In 1977, Ken Olsen, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, said, “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Flash forward to 2011 and it turns out Ken was a little off. Computers have become indispensable components of many peoples’ lives. Internet use is a huge part of that. Whether you’re utilizing cloud services like onlinestorage.com or searching for new careers, the ‘global village’ created by the worldwide web is a vital part of contemporary human existence.
It’s generally agreed upon that your average Joe or Jane Internet user considers factors like security, performance, technology, customization, and features when deciding on a web browser. Most people end up choosing Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. But remember that there are other options. You may discover that certain browsers are more compatible with achieving your online objectives than others.
1) Compatibility with coding languages
Making sure your browser is compatible with a plethora of coding languages ensures that you’ll have access to online movies, music, and other forms of entertainment without having to rely on flea-ridden external software. HTML, CSS, Flash, and many other coding languages have cross-browser compatibility issues (most notably in Internet Explorer) that affect the user’s ability to view websites and access media.
2) Downloading/uploading speeds
You live in the 21st century—you upload pictures, stream music, and video chat over the web. You need your downloading and uploading speeds to be fast. Otherwise, you risk getting the dreaded LAG, brother to the spinning beach ball of death. Using fast browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox is a sure-fire way to guarantee your streamed episode of Mad Men won’t stall out.
3) Accessible features
User-friendly features such as toolbar search boxes and “add-ons” are also important. For example, Firefox users can download a handy URL generator directly into their toolbar to swiftly shorten URL’s for social media purposes. Presently, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Firefox are the three major browsers that offer add-ons.
4) Mobile compatibility
Let’s say you’re searching for a browser that is compatible with your iPad or smart phone. Most major browsers offer mobile apps, but the user’s ability to synchronize browsing data across devices varies. Your mobile browser may allow you to access your home computer’s history, bookmarks, tabs and passwords.
5) Open-source browsers
If you’re into collaboration, you may want to choose an open-source browser. Users here are treated as co-developers, which is why updates and fixes are frequent and often. Users of open-source browsers also benefit from diverse and decentralized crowd-sourcing that improves the software. Open source browsers end up becoming community projects.
Most people open the first browser icon they see on their desktop and don’t think twice about issues of compatibility and accessibility. But if you’re working in a high-tech work environment with demanding deadlines and vexing project criteria, knowing what you can and can’t expect from your browser is an important part of establishing your workflow. Knowing your browsers is a big part of understanding how Internet functions optimally.