Top Internet Search Tips – Part 3

This is the third post in our Top Internet Search Tips series. Click here for our first list of top search tips. Click here for our second list of search engine tips.

Today’s post focuses on some of the most popular ways you can use Google (and other search engines, such as Bing) to instantly get answers to many kinds of questions without needing to click through to another website.
Get real-time stock quotes with Google search engine
Here are 5 ways you can use search engines to get answers instantly…

1. Calculator: Need to do some math? Instead of using a hand-held calculator or opening up a calculator app, just type the equation into Google. Use the asterisk (*) to multiply and the slash (/) to divide. Examples: 2356*50= or 1994/12=. Equations can get more complex too: 100*3.14-cos(83)=.
2. Real-Time Stock Quotes: Enter the stock symbol any company (such as ELNK for EarthLink) and you’ll get the current stock price, gains or losses, opening, high and low prices, plus related links. Don’t know the symbol? Entering a company name followed by the words stock symbol typically gets you the same instant results.
3. Package Tracking: Want to know the delivery status of a FedX, UPS, or USPS package. Simply enter your tracking number directly into Google.
4. Dictionary & Synonyms: Look up the meaning of any word by typing define: immediately before the word. Example: define:abecedarian. To find synonyms for any word, type the tilde before the word. Example: ~arduous
5. Conversions: Google makes it easy to convert one kind of measurement to other, such as kilometers to miles, ounces to liters, kilograms to pounds. Just type in the number and units of measurement, like this: 10k to miles. So now you know that upcoming 10K race is exactly 6.21371192 miles.

Stay tuned to the EarthLink blog for even more search tips.

Upgrade Your Web Browser – Internet Explorer

Having a good dial-up or good high-speed Internet connection may be the first requirement for a good online experience, but the next is having a good web browser.

But what is a good web browser? The major browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) each have their vocal supporters and browser developers all claim to be fastest or have best features, so there’s no one definitive right answer.

Personally, I use all four of them, though I use Chrome most because it feels fastest to me, and Firefox next most because I have it customized with several extensions I really like.

New web browsers are betterWhat I can say for sure is that having a new web browser is better than having an old one. Across the board, the latest versions of these browsers have been optimized for speed and stability, give you better online security, and offer cool new features.

Here’s an overview of Internet Explorer 9, the latest from Microsoft. Stay tuned for upcoming posts about the other new browsers.

What the Experts Think about Internet Explorer 9 (IE9)

The editors at gave IE9 4 out of 5 stars, writing that it was “a major improvement over its predecessor,” praising the browser for being “faster, trimmer, more compliant with HTML5.”

CNET editors called IE9 “the best version of IE to date,” giving it 4.5 stars (Outstanding). They highlighted the “zippy browsing speeds, minimalist layout, and innovative features.”

What Microsoft Thinks about IE9

Naturally, they like it. And they agree with CNET that it’s their best browser ever. The site has a comprehensive chart comparing the IE9 browser to IE8 and IE7 based on 29 features. Incredibly, 24 of those 29 features are either new or improved. (Click the other tab at the top of the chart to see Microsoft’s comparison of IE9 to other browser competitors.)

Top Browser Features & Benefits

  • Speed – New hardware acceleration for text, graphics and video make IE9 much faster. Video, especially, runs smoother in the new browser. Sites using a lot of JavaScript run noticeably faster. The new browser is also faster to install.
  • Simplicity – Like Chrome, IE9 now has only one box to use for both navigation (typing in URLs) and search. They call it…One Box. It’s a much simpler way to surf. One Box also features auto-complete and search suggestions (which you can disable if you like).
  • Security – Web threats are a growing concern and IE9’s new SmartScreen Filter helps you fight these threats with built in tools to prevent phishing (online fraud), reputation alerts for high-risk downloads, and malware that can harm your computer.

 One other cool new feature getting a lot of attention is called Pinned Sites, which lets you “pin” your favorite sites right onto your Windows taskbar for fast, easy access.  Simply click on the icon to the left of the web address in your One Box and drag it to the taskbar on your computer.

How do you know which version you have?

In IE7 and IE8, press ALT+H on your keyboard and then click About Internet Explorer. If you already have IE9, you’ll find the About Internet Explorer menu after you click the Tools Internet Explorer tools icon icon .

If you use an older version of Internet Explorer, we encourage you to upgrade for a better online experience. Unfortunately, if you also have an older operating system, you may not be able to. IE9 is currently available for Windows Vista and Windows 7 only (no Windows XP).

Upgrade Your Internet Explorer Web Browser Now. (It’s Free!)