The best web browser to replace outdated Internet Explorer is …


On January 12, 2016, the support clock ran out for Internet Explorer (IE) 8, 9 and 10. Certainly there are some exceptions, IE 9 on Vista and Windows Server 2008, and IE 10 on Windows Server 2012 are still online. But for most Windows users, now is the time to switch to a new browser.

Of course, you can stick with a browser that is no longer supported, but sooner or later it leads to a security disaster. Do not do that !

Consider one of the following browsers instead: Chrome 49, Firefox 43, IE 11, or Opera 34.

To see how they worked, I ran tests on a fully updated Windows 7 Gateway SX2802-07 PC. This older computer uses a 2.6 GHz dual-core Intel Pentium E5300 processor. This system has 6 GB of RAM. It also has a data bus speed of 800 MHz. For an internet connection I used a 120Mbps cable connection over a Gigabit LAN.

The easiest way to get a new browser supported is to simply upgrade to IE 11. You can do it in two ways:. Or, you can just update your system. Either way, it works perfectly whether you are upgrading from IE 8, 9, or 10 to 11.

While IE 11 is excellent on Windows 10. It does not work very well on Windows 7.

There are several reasons Microsoft is pushing so hard for you to upgrade to Windows 10. This is one of them. Edge, the Windows 10 specific browser, and IE 10 just work better on the same hardware with Windows 10 than on earlier versions of Windows.

I put my PC on the test bench, ran the following benchmarks, and this is what I found.

Jetsteam 1.1: This JavaScript benchmark builds on the SunSpider foundation which is no longer supported, it combines multiple JavaScript benchmarks to report a single score that balances them using the geometric mean. Jetstream includes benchmarks from the SunSpider 1.0.2 and Octane 2 JavaScript benchmark suites. This test suite also includes benchmarks from the open source LLVM compiler project, compiled into JavaScript using Emscripten 1.13. It also includes a benchmark based on the HashMap of the Apache Harmony open source project and a port of the Cdx real-time Java benchmark, translated by hand into JavaScript. Higher scores are better on this benchmark.

On this test, Opera, yes Opera, came first with a score of 89.84. It was followed by Chromium, 83.61; Firefox, 81.87; and a distant last, IE with 64.77.

Kraken 1.1: This benchmark, based on the now obsolete SunSpider, measures the performance of JavaScript. To this basic JavaScript test, he added typical use case scenarios. Mozilla, the parent organization of Firefox, created Kraken. With this benchmark, the lower the score, the better the result.

Here, Chrome wins with a score of 2436.1 milliseconds (ms). Firefox takes second place, 2856.9 ms, and Opera comes in third, 2942.6 ms. IE finished a dismal final with 2943.5 ms.

Octane 2.0: Google’s contribution to JavaScript testing also includes scenario testing for today’s highly interactive web applications. Octane is not specific to Chrome. For example, it tests the speed at which Microsoft’s TypeScript compiles. In this benchmark, the higher the score, the better.

Chrome, with a score of 14,439, edged Opera, 14,117, for first place. Firefox finished with a respectful third place score of 11,793. IE, alas, was way behind the pack with 7,801.

RoboHornet: This benchmark does not focus only on JavaScript. Instead, it “understands all aspects of browser performance and everything that matters to web developers, like layout and localStorage performance.” Again, on this benchmark, the higher the score, the better.

Once again, Chrome took the lead early and never looked back in its race for first place. It was followed by Firefox with 78.31; IE with a respectable 72.92, and Opera, oddly enough, finishing last with 41.11.

HTML5 testst: Finally, I checked to what extent each browser conforms to today’s most up-to-date and universal web standard: HTML 5. This “test” is not a benchmark as such. It just shows how synchronized each browser is to the HTML 5 standard. A perfect score, which nobody got, would have been 550.

Chrome, 501, is barely ahead of Opera, 500 for the first place. Firefox took third place with 448. And, once again eating other people’s dust, came IE with 336.

The numbers make it obvious. When you replace IE 8, 9 or 10 on Windows 7, Chrome is easily the best choice. Opera, which has become the forgotten browser, also deserves our attention. Firefox, which has had more than its fair share of problems, doesn’t seem like a good choice. And, IE 11 on Windows 7 just doesn’t do the mustard.

Of course, as Microsoft would be the first to tell you, if you upgrade your entire system to Windows 10, it could be a very different story. But, if like many people, all you want to do is update your browser and not your operating system, then Chrome is your best bet.

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