[Source: This article was published in aei.org By Shane Tews - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jennifer Levin]

Mozilla announced last week that its Firefox browser will begin using the DNS over HTTPS (DoH) protocol by default in late September. Google plans to begin testing DoH in an upcoming version of Google Chrome in October.

To provide some context, it’s important to note that there are multiple pathways through which internet traffic runs across the world that are supported by numerous back-up structures managed by ISPs and enterprise systems.

The strength of these networks and the internet as a whole has been in the decentralized system of global servers that manage the ever-growing amount of internet traffic. Multiple servers provide redundancy and eliminate single points of failure, and the decentralized process allows many users to use the internet infrastructure without having just a few companies own the routes for the internet’s traffic.

Companies that provide these underlying services are responsible for the transport layer that gives the internet its robust nature. They are the navigators of web traffic from consumers to endpoint providers. These networks mitigate cybersecurity risks for web traffic by deploying cybersecurity tools, detecting and mitigating malware and botnet attacks, and more. They also deploy site blockers mandated by the governments for schools and libraries, and parental controls on home networks.

DoH was designed to encrypt web-lookup traffic as part of a new privacy setting, and fundamentally changes how traffic moves on the web. Under DoH, the Chrome or Firefox browser will send all search traffic to a preferred DNS resolver by default, not by the user’s request. This enhances the browser’s knowledge of a user’s habits and interests. It will also obfuscate details about web traffic, breaking many of the Domain Name System (DNS) based controls around malware and monitoring which will no longer be visible or detectable to the network operator passing the traffic directly to Google (in the case of Chrome), or Cloudflare (in the case of FireFox).

The re-engineering by Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox browsers is thus looking to change the architectural structure of how their users resolve internet queries making the browser the top of the pyramid, rather than the traditional endpoint. This means Google and Mozilla are working (again) on making network operators such as internet service providers (ISPs) “dumb” pipes whose job will be to transmit and receive encrypted information that only the Google browser, Chrome, or the Firefox browser served up by Cloudflare will be able to see.

As I explained in a previous blog, there are significant concerns around changing the way traffic flows from the current decentralized-by-design process, to a company-specific, centralized process that pushes consumers’ web queries directly to a specific search engine. By nature, browsers are designed to serve up ads to users, not monitor or filter traffic for security concerns.

This change to the usual path of internet traffic will enhance the browsers’ consumer data collection and create security concerns regarding the operation of the network. Google sees the change to its Chrome browser and Android mobile operating system as a method to centralize all traffic and have it flow to their network first. This ensures that it runs under Google’s control, moving from Google’s search engine to the next stop, the actual web address the user wants to go to.

The security concerns arise from the fact that DoH in its current design disables many cybersecurity tools on user devices. Due to the fact that web query traffic will go directly to the application layer of a specific browser through the chosen path of the browser company, not the choice of the enterprise IT system or ISP, the monitoring filters on ISPs or enterprise network servers will no longer see the DNS query traffic. DoH-enhanced encryption means only the browser sees the traffic, bypassing standard security management tools.

This plan has network operators concerned about what will be affected, modified, or broken once this change takes place. What are the trade-offs? What one group calls “surveillance” another calls ad traffic for revenue. DNS was designed to be a decentralized network for efficiency. Now its engineers are concerned about concentrating so much traffic through an edge provider’s browser.

Why does this matter?

The advent of internet governance was meant to ensure a multi-stakeholder audience of the technical community, businesses, law enforcement, and advocacy groups for end users was engaged in any discussion around a change of the network architecture, as well as changes in policies for the use of the internet.  It was always the expectation that the networks comprising the backbone infrastructure would be a significant part of these discussions to ensure operational integrity and security for all internet users.

Allowing a few companies to gain control over even more internet traffic by making a simple change in how users request and receive data could be a game-changer for the entire system. Paul Vixie, one of the original engineers of the Domain Name System, recently stated that “DoH is incompatible with the basic architecture of the DNS because it moves control plane (signaling) messages to the data plane (message forwarding), and that’s a no-no.”

Now is an excellent time to hit the pause button on the DoH proposal and let internet operators do what they do best. It would be better for all internet users to ensure no harm to the underlying network will be done before making a significant change to the architecture of the digital economy’s engine.

Categorized in Search Engine

There was a time when the majority used Firefox as their favorite internet browser. Times changed, and Google Chrome took the lead. Now Firefox has returned with their updated browser, Firefox Quantum. Not only this, but an update to the browser is coming as well, set to introduce new features.

