Watch out, Internet Explorer and Google: A pack of powerful browsers and search engines are gunning for you
There's something new on the Web every second, but most people have been using the same old browser and search sites for as long as they can remember. We put the latest versions of five browsers, along with three shells for Microsoft's long-in-the-tooth Internet Explorer, through their paces, and we took a fresh look at your search options, whether you want to find the latest news, the best info, or the lowest prices.
You aren't using the best browser. At least, if you're like about 90 percent of Web users, you aren't. Firefox, the new kid on the block, is safer and livelier, and it offers a better Web experience than any other browser out there--and not just because Microsoft has made a mess of market-leader Internet Explorer. We tested IE and four of its strongest competitors--the initial Firefox release, Mozilla 1.7.3, Netscape 7.2, and Opera 7.54--for features, ease of use, and Web site compatibility, to see which makes the best alternative to Internet Explorer. And for an alternative to the alternatives, we looked at three programs that extend IE, adding features and enhancing security. All of these tools are priced just right at zero dollars each (for personal use, and in Opera's case if you don't mind ads). Our Best Bet is the Mozilla Foundation's upstart, open-source Firefox for its fast, simple, and secure approach to the Web.