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Moving on from Internet Explorer

Mark Feltwell Mark Feltwell - 26 June 2018

Internet Explorer (IE) by Microsoft is a classic web browser released as an add on to Windows 95 in that same year. Originally, as one of the most widely used web browsers, with a peak of 95% market share by 2003, it’s only main rival was Netscape. As it still comes preinstalled on windows PCs nearly everyone has used the browser.

In more recent years we have seen the likes of Firefox and Chrome takeover the reigns and fast become the leaders in web browsing.

But IE works fine on my PC, doesn’t it?

Yes, you can still use IE on your PC, but have you ever noticed websites looking like they’ve not been built well? Links broken and images not fitting in a layout you would expect to see? Over the years, IE has been subject to a number of bugs, performance problems and most shockingly, security issues. Less than 10% of surfers are using IE these days. Here we explain why you should consider upgrading to a new browser.

1.  Microsoft no longer supports older versions of IE.

The creators of IE, Microsoft, stopped supporting versions 7, 8, 9 and 10 way back in Jan 2016. That means this will no longer be updated with patches or security updates, making your previous PC more vulnerable to viruses and malware. No more patches means no more fixes to the software, so these versions will never get any better.

Officially, Microsoft still support the latest version, IE11, however this was released way back in Oct 2013. It’s not a new browser by any means. They suggest on their own website’s support page to upgrade to their new browser, Microsoft Edge. But hold your horses just a second, before you march on over to download it.

2.  Websites don’t appear as they should!

Web designers spend many hours to craft code that makes a website look pleasing to the eye and attract more traffic for their clients. Web browsers then take the code and interpret that to visually display the website. Most of them will do this in the same, if not a similar way by comply with W3C web standards – but not Internet Explorer.

Your company’s website may look great on your web browser, but your clients may be looking at it from an older, less compliant browser meaning that your website could be displaying completely differently, showing information in the wrong places.

To battle this, web developers often have to write extra code just for IE users to make sure that this doesn’t happen and that’s not always a solid solution. It’s also not good on cost, paying extra cash for development that shouldn’t really be necessary.

3.  It slows you down

Ever sat there just waiting for a website to load, but it just sits there… making… you… wait…? Quite often, people will stop visiting sites if they take more than 4 seconds to load, 25% of users actually.

Even the latest version or IE isn’t quite up to the benchmark when compared with more modern browsers.

www.toptenreviews.com mentioned “It takes longer to load full pages and navigate between sites than with other browsers.”

I’m not sure what browser I am using…

That’s ok, just head on over to www.whatismybrowser.com and that will tell you the browser and version you’re currently using.

Ok… You’ve convinced me. Which browser should I use?

There are some really good choices for web browsers currently, your choice should be down to what operating system you’re using as well as what features you most want to get out of it. The most popular options today are Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.

It couldn’t be simpler to change over. Click one of the download links below to begin, follow the steps and let it do the work for you.

Chrome

Being the most widely-used browser, it’s a solid, reliable choice. It’s fast and works on pretty much any device. It supports a ton of different extensions and customizations like ad blockers, password manager, and productivity tools. The trade-off is that it can be more resource-heavy than other browsers.

Works on: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome OS

Link

Firefox

Another solid choice that works on just about any platform. After a major update last year, it’s faster and lighter than ever, making it a great alternative to Chrome. It also features advanced private browsing tools, if you don’t like the feeling of being followed around online.

Works on: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android

Link

Safari

Mac and iPhone users are probably very familiar with Safari, as its Apple’s default browser. Happily, Safari is a fast, competent browser that excels at integrating with various Apple products.

Works on: MacOS, iOS

Link

Microsoft Edge

As mentioned earlier, Edge is Microsoft’s new browser, replacing Internet Explorer. It’s faster, has a nice reading mode, and eliminates many of the problems that IE had over the years. The problem is, it’s not backward compatible with earlier versions of Windows. So if you have anything older than Windows 10, Edge isn’t an option for your PC. Remember too that it’s a Microsoft product, so Bing is the default search engine.

Works on: Windows 10, iOS, Android

Link

So to conclude…

Any use of an alternative web browser would be a vast improvement, not just for a websites performance but for your PCs safety also, especially if you’re using an older version of IE, you’re subject to bugs, viruses and security issues.