The new Firefox, termed Firefox 59, shall help you block that pesky notification at the top bar asking for permission to send you further notifications in the future. Not everyone likes notifications to appear unwantedly. Not only this, if a website wants to know your location, the new Firefox can stop that notification too.

The only disappointment is that you shall have to wait for Firefox to get updated to its new version unless you do some digging on your own. Yes, it’s perfectly possible for you to implement these new features which also includes, shutting off the notification by a website asking for Webcam access right now with your own build, with a little bit of tweaking though.

All you need to do is delve into Firefox’s “about:config” and you will find a plethora of settings you can change to your will.

Tired of the Notification Requests? Problem Solved!

Sites ask you to allow or block them from sending you notification just like your smartphone does. For some, it is a really handy feature who want to stay updated every time, but not everyone likes their screen to show a pop up every now and then about some “Jack commented on Drake’s post” blah blah. If you are tired of keeping on blocking every such website from sending you a notification, then there is a simple way to do this to block such notifications to come in the first place forever.


Just open up your Firefox search bar, and type “about:config” and press Enter. A new page shall come up which shall give you a warning about tweaking with Firefox’s advanced settings. Just click on the I accept the risk button. Now there would be a search bar on the new screen that comes. If there isn’t just press CTRL+F to bring up the search bar. Type in “dom.push.enabled”. Double click on it. This shall modify it’s value to false. The default setting is true, and after turning it to false by doing such, you won’t get Notification Requests from now on.

In case you want to revert the setting just do exactly same as above toggling it to True.

Location Requests are pesky too, right?

Location Requests are more commonly asked by sites such as weather, transport, or even search engines to bring up tailored content. But then some might consider it as an invasion of their privacy as well. The best alternative is to just block location requests forever so that you don’t accidentally allow them. To do this just go to “about:config” again and search for “geo.enabled”.

Again double clicking on it would set it’s Boolean value to false. To revert the changes, just repeat the steps toggling it to true.

All those chat sites requiring camera and microphone requests

If you frequently visit online chat sites or use social messaging platforms, then you would be bothered by such requests as well. To avoid these requests, just head to “about:config” again and search for “media.navigator.enabled”. Now double click on it to toggle it to off. Do the same with “media.peerconnection.enabled” In case you want to change these settings to default, just repeat the steps toggling them to True.

Source: This article was published factschronicle.com By MICHAEL LOWRY

Categorized in Search Engine

Mozilla rolled out a major update to its Firefox web browser on Tuesday with a bevy of new features, and one old frenemy: Google.

In a blog post, Mozilla said Firefox’s default search engine will be Google in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The agreement recalls a similar, older deal that was scuttled when Firefox and Google’s Chrome web browser became bitter rivals. Three years ago, Mozilla switched from Google to Yahoo as the default Firefox search provider in the U.S. after Yahoo agreed to pay more than $300 million a year over five years — more than Google was willing to pay.

The new Firefox deal could boost Google’s already massive share of the web-search market. When people use Firefox, Google’s search box will be on the launch page, prompting users to type in valuable queries that Google can sell ads against. But the agreement also adds another payment that Alphabet’s Google must make to partners that send online traffic to its search engine, a worrisome cost for shareholders.

 

 

It’s unclear how much Google paid to reclaim this prized digital spot. A Google spokeswoman confirmed the deal but declined to comment further, and Mozilla didn’t disclose financial details.

As Google’s ad sales keep rising, so too has the amount it must dole out to browsers, mobile device makers and other distribution channels to ensure that Google’s search, video service and digital ads are seen. Those sums, called Traffic Acquisition Costs or TAC, rose to $5.5 billion during the third quarter, or 23 percent of ad revenue.

Last quarter, the increase in TAC was primarily due to “changes in partner agreements,” Google Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said on the earnings call. She declined to disclose specific partners. A lot of these payments go to Apple, which runs Google search as the default on its Safari browser. In September, Apple added Google search as the default provider for questions people ask Apple’s voice-based assistant Siri, replacing Microsoft’s Bing. In the third quarter, the TAC Google paid to distribution partners, like Apple, jumped 54 percent to $2.4 billion.

Google is likely paying Mozilla less than Apple for search rights. In 2014, Yahoo’s then-Chief Executive Officer, Marissa Mayer, lobbied heavily for the Firefox deal by agreeing to pay $375 million a year, according to regulatory filings. Google paid $1 billion to Apple in 2014 to keep its search bar on iPhones, according to court records.

