Why should you upgrade your browser?

May 11, 2011

Keeping your web browser up to date is more important than you might think. There have been a lot of developments from the major browser companies in recent times with the emergance of the HTML5 and CSS3 standards, and now is the perfect time to upgrade. Astonishingly, the majority of users are using a web browser that is several versions out of date, normally the version bundled with their operating system.

New versions are more secure

New threats are being developed on an almost daily basis, and keeping your web browser to the very latest version is essential to keep your computer safe from viruses and malware. Newer versions of web browsers also contain features to help keep users safe online, such as phishing scam detectors, pop-up blockers and malware detection.

New versions are faster
The majority of users are using Internet Explorer 7 or 8. These browsers are now outdated and their rendering systems are incredably slow compared to modern browsers such as Internet Explorer 9, Opera, FireFox or Chrome. Upgrading your browser not only speeds up page loads, but using less resources means a faster overall experience, for example when playing videos. IE9 will load the default English Wikipedia page almost 3 seconds faster than IE8, which is a noticeable improvement.

A better browsing experience
Users of Internet Explorer 9, Opera 11.0+, Chrome, FireFox 3 or Safari will notice that our website renders with rounded corners, whereas users of older browsers will see our site is a lot more “square” – this is just one of example of how websites are now implementing newer HTML and CSS standards that older browsers do not support. While we’ve taken care to ensure older browsers still display our site acceptably, some sites may not display properly. It is important to keep your browser to the latest versions to see the site as the designer intended.

What options are there, and which one should I choose?

Internet Explorer 9
Internet Explorer 9 is Microsoft’s latest browser, and a marked improvement over their previous offering. As well as being a lot faster and more secure (the average page loads 3 seconds faster in IE9 over previous versions) – it also supports the latest web standards and renders websites a lot more accurately. It also features a revamped interface, and combined search and address bar.

Opera

Opera has proven to be the fastest browser on Earth in benchmark testing, and has the best support for some advanced design features and also implements built-in tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, fraud protection, a download manager and BitTorrent client, a search bar, and a web feed aggregator. Opera comes with an e-mail client called Opera Mail and an IRC chat client built in, be sure to check it out .

Download Opera

FireFox

Firefox has grown in popularity in the last couple of years, due to its security, speed, advanced design features and popularity of add-ons that you can install to customise your browser.

Firefox also boasts a strong feature set including; Smart location Bar, One-Click Bookmarking, Password manager and lots more.

Download FireFox


Google Chrome
Google Chrome is the youngest browser, but it’s got off to an impressive start. With support for the latest standards, a fast rendering engine and a impressive feature set, while not as comprehensive of the others, this browser is definately one to watch.

Download Google Chrome