Which browser should I choose?

I’ve decided to experiment with some of the alternate browsers out there. I can’t decide which to try and don’t really want to go through all of them to find one that I like. I currently use IE.

Would you folks give me some plusses and minuses of the various options out there and where is the easiest place to get them?

If it’s important -

WinXP Home
1.6 Ghz

IE crapped out on me so I changed to Opera. I am very pleased with it. It’s very customizable and seems (seems, mind you) to load pages faster than IE did.

I suppose that I should say my decision is pretty much between Mozilla and Opera as these are the two I’ve heard the most about and most of that has been positive. However, if anyone has something else to think about, tell me!

Thanks HeartOfGold

I couldn’t be happier with Opera and would never, ever switch back to IE. It has a free download that comes with an ad banner or you can pay to get rid of the ad banner and get premium support services. I went ahead and paid for it because I liked it that much and I was able to get a student discount.

Mozilla is free though and has no ad banner. I downloaded it and found that there were some things I just liked more in Opera, but I really don’t have any complaints about it either.

I, too, like Opera so much I’m willing to pay to lose the ads. To be fair, the ads are not really noticeable. They’re not very obtrusive.

Mozilla is good, too. They’re both pretty equal, but what won me over to Opera was the mouse gestures. Right-click and flick the mouse to the left to go back a page, flick to the right to go forware, up and down to reload and make an “L” shape to close the page. Love, love, love my mouse gestures.

Both have a built-in pop-up blocker. You can accept pop-ups, refuse all pop-ups or only accept requested pop-ups generated by some overt action like clicking on a link.

Both have tabbed browsing, are highly configurable, are faster than IE, etc… Really, for me, it comes down to those wonderful mouse gestures.

Congratulations for trying something new. IE is stagnant. A different browser can really make the whole internet experience more enjoyable. One word of caution, though, is some e-commerce sites use software tailored to Internet Explorer and do not display correctly in other browsers. Not all, but many.

I used to use IE. Now I use Firebird almost exclusively. (Firebird is the new version of the Mozilla browser.) To be honest, it works practically identically to IE – which is a good thing. The only benefit to me, though it’s a major one, is the tab support. I usually surf with at least 10-15 windows open, and those terribly cluttered the Taskbar. Now they are all just tabs in Firebird. I just CTRL-click my links and they load in the background. Very elegant.

You should choose Mozilla. Its main feature is the Gecko rendering engine. It can also do anything Opera can do via extensions (mouse gestures, for instance). If you want both a browser and a mail/news client, grab Mozilla 1.5. If you just want a lightweight browser, grab Firebird 0.7.

Opera, too, has a mail/news client. Not sure how the Gecko rendering engine makes Mozilla superior to Opera. I’ve used both browsers on Windows and Linux, and I don’t see the advantage to Mozilla. For me, Opera has been zippier for loading pages, and I don’t notice any difference in presentation quality. I guess mileage varies.

whatami, definitely try them both. It’s a matter of personal preference.

I say go with Firebird. Lean, fast, built in pop-up blocking and tabbed browsing.

Go for Opera and Mozilla. You cannot lose, unless you continue to use IE.


Netscape 7.1 - awesome. The days when Netscape sucked (Version 4) are fortunately over. Tabbed browsing is a must (Opera can do it as well, though), but what is really great is Netscape Mail.

A few weeks ago some of the guys/gals here on the SDMB turned me on to Mozilla Firebird. Granted, I’ve been out of the alternative to IE loop, but this browser and it’s extensions are absolutely incredible. Whenever I accidentally open IE I just sit there dumbfounded over how I used to surf with that POS. Tabbed browsing and mouse gestures are really something everyone should look into. When I first heard about mouse gestures I figured it would just be a gimmick that I thought was cool but never used after the first few days. Wrong. I really recommend you give Firebird a try along with these extensions:

Tabbed Browsing Extensions
IE view(for those PITA pages)
Compact Menu
I have one bookmark link called the “SD” which is actually a folder that when I middle click on it will open all of the forums I typically read as well as a search page - all in the same browser.

I love Firebird and want to preach the gospel.

Thanks for the reviews guys. It looks to me that I’ll start with Firebird and probably give Opera a try later on. I’m not one to pay for something if I can get something else to do the job (even if inferior), so I kinda doubt I’ll go the Opera route, but I’ll try it after a few weeks of experimenting with Firebird.

I won’t be home at all tonight, but tommorow when I get home Firebird will get installed.

My vote would also be Opera. It has been a great browser for me and continues to get better with each version.

The real answer to your question, though, is that the browser you should use should be the one you are most comfortable with.

Mozilla. I think it has everything Opera has via extensions, and no ad banner.

No contest.

I like Opera as a browser, but the mail client is a little weak - I’ve never gotten Opera to print HTML mail correctly, it just prints the headers and leaves the rest of the page blank. It also steals the keyboard focus from Flash plugins, so when you think you’re typing in a text box, you’re also telling Opera to switch to C64 mode or zoom the page or something.

I just downloaded Mozilla Firebird and have to say that I am very impressed. All of the features in Opera are either included in Firebird, or can be included by extensions. I won’t say that I’m a convert yet as some long term use will be needed, but I thought I’d chime in.


For all of the reasons everybody says.

I especially like these two:

o A “block Flash” plugin that replaces virtually all Flash objects with a button saying “Click to see Flash”
o A right-click menu option on images that says “Block images from server ads.doubleclick.net” After a few days of right-clicking on flashing images, you knock out the main offenders and you get virtually ad-free pages.


You’re the one that turned me on to Firebird. I’m in you’re debt friend.

How do I get the extensions? Are they just out there and I need to look for them and they just install like any self-extracting program?