Firefox once commanded roughly a fourth of the web browser market, but its share has slid in recent years. It now controls 6 percent of the global market, according to research firm Statcounter. Apple’s Safari holds 15 percent followed by Alibaba’s UC Browser with 8 percent. Google’s Chrome browser has 55 percent of the market.

Source: This article was published siliconvalley.com By Mark Bergen

Categorized in Search Engine

Last week, Mozilla unleashed Firefox Quantum, a new version of its popular web browser that makes all manner of improvements to the experience. One particularly interesting tweak is the fact that its stock search engine is now Google, rather than Yahoo.

In November 2014, Mozilla inked a deal with Yahoo that would see the company’s search services integrated into the Firefox browser. The deal was set to be in place for five years, but the developer decided to cut it short in order to deliver a better product to its users.

“We exercised our contractual right to terminate our agreement with Yahoo! based on a number of factors including doing what’s best for our brand, our effort to provide quality web search, and the broader content experience for our users,” said Mozilla’s chief business and legal officer, Denelle Dixon, according to a report from 9to5Google. “We believe there are opportunities to work with Oath and Verizon outside of search.”

There’s big money to be made in offering a search engine the chance to serve as the default option for a particular piece of software or hardware. For instance, Google has recently expanded its relationship with Apple to include Siri and Spotlight search results – and the search giant was already paying as much as $3 billion per year to ensure that it was the default for iOS, according to a report from CNBC.

It would seem that Mozilla would stand to lose out on a significant amount of money by backing out of its arrangement with Yahoo. However, there’s a clause in the contract that provides that Mozilla is entitled to annual payments of up to $375 million through 2019 if it didn’t want to work with any company that purchased Yahoo – even if another search deal was put in place – as per reporting from Recode.

Search engines are the primary discovery tool for many internet users, and that makes them hugely important when it comes to online advertising. Having a large audience makes it easier to sell ad space at a premium, which should explain why companies are ready to shell out millions upon millions to work with the likes of Mozilla and Apple.

Source: This article was published digitaltrends.com By Brad Jones

Categorized in Search Engine

Mozilla has unveiled a new browser called Firefox Quantum, which is supposedly twice as fast as the older version of the program as it uses a new core engine, coupled with the significantly reduced use of memory space. Firefox Quantum represents the largest upgrade Mozilla has made to its web browser since it rolled out version 1.0 of Firefox thirteen years ago. The new version of Firefox is now rolling out to desktop and laptop computers running Windows, Linux or Mac, as well as mobile devices powered by Android and iOS.

One of the most noticeable upgrades that comes with Firefox Quantum is that opening a website or web page happens very quickly, with the current tab no longer showing the rotating icon for page loads in most cases. The non-profit organization boasts of Firefox Quantum as the fastest browser compared to all other browsers it produced in the past. As well as the improved speed, the new Firefox browser also includes a fresh user interface called Photon, which gained its new look based on the way internet users surfed the web, thanks to Mozilla’s user research team which conducted the study. Mozilla said a lot of work has been brought into play as part of the development efforts for Firefox Quantum. For instance, over 700 authors have written code for Firefox since its initial release in August, with contributions from some 80 other code authors from across the globe. A beta versionof Firefox Quantum went live in September, having already demonstrated significantly improved performance. In fact, Mozilla backed its claim with a web test benchmark called Speedometer 2.0 as well as a video clip showcasing that Firefox Quantum performed better than Google Chrome.

Additionally, Mozilla also introduced a new CSS engine to the browser called Stylo, which uses hardware with multiple cores that work best for tasks that require less power. Additionally, although subtle, Firefox Quantum prioritizes a tab that a user is on above the rest by optimizing system resources. As to the default search engine for the browser, users in the United States and Canada will have Google as the automatic search tool once they launch Firefox Quantum. This is after Mozilla teamed up with Google to provide its search engine as the default option for Firefox in the United States, Canada, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, though users can also browse with other search engines of their choice as usual.

Source: This article was published androidheadlines.com By Manny Reyes

Categorized in Search Engine

We take a look at the performance and features of the big four internet browsers to see which one will serve you best in 2017.

The web browser is by far the most important piece of software on your PC—at least for most users. Unless you’re at a workstation crunching numbers or editing the next Star Wars you probably spend the majority of your computer time staring at a web app or a website.

