- Internet & the Web
Why it is worth using Google Chrome and why it is better than Firefox and Internet Explorer
What is Google Chrome
Google Chrome is the latest major entrant into the browser market, taking on the established Internet Explorer and Firefox. It arrived on the scene in 2008 and has been steadily increasing its user base to the point where it is now vying for top spot, and is already the most used browser in some areas. I have been using it for several years now, at first just occasionally but now it is my default browser and I haven't looked back since.
Here are some of the reasons you should consider using Google Chrome.
Reasons to use Google Chrome
- It can be significantly faster than other browsers. This will depend somewhat on your system, what other software you are running and maybe a few other factors too. I find it a lot faster though, which suits me.
- Greater stability - All the major browsers allow you to have multiple tabs open, but in other browsers if there's a problem with one of the tabs, all tabs and windows will crash, and you will have to reopen everything. In Google Chrome each tab and window runs separately, so if one crashes, all other tabs and windows remain open.
- Greater flexibility to organise your tabs - You can choose how to arrange your tabs and windows. Click and drag your tabs around, or drag into the main browser window to open up a new window with that tab in it.
- Choose websites to open on start up - you can choose one or multiple 'homepages'. So if you regularly start browsing with three websites, you can set Chrome to open them all up when you start. Or tell it to load up the tabs you had open when you last closed the browser.
- Most frequented sites - Whenever you load a new tab, Chrome will show you large thumbnails of the nine most frequent sites you visit, so you can easily click to go to one.
- Incognito mode - You can open a new 'incognito' window so you can browse the web without any trace of it showing on your computer. Useful for buying Christmas presents (though third party sites like Amazon might still record your favourites etc)
- Security - Google Chrome has good built in security, it automatically flags up any suspect sites, and isolates any problems.
- Chrome 'Omnibox' search bar. The address bar in Chrome is also a search bar. Type in a web address and it will take you to that site. Type in anything else and it will automatically do a google search for it. You can customise this too to automatically to search other sites. If you type 'Amazon' then press tab and then type a search term, it will automatically load up Amazon search results for that term.
- Chrome Web Store, Extensions, Apps and Themes. There are thousands of (mostly free) apps to download to enhance your browsing experience, from email apps that automatically pop up to tell you you've got new mail, to games or productivity tools. Chrome themes allow you to change the look of the browser with some themes designed by renowned artists.
- Sleek minimalist design - Only a very small part of the window is taken up by the browser features and controls, leaving much more space for the web page viewing window.
So Why Not Give It a Try?
There's lots more to Google Chrome, features I don't use such as in-page translation and synching of themes, and with the Chrome app store, there's not much you can't do with the browser. It is still not infallible - occasionally you come across a website or application that doesn't work quite right with Chrome (the only one I've come across is my work's Lotus Notes webmail app), but the great thing about PCs is that you can have more than one browser installed at once, so if you come across a site that doesn't work quite right in one browser you can open it in another. It also means you can also give a new browser like Chrome a try without giving your familiar browser.
If you fancy giving Chrome a try, you can download it at: http://www.google.com/chrome/
Or browse the Chrome store here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore