Guide to Web BrowsersWeb browsers are your eyes and ears when accessing the internet - they help define the way you experience the web. But with so many to choose from, how do you know which one to use? We’ve compiled a list of the most popular web browsers and we will run down some of the main advantages, disadvantages, and features.

Firefox

Mozilla’s Firefox is currently on its sixteenth version, and despites its age, it’s showing signs of constant modernisation. The interface was given an overhaul back in version 4, and this recent version has made further tweaks such as remove the large toolbar and overall make more of the space that’s available.

Google Chrome

Google’s web offering is constantly being updated and you are never prompted about it either, so you’d be forgiven for thinking not much has changed. But the browser is currently on its 22nd version (up from version 8 last year) and despite some annoyances with the interface, it is one of the fastest available, especially with newer technologies such as HTML 5.

Safari

Safari is Apple’s default Mac web browser, but you can grab it for Window’s too. The most recent version, Safari 6, features support for HTML 5 audio and Reader mode has been given a bit of a makeover. It also offers a marked performance increase when opening multiple tabs, a process that Safari 5.1 struggled with.

Internet Explorer

Despite Internet Explorer’s continued usage, Microsoft are having to work hard to compete with alternative browsers increasing popularity. Internet Explorer 9 moved towards a cleaner interface and increased its speed, doing away with previous opinions that IE was sluggish.

Opera

Opera is one of the least used browsers and its usage worldwide has stayed between a 1-2% global share for a considerable amount of time. One its main disadvantages is occasional incompatibility issues but its choice of themes and minimal interface furthers its position as an innovator in the world of web browsers.

Worldwide Usage

browusers Statistics

As you can see from the image, StatCounter’s stats show a significant climb in the usage of Chrome over the past year, actually overtaking Internet Explorer. Firefox usage as declined slightly, but is still greatly more popular than Safari and Opera. Safari’s usage is very gradually increasing, which may have something to do with an increased usage of Mac’s - however, because Apple’s computers remain expensive, Safari will need to do much more to become a true market leader.

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