Posts

Part 7, The Best Internet Browser for Windows 7 64-Bit

I have used Windows 7 64-bit for a while now and while I was still a little hesitant at first from leaving the land of Win32, I found myself quite impressed with what I think is the best 64-bit operating system ever.  That being said is Internet Explorer still the best in this version of Windows.  Also in 2011 there are many great Browser choices out there now, many that people are familiar with, and from different operating systems as well.  So let’s dive in and see what is good, and not so good.

1 .Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0.1 (9.0.8112.16421 64-Bit Edition)  Microsoft really outdid themselves with this one.  This is not the IE of the past, yes IE7 and IE8 were great improvements and brought many new features to Internet Explorer, but IE9 really shines.  It is fast, quick, and very standards compliant.  The new user interface is clean but still keeps a lot of usefulness in it.  Also, a few feature is being able to pin a website to the Task Bar in Windows 7 which is like putting a shortcut to the website there so you can launch it anytime, but be able to keep a different homepage for normal browsing.  Currently, there is only a preview version of Adobe Flash for 64-bit which you can download from here, but hey Apple would say that Flash is not that important.  I have to give IE9 the number one spot in Windows 7. You can download Internet Explorer 9 from here at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/internet-explorer/downloads/ie-9/worldwide-languages

Showing information about Pinned Sites

Internet Explorer 9 in Windows 7 64-Bit

2. Firefox 4.0.1  We have been waiting for a new version of Firefox for a while now, and it is here.  Like Internet Explorer is has a new less cluttered user interface.  Also, it now has an orange Firefox button up at the top left.  Clicking on this brings up a Start Menu-like menu with commands and options.  The user interface feels like a combination of Opera and Chrome.  What makes Firefox useful in Windows 7 is its integration with the new features in the Operating System.  Firefox 4 supports both Jump Lists and Tab Previews (however Tab Previews has to be enabled in the options)  This makes Firefox a great alternative browser in Windows 7.   Firefox 4 is fast and very standards compliant.  If you have moved from Firefox to Chrome, I may suggest you look at Firefox again and see if it doesn’t win you back.  You can download Firefox 4 here at  www.firefox.com

Firefox 4 in Windows 7 64-Bit

Firefox 4 in Windows 7 64-Bit

3. Google Chrome 12.0.742.100 Google has taken a dud of a browser and turned it into something that competes. In fact, its user interface is what has inspired other browsers to clean their interfaces up.   The sad thing is that despite it being on its 12th revision it is not more mature than it is.  The only reason this is not my number two browser for Windows 7 is that it does not support Tab Previews in Windows 7 making it not as useful since I use that feature a lot. (Come on Google, Get this done in an update)  It does, however, support Jump Lists.  Every release it does get better and better, one of the newer features that is interesting is Instant, which tries to guess what page you are typing in the address bar and starts loading it before you are done typing.  (this is not enabled by default and you will have to enable it, but it is impressive) It is fast and standards compliant making it a great contender.  If you are not using Internet Explorer or Firefox, then you really should be using Chrome, if not take a look because it will surprise you.  You can get Chrome from here at http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/make/download.html?brand=CHKZ

Chrome 12 in Windows 7 64-bit

Chrome 12 in Windows 7 64-bit

4. Opera 11.11 (Build 2109)  When talking about Internet Browsers, there are not many that have been around as long as Internet Explorer and Opera.  Opera 11 builds on an interesting browsing platform.  While many Netscape fans have moved to Firefox because of the relationship between those two browsers, many Netscape fans feel more at home with Opera.  It still tries to be more than just an internet browser and I would suggest any old Netscape users out there to check Opera out if you find yourself missing the old rival to Internet Explorer.  Opera supports both Jump Lists and Tab Previews in Windows 7 and has its own Tab Preview like feature, if you mouse over a tab that is not being displayed, a preview of that tab will show up below the tab (pictured below).  Opera is pretty quick and is standards compliant as well.  The interface features a red O button in the upper left side of the window. Clicking on this brings up a master menu of commands and options.  Opera actually had this button before Firefox implemented their own.  If you want a browser that is different then I suggest checking out Opera 11, wich you can do so here at http://www.opera.com/browser/

