FreeFile Review – 2011 Big Browser Round-Up

With both Firefox and Internet Explorer releasing major upgrades in March, I thought now would be a good time to test them both and give Chrome another look.

Internet Explorer 9 was up first. Things started going downhill during the installation. Even though I had all programs closed, the installer insisted on closing 7 background programs. This list included Microsoft’s antivirus program – Security Essentials. That’s right, IE 9 shut off my antivirus protection to install itself. My second issue with IE 9 was with importing of bookmarks. I have a large collection of bookmarks, arranged in folders. Internet Explorer would import only a small percentage of the bookmarks and most of the ones that were imported were pulled out of their folders(the folders were not imported). The most serious strike against IE 9 is that it is only available for Windows 7; all earlier versions of Windows, including XP, cannot use IE 9. Overall, IE 9 seemed to perform well – it never crashed or had any page rendering issues. The interface is quite stripped down and atractive, but I cannot recommend IE 9.

Firefox 4 jumps on the minimalization bandwagon by replacing the Menu Bar with a single button and disabling the Status Bar by default. Those are the major interface changes and both are easily reversed, if you prefer a look more like Firefox 3. Another major upgrade is the improved Add-ons Manager. Firefox 4 seems faster and it did not crash. Of course, extensions are the reason to use Firefox. All of my extensions from FF3 were available on FF4, and I found 2 more I had to have. If you like to browse your way, Firefox is the browser for you. With a large library of extensions, themes and other add-ons, Firefox can be personalized like no other browser.

Last year, I gave Chrome a very poor review. I decided to give Chrome 10 another shot. Speed is still Chrome’s strong suit. I did not experience the crashes that had occurred frequently last year. My major complaint with Chrome is the lack of customization. This has not changed since last year. Almost nothing on the interface can be altered and the selection of extentions is pathetic. Chrome takes the minimalization to the extreme – the Home Button, Bookmarks Bar and Status Bar are all disabled by default. The Home Button, Bookmarks Bar can be enabled, the Status Bar cannot. Chrome’s worst feature may be the Downloads Bar. It is 2 or 3 times the size of a standard bar, it is activated and animated with every download and it cannot be disabled. I just realized that Chrome is the browser equivelant of OSX – do it their way or don’t do it at all. My opinion of Chrome is much improved due solely to the improved reliability.

– – The Bottom Line – –

Firefox 4 is the best of the lot. Speed and reliablity have improved and it offers the most personal browsing experience. Chrome is the right choice if the lack of customization is not important. I can’t recommend Internet Explorer 9.

Download Firefox 4 HERE or Chrome HERE.

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2 Responses to “FreeFile Review – 2011 Big Browser Round-Up”

  1. 1 Simon May 27, 2020 at 1:10 am

    Google Chrome is the worst internet Browser ever I’ve have had experience.
    It crashed many times & I’ve lost lots of my info due to the same issues.
    I never suggest anyone use it. there are many out there such as; FireFox, Edge, ie, . . . etc.

  1. 1 Is Chrome The Worst Browser Ever? « Trackback on March 28, 2011 at 6:08 pm

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