That’s why it’s important to make sure you’ve always got the best tool for the job, and in 2017 that does not include Internet Explorer. If you still want the built-in option for Windows that would be Edge, but it’s hard to stick strictly with Edge when you’ve got other choices including Google’s Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera.

Let’s take a look at the four major (and modern) browsers to see how they stack up in 2017.

(If none of these internet browsers strike your fancy, head over to PCWorld's roundup of 10 intriguing alternative browsers.)

Browsers in brief

Chrome

chromelogo

The current people’s champion, Google Chrome tops the metrics charts of both StatCounter and NetMarketShare by a huge margin. Google’s browser has built a dedicated fan base thanks to its massive extensions library, and the fact that it just gets out of your way to put the focus on web content, not the browser’s trimmings.

Chrome isn’t quite as simplistic as it once was, but it’s still very easy to use. There isn’t much to Chrome except a huge URL bar—known as the OmniBar—plus a space for extensions, a bookmarking icon, tabs, and that’s it.

Yet Google still finds a way to hide all kinds of features inside the browser, including deep integration with Google’s services. This allows you to sync your bookmarks, passwords, open tabs, and more across devices. Chrome also has multi-account support if you need it on a family machine, a built-in PDF viewer, built-in Google Translate functionality, a task manager, and the always handy Paste and go context menu item.

If there’s one complaint people have about Chrome it’s that the browser eats up available memory. Our browser testing in 2015 showed that Chrome was definitely a memory beast, but two years later it fared pretty well in our tests.

Firefox

 

mozilla firefox logo

 

For users who love extensibility but want greater privacy than a Google-made browser can provide, the open source Mozilla Firefox is your best bet. Firefox paved the way for other browsers to become extensible, and while Firefox’s add-on catalog is pretty good, it now pales in comparison to the Chrome Web Store. Like Google, Firefox has a sync feature.

Where Firefox has really shined in recent years is with the browser’s incognito mode. All browsers have a private mode that lets you browse without any of your activity being logged in your saved history. But most of the time these private modes still allow websites to track your activity for that specific session. Firefox does away with this by including an ad and tracker blocker when using incognito mode.

Opera

 

operabrowser

 

Before Chrome, Opera was a popular choice among power users—a position former Opera CEO Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner is trying to take back with Vivaldi. Opera today is really one of the more under-rated browsers around. It’s based on the same core technologies as Chrome (the Blink rendering engine and the JavaScript V8 engine), which means it can run many Chrome extensions—there’s even an extension for installing extensions from the Chrome Web Store.

Opera’s also got a few unusual features like Turbo, which saves on load times and bandwidth by compressing webpages on Opera’s servers. It’s also got a nice security feature called domain highlighting that hides most of the URL so that users can see easily and clearly if they’re on Google.com or google.com.scam.com—with scam.com being the actual website.

More recently, Opera introduced its own take on the social sidebar with one-click access to services such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram. Like Chrome and Firefox, Opera also has its own cross-device syncing feature.

Microsoft Edge

 

microsotedge

 

Microsoft Edge is still a work in progress. You'll see below that its performance is getting better, but that’s not all there is to the browser in 2017. The Edge extensions library is tiny, its sync functionality is near nonexistent, and it doesn’t get updates nearly fast enough—though that is expected to change with the Fall Creators Update.

Despite its shortcomings, Edge has several helpful features that will appeal to some. Edge is deeply integrated with Windows 10’s inking capabilities, as well as with OneNote, making it easy to clip a webpage, annotate it, and save it to a notebook. Cortana is also a big part of Edge. You can use Microsoft’s digital assistant to quickly search for information, compare prices, or get a quick calculation.

Like Chrome, Edge has a casting feature. There’s also a nifty set-aside tabs feature to stash a collection of websites, the ability to read ebooks (great for tablets), and an MSN.com-ish new-tab page.

Benchmarks

That’s enough of an overview for our four contestants, let’s get down to business. To see which browser is worthy of your bandwidth in 2017 we used a variety of testing tools. For judging JavaScript we used JetStream, and the now unsupported Octane 2.0 and SunSpider 1.0.2 benchmarking tools. Then we turned to WebXPRT 2015 and Speedometer to challenge our browsers under simulated web app workloads.

Finally, we took a look at CPU and RAM usage. Similar to what we did in 2015, we loaded a set of 20 websites in a single window in quick succession using either a batch file or the command line depending on the quirks of the browser in question. Once all tabs began loading, we waited 45 seconds, and then checked the CPU and RAM usage. The idea was to see the amount of system resources the browser would use during a heavy workload.

