If you’ve always used Internet Explorer (IE) because it was the only web browser supplied on your PC or laptop, we’ve got news for you: there are better browsers around.
Two of the most popular are Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Both are completely free and have some features that aren’t available in IE which can make your life easier.
There are, in fact, loads of web browsers to choose between. Here are another six less well-known alternative browsers.
One of the great things about Google Chrome is that your bookmarks, browsing history, passwords and even which tabs you have open can be synchronised between all your computers, including your smartphone and tablet.
Both Chrome and Firefox also have big libraries of add-ons which give each browser new features, such as a pop-up that warns you if another website has the same product you’re viewing at a cheaper price (InsivibleHand). Another add-on (Ghostery) can prevent companies from tracking you and there’s a multitude of others, too.
How to install Google Chrome
Step 1. Fire up Internet Explorer and type chome.google.com into the address bar near the top, or use your preferred search engine to find “Google Chrome”.
Step 2. A window will appear explaining the licence terms, but simply click the Accept and Install button. Windows User Account Control (UAC) might pop up and ask if you will allow Chrome to be installed, so click Yes if prompted.
Step 3. Chrome will automatically download, install and launch itself. It might ask if you want to import bookmarks and other data from Internet Explorer – it’s up to you whether to do so or not, but we’d recommend you do, unless you already use Chrome on another computer.
Step 4. If you have a Google account, you should sign into Chrome by clicking the three horizontal bars icon on the right-hand side and then Sign in to Chrome… This will import your bookmarks, browsing history, passwords and other data. If it’s the first time you’ve used Chrome, it’s still worth signing in so all this data is saved should you ever need to format your hard drive, or use Chrome on a different computer.
Step 5. You can choose how Chrome behaves when you start it by clicking on Settings (below the Sign in option in step 4). We prefer the ‘Continue where I left off’ option, which re-opens the web-pages you were looking at when you last shut Chrome. You can also choose which search engine is used.
Step 6. A couple of useful shortcuts you’ll want to know are: Ctrl-H brings up the browsing history and Ctrl-Shift-B hides (or shows) the bookmarks bar. A really useful shortcut is Ctrl-Shift-T which re-opens tabs you’ve just closed – ideal when you accidentally dismiss the wrong tab.
Next page: How to install Mozilla Firefox
How to install Mozilla Firefox
Here we continue our step-by-step guide to installing a new web browser.
Step 7. You don’t have to stop at installing Chrome. Firefox is a great choice, too. Head to www.mozilla.org in IE or Chrome and click the green Firefox Free Download button.
Step 8. You’ll be asked if you want to run or save the file. Choose Run. As with the Chrome installation, Windows’ UAC will pop up and ask for permission. Click Yes and you’ll see a progress bar showing the download and installation process.
Step 9. Firefox will run automatically, and you should be asked if you want to import bookmarks from one of the other browsers which are installed. It’s up to you whether to do this or not.
Step 10. Like Chrome, Firefox can synch bookmarks and other data with your other computers running Firefox. Click the drop-down menu (the orange Firefox button) and then Set Up Sync… You’ll need to create a free account with your email address and a password.
Step 11. Firefox is supremely customisable. From the drop-down menu, click Add-ons to browse the list of extensions. You can also enable themes to change the look of the browser from the same place.