Posted November 20, 2009 by Spyros in General Tips & Tricks

Which Browser to Choose : Internet Explorer, Firefox or Opera ?


The path to gnosis. The element of knowledge. The relic of information. The browser. What would we be without it. The internet is nice of course, but the actual tool that makes us able to reach the various websites is the browser. Therefore, knowing the best tool for this job can really save the day.

Most of you will have used at least 2 out of the 3 most popular browsers nowadays. Each one of them has its own advantages and disadvantages that also depend on what you like and dislike. In short, here are the advantages and disadvantages of each one :

Microsoft Internet Explorer Advantages

1. It is closed source, which makes it more difficult to locate security problems (which is actually false sense of security – security through obscurity).

2. Seems to be getting better in its newer versions (sorry, i can’t really think of more advantages).

Microsoft Internet Explorer Disadvantages

1. Uninstalling is really difficult. It is a long way to get rid of MS IE.

2. Does not follow web standards. This is awful. Internet Explorer is known for the css hacks and workarounds that programmers have to do in order for their code to work for this browser.

3. Lack of features and plugins especially in the previous versions where not even tabs where present.

4. It is a slow browser overall, especially when compared to Firefox and Opera

Mozilla Firefox Advantages

1. A very fast browser overall.

2. A very versatile browser as well. Probably has the best collection of plugins that you will ever find in a browser.

3. Follows web standards closely.

4. Has thousands of developers worldwide. The open source community is there to make this browser better and better every day.

Mozilla Firefox Disadvantages

1. Due to having lots of plugins and features, Firefox is not secure. Its open source code is another reason why security can be an issue.

2. Firefox developers have entered a “competition” to make newer versions of this software in short periods of time and when this happens new bugs are coming to the surface soon.

Opera Advantages

1. The fastest browser on earth.

2. Very nice collection of plugins though not as big as Firefox’s one.

3. The developers of Opera are really having great ideas. Did you know that the Browser Tabs and Speed Dial where first implemented in Opera ?

4. Compact code, small size of executable. Opera is the smallest browser of the three in terms of size.

5. It needs the less memory when compared to the other browsers.

6. It is pretty secure since it is closed source (and not used that much worldwidely, for some reason).

Opera Disadvantages

1. It is not open source.

2. Small marketing power. The problem is that Opera is not open source software and this actually has a deep impact on its popularity.

3. There are still some bugs on Opera and especially flash on linux. Hopefully, they seem to be rapidly fixed everyday.

The Verdict

Well, it’s mostly about what you like best. I’ve used all of these browsers for long periods of time. I must admit that i was mostly an Opera fan but in its latest versions Firefox has deeply surprised me. It has become MUCH faster and has actually become my choice of a browser. Nevertheless, i like to use Opera sometimes as well, but i have actually abandoned Microsoft Internet Explorer solely, at least for the time being. The answer lies in your decision. If you are still unsure, maybe you would want to use Safari, Chrome or Lynx ?