Hi, I've been a Netscape guy forever, and have been happy enough with it, but now I've got possibly thousands of bookmarks stored in it, so maybe it's time to move over to another browser and start fresh. I'm just wondering if I could get a quick pros and cons of the other browsers for OS X (I'm using Panther). Is there much difference between them (IE, Safari, Firefox)? I have a hard time being sold on Safari every time I open it, but that may just be first impressions. What's everyone using? Thanks
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Safari definately feels the fastest out of all the Mac browsers, but Firefox wins hands-down for sheer extendability. The problem with Firefox is that it's not very Mac-like. I wouldn't recommend any of the other browsers.
Firefox running on Mac OS X 10.1.5 -- no problems -- Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X Mach-O; en-US; rv:1.7.8) Gecko/20050511 Firefox/1.0.4
I often print from Internet Exploder version 5 because it allows a bit of control over what and how pages are printed: background images, fit to page, etc... (yeah, I know this is a terrible browser, and it crashes frequently enough)
I sometimes open Netscrape to check a web page in "a different" browser. And that is all. (mmphosis quickly presses Command-Q.)
I u$e $afari when I druel over new mac$ at the apple $tore: and that O$ upgrade will co$t you... to run $afari. But, safari looks so cool.
I like Firefox because it seems to render every site I throw at it correctly, as well as having more features than I'd ever use. Safari is great in its simplicity, but sometimes it has trouble with some sites, like newegg. Safari does render very fast though. Internet Explorer is nice because, due to its popularity, very few sites render strangely. Netscape has always seemed nicely equipped, but IMO is kinda clunky and a resource hog, both old (3.X) versions and new.
I like and use Safari as my number one browser. Its fast and I like the way it operates. Yes it does have a little trouble on some sites but very few.
I would have to say that IE 5.1 is my next web browser. not a favorite by a long ways but it works on every web page on the net. As for the rest they all remind me of Netscape. That was at one time I thought better than IE. However it has gotten bulky and turned into a memory hog.
I use Shiira, like firefox and safari mixed toghether, its great, and uses less RAM than safari, very fast too.
good java (need for e-mail admining and) just a good system
I use Safari as my primary browser. Firefox for stuff safari can't handle, and for stuff that won't work elsewhere (IE under XP via bootcamp). I used to swear by Netscape. Sadly, the last version of Netscape that I consider worth using is 4.7 under classic. Man, those were the days.
Thanks for the input. Hmm, this is interesting. I'm sitting here playing with Firefox and Safari and neither one can bring up amazon.com, nor can Netscape, but it pops right up in Explorer.
I use Safari as my main browser simply because its the fastest I've found.
But if your system runs at a decent speed I'd recommend flock. It uses the firefox rendering engine but adds in a load of "web 2.0" features like blog editor, photo uploader and can use del.icio.us to store you bookmarks. www.flock.com
Alternitavely you could try Camino or Shiira. Shiira's my personal preference 'cause it seems faster but it may be different for you. Shiira is built around apple's webkit and camino uses the firefox engine. Both are very "mac-like" browsers which is good.
hmm, it seems to have posted my comment thrice
Could a mod delete this please??
I use firefox because it's the same on all platforms and seems to work with almost all sites. The others I've been trying are camino and flock.
Check it out. Here are my choices, pretty much in the order of preference.
Firefox: My primary day-to-day browser because of all the extensions I use as a developer - lots of built-in customization, and extensions add more functionality.
Opera: Were I not a developer but still a power user, this would be my choice - lots of customization options and built-in functionality. Tend to see real innovations here before they show up elsewhere. I use Opera daily as well.
Camino: If I were a casual user, I'd go for Camino - the correct rendering of the Gecko engine combined with native Mac look and feel. My wife uses Camino.
iCab: I really like its feature set, but its rendering leaves something to be desired. I still keep it around and follow its development. I like the fact that you can get a relatively modern browser for Classic.
Safari: In my experience, displays quirky sometimes, doesn't have many capabilities I now take for granted in other browsers.
Other Mozilla/Gecko derivatives: If you need the special features, go for it.
IE: Dead. Forget it.
Wow, the list just grows and grows. I didn't realize there were so many to choose from. I'm trying Shiira right now. Very nice, quick, simple, smooth, and enough features, and it brought up amazon.com with no trouble. Firefox was not very impressive in the comparison tests ChristTrekker posted just above (24 seconds for cold start!?) and I am finding it maybe a little sluggish.
Here's a page I found with short summaries and links to all (I'm assuming) browsers available for OS
OS X Browsers
The search continues...I'm off to try Opera and Camino. Is there a need to worry about security with these lesser known browsers?
