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  • Tasks for the weekend – August 28, 2021 – trying out new browsers

    Home » Forums » AskWoody blog » Tasks for the weekend – August 28, 2021 – trying out new browsers

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    #2386511

    (Youtube here demo-ing the various browsers) Last week’s newsletter about browsing your way to more security showcased that many of you are looking fo
    [See the full post at: Tasks for the weekend – August 28, 2021 – trying out new browsers]

    Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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    • #2386512

      It reminded me that the world is not just Edge, Firefox, Chrome or even Brave.

      The world is Chrome ( & Safari). All other browsers are close to none existence.

      I use Chrome as default on Windows PC with portable Firefox ESR as backup.
      Chrome and Safari (with hide IP/VPN) on Apple devices.

      • #2386538

        The world is Chrome ( & Safari). All other browsers are close to none existence.

        And yet they exist!  When looking at world market share, even 2% of 5,168,780,607 worldwide internet users is 103,375,612 users.

        I use Firefox with multiple add-ons/extensions and find that it fits all my needs.  I don’t use Edge, don’t even have Chrome (or any other browser) installed.

        Since Firefox fills every need I have for a browser, I have no need to be trying any others.

        And somewhat off topic and yet still relevant, I very recently switched my cellphone provider from AT&T to Xfinity Mobile (which uses the Verizon cellular network) for a monthly savings of $100.  In making that move I had to upgrade my 5+ years old Windows phone with a Samsung Galaxy S21.  I’m still getting it setup to my liking, but I now have Firefox as the default browser on my cellphone, and the process allowed me to import my Firefox settings, bookmarks etc. from my PC, and my default search engine is DuckDuckGo.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2386636

          We did the same thing with our cell two S series Galaxy phones (S9 and Note 8) and switched from ATT to Xfinity Mobile and are saving $110 per month.  We’re on the Xfinity Mobile 1gb of shared data plan for now, but we will need more at some point so the monthly savings amount will decrease a bit.  Like you we’re happy with Xfinity tweaks to the OS.  Verizon cell towers cover our area just fine.

    • #2386518

      Chrome is my default browser. But I use Edge if I’m doing someone on Microsoft’s site and Firefox when I’m looking at stuff for coding (VB,POSH,Javascript) and managing my Router, NAS

      Rgds, Zeus

    • #2386545

      Still on Windows 7. FF ESR is my default browser but I have Vivaldi installed for several years when I want a different engine. (I refuse to install chrome on any Windows computer).

      Got coffee?

    • #2386546

      Any reason I shouldn’t be using Avast Browser?  I’ve been partial because of their “Secure Browser *Bank Mode*, which operates as a computer within a computer as I understand it.  When exiting Bank Mode, the browsing session disappears as if it never happened.

      • #2386667

        Any reason I shouldn’t be using Avast Browser?

        Because you have to have Avast AV installed to use “banking” mode?

        You could use incognito mode in another browser.

        cheers, Paul

    • #2386552

      Primary “day-to-day” browser is SeaMonkey v2.53.9 (a Firefox derivative) but…

      I write S/W for my Uncle’s company, used by various different “manufacturing facilities“, that uses PHP to display data from their manufacturing databases in a browser window (it’s a replacement for his old I/F that used IBM’s “green screen” to display the data.)

      While the S/W itself actually runs on IBM iSeries servers, we don’t know when we install it exactly which browser will be running on the various PC terminals used by any particular manufacturer to display the data.

      Therefore, in addition to using SeaMonkey to verify Firefox compatibility, I also use MSIE 11, MS Edge (the chrome based version), Chrome and Opera to ensure the data actually displays as intended in all those browsers.

      There are some “minor” differences in how each of those browsers displays things but, because they all pretty much “Standards-compliant” in CSS and HTML, it’s nowhere near as bad as MSIE 6 was!

      • #2386588

        Firefox is closer to being derived from Seamonkey than the other way around. Seamonkey is a continuation of Firefox’s predecessor, the Mozilla Suite. I don’t know how much of what is added to Firefox is backported to Seamonkey. Even Waterfox Classic (derived from Firefox 56) couldn’t keep up with the ever-changing Firefox code base, and neither could Pale Moon… and Firefox forked from Mozilla Suite/Seamonkey way before either Pale Moon or Waterfox came along. Seamonkey may not be the most accurate tool for gauging Firefox compliance, in other words.

        Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
        Dell G3 15/3579, i7-8750H/16GB, KDE Neon
        Asus P8P67 Deluxe, i5-2500k/16GB, KDE Neon

        • #2386600

          Yeah, but most people wouldn’t know that.

          I started off with the NCSA Mosaic browser then switched to Netscape Navigator when it came out.

          Netscape Navigator became Netscape Communicator which eventually morphed into Mozilla Suite.

          I really liked the fact Mozilla Suite included 5 different functions (Web Browser, Mail & Newsgroups, a Web page editor, an IRC client and an Address Book) that would’ve required multiple other products to replicate.

          When the Mozilla Foundation announced they were switching over to a “stand-alone” browser (Firefox) and “stand-alone” mail program (Thunderbird) and there wouldn’t be any further updates to Mozilla Suite, I switched to SeaMonkey since it still included all 5 of those functions (although I only ever really use the Browser, Mail and Address Book.)

          The current version of SeaMonkey (2.53.9) uses the same backend as Firefox 60.8, with security fixes from Firefox 78.13 ESR, and shares most of its mail and news code with Thunderbird 60.0.

          That means it is a bit dated, but the main different from the current Firefox is the type of extensions it supports (like Chrome, Firefox now uses APIs while SeaMonkey still uses XULs.)

          There are plans to switch SeaMonkey to API type extensions starting with version 2.57.x – which I won’t like because some of my favorite extensions aren’t available as API’s (API’s don’t include as much functionality as XUL’s did so those extensions can’t be ported over to the API format.)

        • #2387040

          True, in principle, but current Seamonkey 2.53.x) is predominantly Firefox 56, with essential security updates backported from current versions of Firefox.  There is an alpha of 2.57 which is based Firefox 60, but is a long way from being usable, including that 2.57 does not yet have support for WebExtensions add-ons. Yes, an unfortunate effect of WebExtensions is that some old XUL extensions are not possible because they require capacity not offered in WebExtensions.

          As both Firefox (for a short time) and Thunderbird (much longer) had overlap periods of where it was possible to run both XUL and WebEx extensions, I’m guessing that the same will eventually be possible when Seamonkey 2.57 releases, unless the devs decide it’s too much work to try to support both.

          I’m very fond of Seamonkey, because it gives me much better ability to tune preferences easily.

          There are a growing number of sites that may have problems with Seamonkey.  A handful are ones that make use of features that are only in Firefox 78 and later (typically video-related stuff that originates from Google), but a lot of sites that “demand” current versions of Firefox work just fine in Seamonkey if you set the User Agent string to show an acceptable version number.

    • #2386590

      The only semi-viable PC browser in the Chromium world for me is Vivaldi. It’s meant to be the fully configurable “power user” browser that Firefox once was (when it had its old addons). Vivaldi has tons of configuration options, and it also has custom UI stylesheets like Firefox (though Vivaldi is in the habit of adding features and options, while Firefox is in the habit of removing them, so that is subject to change). Otherwise, Vivaldi retains all of the attributes of any other Chromium browser, like the addon library, the compatibility with web sites, and the performance, The only drawback to it now for me is that it stutters badly when scrolling with the touchpad, just like every other Chromium browser. Firefox is much better in that way, which is why it is still the one I use. If (more likely when) Firefox cuts off one feature too many, I will have to adapt to the stuttering scrolling in Vivaldi, or maybe Waterfox G3 will work at that point.

      Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
      Dell G3 15/3579, i7-8750H/16GB, KDE Neon
      Asus P8P67 Deluxe, i5-2500k/16GB, KDE Neon

    • #2386607

      There are plans to switch SeaMonkey to API type extensions starting with version 2.57.x – which I won’t like because some of my favorite extensions aren’t available as API’s (API’s don’t include as much functionality as XUL’s did so those extensions can’t be ported over to the API format.)

