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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Best Free Web Browser | Gizmo's Freeware

Best Free Web Browser

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Back in the early 1990s when the World Wide Web was young, there was only one web browser worth using: Netscape, which evolved from Mosaic. Then Microsoft gave us Internet Explorer and subsequently started including it with their OS. Thus began the browser wars, and IE eventually emerged as the clear winner.

Today Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) is a competent browser with enough features to meet the needs of most users, but it's difficult to recommend due to on-going security concerns. In the past IE has been a focus for security attacks, and there is little to suggest that this will change with newer releases of IE. Additionally, Microsoft has a poor track record for speedily fixing IE defects, and this has left users open to drive-by attacks and other forms of zero-day exploits. This has opened the door for a new set of browsers that are feature rich, very secure, and super fast.

When it comes to web browsers, everyone has an opinion.  Every web browser will have a specific feature set that appeals to some while not appealing to others.  The criteria used for selecting browsers in this review are the following:

  • Browser speed - How fast it can load a page.  Important in any browser, but not the only criterion for judgement.
  • Security - How well the browser can handle exploits in web coding as well as keeping your online information safe.
  • Ease of use - How intuitive and easy to use is the browser?
  • Feature set - What kind of features are available to enhance the browsing experience (Example:  Tabbed browsing, handling of bookmarks, etc.)?
  • Flexibility and Expandability -  Can the browser handle non-compliant HTML pages?  Is it expandable through add-on programs?  Does it display included content (such as flash video) properly?

When it comes right down to it, the best web browser is one that allows you to view the Web the way that YOU want.  The browsers listed below are, in this editor's opinion, some of the best at doing this by offereing ease of use, flexibility, expandability, security, and great feature sets, while simultaneously doing their prime function of displaying HTML pages.

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