After years of helping people with their computer problems, I believe that every computer user should install two web browsers on their computer. In this article I'll tell you what a web browser is, why you need two of them, and how you can install what you need at no cost.
A web browser is simply a program that lets you surf the web. Most of you are surfing the web using a web browser called Internet Explorer (IE). You simply click on the big blue E and you are on the Internet. Since Internet Explorer comes bundled with Windows, every PC can use this program as a gateway to the Internet.
Generally, Internet Explorer works fine, but what do you do if this program becomes corrupted or otherwise stops working? If that happens, you cannot get on the Internet to get help or to download another web browser. You may think that this will never happen to you, but I have recently seen a rash of IE problems. In the past month, three people have contacted me for help when Internet Explorer stopped working properly.
There is an easy way to prepare for such a predicament. You can download another web browser right now while Internet Explorer is working properly. This cannot in any way harm your computer. You can install and use as many web browsers as you like. If you want to, you can even use them at the same time. And there is no concern about cost, since the alternative web browsers are all free.
Now the complaint that I often hear is that it is too difficult to get a new web browser and too difficult to learn how to use a new one. The truth of the matter is that it is not hard to get a new web browser. There are several alternative browsers available. These include Safari, Opera, Firefox, and Chrome. I'll give you instructions for downloading and installing Firefox. This browser is very similar to Internet Explorer so you won't have much of a learning curve if you decide to use it.
You simply go to the Firefox website at www.firefox.com. Once there, double-click on the large box that says "Firefox....Free Download". Then click on "Run". Click on "Run" again. The program will take a few minutes to download. You will then see a window with the Firefox setup wizard. At this point all you have to do is follow the steps that are clearly marked on each screen.
You will be given some choices during the installation. You will be asked if you want the Standard or the Custom install. Choose the Standard option. .Also just accept the location that Firefox will present you with.
You will also be asked if you want to copy your favorites (bookmarks) over from Internet Explorer. You can go ahead and do that if you want. The favorites will not be removed from Internet Explorer, they will just be copied to Firefox. You can also choose to open Firefox after the installation is complete. If you do that, you can check out Firefox right away.
Or you can simply double-click the orange and blue Firefox icon (an orange fox wrapped around a blue globe) to get online at anytime in the future.
Firefox is very similar to Internet Explorer, so you can just start using it, if you like. You can also simply have it available for an emergency. You can go back to the Firefox website at any time to get instructions on how to use Firefox. One of the things that I like about Firefox is that their website gives very clear instructions about using the program.
So don't be afraid to download a new web browser. You may find that you like Firefox better than Internet Explorer. Many people find that Firefox is faster and more full-featured than IE, so it has a big following. But whether you use it or not, you will have it available if you need it. And that kind of insurance is priceless!