      I have SeaMonkey still but I hardly use it because I love Basilisk. It uses XUL extensions (like CTR and Extended Status Bar, etc). ALL XUL extensions are available for Basilisk via Classic Addons Archive. I started out with Mozilla Suite in 1999 and a few years later the betas for Firebird, and then Firefox, and my one must have XUL extension Tabbed Browser Extensions which was the first AddOn for Mozilla Suite and later Firebird then Firefox (and, of course, Basilisk).

    • #2386608

      You missed a checkbox in Opera.  It’s under “Default Browser” in the settings. 😉

      I don’t like Vivaldi since it is slow to load and seems bloated to me.  Opera could be faster as well but has improved from before.  My daily driver is Firefox ESR.

       

    • #2386612

      I like Sven Taylor of Restore Privacy website which has a good top 10 list of various web browsers that anyone interested in both privacy and security should review just for the basic education. After Firefox, I have Brave as my #2, then MS Edge, then learning and experimenting with Vivaldi, because our beloved leader Susan says it is good to have many web browsers. EMWV = Everyones Mileage Will Vary. ( New internet acronym? – at no additional charge. )

      “WARNING: Many browsers today are actually data collection tools for advertising companies. This is the case for Google Chrome, the largest and most popular browser. A secure browser that protects your privacy is a critical tool for staying safe online and keeping your data secure from third parties. In this guide we are going to be analyzing the most secure browsers that also respect your privacy.”

      Spoiler Alert: I will not tell you his #1 listed browser, you will have to visit the website and review all 10 for yourself. Differing opinions are allowed, 586 comments say so.

      Secure Browsers That Protect Your Privacy
      August 2, 2021 By Sven Taylor — 586 Comments and counting…

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2386637

      Chrome was my default browser for several years until recently, when I switched to Brave. There are a lot of settings options in Brave and it took a while get it to my liking. I find Brave slightly faster and smoother than Chrome, but what I like the best is Brave consistently has far less steady CPU (Task Manager) usage than Chrome.  Also, one of my favorite extensions, Dark Reader (github) works much better on Brave than on Chrome.

      I’ve also used Firefox for several years, but Firefox uses significantly more CPU cycles than Chrome and Chrome uses noticeably  more than Brave.   I still use Firefox sparingly.

      I’m going to test drive Vivaldi soon.

    • #2386641

      As an Apple user, I have found myself using Safari from time to time as a backup browser. I do primarily use Chrome (back in high school, the laptop my school loaned me would only allow me to use Chrome or IE, and I chose Chrome and synced all my bookmarks there), but I also keep Firefox and Tor Browser installed as well. Safari has proven to be handy when I need to quickly fire up a browser to look up something; it’s less of a resource hog than Chrome is, and much better for battery life. It’s unfortunate that Apple no longer develops a Windows version of the browser, as I’m sure the world could use more browsers in order to keep Google on the edge of their seat.

    • #2386671

      I’ve gone back to the latest Firefox recently. I’d been using and liking Vivaldi but it started to get slower and slower to load (even on my SSD) and use more memory. I didn’t use many add-ons and kept cache , cookies, etc cleared regularly. It also used more CPU than FF, measured with SpeedFan and my CPU temps were about 5 to 10 degrees C hotter on average as well esp when watching youtube videos or loading pages with a lot of graphics.

      1 & 4 is no browser open

      2 is Firefox

      3 is Vivaldi

    • #2386680

      Dear me….I go all the way back to Mosaic, too, and the days thereafter in which MSFT destroyed Netscape, and had a judge tell them they must never, never destroy Netscape again…. (cough)

      Desktop:

      I used Chrome until I found out how much of my brain they were sucking, even WITH add-ons, extensions, etc.

      And I’m just enough of an iconoclast to want to not do something just because the Herd is doing it. 🙂

      I use Firefox; it’s like flying a P-38; you can customize the heck out of it with add-ons, and achieve a very good level of privacy, but it’s funky, has fits and kludges (the latest is bogus HTTPS warnings), and you have to hit it certain places with a hammer once in a while to get it running right. It’s a geek’s browser, but it really is worth the learning curve. Lotsa switches,  toggles, bells, bling, and under-the-hood duct-tape like things you can do with it. 🙂

      DuckDuckGo has their own “Privacy Simplified” browser, but it’s so simple, they don’t bother explain exactly why it’s the best. “Just trust us,” doesn’t cut it for me.