That page you linked to ignores text only browsers. You're likely not interested in them, but for the sake of completeness it should be mentioned that they exist.
Yes, Opera is definitely a speedy puppy. I really really like its full screen feature too, but I couldn't figure out how to get out of the full screen and had to resort to force quit. No problem with amazon.com. All the features I want for day to day browsing. All in all, from first impression, I don't see why I wouldn't choose Opera. It's producers come across as very aggressive in selling it. I suppose that means they're committed.
Camino is a lot like Shiira in first impression. I really like it's instant access to the bookmarks list edit. Camino also could not open amazon.com (all the browsers that can't get stuck on "waiting for g-images.amazon.com").
So far, Opera and Shiira are my top contenders. I like Shiira's simple layout, but I don't care for the sidebar access to bookmarks, etc. Shiira seems very quick too. Too bad it's not included on the speed test page.
i use OS 9.2.2 and even tho its way buggy i like wamcom mozilla 1.3.1 it does everything i want it to do and more, IE just out right blow's wamcom is better than opera, netscape, icab, IE that i found and in my opinion. for one it renders pages way better they dont look out of place. the scroll speed suck's tho when there is alot of java, flash, shockwave, or the site is just done badly. plus wamcom loads pages up faster than all the others i have tryed
Yeah, actually I just decided to commit to full time OS X. I've been cruising along fine mainly in OS 9 just like the most comfortable old shoe--know it very well and move about in it speedy and effortlessly and I've got some peripherals that don't work in X--but I've reached a point where the benefits of full time X now definitely outweigh those of staying in 9, and I've gotten really sick of going to webpages and not being able to get beyond some add that keeps covering the whole window (that's happening all the time now on my yahoo homepage!). 9 does have a certain zippiness which I miss, but X is so much more powerful, and the web is so "there" in X.
I have questions about security. Is there any way to know and compare the security capabilities of various browsers? My strategy has always been to use one browser exclusively for banking, etc., and use another for basic surfing, so in OS 9 I was using Netscape for surfing, and IE for mostly just money type affairs. I'd always quit IE right after doing my business and then immediately run iClean, and then switch back to Netscape. Does that sound overly paranoid? Can't be too careful, I should think. When I run iClean in OS X it doesn't seem to find as many files to clean as it did in 9, which is really strange considering I've got quite a few browsers on my X harddrive now which I've been playing with. Has iClean lost its significance in X? Thanks again for the input.
I use Safari a lot, but it does have random issues with CSS, or some thing. I'll get random rendering faults on ubuntuforums.org and other sites, and some times the fault persists across a page reload, and sometime the reload clears it right up. I've not been able to nail down the cause. If it gets too annoying I switch over to FireFox.
If your bank has a website that'll allow for your browser to be a security vulnerability, please switch banks immediately.
I'd be quite interested to hear of a problem with online banking that actually had to do with the users browser rather than a user being a moron and trusting an email.
Hey, be careful who you're calling a moron. My wife almost did that last week. She's been using Outlook Express since the beginning and hadn't been getting those "confirm your Paypal account" messages three or four times a day like the rest of us for some reason, nor any of the other bogus crap. She made me tremble to my feet when she came over and asked me why they were asking for her pin number. There it was on her screen--the clicked-on phish--terror of terrors. She had filled it out to the point where they asked for her pin. She said it was at that point that she realized that maybe something was wrong. There are many trusting souls in this world, and many souls of another kind.
No offense meant to your wife. I view that as roughly the same as some guy walking up to you and saying "I'm from your bank, can I have your debit card and PIN number?" Your wife used common sense, figured that something wasn't right in the situation, and asked someone with more experience for advice. If everyone did that, phishing would be unprofitable.
I use the word 'moron' because (I think) it implies a lack of common sense judgement. Also, given the amount of articles the mainstream press throws at us warning of phishing scams, I'd hope that anyone who uses the internet for anything important like banking is on guard and uses strategies like always typing in the paypal.com address manually to avoid problems.
Good for her showing some horse sense.
Thanks BDub, no offense is taken, I'm still just trying to figure out what the different concerns should be when one goes about choosing a browser these days.
Ok, so if I'm reading you correctly, the security in the bank website situation should be all provided by the website, and it doesn't make much difference, security wise, which browser you use. They always recommend strongly, though, that you close your browser after visiting the website and clean cookies and cache files. That suggests there is some kind of potential security vulnerability in the browser itself, doesn't it? Is the security concern and cleaning ritual actually overemphasized for the average Joe?
