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IE vs Firefox vs others


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#1
Twism

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Hello all,


I just thought I would bring you up-to-date on security and vulnerability issues regarding internet browsers. The current fad, which has lasted since the introduction of firefox in March, is one which has been very exciting indeed. First of all because Mozilla Firefox is an open-source alternative to IE, second because of its features and usability. This has made Firefox very very popular indeed. However, just because so many people use it, does this make it immune to exploits and vulnerabilities? Well, take a look for yourselves...this is a mere quote from the article...for the entire article follow the link :

From March 2005 to September 2005 10 vulnerabilities were published for Microsoft Internet Explorer, 40 for Mozilla Firefox. In April-September timespan there were 6 exploits for MSIE, 11 for Firefox.

URL : http://blogs.zdnet.c...index.php?p=103


It has been said, and it IS true that Firefox is a better alternative to IE. Personally I have always opted for Opera. I am currently running on a linux box running Ubuntu 5.04 Hoary, but have previously run WinXP also with Opera without problems.


Ofcourse people are free to choose what they will concerning web-browsers, but in terms of security, like choosing a car, make sure it works the way YOU want it to work before settling.Personally I suggest Opera as a viable alternative.


=)
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#2
cassykins

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Hi Twism.

Thanks for that article and the information. I have to admit, I was quite surprised when I saw the number of exploits for Firefox compared to IE, although I supposed everyone should already have expected that, given its rapidly-rising usage.

I definitely agree with you that Opera is an excellent browser. With its quick, efficient loading times, clean-cut interface and numerous cool features such as tabbed browsing and mouse gestures (mouse gestures!), it is probably the only single browser I would ever consider using as my standard Internet browser besides Firefox.

I used to use Deer Park as well, which was basically a beta of the next generation Firefox browser, and it works pretty well as well (think an older version of Firefox beta 1.5). The one reason why I adored it so much was because of its Sanitize tool, which I configure to empty my cookies, Internet cache, browsing and downloading history, saved forms and et cetera right before I exit Deer Park. Unfortunately, I had to uninstall it because apparently having two firefox.exes on my system was messing up my profile manager.

Anyhow, I will still be continuing using Firefox as my default browser. Despite the fact that more and more Internet users are now more open to the idea of using an alternative to IE, the majority still stick to IE, thinking it to be far superior to any other web browsing solutions simply because it is a Microsoft product. Therefore it is still more likely than not that should any major exploits take place, the hackers behind them would still be more liable to target IE.

There's still the little, and sad fact that a large amount (not all, though) of IE users are the same users who generally don't bother with firewalls or anti-malware tools - in other words, users who think that not doing online shopping or banking, engaging in frequent downloading sessions or surfing [bleep] websites are enough for them to steer clear of hackers and crapware. Firefox users or users of other browsers such as Opera, K-Meleon and the like (again, not all, of course), on the other hand, have most probably made a switch because of a particularly painful malware incident involving IE, and are thus more wary against such stuff, and would most likely have a whole hoard of firewall, anti-virus, and anti-malware solutions at hand on their PC. Therefore...as a whole, users of Internet Explorer are still more vulnerable to such exploits.

Of course, I know plenty of people who use IE as their standard browser, and yet have next to none such security issues, simply because they have taken the necessary precautions. The same way how using Firefox or Opera does not automatically ensure optimum security for a user - users still must have up-to-date firewall and anti-virus program, as well as sufficient anti-malware protection on their system.
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#3
pip22

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Liked your post cassykins. very well thought out and nice to see you not bashing IE just because everyone else is. As you say, if you keep your defences up (and up to date), IE will function admirably without letting in any nasty stuff. I'm a case in point. I regard myself as fairly 'net savvy' where security is concerned, so naturally I run a third party firewall, an AV scanner and several blocking tools, all kept up to date. I have used IE since version 4 and I've never been 'hit' by hijacking or the other things that I read about on the forums, despite the fact that I've had an 'always on' connection for 2 years. I've tried both Firefox and Opera, obviously not because I was worried about security, but I just wanted to see what the competition was like. I have to say, however, that if you put the security arguments to one side for the moment, IE is definitely more polished and more user-friendly --- and that's why I continue to use it. Popular plugins work straight away without having to manually copy files to another folder -- one particular plugin isn't supported at all in Firefox. As for Opera, it's okay but it's page rendering can sometimes look very crude. No, I'm happy with IE. I just hope version 7 doesn't make me change my opinion!
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#4
pinoymale

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Hi there,

I'm seriously thinking of switching to Firefox even though I know next to nothing about it. I'm currently using IE and I've had to re-format my pc more than 5x already because I kept getting hit with all sorts of malware. If I switch to Firefox, will I still be able to use/run the programs that I have right now or will I lose some in the process?

Edited by pinoymale, 19 September 2005 - 09:24 AM.

