Alternatives to Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer, the web browser built into Windows, is particularly prone to security problems, mainly because of the way Microsoft have integrated it into their operating system.
So it has always been a good idea to use one of Internet Explorer's competitors to avoid various security issues. Luckily there are plenty of options which are not only more secure, but faster, more flexible and reliable.
The most popular alternative browser is Mozilla Firefox. You can download a free a copy from the Mozilla website. One of Firefox's big attractions is the vast range of add-in applications that make it a very useful tool.
Google's web browser is gaining acceptance across the market. It's fast but it does do things a bit differently from the others, with a vary spartan layout. You can get this free from Google's website. Like Firefox it has a wide range of plug-ins.
One of the longest established alternative browsers, Opera tends to be the cutting edge browser, while it's not for everyone it's fast, stable and is also a free download.
If you use a Mac then the Safari browser is included with your system. Windows users can download a free version from Apple.
Of the four, Mozilla Firefox is the most popular with Google Chrome gaining acceptance.
All of these alternatives are perfectly good for general web browsing. It's best to try each and use the one you find works best for you.
Unfortunately you can't completely get rid of Internet Explorer. Not only is it a integral part of Windows, but some websites won't work properly on anything else.
Most notably for business users is the Outlook Web Access function, part of the Microsoft Exchange service, only works properly in Internet Explorer.
While we can't ditch Internet Explorer, we can use it sparingly. Consider the options and choose what works best for you.
Diversity is good in many fields. One of the best places for some variety is on your computer's desktop.
Paul Wallbank is one of Australia’s leading experts on how industries and societies are changing in this connected, globalised era. When he isn't explaining technology issues, he helps businesses and community organisations find opportunities in the new economy.