Debate, and discuss, just dont Bore me.
No Right Answer
Published on March 17, 2011 By Dr Guy In Personal Computing

I have several browsers on my desktop.  I have XP at home (bought 3 years ago - BEFORE 7, and did not want Vista) so IE9 is not an option (work is Vista - I was right in my home purchase).  So I am using IE8 both at home and work.  When I use IE.  I have Firefox which is my browser of choice, Opera, Safari, and Chrome.

I know many will disagree with me, and that is fine, but my experiences show that no one is winning, just some are losing slower.

Opera is fine if all you want to do is read the news.  It is relatively fast, and clean.  for a quick hit, I like it, but seldom use it.

Safari is for Mac users.  Nothing wrong with the windows version - just not a lot right (like add ons and such).  It has not given me a reason to switch to it as a primary browser - or even secondary.  As such, I do not hate it, just do not use it.

Chrome is not fast.  I wonder if the FCC will nab them for false advertising.  Doubtful since it is free.  but the lack of speed has turned me off to it.  Like Opera, I use it on occasion, but it is not on the top of my browser list.

IE is fast launching.  It is also the browser of last resort (when the Stardock forums mess up, or a web page will not display correctly in other browsers, IE will work).  But it is not fast surfing.  And has one idiosyncrasy (actually 2) that I hate.

#1: when closing multiple tabs and windows, and saving them, relaunching IE brings them all up in one window.  Why? (Did 9 fix that?)

#2: More often than not, when closing said tabs, IE will "crash" and then open all the windows again - without asking.

#3 (well, I mis-counted) Windows does not recover from a non-shutdown crash with all tabs.

But on the good side, of my top 2 browsers, it is by far the most frugal with memory (I never thought I would say that!).  I had 2 windows and 12 tabs open the other day, and it was using only 100mb of memory (ONLY!!!!!  God we have come far).

Firefox is my browser of first choice.  I like the thousands of Add Ons I can choose to add (or not), the ease at which I can enable or disable them, and the fast browsing.  But it is not perfect.

#1: It is slow to launch - especially if there is an update.  But even without an update, it will take about 5 minutes where IE takes about 1.

#2: it is a memory HOG!  Same day, I also had Firefox up with 6 tabs open, one window.  It was pegging 500mb!  I frequently have to crash the browser as once it gets over 500mb (one system has 2gb the other has 4gb of memory so it does not appear to matter how much total memory there is), it dogs it.  But the crashing leads to the reason it is my main browser - namely:

#1: When you shut it down, and then relaunch, it does not open the Home pages PLUS the saved tabs (IE does thatt - and I have 3 home pages so it really clutters things up).

#2: When you crash it (or it does it to itself - it does not crash often), it will open the previous tabs in their respective windows - not all in one.  Often when IE crashes, your tabs are gone.

#3 - and the biggest reason I prefer it - it is not IE!  In that I mean you avoid the bugs that the script kiddies and malware authors love to exploit in IE (should Firefox become #1, I am sure they will target it and I will probably change my main browser).

But that brings up another thing that is not good about Firefox (version 3.x.x).  It does not allow you to "save" tabs when you have multiple windows open until you close the last one.  Unless you crash it.

Still, with all its faults (well not so many, just aggravating), Firefox is my browser of choice. 

Now before someone gets to calling me stupid for missing something obvious on a setting, I will admit that while I have poked around in the options, I am not an expert at them.  So if you know a setting that can ease my gripes about either IE or Firefox, I will be happy to hear them!  Or if you want to tout the wonders of another browser, tell me why it is your favorite.  I am not a browser snob.  I just want a tool that I do not have to crash periodically (Firefox) - or that crashes on me (IE).


Comments (Page 1)
on Mar 17, 2011

I have never used Opera, just don't hear enough "it's my browser of choice" comments to make me even want to install it. I have tried Safari just out of curiosity but don't know if it's because I am not a mac person of because it's nothing like Firefox but I don't like it. I have IE because, like you, when all others fail IE usually comes thru. But I hardly use it except at work where my portable Firefox abilities are somewhat limited due to restrictions at my job.

