Ask dotTechies: What Internet web browser do you (mainly) use?

Firefox is, more or less, known as the browser which initiated the browser wars. However, now with so many browsers out there, many users are using different browsers. So the query is simple. What internet browser do you mainly use?

[poll id=”2″]

After you vote, feel free to post a comment below saying which one you use and why you use it so we can get a good idea of why people use what.

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77 comments

  1. mildpat

    Chrome is the best browser I’ve found for speed and user friendliest, but they just don’t play nice with the rest of the web.
    I had to go to IE just to see this page correctly.
    I’m hoping to finda replacement here.

  2. Opie

    Opera
    It has many great options. Easy to use,
    easy to set up. Speed dial is great. Can add
    your own buttons to tool bar for customizing.
    Ability to right click on web pages to enable
    site preferences. Its just easy without having
    to add plug in after plug in. Very rarely have
    I had to add anything to this. Great speed
    too :)

  3. Rob

    @Samuel:
    Actually I noticed that they have been enhancing IE7Pro to work with IE8. However I believe the one bit they have not got working yet is the auto restore of previous session Tabs.
    When they get that working, I will switch to IE8.

  4. Samuel

    @Rob:
    No problem.
    Ok.
    Yes I manually click it. The only way to have IE8 on its own ask if you want to restart a session is to force it close, that is if u kill the main IE process the next time you start up IE it will ask you that.
    I do too, but you could just have them all set as Home Pages (type one URL per line in the textbox for home pages, it then opens each in its own tab).
    I never have pages open in new windows so I havn’t had that problem.
    I happen to use IE7Pro, though I use it with IE8 and it works fine. I plan to write a review for dotTech on it, havn’t had the time though. I don’t use its tab recovery but thats more because the only time I use it is when IE crashes and in that case its own auto recovery works fine.

  5. Rob

    @Samuel:
    Thanks for responding.
    I had tripped over the Show Google(Home Page) on New Tabs setting.
    On your last point, are you saying that you manually click the restore option ?
    I knew about that, but I wanted it to do it automatically.
    I always keep some Tabs open (with the intention of actioning them later). So it is a bit of a pain, to tell it every time, to reopen them.
    Not to mention that something might fire up a new window (which can happen, even if you have set every setting that you can find to prevent it).
    If you don’t notice that other window, and you close the main window first, it could happen that it’s memory of your last main session, is gone forever.
    If you have found a way for it doing it automatically, I would appreciate it.
    In the meantime, I have installed IE7, and IE7Pro (free), which does the auto restore that I need, and adds great crash recovery, etc.

  6. Samuel

    @Rob:
    To change what page opens by defualt in IE8 for new tabs go to the Tab settings on the General Tab of IE Settings.
    As to the Restoreing seesions, I use the restore feature. You can get it either from the about:Tabs page or from Tools>Reopen Last Browser Seesion. In fact I used it on the IE instance I’m writing this on!

  7. calebstein

    I use Firefox 3.7 latest trunk. I used to use Safari but Firefox was just faster, more customizable, and better. Google Chrome is plain evil as it sends what you type in the address bar to Google BEFORE you press enter.

  8. normofthenorth

    I think I can synchronize my bookmarks between Opera and other browsers by using Linkman Free. It is an extra step, though, and Opera is (again!) less well integrated than IE & FF. . . But I think it works.

    Norm

  9. Leland

    I use Firefox 3.5.x myself though I supplement that with occasional use of Opera 10, Google Chrome and Maxthon. Lunascape seems like a good idea with weird execution in that it can not use Firefox extensions when using the gecko engine; I just found myself unable to like it despite having multiple engines. Firefox with IE Tab takes care of most the multi-engine needs I have. Google Chrome beta seems quite interesting in that there is now a beta of Xmarks that works with it so my Firefox and Chrome have the same bookmarks. In fact due to Xmarks I can have my bookmarks the same in most any browser except Opera. That to me is the most important issue in switching between browsers.

  10. Dave

    Maxthon – the favourites display is far neater than Firefox’s or IE’s. I want multi-column. And it must be Roboform compatible- which Opera isn’t and won’t be.

    Maxthon will soon be dual engine, but after v2.1.5 it lost the ‘frame’… losing compatibility with certain other features.

    Firefox has a couple of annoying crash modes. I got fed up with that. A browser should be non-intrusive.