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#5
cleverboy12

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Well To Be Honest You can be hit with malware from any browser to be safe with any browser you need protection, common sense, up to date patches and features!
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#6
cassykins

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I have to say, however, that if you put the security arguments to one side for the moment, IE is definitely more polished and more user-friendly --- and that's why I continue to use it. Popular plugins work straight away without having to manually copy files to another folder -- one particular plugin isn't supported at all in Firefox. As for Opera, it's okay but it's page rendering can sometimes look very crude.


Depending on your definition of 'polished', I much prefer Firefox's sleek, clutter-free layout to IE's much clunkier, dated look. IE also frequently crashed on my previous computer (at least once or twice every few weeks) - something which has never happened to me in the few months I've been using Firefox. As for user-friendly...personally, I think that both browsers are on par with each other here. Both are easy to configure and work with, and are equally suited for the average home user. Opera, on the other hand, comes with so many options and features, it can be rather mind-boggling for a first-time user. Then again, given its many functions and tools, I suppose that's only to be expected.

As for plug-ins, I've never had any issues with that before, mostly because the websites I visit generally use basic HTML in their scripting, with no fancy-wancy flash movies, introductions, graphics, games and the like. However, for visiting of websites that offer flashy graphics and enhancements, IE is definitely the way to go. *Nods* Save for the occasional one or two times, I've hardly ever had any problems trying to load a website on IE. Firefox has zilch loading issues for me as well - at least, for the general circle of webpages I usually visit, which is good enough for me. LiveJournal's update feature isn't supported by Opera however, although most other websites work well enough.

Hmmm...does Opera sound like it is fighting a losing battle here? Not necessarily so - I would still pick Opera over other alternative browsers like K-Meleon and Avant any time, although right now I'm still sticking to Firefox as my standard choice. :tazz:

I'm seriously thinking of switching to Firefox even though I know next to nothing about it. I'm currently using IE and I've had to re-format my pc more than 5x already because I kept getting hit with all sorts of malware. If I switch to Firefox, will I still be able to use/run the programs that I have right now or will I lose some in the process?


Err, what cleverboy12 said. IE isn't the root of your malware problems - lack of sufficient security precautions taken is. Switch to Firefox if you like, but first and foremost - get yourself a decent anti-virus program (AVG Free Edition works great for most), firewall (ZoneAlarm, Sygate, and Kerio are all excellent, and all offer free versions of their firewall products), and anti-malware software (Ad-Aware, Spybot, MS AntiSpyware...), and once you've done that, you'll find that your need for constant reformatting will be greatly reduced, switch or no switch. :)
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#7
chessonly

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I have to say, however, that if you put the security arguments to one side for the moment, IE is definitely more polished and more user-friendly


I if i were you i wouldn't call myself netsavvy. and if are netsavvy then 'user-friendly' shouldn't be a factor for you.
Besdies, In opera i can just rightclick on a button to remove it or press shift and drag around.
Customize OPERA
http://nontroppo.org/wiki/Opera

I'm seriously thinking of switching to Firefox even though I know next to nothing about it. I'm currently using IE and I've had to re-format my pc more than 5x already because I kept getting hit with all sorts of malware. If I switch to Firefox, will I still be able to use/run the programs that I have right now or will I lose some in the process?


Get Opera - its free, completely!! :tazz:. and its the securest browser out there. check www.secunia.com
and you sere not going to lose any programs.
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#8
Rawe

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I will have to say, Firefox is the best browser I have tried this far. I have a registered version of Opera as well, but I still like Firefox more.

Never had any problems with it. As for the security issue, it's true that no browser can be used without having good antimalware/Anti-virus software. But the thing is, Mozilla updates it's browsers VERY fast when a new security issue is being found. That is why it's safer than other browsers. :tazz:

There is also the new site for Microsoft updates, so that's not an problem. (possible to get those through Firefox- Opera, most of the alt browsers as well.)

I like the selection of plugins and themes and the amount of improvements we can get for Firefox. It's the best choise to get in my opinion.

If I switch to Firefox, will I still be able to use/run the programs that I have right now or will I lose some in the process?


You won't lose anything. Switching browsers would be like switching ANY programs. Like uninstalling Ad-aware and getting SpyBot instead.
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#9
pinoymale

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You won't lose anything. Switching browsers would be like switching ANY programs. Like uninstalling Ad-aware and getting SpyBot instead.

View Post


Thanks for the info, Rawe. It was one of the things I've been wondering about ever since I thought of switching to Firefox.
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#10
Numb Remxed

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Opera right now is totally free: http://www.opera.com/

And another browser that people like is Maxthon: http://www.maxthon.com/index.htm

But I still like Firefox the best since it is an open source.
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#11
ghetto_smurf

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I currently only use IE if I have to. Firefox is my main browser. Before my hard drive was reformatted I had the entire Mozilla suite, but I had to let it go...I hate having dial-up.

The only thing wrong with Firefox is all the plugins you have to download when you start using it to browse some sites that use Java or Flash.

Edited by ghetto_smurf, 20 September 2005 - 08:20 PM.

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