The internet, the information highway, the World Wide Web… all different names for the same thing – a global system of interconnected computer networks. And Internet browsers are the software applications that enable you to browse this “web” of computers, locating, accessing, and displaying web pages.The internet is so ingrained in our daily computing that we don’t give it much thought. We use it for email, online banking, recipes, checking the time of a local movie, watching a funny video or keeping in touch with friends and family. And when it comes to your business, what would you do without it? We use the internet to connect our different locations to the business system, to send and receive data, to connect with our customers and vendors… the list goes on and on.
And just as we take the internet for granted, we don’t give a second thought to the browser that makes it possible. While all internet browsers provide access to the internet, selecting a fast and secure browser ensures a safe and enjoyable online experience.
The three most commonly used browsers are Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Internet Explorer is still the most used – no surprise since it comes as the default browser on most Windows PCs. But Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are gaining ground fast!
Since browser performance can vary from site to site, some people use different browsers depending on which websites they are visiting. For example, your online banking website might work best on Internet Explorer, while Google Chrome may offer a better basic web browsing experience.
Be aware – not all browsers are created equal. Each browser has the potential to display web pages differently, and performance varies – sometimes greatly – between them. Here are a few things to consider when choosing an internet browser:
Features & functions – A web browser should provide practical, convenient features that make surfing the web easy and fast. For instance, a browser should offer tabbed browsing, a customizable toolbar and an integrated search engine. The ability to create bookmarks to save time is also an important feature.
Speed & Compatibility – Web browsers should load quickly and be compatible with all major operating systems. A top internet browser will quickly load and navigate between pages.
Security – Online security is always a concern so you’ll want security features such as privacy settings, a pop-up blocker and anti-spyware to help keep your personal information safe and secure.
Ease of Use – The best internet browsers are those that strike a seamless balance between features and ease of use. While features on a web browser are important, they are worthless if a browser’s interface hinders your ability to utilize them. Web browsers should have an intuitive layout with simple navigation.
NOTE: If you are still using a PC that is running the Windows XP operating system, you should NOT use the Internet Explorer browser. The end-of-life date for the Windows XP operating system has passed which means there are no updates or fixes for that operating system and that includes older versions of Internet Explorer. Using an out-of-date version of Internet Explorer on a Windows XP PC will increase your overall browsing risks.
As always, the DIS Response Line is here to answer any questions you may have about browser compatibility with your DIS Business System. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.