Why change from IE? The reason is simple. Internet Explorer is not a safe browser, does not support many of the open standards of the web, is overly difficult to code for and support in general for web developers, and breaks many aspects of this site, thus this site cannot fully support it as it breaks many of the features on this site.
IE 6 & 7 are very old programs and should not be used to surf the internet by anyone, unless you really want malware and viruses on your computer. Even IE 8 is old relative to other browsers. Simply put, IE has fallen way behind in its support for open standards of the web and its competitors, and is by far the most difficult browser to support for web developers.
At some point developers and customers must make a decision about the future of the web, and we have decided to support the free and open standards the web is built on and to promote browsers that support that philosophy and are easy & consistent to develop for.
For years Microsoft has used Internet Explorer to keep web development as slow as possible in an attempt to make the web "proprietary." However there are now great alternatives to IE that are easily available to all, free, significantly more secure, portable, and have better support for web standards and HTML 5 implementation than Internet Explorer. . . even compared to IE9.
Simply put, a "browser" or "web browser," is the software program that you use to access web pages/sites from your computer. They allow you to connect to the world wide web (internet) by simply typing in a web address (URL) into an "address bar," thus it's nothing more than a peace of software like any other software developed for a specific purpose.
For years the most common web browser has been Microsoft's Internet Explorer because it ships with each and every computer Windows is installed on, thus users have often never bothered to change their web browser for a better and more secure alternative, and many don't even know that there are better alternatives available or the risks of using IE.
No fear, all three browsers being recommended on this page have portable versions available. The portable versions do not need any administrator privileges. After installation they are fullly self contained in one single folder that can be copied wherever you like, taken along with you on a USB or used on your computer. They leave no traces in the registry or system. They are also more secure when used properly.
This is a very sad reality. Some sites have decided to develop only for IE and exclude all other browsers. What should you do for these sites? Since IE comes with every version of Windows you always have IE available if you need to use it; however, you should only use it when you absolutely have to. Otherwise you should let it just sit on your computer and use a better more secure browser for your regular browsing. These IE only sites are becoming more and more rare and soon will not exist at all.
Google Chrome is a full featured browser that supports the open standards of the web. It is a free "open-sourced" web browser. It's very secure, stable, and very fast with many extensions available to expand its capabilities and customize it to your liking. There are several branches of the Chromium project (Google's open source project from which Google Chrome is developed); however, Chrome is by far the best one currently available.
Chrome has a very minimal user interface that many enjoy. It also focuses on being very fast. It is a very fast loading browser, usually the fastest on average. You can download the regular full installation of Google Chrome here and the portable version here.
For those of you that want the simplest and easiest browser experience we strongly suggest that you install the full version of Google Chrome and allow it to auto-update. You will never have to worry about updates again as Chrome updates the browser and extensions automatically in the background without you even being aware of it. This is a great security feature and will help keep your computer protected while you surf the net.
Firefox is currently the most successful free & "open-sourced" web browser in the world. There are tons of addons to help customize Firefox to your liking. It also supports the open standards of the modern web and is a very stable browser. Firefox is following many of Google Chrome's security measures as well as significant gains is speed and HTML 5 implementation.
Opera is a great free web browser however it is NOT "open-sourced" and therefore I don't recommended it above Chrome or Firefox. It has done superbly well on mobile devices but hasn't done well on the desktop. It has always been on the leading edge of web standards and features. It also comprises a full featured built-in email client for those of you who want an email client built into your web browser. While Opera is not open source it is free, nonetheless I recommend sticking with Chrome or Firefox but Opera is a great browsers nonetheless.