Browser choice

9 Apr

Which web browser do you use?

I’ve used Firefox for years. Back in the days when it was just between Internet Explorer and Firefox, Firefox was the clear winner due to its extensions/add-ons, customisability and perhaps most importantly speed (compared with IE6/7). Nowadays, with the emergence of Google Chrome there is more choice than ever. Aside from those aforementioned “big three” there are several lesser known browsers with some pretty unique features (social networking integration amongst other things).

Internet Explorer, in response to its ever-decreasing market share, has actually improved quite significantly in more recent versions – noticeably with IE9. Speed is its main feature, in both web page rendering and system resources (perhaps helped by its tight integration with the Windows OS). It still lacks add-on functionality, so I could never use it as my main browser. Still, it’s a good backup and especially useful in web development testing. IE10 is a further step in the right direction in terms of performance.

I’ve never really used Google Chrome properly – I’ve checked it out and done some light browsing, but didn’t really find anything to tempt me away from Firefox. Linking to a Google account and having access to history and bookmarks on separate devices is cool. The main killer was the the Adblock Plus extension didn’t perform as well as its Firefox counterpart (and is now unavailable completely…).

Whilst I understand the importance of them (in terms of generating revenue for sites) I hate ads on the Internet as they tend to be as obnoxious as possible in distracting your attention from the rest of the webpage, and some can even affect site performance on lower-end machines (e.g. a Flash-based advert), so if you use Firefox then Adblock Plus (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus/) is simply a must have. For example, I didn’t even know that YouTube showed adverts before videos loaded until I happened to load a video in IE. I subscribe to two blacklists (Fanboy’s and EasyList) which ensures that as many ads are blocked as possible.

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