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Which Web Browser is Right For You – The Geek Girl Report

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Not all web browsers are created equal. Of course, they’ll all get you on the Internet, but sometimes, you want a little more out of your browser. Maybe you want some cool add-ons, or improved security, or just really fast load times. Here’s a quick run-down of the 5 most popular web browser programs:

1.) Chrome [link]

With it’s lightning-fast speed and simple, streamlined interface, this Google-built web browser has been steadily gaining popularity since its introduction a few years ago, and it continues to grab the top spot when compared to other browsers. Of course, what else would you expect coming from a company that has made its fortune off of revolutionizing the Internet? The only gripe I have about Chrome is its connection to the Google “Big Brother-esque” tracking system that keeps tabs on everything you do on any Google product. But if you don’t mind that, this is one of the best web browsers you can get. It’s free of charge, and available on both Mac and Windows.

2.) Firefox [link]

After switching over from internet Explorer, Firefox is my preferred web browser. One of the big draws of Firefox is its high level of customization, thanks to its huge library of “add-ons.” These are kind of like apps for your web browser, and can customize pretty much anything on Firefox from security, to appearance, and even which updates you receive on your browser. However, the interface will take some getting used to, especially if you’re coming over from Internet Explorer like I did. Nevertheless, if you want a super-customized Internet experience, Firefox is the way to go. It’s free of charge and available for both Mac and Windows, as well as tablets.

3.) Opera [link]

This is a lesser-known web browser, (apparently, it’s the browser built-in to the Nintendo Wii game console, among other things) but it’s still a solid choice. It has a lot of the add-on features of Firefox, but still operates with the speed and the simplicity of Chrome. Unfortunately, it’s lesser-known status is its biggest weakness. Not many people have even heard of Opera, so they don’t use it and they don’t develop their sites to be compatible with it. It’s a shame, because Opera really does a great job at what it does. Opera is free of charge and available for Mac, Windows, and mobile devices.

4.) Safari [link]

Apple users should be familiar with Safari, the built-in web browser that comes standard with most Macs. It’s very simple to use and has a easy-to-navigate, no-nonsense interface that is great for casual Internet surfers. However, for those looking for more power or more customizable features behind their browser, I’d suggest looking elsewhere. Safari really can’t stand up to some of the features and functions of the previous browsers I’ve listed. But for light browsing, it should serve your needs just fine.

5.) Internet Explorer [link]

…seriously? People still use Internet Explorer?

I’m just kidding, but there is a reason that IE ended up at the very bottom of the list. It’s the bare-bones browser for Windows machines, and has been plagued with a number of problems, from hacker attacks to slow load times to a really weak firewall. As a matter of fact, it was a combination of those three that made me ditch IE in favor for Firefox. Although this latest version, Internet Explorer 9, is a considerable step-up from its previous versions, I would only recommend IE if you’re a die-hard Windows fan. Otherwise, you can do a lot better.

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