Fun With Browsers? Seriously?
Absolutely. If you aren’t having fun with your browser, well, you aren’t using the right browser.
The Internet browser you use can have a huge impact on how you see the Internet, interact with the Internet, and live with the Internet. Most people don’t give their browsers a thought. If you have a computer running Windows, then Internet Explorer came pre-loaded on your computer and you are probably using it without any problems. But there are good reasons why you should pay attention to which browser you are using and take a more active role in your Internet experience.
What Is an Internet Browser?
The definition of an Internet browser, according to Wikipedia, is “A web browser or Internet browser is a software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web.” In more simple terms, it’s what you use to surf the web.
Why Should I Care Which Browser I Use?
Big differences exist between the different browsers and you might find one that works much better for you than what you’re using now. Even if you like what you’re using now, you may not have the latest version of your browser and updating your browser will give you added security and functionality. In other words, an updated browser will be safer and easier to use.
What Browser Am I Using Now?
If you don’t know, chances are you are using Internet Explorer. Look at the very top of your computer screen and it will tell you. To find out which version of Internet Explorer you are using, press ALT + H in any open window of your browser. At the top, click on About Internet Explorer and you will see what version you are using. The latest version is Internet Explorer Version 8 and if you’re not using this version you should upgrade. Here is a website showing how a web page looks different on Internet Explorer 8 versus past versions of Internet Explorer: Internet Explorer web pages.
What Are My Choices of Browsers?
Internet Explorer is the most popular browser used today, but its market share is fading. Other browsers offer some nifty features that you might like and could make Internet surfing a whole lot more fun for you.
The top browsers besides Internet Explorer are Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari. There are others, but the more obscure you get with browsers, the greater the chances are that you will have problems loading websites onto the browser.
How Do I Choose a New Browser?
Browsers are free to download and you can have fun exploring the various browser choices. You might find one that suits your needs to a T and enjoy your web surfing a whole lot more. Feel free to download Firefox, Chrome, and Safari and play with them to see which one you like best. You may find out you want to stick with Internet Explorer after you check out the others, but at least you know why you like Internet Explorer better than the other browsers. To download a browser, click on the underlined name of the browser above and you will be taken to the Download page. Click Download Now and wait until the file downloads. Then follow the instructions on the website to install the browser on your computer.
What’s Your Favorite Browser?
My favorite browser is Mozilla Firefox. I like it because I can customize my browser with Add-ons. Think of Add-ons like apps on a smart phone, except the Add-ons for Firefox are all free (though they do accept donations). An example of an Add-on for Firefox is Adblock Plus. If you add Adblock Plus to your Firefox browser, it will block ads from appearing on websites. No more distractions from dancing images as you are trying to read a web page! My entire web experience is so much better because the pages I open have lots of white space where the ads would be.
What Sort of Add-ons Are Available?
There are Add-ons for just about every use, including changing the colors on your browser, adding security for surfing the web, maximizing the performance of your computer, downloading photos and video from the web, playing music, connecting to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and many other uses. In fact, there are over 2 billion Add-ons available for Firefox.
No need to be overwhelmed though. It’s easy to search for Add-ons you want by searching for them in Google, such as “top Firefox security Add-ons” or “best music Firefox Add-ons.” Add-ons get stars and reviews, just like products on Amazon or apps in the App Store, so read the reviews to see if the Add-on works well.
How Do I Get an Add-on?
To get an Add-on, open your newly installed Firefox browser and find the Tools button at the top. Click on it and then click Add-ons. Then click Get Add-ons. This allows you to search for Add-ons. When you search for an Add-on, Firefox will suggest other similar Add-ons and show you their stars so you can compare which is the best for your needs. I always go to the Add-on’s website to see if there are any instructions on how to use the Add-on. If you like what you see, then click Add to Firefox. The Add-on will be added to your browser the next time you open Firefox.
Don’t add all 2 billion Add-ons, though. Add-ons are working in the background when you have Firefox open so you will slow down your computer if you overload Firefox with Add-ons. But loading up to ten Add-ons shouldn’t have a noticeable effect on the speed of your browsing.
The browser you use can make a big difference in the way you use the Internet. Give Mozilla Firefox a try and sample some Add-ons. You may never browse the Internet the same way again!
Do you have a browser you love? Any Add-ons you would recommend? Let us know in the Comments section!
I just found this great video by Google on You Tube that does a beautiful job explaining browsers in a little over a minute.