    Very promising: Lunascape- 3 engines! – trident, webkit, gecko. If you really need that kind of thing.

  11. Rob

    I found a blog by the IE team where they were patting themselves on the back (should be a bit lower), and I found where they had hidden away the Tab settings, so I can now get a new Tab to show Google.

    If I cannot solve the ‘reopen last session’ problem, i will whip it out (IE8), and install IE7.
    From memory it needed a good beating as well (by using IE7Pro)

  12. Rob

    I need help.
    I decided to take my own advice (regarding IE8) and install it.
    (If I later wish to image my hard drive, I will first uninstall IE8, so that XP Repair Install will work properly).
    After I installed it, to my shock and horror, I find that it does not start a new session, by re-opening previously open Tabs.
    People have written to MS, and they say all you have to do is to go to the Tools menu, and click reopen the last session.
    I would like to tell the Tools where to go.
    Am I missing a setting somewhere, or have the idiots not provided this feature ?

    Also when I open a new Tab, I keep getting –
    “What do you want to do next?”
    I want it to open up with Google search page.
    I have set that as my Home page, yet it appears that I have to click the ‘Home’ icon each time.
    Am I missing a setting somewhere, or have the idiots not provided this feature ?

    Color me furious or confused

  13. Mags

    I use FireFox predominantly! I have IE, 8 but use it only when I have to (i.e. when a site won’t work unless one used IE) and for checking compatibility when designing web sites. I also have Opera, but also for just checking compatibility.

    I started (ahem…way back when) using Mozilla Netscape, back when Windows 3.1 was the current Windows OS of the day. Eventually I switched to Firefox after Netscape was sold to AOL.

    I never did like IE.

  14. a simple happy man

    Salam Ashraf and everyone

    IE came with my pc and as it’s my first and I didn’t know diddley squat about anything to do with pc’s (and still don’t really when I measure what I have learned against all there is out there to still learn) so I just used that.

    I’ve tried Firefox, but it doesn’t quite feel right (to me) and I do like IE’s interface over Firefox’s.

    Also a lot of the visual aspects on Firefox seem more “younger generation” to me, so I guess I’ve moved into the older and more senior area of life and may be more set in my ways and decidely much more mainstream than I ever thought I was or would like to admit (but then I just have)

    I think a bit of group confession therapy I never thought I’d take part in just happened too

    Anyway I hope to eventually try all the others, but I am too busy with a lot of other things on my plate to experiment in that way at the moment.

  15. Mr.J

    Opera is wonderful enough for me. Sleek interface, built-in features like integrated mouse gesture, download manager, torrent downloader, feed reader, e-mail, chat, etc…, and the newest “Opera Unite” platform.
    I’m satisfied :)!

  16. Jenny

    Opera, ever since Netscape Navigator went out and Netscape Communicator (HUGE) came in. Was on old Win95 computer, dial-up, and Internet Explorer tried to eat the hard drive daily. NN had built in email prog, so the switch to Opera was easy :)

    Always amuses me when Firefox is being touted as having a bunch of “new” “cool” functions or add-ons, because Opera usually did them at least 2 years previously, and with no big “look at me” noise about it ;)

    I love how I (not particularly technical) can customise how Opera functions and looks, and their community is particularly helpful.

  17. normofthenorth

    I would use Firefox if it ever became as user-friendly as Opera. FF add-ons are obviously more varied and numerous than Opera’s gizmos, but they still don’t duplicate the Opera setups that have spoiled me.

    Opera’s MHT treatment, its built-in RSS feeds, treatment of downloads, “Speed Dial”, navigation among too many tabs, hotkeys for zooming and navigating, etc., etc., are all better (IMHO) than anything offered as FF add-ins (so far!).

    (Search through FF’s add-on’s for “Opera” and you’ll see how many programmers have tried to duplicate the user-friendly Opera experience — sometimes without total success!)

    I’ve switched to FF for 6 or 9 months at a time, mostly because some sites still don’t work with Opera, even v.10. Now I’ve got a stripped-down (only a few tabs open) version of FF available if I’ve got to use gmail online, and I sometimes use Chrome when YouTube is misbehaving with Opera.

    I take my small conveniences seriously, which is why I like Opera, because they do too! (That’s also why I’m now addicted to Thinkpad keyboards, because that “stupid” little red “eraser” joystick (T (TrackPoint) turns out to be the best invention ever, at least for a touch typist who likes to scroll up and down and sideways a lot!

