Web browsers might be the least praised tools of the Internet today.  They are those window frames that must be opened in order for anyone to access the Internet.  When it comes to surfing the web, it is irrelevant to many users which browser tool they are using.  Internet Explorer comes preinstalled with Microsoft Windows and is automatically set as the default browser, so many users stick with that web browser exclusively; they don’t even give it a second thought.  Even if there’s an opportunity to download other browsers such as Chrome or Firefox, it is normally passed on until the user hits a road block in terms of viewing a particular site that requires certain functionality.  Even then, the major browsers have plug-ins that can accommodate just about any website.  So, taking into account the supposed minimal changes you will benefit from as you surf the web, is it even worth considering an alternative browser?  The answer for the casual user is that, while downloading an update for the default browser might be helpful, there is little reason to download an entirely different browser.

Web browser options
Web browser options

To illustrate, if Safari were to introduce an update to their browser, it would be convenient enough for the average user to upgrade just by clicking a button; the user would be prompted by a pop-up window, and a set-up wizard would complete the upgrade in a matter of moments.  However, for someone who utilizes the web as a business tool or for heavy-duty entertainment, it would be worthwhile to try something different.  For example, the plug-ins available for Firefox are more extensive and will provide capability for advanced plug-ins such as macro tools. Macros allow you to automate a series of actions on CMS platforms, saving you valuable time, which in the world of business, translates into money.  To my knowledge, Internet Explorer does not have such plug-ins available and therefore doesn’t have the same capability to automate what can be time-consuming tasks.  Therefore, if you are business owner who wishes to speed up productivity, Firefox would be an obvious choice.

On the other hand, maybe you don’t use the Internet very much for business but rather for educational or light entertainment purposes; a browser like Chrome would be a better choice for you due to its quick load time speed and simplicity of navigation.  Chrome has deliberately catered to users looking for speed and efficiency to streamline their web experiences.  If you check your Gmail account everyday, then Chrome would also be a better choice because it can automatically log in the user.  Maybe you’re a user who likes the visual benefits that are the result of the very latest in web code, then either Chrome or Firefox would be a good choice because of the comprehensive compatibility of new code such as CSS 3 and HTML5.  Unfortunately, Internet Explorer has a proven track record of being behind the times when it comes to such updates.

When deciding whether it matters which browser you use, the questions to ask yourself are how much do you use the Internet and how much do you depend on a browser to enjoy your user experience.  If the answers to these questions are “very much,” you should try different browsers to find out which one will maximize your user experience. When it comes to this sometimes  under-appreciated tool, even if you haven’t given a prior thought to switching brands, you might still be missing out on something you didn’t even realize you needed.  It might be worth a second thought.

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