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A Case For Upgrading Your Browser

Tue, Jul 24th 2012 02:00 pm

More than once we've published articles discussing the merits and shortcomings of today's most popular web browsers, as well as the various extensions and customization options offered by each one. However, in honor of International Technology Upgrade Week, we're placing the spotlight on one aspect of browsers that is far too often overlooked: the importance of keeping it up-to-date.

If you're a web professional or the type of person who dutifully updates their web browser at each new release, this article isn't for you. This article is for the non-programmers and everyday Web users who are unknowingly limiting their online experience and potentially leaving their data vulnerable to exploitation.

What's Wrong With Old Browsers?

  • Old browser versions are less stable. This makes them more vulnerable to viruses, spyware, malware, and other security issues. These types of threats should obviously be taken seriously —especially for people who frequently shop or handle their finances online. 
  • Old browsers are slow and more likely to crash. Images, programming scripts, and video do not load as quickly in older browsers. This makes your experience on the Web considerably slow, and can even cause your browser to crash or freeze.
  • Old browsers cannot display many new websites. New technologies (like HTML5 and CSS3) are not always supported by older browser versions, meaning you won't be able to view the content correctly.

Why Are New Browsers Better?

  • The browsers listed below have a number of advantages over older browsers, including:
  • Significantly fewer instances of crashing or freezing.
  • Greater security from viruses, malware, and browser hijacking attacks.
  • Faster page-loading.
  • Fewer toolbars (larger viewing area).
  • The ability to add extensions and plug-ins to your browser, which enhance features.
  • They can be installed on Windows XP (with the exception of IE9 and the upcoming IE10).
  • New browsers offer automatic updates or reminders.

Selecting A Browser

Now that we've covered the benefits of upgrading, here's a look at your current browser options. Keep in mind that upgrading to any of these browsers is free and shouldn't take more than a few minutes. For individual browser specifications, click on the browser name.

  • Internet ExplorerIf you insist on sticking with Internet Explorer, be sure to upgrade to version 9. The older versions (IE8 and earlier) are significantly less stable, less secure, and slower. However, as IE9 is still not as up-to-date as many other options, we recommend choosing another browser entirely.
  • Google Chrome - Google Chrome (all versions combined) recently became the most popular browser in the world (compared to IE, all versions combined). Chrome was first released in 2008, and has a number of advantages over old browsers like IE8.
  • Mozilla Firefox - Firefox has been the main competitor to Internet Explorer since the mid-2000′s. Although Google's Chrome has become more popular in recent years, Firefox is a great browser that regularly updates every 6 weeks.
  • Apple's Safari - This is the same browser that's commonly used on iPhones and iPads. Safari's features are very similar to Google's Chrome, and has been around since 2003.
  • Opera - Opera isn't as popular with Web users, but it has been around since the mid-90′s. Opera has always been at the forefront of browser innovation and supports many of the latest technologies and features that make websites faster and more feature-rich.
  • Chrome Frame - If you're stuck using an out of date version of IE at work, Frame may be a viable option. Frame is a free tool that offers a similar speed and viewing experience as found in Google Chrome - all you need to do is download the browser plug-in. 

You trust us with your websites, so please trust us when we say that there are countless reasons to upgrade your old browser and start using one that is up-to-date. For more information about browsers and how they can affect your website viewing experience, please visit 360psg.com.