Tech Notes: Living in Your Browser Part 1

Happy Spring, Seabrookers!

Working in the technology field for over 13 years now, I often stop and think about how things used to be, and compare it to how they are now. Today, I would like to stop and consider our Internet browsers. No matter what browser you prefer- Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari- I came up with this conclusion:

We Practically Live In Our Internet Browser.

What exactly do I mean by that? Well, let me explain and perhaps offer some tips on how to better “live” in your web browser.

First, for those who aren’t sure about computer jargon, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines a web browser as “a computer program used for accessing sites or information on a network (such as the World Wide Web).”

I recently discovered that on my main computer (which happens to be an older “souped up” desktop tower in my home office), I keep Google Chrome open all day. In fact, I keep it open so much that I often look at my computer’s Task Manager (CTRL + ALT + DELETE on Windows PCs) and notice that Chrome is using so much of the resources (which has been a chronic problem with Chrome) that it is slowing down my computer and making it sluggish so that I need to restart the entire computer.

I stopped and thought, what don’t I do in my browser? I could hardly think of an answer.

Here is a little “then and now” comparison chart I put together:

Of course, it’s not to say that traditional desktop programs are completely dead. There are a few that I find to be better than their web-based counterparts (Quickbooks and Quicken come to mind). But the emphasis on the cloud-based applications has really helped us progress, especially since most people now own on average 3 types of “computers:” desktop/laptop, tablet, and smartphone.

A primary reason for the success of web-based applications is the evolution of high-speed networks in our homes and businesses. Our internet speeds are MUCH faster than they were 10 years ago. We thought they were fast then. They are blazing fast now. In fact, it’s a good idea to test your Internet speed in your home.  You can go to any one of dozens of speed-testing websites to check your network speed. Fast.com is quick and easy.  If you are getting less than 20 MBPS on your speed test, that is now considered “kinda slow.” Internet providers are now offering 50-500 MBPS and soon, 1000MBPS (or what they call “Gigabit” speeds).

In recent years, the popularity of smartphones and tablets (and the innovation of “apps” for these devices) have really hurt PC and Apple computer sales (desktop tower and laptop computers).  Even some of my customers have decided NOT to replace their dying desktop or laptop computer, and that their mobile smartphone or tablet will serve their needs quite well.

However, for most of us, we still have a traditional computer in the home, and our default web browser has become the most-used program on the entire computer.

Over the next several months, I will do a series of Tidelines blog posts that focus on browser tips and tricks to help you become more efficient. I will also compare browsers and discuss pros and cons of the four most widely-used browsers – Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari.

Why shouldn’t we focus on web browsers?  Chances are, that’s what you’re inside of right now!

Chad Droze
Post & Computer Center – Freshfields Village
chad@compu-experts.com
843-768-2626
http://www.twitter.com/c0mpuexperts

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