One difference from 2015 is that Flash was turned off for each browser—benchmarks were done with and without the plugin in 2015. In recent years, most browser makers have de-emphasized Flash, enabling it as “click-to-play” and blocking nonessential website elements that use Flash. Since the web is moving to a Flash-free existence we decided to live the dream right now.

For these tests our rig was an Acer Aspire E15-575-33BM laptop loaded with Windows 10 Home (Creators Update), a 1TB hard drive, 4GB RAM, and an Intel Core i3-7100U. Each browser was tested over a hard line internet connection.

Edge makes big gains

Looking at both Jetstream and SunSpider, Edge won top marks by a wide margin. SunSpider has been deprecated for some time and is no longer supported, but the result was still surprising. For Octane 2.0, which is also no longer supported, Firefox and Opera vied for top spot, with Chrome the laggard by a wide margin. For this set of benchmark scores higher is better with the exception of SunSpider.

browser performance jetstream2

The JavaScript test Jetstream shows Microsoft Edge hanging tough.

browser performance sunspider

SunSpider also shows Microsoft Edge with a performance edge, loading JavaScript quite a bit more quickly than others.

browser performance octane

 

Chrome makes the poorest showing in the Octane test.

Moving on to the more modern Speedometer test, which quickly iterates through a bunch of HTML 5-based to-do lists, Chrome came out on top. Google’s Blink-based cousin Opera came in second, with Edge and Firefox way behind. The numbers were much closer for WebXPRT 2015, which uses a wide number of web apps, from photo collections to online note-taking to data sets. Edge came out on top there, while the others were closer together with only a few points separating the back three. Again, higher is better for these tests.

browser performance speedometer

Chrome narrowly edges out Opera in HTML-5-based tasks.

browser performance webxprt 2015

Edge makes another good showing in the web apps realm.

Finally, we come to the memory and CPU test. Slamming an average PC with 20 tabs of mostly media rich sites all at once is certainly going to chew up a good chunk of CPU and memory. These browsers did not disappoint in that respect.

Despite its reputation, however, Chrome was tops here, using less than 40 percent CPU power, followed by Edge. The results were similar for memory with Chrome using the least. Take those impressive Edge numbers with a healthy dose of skepticism, however, as during testing the PC froze, and we couldn’t access task manager as swiftly as with the others. The fact that the whole PC slowed to a crawl suggests Edge’s numbers don’t tell the whole story. Based on that experience, power users with multiple tabs open in Edge would feel some serious pain trying to get work done.

browser performance cpu usage2

It's true that running media rich content in multiple tabs will tax your system's CPU.

browser performance memory usage

As with the CPU test, Chrome's reputation as the biggest resource hog is undeserved these days.

As for Firefox, you may notice that the browser chewed up CPU usage, but was relatively low in memory usage. The reason for that, as Mozilla reminded us, is that Firefox alone is transitioning from one browser process to four. Whereas Chrome and Edge use multiple processes for each tab. The idea behind the latter is that individual tabs running on separate processes won't take down the whole browser if they crash. That approach does use more memory, however. Mozilla is trying to find a middle ground. On the one hand, Firefox helps maintain overall PC performance under heavier workloads, but it's not great if you want dozens of sites to load as quickly as possible. 

And the winner is...

So who wins? Here’s the way we see it.

Once again, Edge gets honorable mention for making some serious gains in performance and earning some truly impressive scores. But when you factor in customizability and how Edge fared in the live site stress test, it still has some work to do—like offering a wider extension library and the ability to sync across devices. 

As in our previous showdown, Chrome continues to capitalize on these strengths, and even improves in the performance department by addressing its past resource issues, making it, once again, our first choice.

Opera again earns second place since it performed relatively well in the live stress test, and can be set up to take advantage of nearly all the same conveniences Chrome can.

As for Firefox, it’s also a fine choice. Mozilla’s browser definitely gets the job done, it’s very customizable, and its open source roots puts the browser in a league of its own.

Source: This article was published pcworld.com By Ian

Categorized in Search Engine

When did you last try a new browser?

THE BEST WEB BROWSERS

1. Google Chrome

2. Opera

3. Microsoft Edge

4. Mozilla Firefox

5. Vivaldi

Read on for our detailed analysis of each browser

Most of us tend to choose a web browser and stick with it for years. It can be hard to break away from your comfort zone – especially when you've become used to its quirks – but trying a different browser can greatly improve your experience on the web.

