Monday, September 19, 2005

Web Browsers - Alternative for IE

IE is one of the most targeted browsing software for spreading malicious codes over the Net, be it viruses, worms, hacking or .... Security could be a major reason to migrate from IE to other browsers. So much so, that the US Government has sent out a warning out to Internet users through its Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), pleading users to stop using IE.

Firefox can automatically block unwanted popups and keep your desktop clutter-free with tabbed browsing. Multiple web pages are much easier to handle with a tabbed interface. Built-in pop up window blocking and RSS-support, managing cookies and a good search box (that allows you to add your favorite search engines/sites) are other default features.

You can customize the look and feel of Firefox with one of the many available themes (called think skins). It also throws in an 'import wizard' that imports bookmarks, history, cookies and the likes from IE to help your switchover easier.

Mozilla isn’t just a web browser, it comes in a package that comprises an e-mail programme, a chat client and web page editor. However, at the core of the Application Suite is a powerful browser with features like tabbed browsing and popup window blocking. Mozilla shares much of its code with Firefox and both the browsers share the Gecko core/rendering engine.

Opera comes with a powerful e-mail programme, a great chat client, tabbed browsing and toolbars that let you quickly search the Internet for information. It also has other features like controlling the browser with mouse gestures and a session manager that allows you to save the set of web pages you are currently browsing at shutdown and continue where you left next morning. What’s more, Opera runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and countless other platforms.

Anybody who is paranoid about the security aspect of IE, should go in for Deepnet Explorer. This browser has three levels of phishing alarms. These are classified as high, medium and low. The high level offers the maximum options (three) for detecting a phishing site. The options are: checking the website against existing black lists, intelligent detection of phishing and prompting if an IP address is used in the URL. Interestingly, the look and feel is a lot like IE.

The latest release of Netscape offers some interesting features like site control and live content along with features such as tabbed browsing, download manager, import manager etc. Site control means that it provides the user with the choice of using Netscape’s own rendering engine or IE’s for a particular site. Live content on the other hand allows users to access content such as weather in small widgets like windows that are updated at regular intervals within the browser.

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