      Vivaldi wants to update itself every 72 hours. No thanks.

      Brave? Too much clutter, updates forced on you.

      Android: I refuse to use Chrome, and DuckDuckGo is buggy, and won’t import Firefox bookmarks, so I suffer with FF on Android, which is truly horrible. No programmers up there, just “Devs”, a creature I suspect is proof of a much lower order of Nerd. (Anyone that can’t provide a “home” button is an idiot, IMHO.)

      /gasbag mode

      Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", 12GB RAM, Group "0Patch", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations. Linux Mint Greenhorn
      --
      "Sure I had a plan; Everybody's got a plan until you get hit in the teeth."

      -A Very Famous Boxer

      • #2386914

        On Android, I think that Opera is the only browser that approaches usability. Text reflow on zoom is a non-negotiable requirement on any tiny screen, and shockingly, Opera is the only one I have found that has a properly working reflow. Firefox used to have this years ago, but it was so buggy that they removed it (easier than fixing it, I guess), and it was never added back.

        Opera Classic, with Presto, was the best mobile browser I ever saw. Nothing else came close back in the day, but of course Presto Opera is gone now.

        Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
        Dell G3 15/3579, i7-8750H/16GB, KDE Neon
        Asus P8P67 Deluxe, i5-2500k/16GB, KDE Neon

    • #2386792

      On Windows, Vivaldi is the only browser that displays the verified name of the company when a website has an Extended Validation type certificate.

      Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org and Defensive Computing at DefensiveComputingChecklist.com

    • #2387924

      I used Opera till a Chinese co bought it..deleted immediately..let’s just say I have trust issue with Chinese software.

    • #2388995

      Hi,

      I usually use Waterfox Classic (with selected favourite addons) and Sandboxie Plus Classic for casual surfing. Main advantage is been able to use the older addons I like which are no longer compatible with the newer modern Firefox browsers. The other browser Google Chrome (without any extensions) is used to access more sensitive websites requiring login credentials.

      Fortunately my favourite program for sandboxing browsers, Sandboxie (now open-source Sandboxie Plus) continues to be maintained and still works with my browsers.

      Just came across this article on ‘Super Duper Secure Mode’ for Microsoft Edge:
      https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/microsoft/microsoft-edge-just-got-a-super-duper-secure-mode-upgrade/
      Figure to try it out on the latest Edge 93.0.961.44.

      Cheers

    • #2390696

      For me, my default browser on Windows is Firefox (latest version, currently 90.0).  And I run it with a bunch of add-ons — NoScript, Adblock Plus, DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, Hide Private Mode, and Print Edit WE.  With the right amount of tweaking in NoScript and Adblock Plus, I can pretty much block out all the ads and tracking scripts everywhere; which is why Firefox is my go-to browser for just about everything.

      For the rare website where I can’t get things to display properly, my backup alternate browser is Chrome.  But it’s seldom that I have to fall back and resort to that.  More than 95% of the websites I need to get to work just fine with Firefox.  And when I do use Chrome it’s typically with the Adblock Plus extension also, along with Hide Incognito Mode (since I will typically use Chrome only in Incognito Mode).

      The browser that I hardly ever use?  Edge!  The only thing I’ve ever used Edge for is when setting up a new system — and then only so I can download and install Firefox and Chrome.  The Edge development team suffers from the same disease that the rest of the Windows developers seem to be afflicted with.  “We know what’s best for you. You don’t need to customize and tweak how things work or look. Trust us.”  Well that attitude just doesn’t work for me.  And, of course, then there’s the overarching question of how much more privacy do I want to relinquish to Microsoft.  I don’t trust Google very much with Chrome; but I trust Microsoft even less with Edge.

      My only real complaint about Firefox (as many others have mentioned) is that it’s resource-hungry.  And I’ll admit — especially with all my add-ons — that it’s slow to load when I first open it.  But once I have it open initially, then opening subsequent tabs works just fine.  So I’m more than willing to put up with that initial delay in order to have all the functionality that Firefox provides with those add-ons.  I even use Firefox (with NoScript too) on Android.

