The pros & cons of alternative browsers

Discussion in 'polls' started by slammer_JvA, Apr 17, 2004.

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  1. slammer_JvA

    slammer_JvA Registered Member

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    Hi,
    I bet I'm not the first to start on this topic, but am gathering info on different browsers, other than M$ IE (for if one thing is clear to me since joining Wilders, it is that IE itself has many security-threats...:mad: ).

    I'd like to invite you all to share some pros & cons about other browsers/OS, like:

    Linux
    Firefox
    Mozilla
    etc.

    What about compatibility-problems, ease of use, security etc etc etc

    What's your favourite, and why?
    Let me hear!:)
    TIA

    grtz,
    slammer
     
  2. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    Ditching IE for general purpose browsing is a smart move security-wise and will sidestep a lot of the malware floating about out there (though dropping it completely is harder since Microsoft force you to use it to access Windows Update :( ). Windows 9x/ME users do gain the extra benefit that if the browser crashes, it does not necessarily take the rest of their system down with it.

    With regard to other browsers, the most popular choices would be Firefox and Opera (the first is free, the second is ad-supported with the option of registering to get rid of the ad pane). There are a few others that use the IE engine (like MyIE which adds extra features) but this would, in my view, mean that they could be compromised in the same way as IE itself.

    The main downside are brain-damaged webmasters who either forsake standard HTML in favour of proprietary extensions (both Microsoft and Netscape are guilty of these, but the former more so nowadays) or who try to block alternative browsers. Firefox should be slightly less affected (since such sites usually pay lip-service to Netscape browsers) while Opera allows you to change your browser ID to get around this (the current version defaults to an MS-IE user ID now).

    Opera has a more security-conscious design (it will warn if you access a username@sitename format URL, so often used in phishing emails, it can be configured to warn you before initialising any SSL connections) while Firefox has a host of extensions to cover the gaps in its GUI. The one item that swings the balance in favour of Opera for me is that it provides more progress indicators when downloading a website (showing amount of data, percentage of page and number of images) while Firefox just gives a spinning icon.
     
  3. c0ltran3

    c0ltran3 Registered Member

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    Opera is ad-supported or spyware? Firefox is free.
     
  4. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    With Opera you have a choice - if you do not register then there is an ad pane in the corner of the browser. Registration makes this disappear.

    There is no spyware in that Opera does not record your browsing history for advertising purposes - instead you can, if you wish, specify what type of ads you would prefer in Opera's Preferences window.

    This can be blocked by any ad filter of course, in which case the pane stays blank. Opera have a web page explaining this - Is Opera spyware?.

    Firefox is completely free - my experience with it is that you need to put more work into setting it up, specifically adding extensions for features like mouse wheel scrolling and mouse gestures as well as more general tweaking. TTLO (Things They Left Out) is especially useful here.
     
  5. slammer_JvA

    slammer_JvA Registered Member

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    Thanks for your feedback, Paranoid2000! :)

    It's a well-documented start.
    Any more reviews, anyone?
    TIA

    grtz,
    Slammer
     
  6. ceejay13

    ceejay13 Registered Member

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    I have Firefox and IE.

    I like Firefox, it seems to load a bit quicker, but some sites don't load 'correctly' with overlapping writing. On one of my XP Pro systems, the Flashplayer doesn't want to download and run correctly, but that is not a real peoblem. Generally though I am happy with the performance and speed.

    I need to keep IE as I cannot access some of the the sites needed for the day to day running of my business. For instance, my Bank uses some scripts that will only run with IE. My Accounts package provider's site will not accept Firefox as a 'valid' browser (even when User Agent Switching is used) - gonna talk to them about that!!

    The more M$ get their foot in the door with their features, the more the other browsers will be 'unacceptable'. Unfortunately, there are so many organisations now in with the M$ mindset that this may come sooner rather than later.
     
  7. dog

    dog Guest

    Hi Slammer, :)

    A thread was started by delgado in other secuirty issues ... about IE and Security Issues, but it also has some interesting information regarding other browsers and their security , check the posts by sig, SnowGuy, PeekaBoo and Paranoid.

    Here's the link if you haven't seen it: https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=30834

    dog - *puppy*
     
  8. slammer_JvA

    slammer_JvA Registered Member

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    Thank you dog!
    By coincedence (well, is it? I'm a big :ninja: here!) I just came across it!

    That is why my question to the moderators is:
    Perhaps you guys can merge the 2 threads in any way?
    Or close this one and make an 'official' redirction to the link above?
    Thanks a lot all, I'm on my way, learning more and more each day!

    :)
    Regards,
    slammer
     
  9. dog

    dog Guest

    Hi Slammer, :)

    I'm always :ninja: too ... ROTF

    Yes, as am I - referring to your last statement

    dog - *puppy* - :ninja:
     
  10. slammer_JvA

    slammer_JvA Registered Member

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    Update: For now, I've decided to change to Mozilla Firefox.
    So far I'm very satisfied with it! :)
     
  11. lonewolf3367

    lonewolf3367 Guest

    Wise move Slammer in going over to the good side of the Force aka Firefox. Too many people support the dark side aka M$ IE. I use Firefox in conjunction with JAP. I get less chance of an exploit as well as privacy, what a great combination.
     
