The Problem with Old Browsers
Most of us use web browsers on a daily basis, whether it’s for entertainment or at work. If you are reading this blog right now, you are using a web browser. A browser is defined as a software application for viewing and transmitting informational resources on the Internet. (1) Every picture, video, article, and social media site requires a web browser in order to be viewed.
The Big Four
Google Chrome. Mozilla FireFox. Internet Explorer. Safari. While these may sound like elements from a video game, anyone on the Internet knows they are the four main web browsers. Each of these browsers are built by a different company (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla FireFox, Google Chrome, and Apple Safari) which means each browser functions slightly different. Some people prefer the fast browsing performance of Google Chrome, while others dislike Chrome for its minor site and graphics incompatibility. Others like Internet Explorer for its easy-to-use design, but does that make up for its large security holes? FireFox is arguably the most customizable browser, but it requires more memory to use. Safari provides excellent security features and fast download time, but it can have compatibility issues. Whichever browser you use is up to you. (2)
Never Ending Updates
Updates seem like a never ending part of our lives now considering the amount of technology we use every day. If browsers are such a big part of our life, why do we put off updating them? A web browser is just like any other technology. Would you constantly ignore an update on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone? Having the latest technology can sometimes lead to bugs, but majority of the time an upgrade is just how it sounds; it gives you a better product to work with. Not updating your browser can risk compatibility, speed, and security concerns. The programmers of each web browser are constantly updating them to improve their speed, security, and performance. (4)
Trying to view a new website on an old browser is like trying to plug an iPod into a 1980’s Boombox; the two are not compatible. Today, many websites are moving to a responsive framework, which means the website “grows and shrinks” to fit any screen size. Updated web browsers support HTML5 and CSS3 which are needed to view newer websites with a more complex framework. The images below demonstrate the difference between trying to use an old browser vs. a new one. (5)
What’s missing here? You guessed it, the graphics! This image shows a web user trying to display a website on Internet Explorer 8.
This image shows the same website displayed in an updated browser like Chrome, FireFox, or Safari.
We all have a need for speed: driving, waiting in line, and uploading a website. How many times have you gotten annoyed with the amount of time it takes to upload a website, and went to a different site instead? Well, maybe it isn’t the website’s fault. Using an old browser can be very slow and they are more likely to crash or freeze. In order for a website to be displayed correctly it has to download multiple files for the images, text, and programming scripts to make the website look the way it should. Old browsers cannot download those files at the same speed the updated browsers can. Updating your browser will easily decrease the amount of time it takes to download a site. (5)
Online banking has revolutionized how we handle our monetary transactions. It is much more convenient to pay bills online, instead of having to write out the bill and mail it in. But, online bill pay can also be more dangerous considering the amount of identity theft we face today. Using an old browser to pay bills increases the chance of threat, since they are more vulnerable to viruses, spyware, malware, and other security issues. (5) Hackers can easily get past security flaws in browsers and infect your computer with harmful programs that can steal personal information saved on your computer. Regularly updating web browsers will keep the highest security on your computer. (4)
It is a good idea to try out each browser to get a feel for which one best suits your needs. Each browser has its own unique features that make it better than the others, depending on what your preferences are. As long as you keep your browser updated, it will be your safe, speedy window to the web.
Article 1: Web Browser
Article 2: The Pros and Cons of the Top Web Browsers
Article 3: Usage share of web browsers
Article 4: How do I updated my Internet browser?
Article 5: Dear Web user: Please Upgrade Your Browser