Browser wars, 2011

Which browser is best for security, speed, and compliance with web standards?

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Safari 5.05

Of all the 'new' browsers, Safari has changed the least. Safari looks, works, and feels the same as it ever did. The one stand-out new feature is the "Safari Reader" mode, which strips out non-essential elements of a page (including pictures and video) so all you get is the text and nothing but the text. Maybe that doesn't work for you, but it does work for me.

Much of what's "new" in Safari 5.04 is bug fixes. For example, on Mac OS X Snow Leopard I would see the screen saver come on while watching a video in Safari. Not good. Now that bug appears to be dead.

Safari is also reasonably fast, but it's not especially secure. I guess the best way I could sum up Safari is its the Web browser for people who want an old-fashioned looking Web browser but with today's performance. That's not for me, but it may be exactly what you're looking for.

The right browser for you

So, which browser should you get? Well, for me, it's Chrome, with Firefox in second, on pretty much any operating system. But, really this is a personal decision. Hopefully, I've given you a little guidance. Check them all out -- they're free after all -- you'll find the one that's right for you.

I will make one firm recommendation. If you're still running Windows XP, and I know most of you are, move away from IE. IE 8 is a dead-end. You'll never get IE 9, and any of the other Web browsers are far faster and, with the exception of Safari, likely to be a good deal more secure.

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