Firefox has been my browser for the past 3 maybe 4 years now. I have yet to find a browser that has all the add-ons I use on Firefox. I have tried Chrome and although kinda nice I don't like the way the add-ons are managed yet. I have a huge row of add-o icons at the top that I can't see to get rid of or organize properly and this is unnecessarily eating up real estate space to me. I have an add-on in Firefox called All-In-One sidebar where all my add-ons live hidden away until I call them up for use. Chrome currently does not have such an add-on which is one reason I am not using Chrome.

But that brings up another thing that is not good about Firefox (version 3.x.x). It does not allow you to "save" tabs when you have multiple windows open until you close the last one. Unless you crash it.

Not sure I understand what you mean by multiple windows. I only have 1 instance of Firefox with multiple tabs (my home page is set to 5 specific sites to open every time I start it) and I open and close tabs as needed. Firefox 3.xx gives me the option to save my currently open tabs when closing Firefox thru the options menu under tabs but I think you need the tab-mix-plus addon to make it work properly but Firefox 4.xx does not even with tabs-mix-plus. I was told this feature was removed because some people didn't like it or something. I don't get it, it's not like it was a "to bad you have no choice" option. You could disable it in the options menu after all. I truly miss it as I have to often close Firefox while at work because I sometimes end up with waaaay to many windows open due to the multiple softwares I use at work and when I have the urge to game at home I close it but I sometimes wanna go back to the tabs I had open before as soon as I start it up again. I can only get this feature now thru Session Manager but it requires a few extra clicks and extra screens to do so. Not a "death sentence" inconvenience but inconvenient none the less.

on Mar 17, 2011

I agree.

I find that Opera is not well supported (or vice-versa) on most websites I frequent. It's a shame too, it was the best 10+ years ago.

Not overly impressed with Safari but I like it better than IE just for ease of use.

Since v6 IE has become less intuitive and more "how do I?" I also find that 8 & 9 have download issues. Often (not always) I can start a download with IE and it seems to think I have 33K baud modem. While it's tooling along I can open FF3 and download the same file and a dozen others, go back and IE's till poking along so I know it's not a connection issue.

For me it's become Chrome vs. Firefox. Firefox wins with addons and stability.

The only reason I want to use Chrome is that I've become dependent on the Google Voice App w/Google talk plugin for my business phone. That means keeping voice and the associated gmail account open so I can use my headset and mic to make & receive calls. Firefox does this in their plugin-container which is a bit buggy at times. You don't know when the app has crashed until you try to make a call or get a emailed notice of voicemail. I would assume Chrome would handle this better but so far that really hasn't been the case.

My experience with Chrome includes lock ups at various and unexpected times and the Tab handling features really suck. Why you can't get Pin, Lock & Protect without trusting your personal info to someone in China is beyond me. I also prefer that my offsite links open in a new tab by default.

So I'll stick with FireFox and keep checking the updated Chrome releases until they get their act together.

on Mar 17, 2011

I gave up on IE about a year ago, and I have never looked back. IE is just so unstable and easy to crash, it isn't worth the trouble unless there is no other option, otherwise it is Firefox all the way, it is stable and if it should ever crash, I can just keep doing what I was doing before I was so rudely interrupted, and the add-ins are excellent.

on Mar 17, 2011

IE will launch quickly due to the fact it is built into the OS. I have noticed Firefox seems to take a bit to launch and is a memory hog. I hope this is fixed in Firefox 4. I like using Firefox due to the extensions that are offered.

on Mar 17, 2011

Not sure I understand what you mean by multiple windows.

I group my tabs by theme, so at times I will have 2 or 3 windows open each with multiple tabs.  If I go to close one of the windows it does not give me the option of saving the tabs (IE does).  It is only when the last window is closed do I get the option.