  12. Catwomen

    Catwomen Guest

    Lone Wolf,

    How about Firefox+proxomitron+JAP for even more protection!
     
  13. lonewolf3367

    lonewolf3367 Guest

    I absolutely love the way you think Catwomen! It's just purrfect. Who says cats & dogs don't think alike?
     
  14. slammer_JvA

    slammer_JvA Registered Member

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    Hi Catwoman,
    I'm already using the first 2 you mention, but can't figure out what "JAP" stands for again... could you help me out please?
    It just doesn't ring a bell to me.... is that foolish? :oops::)

    regards,
    Slammer
     
  15. dog

    dog Guest

    Hey Slammer, :)

    Here's the link to JAP ... just happen to have it bookmarked ...

    dog - *puppy*
     
  16. nadirah

    nadirah Registered Member

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    Using alternative browsers is a smart choice to make in this security age where there are more and more trojans, hackers and viruses. Using IE seems rather risky, but hopefully XP SP2 will fix IE properly once and for all.
    My favourite browser is Mozilla Firefox 0.9.3 . It's highly flexible, is extremely easy to use and has lots of useful extensions available for it. What's best is that mozilla firefox is very secure.
     
  17. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    Opera is my default browser. it is not spyware. It has more options than IE ever heard of and it is very secure. And it has one major advantage over firefox [which I also have] opera is not a beta product like firefox. It has been a final release product for a long time. In my experience opera is a lot more stable than firefox and opera has a lot more options. And in my opinion opera renders graphics better than firefox or IE.
     
  18. meneer

    meneer Registered Member

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    Don't forget one big Con: lots of sites are IE only. Either because they use non standard html, or because they use ActiveX.

    Don't say i't's not a problem for other browsers or users, if you just don't visit that site, it is a problem if you have to visit such a site.

    I started a campaign against ActiveX. Not just because of the implications for non-IE browsers, but there's another big problem:

    ActiveX is software. In our company we try to distribute our in-company software by following Change Management and Software Control And Distribution processes. ActiveX frustrates these processes, because:
    - there's no documentation (what is the ActiveX component supposed to do)
    - there's no way of testing it (what does it do)
    - there's no guarantee that the integrity of our systems is not broken because of these components
    - we are forced to use dedicated software (IE that is)

    Whenever one of our users complains that a site (s)he visites needs ActiveX (by default it's not available in our internet policy), I send a complaint to the offending website, asking the information mentioned in the first three bullets. Let them have the headache answering the questions. They risk losing our business because of it. But since we're a medium sized company, I don't think they care enough. Yet.
     
  19. ceejay13

    ceejay13 Registered Member

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    Squeaky wheel syndrom comes to mind. If everyone does it, who knows, we may get Standards Compliant websites all round (as it is supposed to be!) ;)
     
  20. Valkyri001

    Valkyri001 Registered Member

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    :mad: You are to nice! Flash player is IMO the same sort of stuff, but if we don't have them then where is the fun. I think it would be back to the days of blue background squares with white letters in them. :doubt:
     
  21. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    Another advantage Opera has is it can be easily set up to access a PoP mail account.
    With Firefox,you need to download and install Thunderbird to do that.
     
  22. meneer

    meneer Registered Member

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    I never liked WordPerfect, but I dislike ActiveX even more. Why do you mind me asking webmasters to remove ActiveX components? Every security expert, even MS, advises you NOT to enable ActiveX.
    So I guess you didn't get the message.

    You really can't compare Flash scripts to ActiveX components. I don't mind our users using Flash scripts. ActiveX components run in supervisor mode. They are a part of Windows. Flash scripts run in the Flash context.
    I never ever saw one ActiveX component being downloaded with the design specs, full instructions, test results and an integrity guarantee by the distributor. Not even an MS Eula. Do you know what you get?

    I tried not to mention banning IE for a browser. Feel free to use it, but ActiveX (and Active Scripting) is so bad. So webmasters of the world: do away with this ActiveX mess.
     
  23. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    I use Calypso and Agent for mail and news with Firefox. It will pick up whatever mail and news programs you have set for default in IE. Or, if you like Thunderbird, you can use it too as a separate program.
     
  24. Valkyri001

    Valkyri001 Registered Member

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    :oops: I stand corrected! It sounds personal with you as you use the word "our" users, but a recent rash of "flash player" caused an invalid page fault, has me a little on edge. I'm not all that schooled in the differance between the two, but at least the activeX has to ask for permission. Why then does the Flash Player cause me more heartaches...
    Anyway back on subject, this Opera is looking pretty good but evry now and then I see folks having problems with all the browsers in general, why don't I want to just figure one out, learn its tricks and stick with it?
     
  25. Eldar

    Eldar Registered Member

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    When I started using Opera, it came with the ads. After trying it for six months I bought it. Not because the ads disturbed me, but because I had tested it thouroughly to see if it would fit my needs and it did.
    You can configure it to your liking. It's a secure browser and you've the wand to store all your access passwords. Pretty convenient tool.
    On their website you can find skins to change the look the way you want it.
    You can access your bookmarks pretty quick and it has integrated notes, where you can store important information. :D
    However I never used the mail client, because I use another standalone client for receiving all my messages.

    SlimBrowser is another one I also use and it's free.

    I tried FF, but I always come back to the ones described above. :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2004
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