It seems the vast majority of small business computer users are using what they’ve familiarized themselves with over the years to access the internet: Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. While this application certainly has improved over the years it still suffers from a number of shortcomings that might lead one to consider an alternative. There are many alternatives available including Google Chrome, Opera, and Apple Safari, one stands out above all the rest for speed, stability, standards support and feature set – Mozilla Firefox.
Being a small business consultant I’m reluctant to barge in to any user and insist or even recommend they begin using something they’re unaccustomed to when their present solution is working just fine. That is not to say there aren’t compelling reasons to do so, it’s just not on the priority list to run down the benefits of up-ending decades of experience. Don’t worry – at the end of the day they perform the same job and operate very similarly.
Here are the main benefits that your typical user takes advantage of immediately:
- Security: Firefox is not integrated into Windows, and does not use ActiveX technology – an often exploited framework that easily allows malicious programs to trick users into allowing their installation, subsequently taking over your PC. Firefox does not directly download AND run applications with a single click, requiring a concious decision to download, and then run, the application in question.
- Standards Compliance: If you’ve ever come across a web page that just didn’t render properly or function at all in Internet Explorer, assuming the web page or application was built to commonly defined standards, it probably would have worked just fine in Firefox. Internet Explorer likes to do things its own way and generally is a generation or two behind in emerging web standards – resulting in coders using workarounds which sometimes work in IE. Firefox is built to support these standards as a first priority.
- Extensibility: This brings me to the purpose of writing this article; modular design allows for plugin functionality to alter your experience to your taste. While there are many applications for this, Adblock Plus is one of the most useful applications which not only removes many annoyances from your day to day surfing, but can also increase security by blocking content from ad networks which sometimes fail to properly check into their clients, resulting in the distribution of malicious software.
Here is a screenshot of my favorite Firefox feature of all in action – Adblock Plus:
You’ll find benefits to this just about everywhere, including those annoying 30 second (or more!) ads before many videos you’re being linked to for business purposes 😉
SO, switch to Firefox for this, that, or the other reason – Stay for the Ad blocking! It’s a two step process to get this installed and functional – lets got to it:
Download and Install Mozilla Firefox
Once you have that installed, with your new firefox browser, visit https://adblockplus.org
It will direct you to install the plugin and there you go, no more ads that get in the way of your content. Try it out – you can easily switch back to IE at any time if you decide all these benefits aren’t worth bailing on your familiar Internet Explorer.
If you need computer repair, service or network consulting for your small business, consider Collett Systems out of West Bend, WI serving Milwaukee, Germantown, Menomonee Falls, Slinger, Grafton and Cedarburg for your needs. Give us a call at 262.384.4400 for a free asssesment of your small business’ support needs. Put us to the test against your current provider today!