Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari … what’s the difference?? The main difference between web browsers is what is called the layout engine. When you visit your favorite website, the webpage comes with coded instructions for the browser that tell it what the page should look like and how it should function. The layout engine reads and interprets the instructions for the browser.
Over the years, the instructions have updated quite a bit. If you’ve heard anything about HTML5 or CSS3, those would be good examples of the instructions updating. When a new version of the instructions is released, the layout engines have to be updated so that they can properly read and interpret the new instructions. Some browsers are better about this than others.
So which is best?
Really, it depends on what you are using your browser for.
If you use Google services such as Google Calendar, Gmail, or Google+, then Chrome is a great option for you. It integrates all of these applications seamlessly. Chrome’s layout engine is also very good about staying up-to-date on instruction updates. The only downside to using Chrome is the lack of parental controls.
Safari uses the same layout engine as Chrome, making these two browsers very similar. Safari, which is created by Apple, is usually the browser of choice on iPhones, iPads, and other Apple products. It’s fast and has great security features. Unfortunately, there aren’t many options for customizing Safari.
Firefox’s layout engine is known as being best at staying up-to-date. It is also very easy to customize by installing easy to use add-ons. Add-ons can make your browser perform exactly as you want it to. If you are using several programs at once, be aware that Firefox uses a lot of memory, which may slow down other programs and eat up battery power on a laptop.
Internet Explorer comes built-in on all Microsoft computers, making it easy to use. However, Internet Explorer is notorious for being slow to adapt to new sets of instructions. This causes web pages to display incorrectly or leave out a lot of great new features. While the newer versions of Internet Explorer have improved this issue, a bad reputation is hard to break.
Pick the browser that’s best for your preferences and use. No matter which browser you use, always make sure that you have the latest version installed. Keeping your browser updated can make it run faster and better protect you from viruses and other online “bad guys”.
Not sure what browser you’re using or wondering if there are updates available? Check out this link for a basic overview: http://whatbrowser.org.