What Color Is Your Browser?

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I get a lot of questions about browsers: “Which one is the best?” “Why can’t I view items on this or that web page?” “My computer freezes when I go to the New York Times! What’s going on?”

The answers to these questions are never easy, particularly regarding some who can’t view web pages correctly, and there can be a million reasons why someone’s computer may freeze when visiting certain sites in the Internet. Sometimes we misinterpret the cause when we see something happen. “This happened when I visited the New York Times. Therefore, they’re the problem!”

Not always the case. In fact, the NYTimes is a rather solid design, and this is the case with many, many other pages online.

The problem may be your browser.

The problem almost lies with the so-called 2nd class browsers: WebTV, AOL’s proprietary browser, AT&T’s proprietary browser, Comcast’s proprietary browser, and so on. 2nd class browsers are generally those built by Internet hosting companies by teams that, while competent, are simply not as good as the teams of individuals behind the major browser companies: Firefox (for Windows and Macs), Internet Explorer 7 (The version number here is important. If you’re still using Internet Explorer 6, upgrade ASAP), and Safari for Macs.

If you are using WebTV, you may be stuck. The prognosis is not good. The reality is there may be many web pages you cannot load properly. Yes, web designers should be more understanding and design for WebTV’s browser, but most do not even consider doing so.

If you are using AT&T, Comcast, or AOL, you’re in luck. You don’t have to use their browser!!! That’s right. All you have to do is establish your Internet connection, and then you can surf with any browser you wish. My personal preference for Windows or Mac is Firefox, however, you can use Internet Explorer 7 if you must, or Safari. But the point is, you are not bound to the corporate, 2nd class browser. You have a choice.

Just some simple things to consider. Why not use the best?