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Monday
Mar282011

Internet Browsers - Which one do you use? Which one should you use?

As a school that specializes in distance education in photography, the NYIP staff keeps a close eye on
our Web site analytics. Recently we noticed that Apple’s Safari had jumped up the list of browser types
our visitors are using to second place. Nearly 25% of the people who visit our site are doing using the
Safari browser. This simple fact generated quite a bit of discussion around the office. Some people
balked saying that their favorite browser is so much better than Safari while some defend Safari based on recent improvements especially in security and privacy options. There was also some speculation as to why suddenly more people are using Safari. Is it because more traffic is coming from iPhones, iPods and iPads all of which use the Safari browser? Is it because, as a photo school, our students are more likely to be on Apple computers? Or is it simply that Safari's latest version is better and is converting PC users? I'm not going to pretend to be an Apple engineer or marketing agent so I won’t give concrete answers to these questions, but I do know that when I check our sites on the go it is always Safari, because I’m using an iPhone.

It will probably come as no surprise that the largest number of users are still on some version of
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE). IE has been and will probably continue to be the most widely used
Internet browser. It is preinstalled on every version of Windows that is shipped, and Windows is still
overwhelmingly the most used operating system for desktop and laptop PCs. For full disclosure, our Web
visitors use IE, Safari, Firefox and Chrome - in that order. This got us wondering, what browser do you
use and why?

Personally, I use both Firefox and Chrome on my office PC. I find Chrome to be a quick and innovative
browser. I like the different themes that are available and the recently released Web Apps Store has
some very interesting and useful extensions that can be easily installed. Chrome also offers a built in
sync with your Google account. This lets you keep your browser settings, themes and extensions synced
on multiple computers. However, I do find that some Web sites with dynamic content or video don't
always load on Chrome. When this occurs I jump to my trusty Firefox. I was an early adopter of Firefox
and have been using it for some time. Like Chrome, it offers a fast and good-looking presentation of my
favorite Web sites. It is also very reliable and I find almost no compatibility problems on Firefox.

The past few weeks I've been exploring a new browser on the market called RockMelt. RockMelt is built
on Google’s open-source Chromium so it is very similar to Google's Chrome in functionality and look.
The unique thing about RockMelt is its social integration; some have called it "The Facebook Browser".
RockMelt lets you have real-time access to your Facebook and Twitter accounts from browser tool bars.
You don’t have to leave the page you are on to share a link, check your wall, update your status or post
a tweet. RockMelt also has an integrated RSS reader that alerts you when your favorite sites have new
content.

In the comments section below, we’d like to hear what browsers you use, and why. If you are anything
like the staff here at NYIP you will have a favorite and feel oddly connected to it. What does your Web
browser say about you, and why do we care so much? I don't know the answers to these last two
questions, and there is probably another post asking to be written answering those questions. For now
I know you won’t catch me using IE and that I sigh every time I'm forced to use it at my parents’ house.
Why won’t they upgrade, why?

Latest Versions of the mentioned browsers:

IE - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/internet-explorer/products/ie/home
Safari - http://www.apple.com/safari/
Firefox - http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/
Chrome - http://www.google.com/chrome
RockMelt - http://www.rockmelt.com/

As mentioned above, we’d love to see your comments below.

NOTE:  The observations on speed and performance mentioned above are based on my user experience.  I did not do any scientific testing or exact browser comparisons.  If you are interested in side by side performance comparisons the folks at lifehacker have done some interesting work in that area.  http://lifehacker.com/#!5784396/browser-speed-tests-firefox-4-internet-explorer-9-chrome-11-and-more

 

Jacob Boller
NYIP, Director of Operations´╗┐

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Reader Comments (16)

I use Firefox. Once in a while I use IE when something goes batty with Firefox. I like how this browser will capture the sites you were on if your computer shuts off, or the browser shuts down/crashes. Once in a while my laptop cord will slip out and I won't notice it...and you guessed it...FADE to BLACK... I am usually in programs that don't allow the warning box to open. Plus you can choose the pages you want to reopen.

I don't like all the tool bars that are available now. I could take up my whole screen and more with all the tool bar offerings these days. I have found that some of them bog down my browser, and I hate all the pop-up interferences these can bring on. I just do not use any of them. I prefer to just use a straight search engine for anything I want to find. And I keep my bookmarks very organized.

