Dear LLA Website users: Please upgrade your browser
What is a Browser?
Browsers are the way you access the internet, such as Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera and Firefox, it is very important that you keep them up to date in order to see the Lifelong Learning Academy website and others in the best format. It is also important for other reasons, such as security on your computer. Read article below for more information.
What’s Wrong With Old Browsers?
Old browsers (especially Internet Explorer versions 6, 7, and 8) are less stable, and much more vulnerable to viruses, spyware, malware, and other security issues. Those are obviously big problems to be concerned about—especially for people who shop online. So security alone is a very good reason to upgrade. But there’s more to it than that.
Old browsers are slow and more likely to crash
Firstly, old browsers are very slow. Every Web page that loads in a browser has to perform a number of different tasks. One of those tasks is the process of loading different files. These files include images, programming scripts, and other resources that help improve the look and functionality of the website you’re visiting. Old browsers do not perform these tasks with the same speed as new browsers. This makes your experience on the Web considerably slow, and can sometimes cause your browser to crash or freeze.
Old browsers can’t display many new websites
New browsers support new Web technologies (like HTML5 and CSS3). These languages serve as a foundation for many websites today, and for virtually all new websites and Web apps. But unfortunately, many of these new websites will neither look nor function in the same way in old browsers like Internet Explorer 8.
New browser options
Now that you understand why it’s highly recommended to upgrade an old browser, let’s take a look at what options you have for a new browser, and what strengths these browsers have. Please notice that switching to one of these browsers is free and won’t take more than a couple of minutes.
In May 2012, according to at least one statistics website, Google Chrome (all versions combined) became the most popular browser in the world (compared to IE, all versions combined). Chrome was first released in 2008, and has a number of advantages over old browsers like IE8.
Firefox has been the main competitor to Internet Explorer since the mid-2000’s. Although Google’s Chrome has become more popular in recent years, Firefox is a great browser with many advantages over old browsers.
This is the same browser that’s commonly used on iPhones and iPads. Safari’s features are very similar to Google’s Chrome, and has been around since 2003.
Compared to other browsers, Opera isn’t used as much, but it has been around since the mid-90’s. Opera has always been at the forefront of browser innovation and supports many of the latest technologies and features that make websites faster and more feature-rich.
Microsoft is ending Internet Explorer (IE) in 2015. ZDNet reported that Microsoft would introduce a new, stripped down browser that has been codenamed “Spartan.” It would debut with Windows 10 next year (2016), and it would function similarly to Chrome and Firefox.
Why are new browsers better?
The browsers listed above have a number of advantages over older browsers, including:
- Far fewer instances of crashing or freezing.
- Much more secure from virus, malware, and browser hijacking attacks.
- Much faster page-loading.
- Larger page-viewing area.
- A large variety of useful optional plugins and add-ons that add extra features to improve Web browsing.
- Unlike IE9 and the upcoming IE10, they can be installed on Windows XP.
- New browsers will automatically update to the latest version, or will notify you to download an update.
About Automatic Updating
The last point in the list above mentions the fact that new browsers will automatically notify you of an update—this is a good thing. When you have a browser that’s kept up-to-date automatically, you get a number of important benefits in addition to those already mentioned. These include:
- You’ll rarely, if ever, come across a website that says “your browser cannot view this website”.
- If any known security vulnerabilities are present, they will be fixed automatically.
- Every time your browser is upgraded, your browser becomes faster, meaning that the time you spend waiting for pages to load will be minimal.
Old browsers like IE7 and IE8 will not automatically notify you to update, so if you continue to use an old browser, your experience on the Web will become less secure (and less enjoyable as the months go by).
“All my bookmarks are in Internet Explorer!”
Everyone has bookmarks (or “Favorites”, as they’re called in IE) in the browser they use regularly, and it’s a valid concern if you don’t want to switch because all of your bookmarks are in your old browser. But moving your bookmarks from the old browser to the new one is not difficult at all.
For instructions on how to transfer your bookmarks to your new browser, check out the Browsing Better website. When you visit the page, click on the icon for the browser you’re currently using, and follow the instructions from the images that appear.
“I won’t upgrade—I’m happy with Internet Explorer!”
Even after everything you’ve read above, you might still have reservations about upgrading to a different browser. Well, there’s one final option you may consider. You can keep using Internet Explorer while getting a similar speed and viewing experience as found in Google Chrome by installing an add-on to Internet Explorer called Chrome Frame.
Chrome Frame is an add-on that enables new Web technologies like HTML5 and CSS3 in Internet Explorer versions 6, 7, 8, and 9. As long as the Web page you’re viewing has a specific piece of code in it, you’ll get an experience very similar to Google Chrome—even when using an older version of Internet Explorer.
Installing Chrome Frame is fast, easy, and free. Chrome Frame is completely invisible and will not change anything about the way you access Web pages in Internet Explorer. But it will provide the same speed and viewing experience that Google’s Chrome browser has, without needing to switch browsers. (However, if you’re in a business environment, you might want to contact your system administrator before installing it because some legacy sites might not be displayed properly. — thanks for the note, Jochem Bokkers!)
There are countless reasons to upgrade your old browser and start using something new and up-to-date. So trust us when we say that your experience on the Web will be infinitely better if you choose to do this.
Whatever you’re doing on the Web — reading email, shopping, banking, or anything else— a new browser will allow your experience to be safer, faster, and much more beautiful.