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image: Woolworths - Farnworth © Terry Whalebone via Flickr

We all use internet browsers to access our favourite online content but most of us don't spend too much time thinking about them. You might have a preference for one browser (Apple users, for example, seem to love Safari) or, like me, use several at the same time for different types of web content.

At Glenigan we value your online experience and want to make using our website as easy and enjoyable as possible. We have put together this article to offer advice about the different browsers you might choose and, importantly, the benefits of using up-to-date versions.

We've looked at the browsers people are using to access Glenigan and a high proportion (over 30%) use Internet Explorer 8. This browser came out in 2009, the same year as the last Woolworth's stores closed, MPs expenses were big news and Slumdog Millionaire won eight BAFTAs. In the intervening five years Google Chrome has become the most used browser and the choice has never been richer.

Why update?

The main reason for sporting the latest in browser technology is security. Older versions are most frequently targeted with Spyware and other digital nasties that can access your browsing history. In the latest iterations of the leading browsers you have greater control over your data privacy and the types of content that will be blocked as standard.

Speed is another good reason. You probably access the internet from multiple devices at home and at work so having your favourites and bookmarks synchronise across devices is a real time saver and the latest browser versions are tuned to maximise the speed at which pages load and media is displayed.

Spoilt for choice

It's true there is lots of choice out there and it is now very common for people to have more than one browser installed on their computers and mobile devices. For me, the main benefit of multiple browsers is that I can have Salesforce and Tweetdeck open at all times and easily switch between them and still have a third browser in the wings if I need a quick search or to look up the latest construction project in my local area!

But we're on lock-down

Corporate IT policies often control which browsers employees can use and block downloads of updates and new versions. All of the latest browsers will work with Glenigan but like lots of websites, we will end support for IE8 by the end of the year. If you can it is worth upgrading your browser now so that your access is not affected. The latest versions allow for automatic updates so  you will always be sporting the very latest in web technology. 

If you have a corporate IT policy and you are running IE8, it is worth having a conversation with your technology team about the need to upgrade.

Which browser is best? 

It is very difficult to answer that question; the truth is that they are all good these days, each offering a slightly different experience. It really comes down to your preference. Our advice, if you are able, is to download a couple, try them out for a while and settle with your preference(s).

To finish, here is a quick overview of the main browsers and links to download them.

Chrome BrowserGoogle Chrome

Widely reported to have overtaken Internet Explorer as the most used browser, Chrome offers lots of in-browser apps that can make life easy for accessing all kinds of productivity applications, games, etc.

Firefox BrowserMozilla Firefox

Firefox has been a popular alternative to IE since early 2000 and is widely used by internet developers due to its quick browsing experience and adherence to the latest web standards and technologies.

Internet Explorer BrowserInternet Explorer

Seeing a resurgence since the release of IE11, the newest version of Microsoft's browser is packed with features, focuses on users' privacy and is reportedly tailored for touchscreen interaction!

Safari BrowserApple Safari

You will be used to Safari if you use an Apple device such as an iPad or iPhone. A lot of Safari users are passionate about it and swear by its superior user experience.

Opera Browser


Not as commonly used as the main four, above, but has a stripped back version for mobile that uses less of your data plan to access the internet so is popular with phone users.

Here are links to download the latest versions  to make sure you can still access your favourite sites.

Chrome: https://www.google.co.uk/intl/en_uk/chrome/browser/

Firefox: http://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/new/

Internet Explorer: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/internet-explorer/download-ie

Safari: http://www.apple.com/safari/

Opera: http://www.opera.com/

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