Not a "death sentence" inconvenience but inconvenient none the less.

Agreed - one of my gripes are death sentences - just a spoiled child that wants his wants when he wants them.

on Mar 17, 2011

Not overly impressed with Safari but I like it better than IE just for ease of use.

The one thing I have found about it was its speed.  It was the fastest of my browsers.  But yea, the lack of add ons.

The only reason I want to use Chrome is that I've become dependent on the Google Voice App w/Google talk plugin for my business phone.

Had not thought of that - I may open it and use it just for my gmail!  Thanks for that tip.

on Mar 17, 2011

Firefox all the way, it is stable and if it should ever crash, I can just keep doing what I was doing before I was so rudely interrupted, and the add-ins are excellent.

I think the firefox crashes are probably due to the versions (I am set to auto update).  It will start crashing on me and then I will get an update and it seems to go away.  I am on 3.6.15 now, but I do not remember 14 crashing too much.  However 11 and 12 did a lot (I think they skipped 13).

on Mar 17, 2011

kona0197
IE will launch quickly due to the fact it is built into the OS. I have noticed Firefox seems to take a bit to launch and is a memory hog. I hope this is fixed in Firefox 4. I like using Firefox due to the extensions that are offered.

I am with you on 4!  And I think you are right about IE and the OS.  Still, when you are at a customer site and need to open one quickly - IE is the one I bring up.  But only for a quick hit.  I have almost all my customers using Firefox mostly.

on Mar 17, 2011

I use Pale Moon (a faster FF) faultless and Opera 11.01.11 - really fast, no rendering problems. Rare 'crashes'.

on Mar 17, 2011

I really don't like some software that only works in IE, it should be standard for almost everything to work in FF by now (e-authentication for example).

on Mar 17, 2011

However 11 and 12 did a lot (I think they skipped 13)

Actually I downgraded from 15 to 12. It seems every version above 12 has issues with my Facebook games. While playing them the browser will freeze up. I have to reset my connection to the router to clear the mess up. 12 does not have any such issues. I tried Firefox 4 and it seems to not have any of those issues either.

on Mar 17, 2011

I just can't even try chrome just because...

Never tried Opera, Safari is okay, FF I have but it's only a backup browser (seems cool with all the add-ons and fluff, but...)

I have used IE for the most part and with a few exceptions, has been a dependable browser. I like the ability to manage add-ons, control cookies and customise my security settings. I can change/add/modify these settings pretty easy.

Often (not always) I can start a download with IE and it seems to think I have 33K baud modem.

not positive, but isn't your actual download speed subject to other factors as well. the speed of the site that you are accessing, network traffic and status of your provider's system.

on Mar 17, 2011

DrJBHL
I use Pale Moon (a faster FF) faultless and Opera 11.01.11 - really fast, no rendering problems. Rare 'crashes'.

Pale moon.....I will have to look into that one.  As for Opera - yea, I really do not have anything against it, just not a lot for it either.

on Mar 17, 2011

Heavenfall
I really don't like some software that only works in IE, it should be standard for almost everything to work in FF by now (e-authentication for example).

The IE monopoly came when IE crushed Netscape (and had about 90+% of the market).  Since then,even though there is a fight of it now, some web developers still write to IE and not to the standards.    I am not a web developer so I cannot say what the differences are, only that I have noticed them.

kona0197

However 11 and 12 did a lot (I think they skipped 13)
Actually I downgraded from 15 to 12. It seems every version above 12 has issues with my Facebook games. While playing them the browser will freeze up. I have to reset my connection to the router to clear the mess up. 12 does not have any such issues. I tried Firefox 4 and it seems to not have any of those issues either.

I guess I lucked out since I do not play Facebook games.

 

on Mar 17, 2011

I just can't even try chrome just because...

it's Google?  I know Starkers is avoiding it!

control cookies

I use a program from karen's Power Tools for that.  have been ever since the days of IE 5 and Netscape pre-oblivion.

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