      • #2390782

        The browser that I hardly ever use?  Edge!  The only thing I’ve ever used Edge for is when setting up a new system — and then only so I can download and install Firefox and Chrome.  The Edge development team suffers from the same disease that the rest of the Windows developers seem to be afflicted with.  “We know what’s best for you. You don’t need to customize and tweak how things work or look. Trust us.”

        What can you tweak with Chrome that you can’t tweak with Edge?

        (There’s plenty you can do with Edge that you can’t with Chrome.)

        Windows 10 Pro version 21H2 build 19044.1319 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

        • #2390902

          I don’t care much about comparing Edge with Chrome; since I hardly every use either one.  Firefox is my go-to browser; and I can customize Firefox to my liking way more than Chrome or Edge — both functionally with a huge selection of add-ons to choose from, as well as being able to tweak the user interface to exactly how I like it.

          For a couple minor examples that really annoy the heck out of me, go into Edge or Chrome and try to locate a setting that will warn you if you attempt to close multiple open tabs.  Firefox has it.  Chrome or Edge: “We’ve decided you don’t need an option for that.”  I also like having a Menu Bar at the top of the window with clearly labeled “File Edit View History” etc.  Chrome or Edge: “We’ve decided to remove the Menu Bar to highlight web content and save space.”  Yeah.  Stop deciding things for me.  I’ll stick with Firefox.

          • #2391011

            For a couple minor examples that really annoy the heck out of me, go into Edge or Chrome and try to locate a setting that will warn you if you attempt to close multiple open tabs.  Firefox has it.  Chrome or Edge: “We’ve decided you don’t need an option for that.”

            Edge has been able to warn about closing multiple tabs for about six months since version 89:

            Edge-Ask-before-closing-multiple-tabs

            [Tip] Enable Warning Message on Closing Multiple Tabs in Microsoft Edge

            Windows 10 Pro version 21H2 build 19044.1319 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

            • #2391164

              Edge has been able to warn about closing multiple tabs for about six months since version 89:

              Well that just goes to show how long it’s been since I’ve even casually looked at Edge.  So I guess I’ll give Microsoft credit where it’s due.  That change is welcome and worth noting.

              On the other hand, it doesn’t change my mind about switching from Firefox to Edge (or Chrome).  Here’s just some of the other annoying items in Edge that I can’t stand:

              • No Menu Bar or option for displaying one
              • Favorites (aka Bookmarks) page can’t be pinned to the left side of the window
              • Favorites/History pages can’t be resized
              • Diagnostic telemetry data can’t be completely shut off
              • No In-Browser Applications settings to choose default apps or actions based on content

              If Microsoft were to fix these issues, I might — just might — consider giving Edge a second look.  But MS likes to believe they know what’s best for their users; so despite the crumb they’ve thrown users to warn about multiple tabs, I won’t hold my breath waiting to see if they address any of those other issues.  I’ll stick with Firefox.

      • #2391698

        And, of course, then there’s the overarching question of how much more privacy do I want to relinquish to Microsoft. I don’t trust Google very much with Chrome; but I trust Microsoft even less with Edge

        I share your concerns about Chrome and ChromeEdge so I do not like to sign into web sites with them. (If you must login with Chrome, use BleachBit to clean Chrome; I can’t get BleachBit to work on Edge). Firefox with Recommended Add-ons is my preferred browser however occasional only Chrome works.

        A redeeming quality of Edge is the Read Aloud feature, which works best with Edge over Firefox (Chrome needs developer mode). I would not use it to read any site in which I need to login with a password (just in case it does more than read aloud).

    • #2390798

      Firefox ESR 91 is my regular browser.

      The only time I use Edge is where I want to play a Flash video.  I’m not going to put Flash back in Firefox after all the work to remove it.  Also, Opera will not play Flash, but Chrome and Edge will.

      Dell E5570 Latitude, Intel Core i5 6440@2.60 GHz, 8.00 GB - Win 10 Pro

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