A browser is a program you use for surfing the internet. There are many browsers available on the internet market today, the most popular being Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer. The way to rate a browser out of the above as the best browser to use is discussed below. Criteria There are several properties people look for in a browser. Since the properties may be unequally important to the next person, they are listed below and dealt with separately for each of the three browsers mentioned above.
? Features ? Browsing Speed ? Usability ? Memory Usage Features All three browsers support tabbed browsing and plugins in the form of add-ins and widgets. Some other features common in all the browsers are built in search options with pre-defined search engines, pop-up blockers, RSS Feeds reader and saving of multiple bookmarks at the same time. Each browser has its own unique features however, and these are as follows ? Firefox ? Support for themes, anti-phishing, integrated download manager with resume functionality and spell checker for text boxes. It is also the only browser to be available for Windows, Linux and Mac. Internet Explorer ? Anti-phishing, single button clicks for adding a page to the favorites list, saves the open tabs for use the next time while closing and thumbnails for tabs.
Opera - Theme support in the form of skins, integrated download manager with resume and pause functionality, saves tabs for use the next time while closing and tab thumbnails. It is also the only browser to have an integrated bit torrent client. Browsing Speed A pre-determined test set was prepared for testing the three browsers. This consists of rendering CSS, loading DIVs and TABLEs, testing scripts and java, loading images and caching capability.
In these tests, Opera emerged the clear winner, with speeds much greater than any other browser. Internet Explorer was a clear second, while Firefox emerged last with the slowest browsing speeds of all. Internet explorer, however, was the slowest in processing scripts, taking almost double the time as Firefox.
Opera was once again first. Memory Usage This test comprised a series of processes which including opening, closing and reopening the browsers, and checking the actual RAM usage. In terms of opening and closing the browsers, Opera opened the quickest, followed by Internet Explorer and Firefox. In terms of actual RAM usage, the order was drastically different, with Internet Explorer taking up the least system memory and Opera the most. In terms of disk usage, Opera takes up the most space and Internet Explorer the least. In start-up times, Opera took the least amount of time to start, Internet explorer stood second, and Opera took almost twice the time for the loading of Opera.
Conclusion The best browser would depend on what your browsing priority is. In terms of browsing speeds, Opera appears to be the best. If you would want to conserve system resources, Internet Explorer seems to be the obvious choice. Firefox has the most features.
Chad Stevenson writes on topics such as Best Browser , Web Browser and Free Web Browsers for The Tech FAQ.