I started using Firefox about 3 or 4 years ago. I migrated from IE. I like the feeling of moving away from the huge conglomerate. Plus, when I click on page links...IE treats them like pop-ups on my computer and won't open them. It's probably a setting or something. But its a headache to try and figure it out. So, I stick with Firefox.
March 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRosie
Thanks for the feedback Rosie! I've mostly been using Chrome, but I do find Firefox very usable too.
March 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNYIP
I use both Firefox and Safari but I use Firefox the most. There are some websites that because I'm on a Mac without IE they will only accept certain browsers like Firefox or Camino. And then there are some I use that will only accept IE or Safari. Go figure!
March 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMonica Starks
I use Safari... because everything I've got is Apple ;) And I love the way it works... go figure, I'm that kind of girl :) But I also use Chrome and will use it more as soon as some of the problems you mentioned will be solve.
March 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLily
I dunno Jacob. All this browser "stuff" is Greek to me.

Anyway, I'm too busy TAKING PICTURES.
March 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlouie
I dunno Jacob. All this browser "stuff" is Greek to me.

Anyway, I'm too busy TAKING PICTURES.
March 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlouie
I love ROCKMELT, it was an easy move from Chrome, my third choice being Firefox.

Rockmelt helps you keep the amount of pages open to a minimum... while you are waiting for an email, you can move on and you will get to see it come in on your tool bar or pop-up or both.

Also, I read comments and updates for Facebook or twitter without having to go to those pages at all... The 'feeds' bar becomes your bookmarks tool. It's Wonderbar! LOL
March 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
I run an Ubuntu Linux platform which offers both Firefox and Chrome. Although a Firefox user in the past I've switched to Chrome a ways back because of it's speed. I wouldn't use IE it was available because of it poor performance and lack of standards compliance.
March 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Fragos
I would have to say that Firefox is my staple "go-to" browser. IE is slow, and for the past few years has not been very stable or as compatible as other browsers. I was using Google Chrome for a while since it loads very fast, but it also had issues with compatibility and being able to load different media. I like the favorites view on Chrome and it looks really cool on Safari. I can see that Apple technology is becoming the forerunner, especially with iphones and ipads. I am currently viewing this page on my Android phone's browser (Produced by Google). Off the subject, hopefully NIP will make an app for Android! To recap my choice of browser is Firefox all the way! Its fast, reliable, skinnable, has tons of add-ons, has privacy and security issues covered, is easy to use, offers its users the chance to try out beta releases and reminds me of the old Netscape browser that was always better looking than IE. Happy browsing!
March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Petersen
I have two registered domains, one personal and one business related. Because I do all the design and development of both sites I have all five browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari) so I can check the visual apparence of each sites' pages in each browser.

Which browser I use for personal surfing will depend upon where I plane to surf.
March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDenise Moss-Fritch
I use Safari exclusively. In fact I haven't used IE since Safari was created. Safari is certainly not perfect, but like others I only use Apple products so it is easier to sync bookmarks and such. As a back up I have Opera, and Firefox on my laptops and desktops and on my iPad I have the Bing, Opera, iSwifter, and Flash Video browsers.

All of those extra browsers are used if there is some problem with Safari. But I never have problems. So I never get away from the Safari browser. For me it's functional, nice to look at and trufully, I'm too lazy to go learn another browser inside and out like I've done with Safari.
March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCleave Frink
My main browser is Firefox because of the many usefull plug-ins (I work as a webmaster) and its convenience.
I run it on both windows and mac. As secondary browser I stick to Crome and Safari which I also have installed on windows based pc's.

However I've noticed the same trend here in Norway: both Safari's and Firefox' shares are growing. On the site I run we presently have this situation:
IE: 79%
Firefox: 9%
Safari: 6%

This might be the result of an European court convicting Bill Gates to inform all new customers of IE that they have the option to select other browsers - adding links to the most popular ones
March 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJan-Egil Woll
I use Safari because it is preinstalled in my Apple products. Most of the times I visit the NYIP site either with my iPhone or iPad. I've tried Firefox and Chrome but I haven't seen any feature that really convinces me to change browsers.
April 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVeronica Salazar
No mention has been made regarding OPERA 11.01.
Suggest you review it as it is way ahead of the browsers you have addressed to date!
April 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGene E. Philbrick
I use firefox for everything, as a programmer I have learned it from the inside out and enjoy tools and apps it has to offer ; )
April 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMikey
Over the years I've used many browsers, and now find I use Chrome most often. Having a gmail account it was a natural step to using Chrome. Like many here I switch to Firefox if something doesn't work on Chrome (for some reason submitting photo sets to Zivity doesn't work on Chrome, E.g., but that's about the only problem I run into these days.)

Based on this discussion I'm tempted to try RockMelt.
April 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaul
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