008 by Krow in Browsers

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IE Logo

Security experts are advising that you do not use Internet Explorer (for now) due to a serious scripting hack that can grab passwords (or, potentially worse) from any version of Internet Explorer. Security experts and malware experts are suggesting that you switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox, Chrome, Opera, or any other browser, if only for the time being. Microsoft itself is, of course, asking users to just be cautious while it works on a fix.

The BBC article thumbnails security tips, including switching IE’s security settings to “High,” if you won’t be migrating (or can’t switch at work).