I ask this because when I look at these "smaller" browsers like Shiira and Camino who probably don't have an army of designers, I wonder if they may be less secure, but in truth, I don't even know what secure means. A lot of the browser websites advertise that they are up to date and have the best security built in, etc. etc., but maybe that's just the "all natural" of website advertising?
What exactly are we referring to then when we talk about security being built into a browser? Protection against various malware--trojans, spyware, etc.--most of which are targeted at holes in Windows (?), so as Mac users, browser security is really not much concern and not really a needed worry in choosing a browser, and the only real concerns for me should be features and rendering? Sorry, if this is getting a little long winded.
I would say it is. My guess for those recommendations are:
Close your browser window - make sure that someone can't just hit the back button if you didn't logout of your session. If that's the concern, clearing your history might be a good idea too.
Clear cookies - If you didn't logout, you don't want a valid login cookie sitting there when you walk away from the computer. It's /possible/ that a bank would be dumb and store some cookie like userid=(your bank account number). It'd be extremely bad design to leave any data in your cookies that wasn't randomly generated session id's.
On the subject of cookies. When generated, a cookie has a domain associated with it. The cookie will be inaccessible by any requests accept made by the domain which put it on your system in the first place. That's why Google ads are in iFrames (I assume). Since they load into an iFrame they come from Google's domain and Google can see when one cookie visits any site with their ads on it. Because of this restriction I can't throw a script on Applefritter that requests all the cookies from .google.com or .yourbank.com. Any properly implemented browser will have this restriction, and I'd hope that we would have heard a lot of yelling about one that doesn't.
Clear Cache - I think this is the most legitimate concern of the three. If you're looking at a page containing your bank details and your browser caches it, then that data could be sitting on your hard drive and could be pulled up quite easily.
Whatever browser you choose, make sure you're using something supporting https. There's no point in being secure with your data if you transmit it plaintext.
Yes, a lot target holes in Windows, and a lot get installed by the user along with some other piece of software. There's nothing stopping a malicious developer from creating an installer that not only puts in that shiny new word processor but also copies your cache and sends it to Estonia. As always, it comes down to common sense. Do you trust the software you install and the folks it comes from?
I haven't seen any 'download and install just by visiting a website' holes on the Mac browser side so that's not a huge problem. IE for Windows is a bit of a security nightmare because it's hooked into Windows so snugly that a browser problem can become an OS problem very quickly.
I'd be more concerned about rendering and features. Mac users have no tolerance for malware, and a lot of them moved over from Windows to avoid the stuff, so should a major security problem crop up you can be fairly sure that we'd hear about it quickly and loudly. As an example, look at how quickly Safari users yelled when dashboard widgets were allowed to download and almost install automatically.
For regular use I still like Explorer.
Yes , there are issues on some sites.
For these I use mozzila
If you have been a happy netscape user check out mozilla's mozilla's latest build. should seem familiar.
Netscape was always buggy for me, so I never became a regular user.
Icab, Opera, Firefox,Safari, I have tried them all.
Many seem to be builds based on Netscape and Mozilla.
Not Bad, Not Good.
Lots of tricks to make both Explorer and Netscape more stable.
Seems there is nothing really "NEW" out there.
Thanks BDub, that was good info.
In case anyone's wondering, I've chosen Opera 9. The alternative was Firefox. Both bring up my most important sites about equally. Firefox may have a slight edge on successful renderings, but Opera has some absolutely fabulous features. I kept hanging out with Firefox because it gave me a certain familiar confidence--it's very similar to Netscape--and it does render my Yahoo homesite more faithfully--but the longer I've worked with Opera the more confident I've become with it. Opera's sense of speed is one of the determining factors over Firefox, but like I say, the features in Opera's interface are pretty wonderful, such as:
1) Customization--most of the main features in the interface are customizable. You can even choose from a large assortment of user-contributed skins for the browser.
2) Full page mode--no borders or bars, nor even the Apple menu bar, just the content of the webpage on your whole screen. You get out of this mode by simply hitting the escape key (how I missed that earlier, I don't know).
3) The "Wand" feature--stores your id's and passwords--just click on the wand icon and it inserts them. I know all the browsers have a stored passwords feature, but it's nice to have this little icon of control over the insertion. The other browsers simply throw in your password automatically. The wand gives a certain psychological sense of control and security--albeit false sense of security--but I like being the one to choose whether I want my password thrown up or not at that moment.
4) A progress and status bar that pops up at the bottom of the screen as a page loads giving very useful information such as a clicking time counter showing how long it's taking to load.