    Opera’s the best for me, but it’s not for everybody — at least not ’til its add-ons become more like FF’s, and not ’til it can consistently handle everybody’s web pages.

  18. Steve

    With all this browser talk, I thought I’d check winupdates.

    For those of you that have automatic updates turned off…….

    There is an update (kbid=976749) that came out Tuesday 11/3 for Internet Explorer that resolves issues that occur after you apply security update 974455 (MS09-054)

    You can either let winupdates do it for you or go here for your version:
    http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=976749

  19. Jeanjean

    @ Rob
    I forgot to clarify this :
    The PC can “die” in 2 ways: either due to a virus (for example) or due to a technical problem.
    In the first case, using EAZ-FIX, I will have no difficulty (in principle) to repair and I will not even need the image.
    In the second case only, your advice will be very useful to me.

  20. Samuel

    Because I’m feeling lazy I’m going to copy a post I did in the Forums on why I use IE:
    “…
    Yes, I still use IE. I know I’m a bad geek.
    Well Safari I don’t use because Apple software is never good on a windows machine, though that doesn’t surprise me. Chrome is missing too many features of other browsers still and I think a lot of its speed is theoretical, after all most JavaScript now is used for AJAX, meaning it’s going to be slowed down by the call backs anyway.
    Now you have the big one left, Firefox. I have it on my system, though that’s more for test that web pages work in it as well as IE. For starters, I don’t like its interface, though that’s purely a personal thing. In addition, I keep my web browser open constantly, with at least four tabs and Firefox’s memory leaks start to show.
    Back to IE, yes I like its interface. Now I admit there are some things missing from it, mostly grease monkey scripts and a download manager, but I got this lovely add on called IE7Pro (works with 8 too though) which adds to IE a download manager and user scripts as well as some other nice features. I know Firefox is supposed to be faster the IE, but I don’t see it. At best case they’re the same, worst case I find IE to be faster, at least on my machine. Finally, although I suspect this will be fixed soon, being on Windows 7, only IE8 so far uses 7’s features. I do use Firefox though, hilariously enough, for one website, Apple.com that seems to always crash IE!
    …”

  21. Albi

    Hello,
    I’ve started using Firefox almost 3 years ago, and since then I’ve used IE only maybe 4-5 times…:) With Firefox I’ve had less infections, and the browsing experience has been great. I’ve used Firefox as my default browser, and in IE I have changed security settings, such as, put security HIGH, and privacy MEDIUM HIGH, and also uninstalled adobe flash player plugin for IE and left only the one used for Firefox. Another advantageous aspect of Firefox is that you can use some indispensable add-ons, like NoScript WOT, McAfee SiteAdvisor, Finjan Secure Browsing, BetterPrivacy, AdBlock Plus and some others. However, personally I use v 3.0.15 instead of v.3.5, because I find it better and with less problems than 3.5 THere are no perfect browsers but for me Firefox is the safest among all.
    Cheers

  22. embee

    My favourite is something I learned about just a few months ago. It’s called Lunascape and is now on Version 5.1.6. It’s at: http://www.lunascape.tv

    It incorporates the Trident, Gecko, and Webkit engines in one slick UI. All of these work extremely well. The only downside is that it doesn’t support Firefox extensions.

    Interestingly, and for reasons unknown, serious problems I was having with MSIE 8 and Chrome disappeared after I installed Lunascape.

    My second choice is Firefox, though solely for some of its extensions.

    Unfortunately for me, several clients I access via Citrix portals require MSIE only. Although Lunascape displays the sites correctly in IE mode and the passwords work, the security tokens don’t get through.

  23. Mike

    I must say, I use and enjoy Firefox (latest edition), but I still get frustrated when it won’t work with a mainstay webpage and I need to fall back to IE8 to use on the page. IMHO, FF needs to “finalize” itself as a mainstay browser without a user having to try to devise solutions for issues.

  24. Richio

    I switched from IE to Firefox 3.x when multiple instances (or even tabs) of IE began crashing. Even reinstalling it did not fix the problem. Interestingly, I noticed in Task Manager that Firefox runs as only one instance no matter how many tabs or browsers are open.

    I really like being able to close the browser and have it restore my tabs the next time.

