The "Net" - Browsers

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

All browsers are created equal.. OH CONTRARE !!!!!!

First, let me preface this post by assuming that everyone is already running some soft of protection suite that includes anti-virus, anti-malware, firewall, and identity protection at the very least. And in the age of email and instant messaging, it is important to be sure these utilities also protect those applications. Knowing what ASSuming means, I already have a topic for my next post.

Now that you all have your computer systems and Internet optimized, you're ready to tackle the Internet. So, today I'll share some of my knowledge and experience that I have gained through necessity and testing.

As a point of reference, I will share my bandwidth (speed) test results while using several different browsers. Then I will share my thoughts on them. Understand that in order to be as accurate as possible all the tests were performed at the same site ( and under the same conditions... immediately after optimizing my computer AND my browsers as described in previous posts, in "private browsing" and with the test site being the only tab open. This is what I got:

Internet Explorer 8..

Firefox 3.5.4............

Safari 4....................

Avant Browser .........

Netscape Navigator 9

Opera 10....................

Google Chrome...........

Well, well, well... looks like a no-brainer as to which browser is faster right ??? Note that these are strictly POTENTIAL data transfer rates and depend on your ISP, system configuration, optimizations etc. But, they are a good place to start at least - or are they ???

Transfer rates aside, there are many technical factors that are involved in how web sites are built and how a particular browser performs, like how they read and interpret the different versions of the "language" used to build pages (** BE SURE TO KEEP JAVA UPDATED !!!), how they compress the data being transferred and the system resources required to do so (hence, the importance of optimizing your computer), to name a few.

I did a LOT of research on browser comparisons. Although Google Chrome has been advertised as the FASTEST browser going, according to my personal data transfer rate (above), that just isn't so. But all the comparison tests point to this being true..... or is it???

I was going to include some tester's personal results but truth be told, their results don't compare to how these browsers worked in conjunction with my personal system and ISP. So, your experiences may differ too. Here's some personal observations. And just to note, all the statistics aside, two personal "tests" are simply how quickly I can scroll a web-page once I have my browser load it - particularly Facebook - and how smoothly videos buffer on Youtube.... maybe archaic but....

Internet Explorer - Internet Explorer is undoubtedly the grand-daddy of browsers, the only test result I could find that rated it number 1 (most rate it SLOWEST - I agree) was from Microsoft... go figure. True that the data transfer rates are among the best, OBVIOUSLY some of the other factors involved need to be visited by IE developers. NOT to mention there seems to be compatibility issues with Blogger... the host of this blog. IE is definitely not near the top of the list of browsers, according to my testing.

Avant Browser - Definitely a fast browser - pages load fast, videos streams fast and data transfer rates amongst the best, definitely high on the speed list. BUT, I personally experienced incompatibility with some sites, including Blogger.

Safari - Honestly probably the fastest browser out there. I wasn't aware that they made a Windows version until recently, but once I did, Safari was definitely my default browser (due to issues with Firefox). One drawback I found was that my Comcast toolbar wasn't compatible with this browser. AND I also found that certain functions in Blogger weren't able to be used.

Google Chrome - Chrome is also a VERY fast browser, despite it's apparent data transfer rate result. Google makes this happen by making it a stripped down version of an IE based browser, but THAT makes it absent of some of the user-friendly features available to users of the "bigger" browsers. Like others, a major drawback to me was the lack of ability to use some features on Blogger... a bit odd as Google owns Blogger. Another drawback was it lacked in it's ability to stream videos, lagging throughout.

Opera - Again a very fast browser, despite it's apparent data transfer rate... pages load fast, videos stream fast and play smoothly. Personal drawbacks include lack of compatibility with particular web-sites, not limited to Texas Hold 'Em poker and once again, Blogger.

Netscape Navigator - Honestly I didn't even know this browser was still functional - actually, it isn't. Although I was able to perform 1 speed test, once I closed it, it wouldn't open again, so further testing wasn't possible - probably a good thing.

Firefox - That leaves Firefox... Firefox is probably one of the few browsers out there that are totally independent of an IE structure - and THAT's a good thing. Although the precipitous for researching other browser options was the fact that Firefox 3.5 had EXTREME issues with crashing, Mozilla has corrected that and I personally have experienced a great surprise in Firefox's newfound stability in version 3.5.4. (**note, I am currently running the Beta version of version 3.6, which was just released).

No, I am not an authority on web browsers, and can only share my personal experiences. That being said, despite the "apparent" low data transfer rate, Firefox obviously has a good handle on data compression. Firefox still appears to me to be the best (and SAFEST) web browser there is.... videos stream fast, pages load fast, ALL aspects of Blogger are compatible... hell, even Facebook pages reload without lag.

These are just my personal experiences based on the browsers I've tried and my own surfing activity. Obviously everyone's own system and activity could result in a different experience. but for MY "money", I'm sticking with Firefox, as long as they can continue to address the past crashing issues...

This is simply a sharing of personal experience. Everyone's activity and system will play a factor in their personal results. But, even if you're happy with the way your browser responds, just know that there ARE other options out there that just may surprise you.

Online (and system) security will be a future post but my next post will "reveal" some helpful information that I have stumbled across for bloggers.... either way, keep reading... PLEASE ?!?!?!?

The "doctor" has left the building


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