5) A "find on page" feature. This was like gold when I found it. I've wanted such a feature for so long. Type in a word or phrase and it's occurrence on the webpage your viewing becomes highlighted. I've wished for a long time that somehow Google could do this, but of course, it would have to be the browser that could accomplish this, and here it is in Opera. For instance, how many times have I wanted to get to a topic on one of those very long and dense XLR8yourmac.com pages and had to give up because it was too hard to scan through the long page to find what I was looking for? I'm looking forward to encountering that problem again to see how helpful this feature is. Terrific.
These are the features that stick out most in my mind at the moment. Maybe some of the other browsers have the same or similar features, but they are not readily apparent to me. I found these easily in Opera.
The feature that is glaringly absent in Opera is the "Go" history pull down menu. I don't understand why it's not there. It should be. This is the one major deficit in Opera for me. There's a pull down menu of recently typed-in URL's in the address bar, and there's a couple recently viewed links in the Window pull down menu (don't know which or how the couple in there are selected), but both of those are not complete or chronological. Maybe I've missed a preferences selection somewhere. I was able to create a working "jury rig" for this deficit by opening up the "global history" window and dragging it's icon into the address bar. I just click on the icon and I get the chronological history--which is actually too extensive and detailed--showing every page including long URL's--but it's the best solution I can figure out. I really miss the "Go" pulldown menu--pull it down, hit a visited site, zap you're there, go back up to another visited site, back and forth, very simple and quick. Why Opera excluded that, I don't know. Maybe I'm not seeing something.
Shiira was the third best browser choice, but it couldn't bring up a couple of my most important sites. It seemed pretty quick and easy to use. The sidebar feature that I complained about earlier was actually not a problem at all when I found in the preferences that you can make the browser window automatically resize when you hit the sidebar button. As the sidebar pops out, the window resizes so that the browser window and the sidebar fit nicely within your screen. Hit the sidebar button again to close it and the sidebar disappears and the browser window automatically resizes to full screen. The sidebar actually becomes a pretty cool feature this way. OS X Mail should have this option for it's mailboxes sidebar. That's the major problem with sidebars--screen space.
I tried Mozilla--seems identical to Netscape 7.2--and it was too slow and did not bring up key pages. I'll leave that comfortable old shoe in the closet.
I didn't bother trying Flock because it looked CPU intensive--which I don't have--but it looked very intriguing.
Safari is speedy, but it failed to render often, and is very lacking in features as far as I can see.
So I'm with Opera. It's nice to have finally made my decision. It was actually a lot of work arriving at it. Now back to surfing. Kowabonga.
Try Cmnd-f in Safari and you get a small seach dialog box that pops up to search the current page. Do in in FireFox and a Find bar pops up just above the status bar.
Cmnd-f, I should have known. The other browsers have that as well. All this time it's been sitting under my nose! Shiira has it too. Shiira does another interesting thing. I inserted my Firefox bookmarks into Shiira and now Shiira actually shares Firefox's bookmarks. I create a new bookmark in Firefox and it automatically shows up in Shiira. Shiira is definitely a browser all you Safari users should check out. Their stated goal is " is to create a browser that is better and more useful than Safari." As far as I can see, they may have succeeded already. It seems very fast. The one thing of significance I can't seem to find in Shiira is a password manager.
Hmm, no I'm rethinking again...
As I'm sitting here playing around with Shiira trying to get it to insert passwords, I have to say, this seems like the fastest browser of all--faster than Safari--(maybe that's because I'm doing this on a Saturday morning)--and the more I look at Shiira, the more features I see. Anyone know if there's a universal keystroke for saved password insertion? Somewhere on the web there's probably a page that shows all the major keystrokes for Macs. That would be a great link to have.
Oh, here it is:
Now it would be nice if they were arranged by use, ie. a list of major keystrokes for browsers, list for word processing, list for graphic programs, etc.
I also notice that you can make Shiira share Safari's bookmarks, so if you Safari users want to test out Shiira, simply download it, open it up, go to preferences>bookmarks, and click "on" Safari bookmarks, and then go surf around in your bookmarks using Shiira. Firefox users can do the same thing.
Evidently, from reading other users' comments, the autofill password issue has been the longstanding drawback of Shiira which was finally addressed in the latest release. There is an autofill option in the preferences, and supposedly the id's and passwords are stored in the OS X keychain. Every once in awhile when I come to a sign-in page Shiira asks me for the keychain password in order to proceed. I used Shiira all day and the id's fill sometimes, and the passwords less occassionally, but it all seems inconsistent, and I'm not sure how it's integrated with the keychain, or how to manipulate it. I've read that, since the bookmarks and id's and passwords can be shared from Safari or Firefox, some users of the earlier releases would go back to those other browsers and set passwords and then return back to Shiira and that achieved a desired autofill effect.
