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It really boils down to personal preference. Today, I really have no problems with people using any of the big three browsers.

I'd really be most interested to hear why you personally prefer Chrome to Firefox and why you seem not to use IE 9. I'm an oldie, just reverted to Firefox again, and I'm quite happy with it after a year or so with Chrome. I'm asking simply for my own edification.

In this excerpt from Answercast #53, I look at the current state of the top three browsers: IE9, Chrome, and Firefox.

Favorite search engine

I've used all three. Today, in all honesty, use whichever one is most comfortable for you:

Chrome, Firefox, and IE 9 I now consider to be all roughly equivalent when it comes to things like security and functionality. There are pros and cons to each. They're minor nits.

Current preference

I personally find Chrome a little bit more streamlined. A little bit faster on some sites.

I didn't use IE for many years because to be honest, IE 7 and IE 8 both had a long way to go with respect to security.

Firefox definitely overtook them for a long time. My experience with Firefox right now is that it's tending to get a little bit slow, a little bloated.

Google being the new one on the block seems to be, for now at least, somewhat more streamlined, somewhat faster.

Use what you like

It all really does boil down to personal preference. Like I said, today I really have no problems with people using any of the big three: IE 9 (making sure it's version 9), Firefox, or Google Chrome.

Article C5819 - September 16, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Greg Bulmash
September 16, 2012 4:12 PM

The coolest thing about all these browsers is that with the HTML5 APIs and the power of modern CPUs and JavaScript engines, you can really create some awesome application experiences right in the browser. And as they keep adding and improving HTML5 APIs, in-browser everything is going to get cleaner, smoother, and more indistinguishable from native apps.

September 16, 2012 6:16 PM

I used Firefox for years and then tried Chrome a couple times but always went back to Firefox but then Chrome finally got it right and I've been using it ever since. It just "feels better", I think it's faster than the others. I've also tried Opera, Safari and a couple others. I've been trying to make myself use IE9 more but so far it hasn't worked, there's just something missing.

September 16, 2012 6:52 PM

When Chrome first came out I was using Firefox and I remember thinking, "Where are all the menus?" Once used to how it operates though, I believe it's the fastest browser I have used.

September 17, 2012 5:10 AM

I have noticed, sinse i swapped to AVG, that it keeps alerting me to Firefox using very large amounts of memory - and i have noticed it slowing down recently too.
I have heard from friends who have tried chrome and say it is just too 'streamlined' for them, and they eventually return to Firefox.
My own 'problem' with chrome is not the browser, but the company behind it - but that is another argument.

September 17, 2012 9:52 PM

I use firefox because i need firebug for development but I only ever recommend IE for regular users now. Mozilla has gone mad with releasing new versions of FF and installing browsers just clutter up (ever so slightly) the system. Security risk is over stated, the problem is the person sitting at the machine, no browser can solve that particular issue.

Terry Smith
September 18, 2012 8:30 AM

I have tried all the browsers from time to time. I keep returning to Google. Ease of use and faster page loading. IE9 took forever to load and although Firefox loaded pretty fast, it took too long to load the site you wanted.

September 18, 2012 9:26 AM

Hi Leo
In my opinion a very fair article indeed (To each his/her own)
2 years ago when I decided to ditch IE I installed Firefox and Chrome and ran both as fairly as I could for 6 weeks.
Chrome was certainly more streamlined.
The speed of both seemed equal enough to a human ! , both faster than IE.
Firefox add-ons are better and more numerous, especially the speed dial, which is a lot easier to use. (Bit hooked on speed dials, once set up they make life very easy.)
I suppose what really decided it for me was the well covered Google attack on privacy.(Mentioned by another post!)
Sometimes though, I think that I'll give Google one last try, even though at this stage I am very content with Firefox.

Paul Pousson
September 18, 2012 10:40 AM

I'm still using Yahoo most of the time. Does all I need. Tried Chrome very shortly, just seemed too fancy for me. I also use FireFox because one of my fav gamesites would not work as well on Yahoo.

September 18, 2012 6:05 PM

i would be more interested in chrome but i cant figure out how to use it. i got the toolbars on firefox as it is on ie, when using chrome i still got to go back to ie to get to my email and not google mail,very awkward to use ..

September 18, 2012 6:53 PM

Yea, it took me awhile to figure out how to bookmark pages on Chrome. What you do is click on the star that is to the right of the address bar. If you mouse over it, it says "Bookmark this page." You can also click on the wrench (tools) and Chrome has a great bookmark manager so you can get things set the way you want.

