Thursday, October 7, 2010

Comparison of Web Browsers

Okay, so, having been switching between windows/linux, I always find myself using different browsers for different things. A lot of the time you'll see browser benchmarks for which is the 'fastest'. That's not what I'm going to be talking about today.

Today, I'm going to be discussing some key features, pros/cons of each browser (or at least the ones I have used).

So first off, let me get this out of the way. Internet Explorer, I don't use it, I hate it, I think it's another proprietary piece of shit by Microsoft, however I've heard that the new Internet Explorer 9 is stripped down, and is supposed to be better, but I really have no intention of finding out. If you're looking for info on IE, and only IE, stop reading now!

Next up we have Firefox, and what can I say, probably one of the browsers I use more frequently, since it has a metric fuckton of addons for it, and in my opionion, it's probably one of the better browsers for web developers. One of my big issues with it, is that it seems to consume a lot more memory in comparison to Opera or Chrome. Most of the time though I'll use Firefox, when I'm programming something in php/html/css.

So, I've said that Firefox has a bunch of addons for web development, however I've used certain addons to aide me in making post bots for phpbb, SMF, IPB and vBulletin style boards, back when I needed one for grabbing data from an SVN repository and posting it to my programming forums I had at the time.

What are some of these addons you ask? And what do they do?

-Firebug - This addon is VERY useful to web developers, essentially what you can do, is click on certain features in the graphical part of a web browser, and then it will show you the html code of what you have clicked. You can even change that component.

-Live HTTP Headers - This one I find myself using quite often, since I'm fascinated by making my own bots that connect to a web page, login, and parse some data on a page, saving me time. What this addon does, is view the HTTP Requests, and Responses, and can even allow you to modify a request, and replay it in the browser.

-Tamper Data - I find myself using as often as I do as Live HTTP Headers, though this one is more useful for playing with POST data, and testing for SQL injections, XSS/CSRF exploits. VERY handy to have, and is a must in any web developer's arsenal.

-User Agent Switcher - This can be useful for testing things on your site, if you're doing anything involving the display of user agents, or similar. Allows you to modify the User-Agent header, nothing special.

-Web Developer - Okay this does a bunch of stuff. An example of one of the things, is easily disabling cookies. But it does MUCH MUCH more than just that. I would say this is nearly as useful as Firebug.

-DownThemAll - This is a really nice addon if you frequently browse *Chan sites, like 4chan. You can download all the images in a thread with ease, with the click of a button.

-Greasemonkey - Well, I haven't actually used this addon, nor do I really know what it does exactly, I just know that it does a metric fuckton of stuff. I'll leave it up to you to check out.

Okay, now that Firefox is out of the way, moving on to Opera, quite possibly one of my favorite browsers, this is probably due to the fact that, until about 3 months ago, I had dialup, since there was no broadband coverage in my area, and Opera his this neat feature called Opera Turbo, which degrades image quality, and compresses pages using Opera's server.  For dialup users, or users with relatively slow connections, I would definitely recommend you give this browser a go, or even if you're on Flaky wifi connections, it can help too. My big issue with opera, is it's lack of support for socks proxies. Meaning it's harder for me to tunnel my connection through SSH. Though there are workarounds for this, it would be nice if it was implemented natively. Also, where firefox has Firebug as an extension, Opera has something called DragonFly, which is essentially the exact same thing, but it's already built into opera.

Moving on to Chromium, I can't really say too much about it, since I haven't used it extensively, BUT, one of the features that I really love about it, is it's Incognito Mode. Essentially what this allows you to do, is open a window, and browse, login to sites, etc. Then when you close the window, it doesn't save your history, cookies or anything of the like. This would be very good for public computers, like at a library or school for example. Apart from that, I don't really like the layout of it. Also, it has an element inspector similar to that of Firebug and DragonFly.

Okay, this next one, most linux users will know about anyway, but the newer users to linux may not know about this. There is a text-only browser for the terminal, and it's called lynx. Why would someone want something like this you ask? I think the question is, WHY NOT? If you have ssh access to a *Nix box with lynx installed, but you don't have the ability to ssh tunnel, this might be useful for getting around firewalls. Otherwise, if you're hardpressed for bandwidth (on dialup for example), then it might be useful, since it doesn't have to download images. I wouldn't recommend it for every day use though.

There are still more browsers, however those are the more commonly used ones (with the exception of lynx). Opera is my favorite for general browsing, firefox for development, and chromium seems like it might have the potential for anonymous browsing.

Anyways, hope this info is useful in some way to you.


  1. Cool love firefox, but have been switching more to chrome lately.
    Also Tom's Hardware reviews,2558-10.html

  2. Chrome has been my weapon of choice now for a while. It feels more minimalistic, Firefox seems clunky sometimes.

  3. ive been using chrome for aaaages now, love it to bits! before i said the same about firefox, butg it kept crashing and was slow as hell :/

  4. Using firefox right now. Interest social experiment I want to perform would to be find people using firefox (so many people use it now) and ask them why they are using it instead of IE and if you get a response with more substance than "because it's better."

  5. The reason I originally switched to Firefox years ago, was because it's open source, and it was the first browser I saw back then, with tabbed browsing.

  6. The newest firefox has serious issues with most add-ons. Just something I've noticed.

  7. gotta agree, Chrome seems to run quick but theres an unfortunate lack of addons and the layout is attractive but not the nicest to use

    firefox will probably be my main browser for some time to come

  8. firefox is my good pal. seems to get all the shit done chrome does.

  9. I love the functionality of FF but my second choice would be Chrome.