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.
What 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 PCMag.com 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 Microsoft.com 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
- 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 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!)