ISP Review takes a look at some of the best mainstream web browsers
Surfing around websites (HTML pages) is the second most common online pastime after reading and sending E-Mails. They help to form a symbiotic splash of colour in an otherwise complex and confusing world of text and information.
Unfortunately you also need a piece of software known as a 'Web Browser' to see the pages and it's a good bet that 95% of those reading this use the most common one, Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE). Yet not surprisingly there are also alternatives, which is what ISP Review will be looking at today.
Why would I need anything else?
It's true to say, especially for those of you on fast broadband connections, that using anything other than IE probably isn't going to make much of a difference, not least because IE has the best HTML rendering 'output' of the lot.
That said and it's still worth knowing what your alternatives are, especially if you're not a fan of Microsoft, use a different operator systems (OS) or want something that loads pages faster because you're on a modem. IE may have the best quality HTML output, yet unfortunately it's also one of the slowest to load the information.
Note that the following was not designed as a comprehensive investigation into the alternatives, simply a brief look at what's on offer in terms of speed, HTML rendering quality, OS compatibility, price and a key feature.
For the above reasons we've chosen to test only the four most commonly used browsers, not least because they're also among some of the most stable and advanced - Netscape (NS), IE, Opera and the recently finalised Mozilla (open source) browser. At the time of writing all browsers were at their latest revision.
Netscape Communicator / Navigator (NS)
Older surfers among you will no doubt be familiar with NS as one of the Internets first web browsers, although back then it was also a commercial application. For many years it reined above the alternatives and even outperformed IE until Microsoft brought out version 3.1 and so forth.
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