Opera 11 in Windows 7 64-bit

Opera 11 in Windows 7 64-bit

5. Apple Safari 5.0.5 (7533.21.1)  Apple has always done things differently, and Safari is no exception.  Originally designed as part of the Apple Mac OS X operating system, they have created a Windows version and have improved it over the years.  It uses most of the standard Windows interface which will make Windows users feel at home .  It does support Tab Previews in Windows 7 but not Jump Lists. (Come on Apple this is useful)  Safari supports multiple tabs however for some reason Apple hides this in the user interface.  To open a new tab you must click on the file button on the right side and on the menu that pops up click on New Tab.  While Apple’s website will say that this is the fastest browser in the world it is actually quite slow in Windows 7 compared to other browsers.  It is standards compliant however and does have some interesting features like Top Sites and Safari Reader (which is supposed to unclutter a webpage making it easier to read the information on it)  If you would like to check it out you can get it from here at http://www.apple.com/safari/download/

Safari 5 in Windows 7 64-bit

Safari 5 in Windows 7 64-bit

6. KDE Konqueror 4.5.4  I have not written about this Browser in Windows before but there is now a Windows version.  Konqueror was originally made for the Linux operating system.  Linux has been at the center of the open source community since its inception and some would say it created the open source world as we know it.  That being said a group has decided to create a port of the KDE software from Linux for other operating systems, including Windows.  The Windows version is a bit of Windows, and a bit of the KDE user interface from Linux.  It is not as fast as any of the other browsers tested, and is not as compliant with current web standards as the other internet browsers.  I also have not found out how to get it to work with Flash or Java on a Windows machine yet.  But like most things out of the Linux and open source communities, it is a work in progress.  It does do multiple tabs, but you have to click on File and then New Tab.  It does not work with either Jump Lists or Tab Previews in Windows 7 at this time.   It is interesting, and can only be installed with the KDE software installer, (no standalone installer at this point)  You can check it out as well as a bunch of other free software here at http://windows.kde.org/download.php

Konqueror 4.5 on Windows 7 64-bit

Konqueror 4.5 on Windows 7 64-bit

As the internet changes, the programs we use to view it change as well.  It is interesting now with the all the options including some from the Linux world.  We will have to see what companies and organizations come out with next to help us do our day-to-day tasks.

If you were wondering how I test these browsers, I use my trusty Acer Aspire 5534-1146 Laptop.  It has an AMD Athlon X2 L310 1.2 Ghz Processor and 4 Gb of ram.  I am running Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit on here.  All updates have been applied to Windows and all internet browsers, and I am using the latest versions of Flash, Adobe Reader, Silverlight, and Java.  All temporary internet files and caches have been cleared with the use of Ccleaner (www.ccleaner.com) and from the programs themselves so all pages are loaded from the internet and not from local cache.  For standards testing, I am using Acid3 at www.acid3.acidtests.org.  I load up everyday web pages that people use and that I use in every browser and time how long it takes from hitting enter till the page has completed loading.

Check out Part 6 for Windows XP

The Best Internet Browser for Windows 2000

It is hard to say what the best internet browser for Windows 2000 is because of its age so let’s be clear here, if you are still using Windows 2000, you need to at least upgrade to Windows XP.  Windows 2000 is over 14 years old and is just not up to the day-to-day modern internet browsing.  That being said there are still people using it and there are still a few things you can do to make your time browsing the internet in 2000 more enjoyable and secure.

The last version of Internet Explorer released for Windows 2000 was IE 6 Service Pack 1. It is not updated anymore at all and has not been updated with new features to make browsing the internet easier and more secure.  Internet Explorer 6 was first released in 2001 and was no longer supported on July 13, 2010. Now Windows 2000 came with IE 5.5 and I do not suggest you keep that on your system.  Update to IE 6 SP1 and install all the updates for it, however, I do not suggest using it for daily browsing as Internet Explorer is not the best internet browser for Windows 2000.

As far as current major browsers that support Windows 2000 there is only one, Opera.  So which browsers are the best for Windows 2000 and are some of the lesser known browsers maybe a good choice in this case.

I will be running Windows 2000 in a virtual machine within Oracle VirtualBox.  It will be running on Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.  I also have the latest versions of Flash, Java, and Silverlight that support Windows 2000 and you can read about how to get those and how to secure Windows 2000 better.