Whether it's enhanced security, improved speed, or greater flexibility through customizable options and plugins, the right browser can have a huge effect on your online life. Here we've put the biggest browsers through their paces (plus one that you might not be familiar with) to identify the one that does the best job of ticking all those boxes, but if you have a particular concern then read on to see if there's an alternative that might be better suited to your needs.

1. Google Chrome

With Chrome, Google has built an extendable, efficient browser that deserves its place at the top of the browser rankings. According to w3schools' browser trend analysis its user base is only rising, even as Microsoft Edge's install numbers are presumably growing. Why? Well, it's cross-platform, incredibly stable, brilliantly presented to take up the minimum of screen space, and just about the nicest browser there is to use.

Its wide range of easily obtained and installed extensions mean you can really make it your own, and there's support for parental controls and a huge range of tweaks and settings to ensure maximum efficiency.

But there are downsides, and potentially big ones. It's among the heaviest browsers in terms of resource use, so it's not brilliant on machines with limited RAM, and its performance doesn't quite match up to others in benchmarking terms. And with Google's tentacles running through it, you might be uncomfortable with the ways in which your browsing data may be used.

Download here: Google Chrome

2. Opera

An underrated browser, Opera's killer feature is a superb Turbo mode for slow connections

It's sad that Opera makes up only around 1% of the browser market, because it really is a quality browser. It launches fast, the UI is brilliantly clean, and it does everything its rivals can do with a couple of extras thrown in for good measure.

The key reason we'd at least recommend having Opera installed alongside your main browser is its Opera Turbo feature. This compresses your web traffic, routing it through Opera's servers, which makes a huge difference to browsing speed if you're stuck on rural dial-up or your broadband connection is having a moment.

It reduces the amount of data transferred too, handy if you're using a mobile connection, and this re-routing also dodges any content restrictions your ISP might place on your browsing, which can be mighty handy. Opera automatically ducks out of the way if you're using secure sites like banks so your traffic is free and clear of any potential privacy violation.

There's also an integrated ad-blocker - which can be switched off if you're morally inclined in that direction - and a battery-saving mode which promises to keep your laptop going for longer.

Download here: Opera

3. Microsoft Edge

Edge - Microsoft's new, user-friendly browser - offers full integration with Windows 10

The default 'browsing experience' on Windows 10, Edge is an odd one. Quite why Microsoft needs to be running a pair of browser products in tandem is beyond us. The company's reason, it seems, is that Edge represents the more user-friendly end of Redmond's offering while Internet Explorer scales a little better for enterprise.

Integration with Windows 10's core gimmicks seems to be Edge's main strong point. It happily runs as a modern-skinned app on Windows 10's tablet mode, and works with Cortana. It's also highly streamlined for the current web age, doing away with insecure protocols like ActiveX and forcing you into Internet Explorer if you want to use them. We're more used to browsers failing to render newer pages than we are to being told off for visiting older corners of the web.

Curmudgeonly grumbles aside, actually using Edge is a perfectly pleasant experience. It's super-quick, hammers through benchmarks, its integrated reading mode makes complex sites more palatable, and by sandboxing it away from the rest of the operating system Microsoft has ensured that Edge won't suffer the security breaches of its older brother.

Download here: Microsoft Edge

4. Mozilla Firefox

A divisive choice these days - Firefox is very flexible, but can feel sluggish with lots of plugins installed

Once the leader in overall popularity in the browser war, Firefox is now now a slightly sad third place. It's not clear why; while it lags behind its main competitors in terms of design, keeping the search and URL boxes separate and leaving buttons on display where others have removed them, it's regularly updated on a six-week schedule and has a raft of extensions available.

Firefox tends to hit the middle-to-bottom end of benchmark tests, however, and we did find it a little sluggish to a barely noticeable extent. Recent additions like built-in support for Pocket and Hello aren't going to be to everyone's taste, but some will love them. And that about sums up the Firefox of today; incredibly divisive, despite being a solid browser with a quality rendering engine.

If you're looking for an alternative take on the same structure, Waterfox may fit the bill. It's built on Firefox code, removes many of the restrictions and integrations of the main release, and purports to be one of the fastest browsers around.

