Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Review: IE vs FF vs Chrome

Comparing Internet Explorer, FireFox, and Chrome on Browser Behavior from Generic End-User POV

I've been using IE, FF, and Chrome as my primary browsers. In recent years, Chrome has been my default browser. FF was my primary before then, and IE when I first started using the internet. I still use FF and IE occasionally to keep up with their changes and there are some sites that still work better in FF or IE.

As for the impact to my computer, I notice that FF is most effective for the long-term. By long-term, I mean keeping the browser window for a long period of time (in days). FF has not had any significant impact to my system if left open for several days. IE is similar to FF but will slow down my system in a few days. Chrome seems to slow down my system dramatically if left open for several hours.

By slowing down, I mean that everything (word processing, other browsers, games, applications) else seems to slow down dramatically. Once IE or Chrome are closed, everything else improves dramatically in performance. Chrome seem to do even worse as there are more tabs. I can even notice the difference in performance as I close each tab. I have not noticed this problem with IE.

IE seems to load the fastest with FF seemingly the slowest. I have not timed any, but I think my senses are important in that this has a direct impact when I am trying to search for information especially back in tech support days. When rushing, you will notice even fractions of second delay when a customer is breathing down your neck. I have defaulted to IE for those instances and basically the only reason it was a part of my life.

Today, I use IE the least except maybe to test Bing and for some sites still developed only for IE. To my dismay, IE8 is the only approved browser at work (tech support will only troubleshoot web applications when using IE8, web developers also only design for IE8 for in-house uses). Many Microsoft applications seem to integrate better with IE. I find that IE is the worst at handling javascript exceptions.

I primarily use Chrome because it is youngest of the browsers and still figuring the ins-and-outs of it. It seems more compatible to other sites than FF, but renders IE specific sites worse. I like that Chrome allows me to drag and drop tabs into different Chrome windows. Surprisingly, I use that a lot more than I originally thought (which was never and how silly that feature was). I really like the built-in developer tools although FF and IE have similar features as add-ons. I find the Chrome version the easiest to use. I do not like Chrome's configuration placements. It seems to take me much longer to find certain configurations and sometimes never find them. I am mixed on the logging into the browser part. There are some good features and some I prefer not to have.

I do not have much to say about FF except that it works as I expect a typical browser should do except opening slowly. It renders almost all webpages, configurations are decently logical, and I like supporting a non-corporate built application. It has some nice add-ons. It is only unfortunate that it is not more popular because it is not a default installation like IE and Chrome.

My PC is about 4 years-old built from scratch with relatively cost-effective parts (ie not the cheapest but also not the most expensive).

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