1. Opera 12.o2, being that this is the only major browser that still supports Windows 2000 it already is far ahead but it also supports major internet standards and supports plug-ins.  Opera in a way is like Netscape in that is supports other functions like e-mail and torrents. I also like its Tab Preview which just gives it a nice touch.  You can get it at  www.opera.com

Opera 12 in Windows 2000

Opera 12 in Windows 2000

2. QupZilla 1.3.5 is not very well-known but is a big help in Windows 2000.  It is a Webkit based browser like Google Chrome or Apple Safari and it is still being developed and updated.  This means it will get security updates and new features as time goes on.  QupZilla is pretty good at being compliment with web standards and it also has a tab preview which I just find to be a great feature, especially when you have multiple tabs open.  You can check it out at www.qupzilla.com

QupZilla 1.3.5 in Windows 2000

QupZilla 1.3.5 in Windows 2000

3. Firefox 12 is the last version of Firefox that works in Windows 2000.  I really suggest you use one of the two browsers above before using Firefox as it will no longer be getting any security updates.  Again use this browser with caution.  It is still very web standard compliant so it will not have an issue displaying today’s websites but as time goes on it will not be a good option.  You can download this version at http://www.oldversion.com/download-Mozilla-Firefox-12.0.html

Firefox 12 in Windows 2000

Firefox 12 in Windows 2000

4. FlashPeak SlimBrowser 6.01 Build 076 is a great option is you have websites that only work in Internet Explorer.  FlashPeak SlimBrowser uses the same rendering engine as Internet Explorer, however, it uses the one already installed on your computer so while FlashPeak SlimBrowser has a lot of great features like Facebook integration and tabbed browsing it will not load any websites any better than Internet Explorer.  FlashPeak SlimBrowser is being developed and updated so it will be safer to use than Internet Explorer and if you have to use it I suggest you give FlashPeak SlimBrowser a try.  I also like the weather update in the Status Bar.  You can check it out at http://www.slimbrowser.net/en/

FlashPeak SlimBrowser 6.01 in Windows 2000

FlashPeak SlimBrowser 6.01 in Windows 2000

5. Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 (6.0.2800.1106)  Microsoft does not support this and does not have the modern security that Opera and QupZilla have.  Also, is does not display some pages properly and is slower than the others.  The user interface looks dated and old.  I would not suggest using this for your daily browsing, however, is you are still running an older version update to IE 6 SP1, it will help protect  you a little better and allow other Windows programs to get access to web features better.  You can get it at  http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=1e1550cb-5e5d-48f5-b02b-20b602228de6&DisplayLang=en

Internet Explorer 6 in Windows 2000

Internet Explorer 6 in Windows 2000

6. Amaya 11.4.4 is not a browser for everyday use.  This is made by the World Wide Web Consortium or the W3C, who decides what is and is not HTML.  Now this browser is really more for web developers as it really digs into a website to display many components.  It is pretty cool but it does not run any scripts so it is not good for everyday web browsing.  Check it out at http://www.w3.org/Amaya/

Amaya 11.4.4 on Windows 2000

Amaya 11.4.4 on Windows 2000

It is a good thing that Opera and QubZilla have paid attention to the fact that Windows 2000 is still being used to this day.  Windows 2000 is past its prime and I do suggest updating to at least Windows XP as soon as you can, remember all support ended for 2000 on July 13, 2010, and that includes IE 6 SP1.  I will write more articles about Windows 2000, (Like Making Windows 2000 more secure with Free Anti-virus) (And installing Windows 2000 in Windows Virtual PC) As I can see some people still use it.

Also, check out the Best Internet Browser for Windows XP

And check out the Best Internet Browser for Windows Introduction

The Best Internet Browser for Windows, Part 1 An Introduction

I started this look at internet browsers on Windows years ago. Since then web browsers have changed a lot, so I try to update these articles every once in a while.  Here is a list of the articles for the best internet browser for Windows broken down by version. Feel free to check them out and as always, thanks for reading!

The Best Internet Browser for Windows 2000, it is 15 years old but can still get online.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows XP 32-bit, Soon to be unsupported but still installed on many machines.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows XP Professional X64 Edition, one of the first 64-bit versions of Windows, it had limited support.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows Vista 32-bit was not received well upon release but there are still a few people who have not yet upgraded their machines.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows Vista 64-bit, this version started making 64-bit computing a household name.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows 7, this is becoming the next Windows XP and we will be using Windows 7 for years to come.

Also check out my review of browsers in Ubuntu, one of the more popular Linux versions.

I hope to have these articles updated this year and add one for Windows 8, as well as maybe looking at older versions of Windows, and one for Windows Phone 7 and 8.  Make sure to like Useful Windows on Facebook to keep tabs on new articles.