    It took awhile to get used to the Firefox bookmarks, but I love the Add-ons. Favorite Add-ons: Tab Mix Plus, SmoothWheel (AMO), QuickPageZoom, OpenBook, History Submenues, Fox Tab, and of course, Cooliris.

    Interclue, Domain Details, and View Source Chart are useful for those who want to know the technical aspects of sites they visit.

  25. awisdom01

    I use IE8 when necessary (some sites I visit require IE), but mainly use Firefox. My personal favorite is Enigma because it is so very fast, but I cannot get it set as my default browser; Firefox overrides the default setting somehow.

  26. Jack

    I have both Firefox and IE8. i like Firefox because I can have it my way.Meaning i can have the browser all black. that’s the visual. inside it’s faster than IE8 i like being able to have things look and feel the way i use them. with IE8 it just looks boring.they wont let you custom it. as for Safari and Chrome the same very boring. the last time I used safari the way it saved BM’s drove me nuts.

  27. Rob

    @Jeanjean:
    I use the Seagate Disc Wizard (free if you have a detectable Seagate drive connected. Even an external one will suffice to keep the wizard happy).
    If you have IE7 or IE8, I would uninstall them prior to creating an image.
    Then if you do need to do a Repair Install, you should be ok.

  28. Steelers6

    I have to say that I have been using Internet Explorer for many years. The reason was because I had used it for so many years it was easy for me.

    I recently became frustrated with all of the problems with Internet Explorer crashing and freezing so I tried FireFox.

    Wow, FireFox has so much more to offer, it is lightweight and does not crash like IE 8. I still use IE 8 as I transition to FireFox but I can honestly say that FireFox is far superior to IE 8 in the short time that I have used it.

    I really love all of the addons available as well.

    Thanks for another great post.

    Vidimo Se!

  29. Sandeep

    I only use Firefox as it is much more secure and faster than IE. Also its really simple to use. I tried to go with OPERA few bays back but i didn’t find it easy to use as compared to firefox. The only little problem with Firefox is that it opens after 15-20 seconds on first running it.

  30. Steve

    I have three, but voted for FF3x:
    FF 3.5.4
    Chrome 3.0.195.27
    IE 7.0.5730.13

    And use them in that order. The DW stays with IE.

    Originally I went with FF because of the security issues with IE6.
    I feel the security issues with IE are not as bad as they once were, but I’ve grown accustom to FF and stay with it. I probably won’t go to IE8 until 9 comes out.

    While surfin with FF or Chrome some pages will open in IE, and WinUpdate won’t allow updates thru other browsers. :(

    Chrome was an aberration I had last year, and is kept as backup.
    I do like its tab, and bookmark functions better than FF.

    At times I will have all three open at once, and have had no problems.

  31. Shi

    IE crashes way to frequently. Have tried Opera Avant Chrome. They ok but found firefox worked the best on my system. Although firefox gets slowed down after a while, I found a few tips to help make it run fast again. I like add-ons because you can customise to what you want use.

  32. hahaguy

    Mainly…Firefox but I do have the other browsers installed..

    Opera tends not to display some sites properly for me…

    Google Chrome…lack of customizabilty although they are starting to have add-ons

    Safari…on a Mac, it might be good but on Windows, it still have not met with my expectations.

    I have tried a lot…including K-Meleon, Maxthon, CometBird, Wyzo, etc…

    But always go back to Firefox :)

    And yeah, almost forgot…IE, let’s just say we all know how good/bad it is..

  33. Rob

    @Josh:
    In my post #6 above I mention why I avoid IE7 and IE8 (they cause problems if I do a Repair Install).
    I have browsed the ‘World Browser’ web site but cannot find an answer to this question –
    Which version of the IE engine does it use ?

  34. redmaledeer

    K-meleon for its speed with my dial-up. Also I like its simplicity.

    Has anyone noticed the Iron browser? It’s essentially Chrome (which is open source), but with better security built in.

  35. Josh

    No one browser is perfect. Use The World browser for fast launching and quick searches. Firefox 2 with plug-ins/add-ons for serious browsing/downloading and IE6 with 3rd party utilities when nothing else wants to do a particular job. Opera is nice, but a problem with some websites. Don’t like Google’s insistence on looking over my shoulder. FF3 and IE7+ need to mature a bit. No sense in having heavy browsers for fast surfing and being saddled with other snags. Other browsers are just variations and, in real terms, offer little more than I already have.