Download here: Mozilla Firefox

5. Vivaldi

Build your own ideal browser with Vivaldi's unique docking and tab-stacking features

Here's something a bit different. We all spend probably far too much time sitting in front of our web browsers, and up-and-comer Vivaldi wants to make that as pleasant and personal an experience as possible. Itself build out of web technologies like Javascript and node.js, Vivaldi can adapt its colour scheme to the sites you're using, and indeed the structure of its interface is entirely up to you.

There's a built-in note-taking system, you can dock websites as side panels while using the main window to do your main browsing, and we love its innovative tab stacking tech, which allows you to group up tabs and move them around to avoid the crowding that so often plagues other browsers.

It's not the fastest and it's not the most fully featured, lacking any official support for extensions, but Vivaldi is relatively new and we don't doubt it'll receive further expansion as time goes on. It's a refreshing and creative take on web browsing, and one to watch in the next couple of years.

Download here: Vivaldi

6. Microsoft Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer is fast and efficient, but less expandable than Firefox and Chrome

Microsoft Internet Explorer has seen some ups and downs in its long tenure, from dominating the browser charts to languishing behind its main two competitors. This is partly an issue of choice - particularly the browser choice that Microsoft was forced to give customers after a court ruling - and partially because older versions fell behind the rendering and compatibility curve.

There are no such issues with Internet Explorer 11. It's clean, powerful, highly compatible, and it demands less of your RAM and CPU than equivalent pages would on Chrome or Firefox. Plus it one-ups both of them on WebKit's Sunspider benchmark.

That's not to say this browser is perfect. Google's V8 benchmark sees it struggling, and IE isn't quite as able to handle add-ons and extensions as many of its competitors. So while there's no reason to avoid IE like there might once have been, if you're looking for a more customised browsing experience you're out of luck.

Download here: Microsoft Internet Explorer

7. Tor Browser

Not just a browser – Tor offers a whole package of browsing tools with security at its heart

Tor Browser is, perhaps unjustly, most regularly associated with the seedy underworld of the dark web. While it's true that you can use this web browser to access otherwise unlisted sites, Tor's privacy aspects - where your traffic is routed through random nodes the world over, making it very hard to track - are its real asset.

Tor Browser is really a package of tools; Tor itself, a heavily modified version of the Firefox extended support release, and a number of other privacy packages that combine to make it the most secure browsing experience you're likely to find. Nothing is tracked, nothing is stored, and you can forget about bookmarks and cookies.

You'll need to alter your browsing habits to ensure that you don't perform actions online that reveal your identity - Tor Browser is just a tool, after all - but for a secondary browser useful for those private moments it's a great choice. Run it from a USB stick and nobody need even know you have it at all.

Download here: Tor Browser

Source: techradar.com

Categorized in Online Research

Microsoft says a PC running its Edge browser will last 77 percent longer than Firefox, and 35 percent longer than Chrome.

To prove its point, Microsoft has once again employed a time-lapse video of three unplugged Surface Books side by side streaming video for several hours with Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.

The Surface running Edge lasts 12 hours and 31 minutes, while the Chrome device peters out after nine hours and 17 minutes, with the Firefox unit lasting seven hours and four minutes.

Microsoft released similar video last June, again showing Edge outlasting its rivals, which prompted a reply from Google showing Chrome's battery improvements.

To counter any claims of bias, Microsoft has published the methodology it followed for the test. The Surface Books featured an i5-6300U processor at 2.5GHz, with 8GB RAM, and an Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU.

The devices were running Windows 10 Pro Build 15063.0 or the Creators Update, with Edge 40, Chrome 57 64-bit, and Firefox 52 32-bit. These are the newest version of each browser.

Microsoft says it gave each device the same "realistic" user setup, but switched off some key tasks that could have interfered with the tests. The display was set to 75 percent brightness, and volume was muted, while location, Bluetooth, updates, and the ambient light sensor were disabled. Quiet hours was enabled, each device was connected to a wireless network, and Windows Defender was running. Windows Battery Saver mode was set to activate at 20 percent battery and the cache on each browser was cleared.

Microsoft attributes Edge's battery performance to "encouraging HTML5 content over Flash, improving the efficiency of iframes, and optimizing hit testing".

Besides improvements to energy efficiency, Edge in the Creators Update brings feature updates, as well improvements to responsiveness and performance.

In the Speedometer browser benchmark that Google used to show 'real-world' performance improvements in Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine, Edge has seen its scores double over the past two years, according to Microsoft.