September 18, 2012 8:56 PM

You could try Chromium - it's the same as Chrome but without the company branding all around, and open source - yes, no hidden coding and you can compile your own copy. If you use Ubuntu Linux, you can download a compiled version, which can also be updated regularly.


I also use Firefox and Opera. All latest versions. Of course, as you might have guessed, my OS is Ubuntu Linux.

All three of them are used for different purposes by me. Different sites work with different speeds - much of it depends on site content and coding efficiency of the site developer.

A few observations:
- Firefox is a memory hog when you go beyond 5 or 6 tabs;
- Chrome/ium has caching issues, especially after a crash;
- Some IE only sites work in Opera (using the "Mask as IE" option and uncheck "send referrer information" in Preferences -> Network);
- Opera has an auto-detect turbo option for slow network connections;
- In most latest browsers, right-click on any screen element and select "inspect element" in the menu - you don't really need Firebug.

September 18, 2012 9:13 PM

@Connie - I do not see "Chrome has a great bookmark manager". It lists everything, e.g., imported from IE, IE(1), etc., but nowhere does it say "How to use this system". I have three identical lists of Favourites which does not make sense. My main concern is that I am unable to click on 'Favourites' and add the page I am looking at. I do not need it in alphabetical order - this would mean having to write down the first letter or word to search for it later. System is not as simple as IE but of course much faster.

September 19, 2012 3:16 AM

I use Opera mostly, Firefox sometimes, and IE when nothing else works. I do have Chrome, but have never discovered how to do things that are easy in Opera.

Opera on Windows loads faster than Firefox and has all the features I want, as a mildly mouse-averse person, without messing with add-ons. Speed Dial and single-key zooming come first to mind, killing ads is a doddle, and site preferences can be very useful.

September 19, 2012 12:03 PM

I am quiet pleased with how FireFox handles 'recovery'. A few days ago I have typed a relatively long comment on some website, when suddenly a black-out happened. After recovery, Firefox inserted my comment completely, like there was no interrupt.

I am using an old computer and FireFox is the only browser that works for me.
Beyond that, I am using both Chrome and FireFox in Persian, but I have to say FireFox has a better translation and graphical support for Persian.

September 23, 2012 6:27 PM

I find Chrome the fastest, Firefox best for one-click downloading with the the add-on "Down-Them-All" and IE9 I keep mainly because It will display any page that isn't quite functioning in the other browsers. Also, to this day the internet never looks prettier than when viewed in IE. To bookmark in Chrome, drag your site from the address bar to the bookmark bar, right click 'edit' and delete the description (not the URL!) - This gives you icons with no text on your bookmark bar, saving space. IE already has a has a handy 'icons with text-only' option in the 'customise' settings. Firefox has the excellent add-on "AIOS " -all-in-one-sidebar, which allows you to recreate the IE sidebar but with many, many more functions; not just favourites and history, but plugins extensions, page info and any other add-ons you want can be toggled from AIOS. Switching from Firefox to Chrome as my main browser was a big adjustment because I grown so dependent on AIOS!

September 24, 2012 9:37 PM

Windows 7 and 8 were too slow and Firefox never really clicked for. I don't want to personalize my browser with add-ons. I just wanted it to work out of the box perfectly for me. To this day I still use Chrome without any add-ons. I've used chrome for years because on my old windows XP machine because it just had the fastest hands down page rendering and application start up. When I upgraded to a Windows 7 laptop I installed Chrome before I installed any Windows updates.

I have tried IE9 and I noted that when all the add-ons are properly scaled back it actually beats Chrome for speed in many situations on my computer setup, however Chrome already knows all my form data and its auto complete features for searches, forms and websites put IE9 to shame. It is just light years ahead in this area and works best for me because I am a pretty lazy and sloppy typist.

October 14, 2012 4:30 AM

Having worked with many browsers over the years. I generally stick with IE9 for most browsing. I have tried Chrome and currently have it installed. Firefox used to be my second choice until their whole frequent upgrade cycle became annoying. For me Firefox always seems to have some sort of issue waiting to be fixed these days. I am no huge fan of Chrome but for a basic fast browser with no frills its a decent browser and stable. Their are rendering issues with all of them and frankly I think having three browsers trying to gain market share. I think a lot of sites fail to properly support at least one of them. After all you have three different rendering engines. As for security each one seems to have its day or weeks in the spotlight for some sort of zero day security problem. About all you can do is use another browser until that one get's fixed. Speed perception to me is in the mind of the user. If your a Chrome person then of course Chrome is fastest. For me looking at minor speed difference is all in numbers. I will never choose a browser solely on speed.

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