  36. Tortuga

    Hey there Silly ;)

    Whassup w the site?? A few hrs ago I saw an entry arrive at my RSS widget thingy about Which browser dotTechies use, but when I arrived at the site only got «the page does not existe» 8O even after refreshing multiply times!! :?
    So I was thinking *we was robbed* ArkArkArk

    BTW, the scrolling window on the front page is quite nice indeed :-D
    But why does it not scroll on the Review pages? :(

    ********************
    About browser choices: Pity we can only pick one …
    * Mostly FF 3.0.15 (as Rose said, can’t upgrade to 3.6, still too many addons not yet compatible)
    * Still use FF2 for certain things
    * Chrome 4.0.220.1 (Dev.channel for the add-ons) for all Google Apps
    * IE7 for MS updates only

    Tell us, which do you use??

  37. Matt

    Like BDKnut, I use Opera too (gosh, I think I´ve used it for a decade already!). It is, without a doubt, THE fastest browser, specially for those persons (like me) that keep 50+ pages opened. Anyway, there are times where some pages do not load correctly (banking and institutional). Then, I go to Firefox. If all fails, M$ Expl*rer!

    Greetings!

  38. Jacques Turbé

    Dropped IE years ago (IE6 !)
    Had some short trials with Opera
    Have sticked for years to FF,
    My first try with Chrome was awfull (many freezes),
    some months ago, I went back to Chrome and never have quitted since :

    lightning fast, the few plugins features I regularly used with FF are available in Chrome,
    my FF javascript bookmarlets work even faster with Chrome,
    and as one said upper, I enjoy its minimalistic UI.
    Most of my bookmarks are in my database (PersonalBrain 5): as soon as clicked in Brain, the page is opened in Chrome (at least, most of them !)

  39. TGS

    I separate out my browsers for time management purposes. It’s easy to see where my time-wasting goes to when I crunch my data.

    2% of my time with IE7 for a browser game I use – there are compatibility issues with the particular old javascript it uses.
    66% of my time with Google Chrome for ‘fun’ browsing – like the GOTD site
    32% I use Firefox for study/work – the screen capture plugins (fireshot) and citations plugins (Zotero) are what I most value about Firefox but I think it’s slow and prefer the Chrome rendering of pages.

  40. BDKnut

    Opera 99% of time, with Opera@USB on my USB :) stick …
    But because I’m lazzy, I use Google Chrome too, with several pages automatically opened on my Google News, Agenda & Docs … plus one in Facebook …
    And I use IE8 only for some sites who are not working well with Opera (banking & institutional with account login)

  41. sago

    I use IE8 with Chrome as a backup..I have tried Firefox,Maxthon all ok but am more comfortable with IE8.So far I havent had any probs and IE only gets better.Firefox users seems to be over the top with so much praise for FF. So much zeal, hmm makes me wonder??

  42. John C

    I’m a long (long!) time user of Firefox and still use it as my principal browser at work. However at home, where I use a 6 year old laptop, I principally use Chrome because it’s *much* faster to startup than FF (even FF without addins, and yes, SpeedyFox did *significantly* improve FF startup on my home machine), uses far less memory, and as for the javascript engine… there are many javascript heavy sites that I can’t even *open* with FF – my machine just grinds to a halt, LOL, but with Chrome I can not only load them but *use* them too :-)

  43. Jaap

    On 5 of my pc’s (even on the iMac!) I use Firefox 3.x, because of the addons. Only on an old laptop I use Chrome. Chrome seems to be a lot faster than Firefox, but I use Xmarks to synchronise my bookmarks and there is still no good version of Xmarks for Chrome…

  44. Rob

    For those using IE7 or IE8 in XP.
    Do you image your hard drive ?
    If your PC dies, do you have a dream of being able to restore that image into your new PC ?
    That is possible you know, by NOT booting into the new PC, until you first use your XP CD to do a repair install.
    That repair will allow XP to correct all the drivers to match the new PC.
    However be warned, that the repair will partially be a mess, because the XP repair process cannot handle IE7 or IE8.
    It is for this reason that I no longer use IE7 IE8

  45. Mordaunt

    Given the obvious popularity of firefox I’ve tried it on several occasions but always return to IE: currently IE8. Opera 10 is perhaps even better than both IE and Firefox, however, the lack of support for Opera is quite baffeling! Perhaps “age” also explains my preferances!!