The new Edge also introduces a number of key technologies for the future of the web, including the WebVR to bring the web to VR headsets, Web Payments, WebRTC, Web Authentication, and Web Assembly.

source : zdnet.com

Categorized in Search Engine

As it turns out, Microsoft did not oversell its replacement for Internet Explorer. The Microsoft Edge browser has recently been found to live up to its tagline as the “faster, safer browser for Windows 10.” In fact, the relatively new program from the Redmond giant was found to be the safest browser when compared to its biggest rivals, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. 

NSS Labs, the leading information security company in the world, published a report about web browsers this week. The report focused on how malware could penetrate computers through the program. As such, the company emphasized how the web browser should serve as the first line of defense against malware. The study was conducted in a span of 14 days — from Sept. 26, 2016 to Oct. 9, 2016. The main goal was to identify the competency of the web browser’s security. 

Based on the report, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox were all subjected to the same set of malware. The study involved the use of 304 unique suspicious samples. Out of the three, Microsoft Edge managed to block 99 percent of the suspicious samples. Google Chrome came next after blocking 85.8 percent of malware, while Firefox finished last by blocking 78.3 percent of malware. 

According to How To Geek, the main reason why the Edge browser did better was thanks to its SmartScreen feature. The feature was first introduced to consumers in Internet Explorer 7. Previously, it was referred to as “Phishing Filter.” It is responsible for showing users a red page that notifies users about the threat of accessing a website with malware. 

When time or the readiness of a web browser to counter the threat is considered, Microsoft Edge still remained triumphant. NSS Labs stated in the report that Microsoft’s browser block the malware in less than ten minutes on average. Following behind is Chrome with two hours and 39 minutes. As for Firefox, it took more than three hours and 45 minutes for it to block malware.

Despite the positive news, users are still advised to obtain a good antivirus program if they want to boost their line of defense against attacks and malware. After all, having a safe browser is not enough at a time when online attacks have become rampant. 

Author : CORAZON VICTORINO

Source : http://www.ibtimes.com/how-safe-microsoft-edge-compared-google-chrome-mozilla-firefox-2481680

Categorized in How to

The makers of Firefox are today introducing a new mobile web browser for iOS users that puts private browsing at the forefront of the user experience. Called Firefox Focus, the mobile browser by default blocks ad trackers, and erases your browsing history, including your passwords and cookies.

The end result is a simplified browser that may load web pages more quickly, the company claims, given that ads and other web trackers can bog down pages and impact performance.

The app was originally launched on the App Store almost a year ago, but at the time was designed as an ad-blocking utility that could remove ads and trackers from iPhone’s Safari browser. That feature is still available in the revamped app, but it’s now aiming to compete more directly with Safari, too.

The browser itself doesn’t have any bells and whistles compared to its rivals, however. There are no tabs, no list of favorite sites, or numerous other configuration options. Instead, a trip to the Settings section only lets you toggle on or off the data you want to block, like ad trackers, analytics trackers, social trackers, other content trackers and web fonts.

Oddly, given the widespread privacy issues Yahoo is facing in the wake of one of the largest data breaches of all time, Firefox Focus has opted to use Yahoo Search as its default search engine. There doesn’t appear to be a way to change this in the current version, which is frustrating. (Update: Mozilla says search engine choice will arrive in a later release. Other markets outside the U.S. may have a different engine than Yahoo.)

Pointing users to Google may seem counterintuitive for a company focused on protecting personal data, but eliminating user choice in such a Big Brother-like fashion under the guise of knowing what’s best is off-putting, as well.screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-57-11-am

After you complete a web search, you can erase that activity with a simple press of an “erase” button. Firefox Focus could have automated this, but there’s something about manually clearing a search that feels cathartic.

Despite an increased interest in privacy — especially now, following this period of tumultuous political upheaval here in the U.S. — Firefox may again be too late the game to compete. Already, the top mobile browser makers offer private browsing modes, and there are a number of third-parties that have made private browsing a focus for years, like Tor. The App Store, too, is filled with utilities for private browsing, including a number of startups like Ghostery, Dolphin, Brave and others.

Once one of the world’s top browsers in the desktop era, Firefox didn’t really weather the shift to mobile. Instead of jumping to produce a mobile-friendly browser for the dominant platforms, it protested against the App Store’s restrictions, refusing to build an iOS versionfor years. That finally changed, and Firefox for iOS launched to all around a year ago. But it simply was too late to matter.

The new Firefox Focus is a free download on the Apple App Store. No word on if or when an Android version will be ready.

Author:  Sarah Perez

Source:  https://techcrunch.com

Categorized in Science & Tech
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