Anyway, using Shiira all day and customizing it has been fun. It definitely is a very cool browser. There's a couple of features you fast CPU Tiger users may really like: Tab Expose and page turning. If the password issue can straighten out, I'd be tempted to use Shiira as my main browser, but that "wand" feature in Opera is, for me, a big reliable plus that keeps things moving along.
But the truth is, I do like the idea of having the keychain password integrated for security purposes. Everytime you open a browser, the first time you hit a sign-in page or a form fill during that browser session, you should have to enter your keychain password before autofill goes into effect. The rest of the time during that session, sign-ins would autofill automatically until you close the browser. Next time you open a browser, first sign-in, keychain password again. That is a very good security setup.
Actually, now that I think of it, a better solution than using the keychain password would simply be for each browser to have it's own password in order to initiate autofill. That way people sharing a computer and not wanting to log in and out of users all the time could each use their own browser and keep each their own personal autofill separate and secure with personal passwords.
Try fast user switching if you want more than one person using the machine without having to logout. The keychain is meant to be used a lot like you're suggesting, except for the whole user space instead of just a browser. User signs in (unlocking the keychain when they do so) and their stuff autofills from there.
It ought to be the same keystroke that gets you into it...acts like a toggle. Not at my Mac now, so I can't tell you. In Windows it's F11 (and shift-F11 for small-screen mode), but that's probably used by Expose on the Mac. If you used a menu option, I'm not sure how you get the menu back to switch back.
Well I mainly use Firefox mainly because of it's available plugins such as Google Browser Sync. Having a Windows PC and a Mac, it's very handy when transferring bookmarks across. I also sometimes use Camino as it's very fast and native to OS X unlike Firefox.
firefox is my main one on all my computers. except, on this ubuntu PPc box, ever since 126.96.36.199 was installed, some of the sites dont render properly, and that crashes the browser, hard, and it quits. luckil, i'm still in buissness, thanks to protected memory. for those sites that crash FF, I use kazehakase, which is a wierd little mozilla-based browser, and actually REQUIRES mozill to be installed along with it.
oh, and then there is my cell phone, which has a browser built in, but it is absolutly decrepid, and for time when I catually do use my phone to browse the web, which is expensive as hell (charged by the kbyte, and it displays BYTES used upon exiting anything web-based), I use opera mini.
oh, then there's my PSP, which uses a netscape 4-based browser that's built in the firmware. it's netfront from this company called access. sony also uses thier borwser in thier phones. oh, and thanks to the latest software release, I finally have flash, though it's version 6 lite. no sound, but I dont care.
It greatly depends on the OS I'm using and what I'm trying to do.
My main workstation is a Sun Microsystems Ultra 5 running Solaris 10 (on which I'm typing this post). As you know, Sun *IS* Java. So Java's pretty tightly integrated out of the box with Solaris. The web browser, a customized version of Mozilla 1.7, is no exception. Java is built-in and works great, better, in fact, than I've seen it perform anywhere else. For day-to-day browsing that includes forums, e-mail, and news mostly, it works great. Just as well as Firefox on other platforms for casual browsing. And java web games work flawlessly.
On OpenBSD and OSX, it's Firefox for me. Almost anything Opera can do, so can Firefox, and often it's better. It doesn't run on all my operating systems, so I have stayed away from it. It's probably just a fad.
For just getting the job done, though, I'm all about links+, lynx, and wget. When I just want to download or check something quick, text-only browsers are teh win.
When it comes to "Browser flexibility", you can't beat Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It's outstanding and I have never gotten any viruses from it. Millions of people are using Internet Explorer. I have gotten Viruses from Netscape and other Browsers but it's not their fault. As for certain Browser like Firefox, Firefox cannot handle certain fonts. Sometimes you bring up a web page and the web page has a box with a red "x" in it but no fonts (text) or picture. I used to think that the person that created the web page was at fault but when I switched to Microsoft's Internet Explorer EVERYTHING APPEARED PROPERLY on many, many web sites. Internet Explorer handles fonts (text) and pictures superbly. Much better than Netscape and especially Firefox! There is so much you can do with Internet Explorer and, so far, it's my perfered browser to use. I like it a lot. And, I don't have any problems at all with Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
Well, you all have a good day.
Turns out, Firefox has a Master Password option (Preferences>Privacy). Works really well. Opera has one too for the Wand. I don't see one for Safari or Shiira, but I guess they incorporate the keychain password instead.