Barking Up the Browser Tree

Browsers: Firefox, Camino, Netscape, IE, Safari, Konqueror, Opera

The Internet holds a vast amount of information just waiting to be read. However, in order to view the web and capture it in its best form you’ll need a web browser that meets your expectations.A great web browser should incorporate support for plug-ins, have evolving standards, and be easy to use. This guide will cover the mainstream browsers available for the public to choose from.Whether you enjoy using an open-source browser such as Firefox or having the wide support of Internet Explorer, you’ll always be going to the same Internet you know and love.      FireFoxFirefox (www.firefox.com)
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and more
Cost: Free About: Firefox has been held above all browsers as the latest, greatest thing to access the Internet. Open-source and stemming from the Mozilla project, Firefox is a cross-platform browserthat has a wide variety of plug-ins available for it. The browser includes key features such as tabbed browsing, multiple search engines, and impressive support for current web standards. It easilyhandles new sites that use technologies such as AJAX and is modified by many people since it is open-source. Firefox is the most widely used browser other than Internet Explorer and is hailed amongmany as the best web browser out there.       CaminoCamino (www.caminobrowser.org)
Platforms: Mac OS X
Cost: Free About: Yet another product from the Mozilla labs, Camino is a strictly Mac OS X browser. Version 1.0 has only recently been released, finally making its way out of beta testing to become areal product. Camino is fast, quick, and secure. It is designed for easy use and has multiple tab browsing in OS X. Mac users will enjoy Camino’s quick speeds and impressive startup times, two thingsthat Firefox just can’t compare with. However, Camino has yet to support as many options and developing standards as Firefox does, so if you need support for intensive CSS or AJAX pages, stick withthe Fox. Camino is also open-source and is worked on by many Mac users devoted to improving the browser.       NetscapeNetscape (www.netscape.com)
Platforms: Latest Version: Windows only; Past Versions: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and more
Cost: Free About: For a while, Netscape was the browser to use. Netscape Navigator was relished by many as the best web browser of the 1990s. However, since its acquisition by AOL in 2000, Netscapehas not been the browser it used to be. After many horrible versions of the browser had been released it was gutted and rewritten to use Mozilla’s Firefox engine. Unfortunately, Netscape is onlybeing developed for Windows now, which has caused an outrage in the web community. Netscape no longer includes the features it once had—such as Instant Messaging and WYSIWYG HTMLediting—but it is a very useful browser with great search tools, a beautiful UI, and daily weather updates. Anyone who uses Windows and used to be a fan of Netscape should give it a fair run.      Internet ExplorerInternet Explorer (www.microsoft.com)
Platforms: Windows
Cost: Free About: Microsoft’s Internet browser has risen from a shy competitor of Netscape in the 1990s to the #1 browser used today. Microsoft has stopped developing UNIX and Mac OS versions of thebrowser to solely concentrate their efforts on its integration with their Windows OS. Because of Internet Explorer’s popularity and widespread use it supports nearly every standard and technologyunder the sun. Compatibility is almost never an issue for those using it and the browser itself is surprisingly quick. However, it lacks decent search features and has no tabbed browsing supportwhich has caused many IE users to switch to Firefox. If you want to play it smart and make sure webpages support your browser, you can always use IE as a backup browser when Firefox just isn’tsupported by that one single government or school website.       Apple SafariSafari (www.apple.com/safari)
Platforms: Mac OS X
Cost: Free About: What some might call “Apple’s Internet Explorer” has become increasingly popular among OS X users. Safari is a quick browser with an easy-to-use interface. It has support for RSSfeeds, Google search, pop-up blocking, and various plug-ins as well. Tabbed browsing can be configured to your liking and bookmark management is easily mastered. Although a bit buggy at first, Safarihas continued to evolve into an exciting and excellent browser. It isn’t open source but it can be developed in other ways. Safari has a great UI that many people will find easy to use and inviting,which is important for those new to the web.       OperaOpera (www.opera.com)
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and more
Cost: Free

About: Until recently, Opera stood out among other web browsers—not for its rich features, but because it was a web browser people had to pay for. However, all has changed and Opera is now free and working great. Its Opera Mini browser is a smash hit with mobile phones, enabling true web browsing on phones with weak support for the web. It has excellent features such as integrated search, pop-up blocking, tabbed browsing, and the ability to customize the look of the browser. It is very fast and it also supports Google’s Gmail, which is an added feature many users welcome. Opera is often touted as the fastest web browser available. Only you can decide, though, by downloading it and giving it a try. Opera is a great choice for browsing the Internet on any platform.