Web browser alternatives. When you first turn on your new computer you may find that only the one browser is available. With the majority of Windows computers, Internet Explorer will already be installed on the computer and will be ready to go. Since many people don’t know that there are alternatives that can be downloaded and installed, and because others simply stick with the default because it is easier, they never learn the benefits of switching to an alternative browser. But there are many to choose from, all their their own strengths and weaknesses.
Internet explorer remains the most commonly used browser, but only by a slim percentage margin. In fact it is so close that it is debatable as to whether it would remain in the top slot if it didn’t come already installed on the majority of computers that are sold today. Of the browsers that the user must choose to install, the most popular is Firefox. It is in fact, almost as popular as Internet Explorer, and its popularity is growing by the day.
Firefox is a very secure browser, designed to not interfere with the operating system. It was originally designed to run in a ‘sandbox’, meaning that there was a layer between the browser and the operating system. This stopped viruses being installed. There are a vast number of add-ons to customize your browsing experience with, and tabbed browsing is standard.
Chrome is the third most popular windows browser. Made by Google, it is also fast and lightweight. It employs tabbed browsing and searching through the URL box, keeping the browser simple and uncluttered. The range of apps available for it is impressive.
Opera comes in at fourth most popular for windows users, though it is the fourth most popular overall (after the Apple OS standard Safari browser). It is one of the fastest loading of the browsers and is highly customizable, even allowing for the skins that run on the browser to be changed, thus completely changing its appearance. There are a number of add-ons available, though not as many as for Firefox.
Safari is also available for Windows computers, but is used on far fewer than the competing browsers are. It finds most of its user base amongst the Apple community instead, running on Apple computers, the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
There are a number of other web browser alternatives that are available for Windows. Some of these are largely featureless, but promote themselves on one main strength. This is certainly the case for browsers like K-Meleon, which is a tiny and lightweight browser that downloads incredibly quickly and runs fast too. Using it is not as intuitive as using one of the more popular browsers, but it still serves its users well.
There are a wide range of browsers that are available for you to try, and they are free to download and run. This means that you can run a new browser every week if you want to, or can have a particular browser for a particular function, such as giving a text-only rendering of a page. With so many browser available, it is doubtful that Internet Explorer will remain on top for much longer.