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The Internet: The Missing Manual by David Pogue, J.D. Biersdorfer

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Browser Choices

If you have a Windows-based computer, a copy of Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser is already on your hard drive. Likewise, if you've got yourself a Macintosh machine running the Mac OS X operating system, Apple's Safari browser is right there in your Applications folder.

These built-in browsers get you tooling around the Web with a minimum of fuss, but someday you may find yourself wanting, well, more. More security and flexibility in the case of Internet Explorer, or more sites that work with your browser in the case of Safari, which still encounters some Mac-browser bias here and there from certain Web sites that only display their pages properly for Windows browsers.

Lucky for you, there are plenty of other Web browsers to choose from. If you think you want to surf with new software, you merely have to point your current browser to the right download page, snag a copy of the new program, and install it on your computer. This section gives you a look at some of the other Web browsers worth a look.

Firefox

Free, fast, and fun to customize, the Firefox browser has only been out since 2005 but has already been adopted by more than 10 million people—many of whom were rattled by Internet Explorer's vulnerably to malicious tampering. So what makes Firefox so great? For one thing, it can do just about everything Internet Explorer can do, and then adds these chocolate sprinkles on top:

  • Cross-platform. Firefox is available, in nearly identical versions, for both ...

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