There are almost forty different Web browsers available in the market. However, in this article, we are only going to look at browsers that are being actively developed and maintained as well as support modern Web standards. Although these browsers are different, they still support these features:
- Plug-ins and Java
- Tab browsing
- In-built search
- Favorites, bookmarking, and importing features
- Download managers
Most Popular Internet Browsers
Web browsers have made it easy to surf the net these days. There are wide varieties of free online Web browsers available to download and use:
1) Internet Explorer (IE)
We are very familiar with Internet Explorer, as it is a household name when it comes to Web browsing. It is a free web browser made popular by its manufacturer, Microsoft. It’s easy, fast, and almost every websites were made with IE in mind, meaning that they are compatible across different PCs and operating systems.
Over the years, we have seen few other popular browsers hitting in the market with awesome features, ease-of-use, runs smoothly on every different platform and also offers browsing on the internet.
Let’s explore the alternative browsers and dig deep to learn why they had garnered so much attention from their users.
Firefox has been one of the best alternative browsers in the market today. Built for simplicity, extensibility, and security, Mozilla Firefox also comes along with its Thunderbird mail and news client, a perfect combination. Both are open-source applications.
While Mobile Firefox is also available for Android phones, Firefox Home is available for iPhone and iPad which allows you to sync your browser history, bookmarks, tabs, and other personal settings to your phone browser. It also has free plug-ins for SEO and analyzing codes and rid them of nasty bugs.
Features: Web browsing, RSS feed, many extensions available for chat, private browsing, SEO purpose, and debugging.
3. Google Chrome
Dubbed as the fastest browser on the planet, Google Chrome allows many add-ons features for its users like readily visit Google stores, use various applications, and use their email system. Google broke down its Web browser’s complex structure to bare essential in a bid to focus on its performance by getting itself out of your way and let divert your attention to Web itself.
Like Safari, Chrome uses WebKit engine, a similar feat found on Web browsers on Android mobile phones.
Features: Malware, Phishing, Private Browsing, and Web Browsing. It imports passwords, history, and bookmarks from Firefox or Internet Explorer.
In 2003, suddenly Apple shocked the world when they announced the launch of Safari on their Mac OS X. It was so admired by Mac users that Microsoft had to stop producing Internet Explorer for Mac.
Safari is now the default browser for Mac and is compatible with most websites. It loads faster, rendering it an excellent alternative to other Web browsers. It has also been developed for Windows further reducing the number of IE users.
Features: Web, RSS, and Private Browsing. The browser imports bookmarks from other.
Since its original release in 1996, Opera have endured a heavy battle among other browsers by continuously innovating wealth of features. It now has a full-fledged Web suite with Web browser, email, news, chats, and RSS.
For mobile browsing, Opera mini is available. Opera Mini runs on low-end mobiles powered by Java applets, and then, also runs on Android and iOS. You can easily sync bookmarks between mobile phones and desktop using Opera Link.
Features: Web, RSS, Email, Chat, Sync, Widgets. The browser lets you import bookmarks from IE, Firefox, Safari, and Netscape. It also supports email applications, such as, Thunderbird, Netscape, Outlook Express, Eudora, and Apple Mail.
6. Mozilla SeaMonkey
SeaMonkey is based on the same source code as the former Mozilla Application Suite. It is an open source code and is lead by the SeaMonkey Council.
Features: Editor, Chat, Mail, and Web. It allows importing all settings – bookmarks – from Netscape 4.
7. K-Meleon – Window Browser
Using the same Mozilla core, years before even Mozilla Firefox was born; K-Meleon was developed to create a light Web browser for Windows. It strength lies in its customizability and speed.
Features: Web Browsing. Imports bookmarks from your current IE, Firefox, Netscape, or Opera.
8. Camino – Mac Browser
Designed to carry Mozilla’s technology into Mac OS X, and with a slogan ‘Mozilla power, Mac style’, Camino is a solution that seamlessly integrates in a way that even Firefox have not managed to do so.
Features: Web, bookmarking from IE, Firefox, Opera, Safari, iCab, and OmniWeb, etc.
9. Konqueror – Linux/Unix Browser
Konqueror, a highly customizable browser, is both a Web browser and a file manager. It gained popularity when Apple selected Konqueror as the basis for Safari. Running on GNOME and other desktop, Konqueror assimilates with other KDE applications – Kmail/Kontact for e-mail, Akregator for RSS.
Features: Web browsing, RSS, Email, and Bookmarks from IE, Opera, Netscape, and Mozilla.
Until now, we discussed about features of different Web browsers that runs on various platforms. Now, let us know about the usage share of the Web browsers.
Usage Share of Different Web Browsers
Web browsers usage statistics vary according to different geographic regions. For example, usage of Internet Explorer dominates in China, in Germany, however, Firefox is mostly used. In Belarus, most people use Opera, whereas in India, most of them use Google Chrome.
The following table also summarizes the latest usage of various Web browsers, as of July 2012.
In this article, we learnt about major Web browsers that are alternative to Internet Explorers, and also knew their key features – Web browsing, email, news, RSS, and bookmarking from other browsers. Finally, we also uncovered some statistics about the usage of these major browsers according to different regions and percentage of users.
Which Web browser do you prefer while browsing, sending email, and viewing RSS feeds for daily use, and why?