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What's the Difference Between Internet Explorer and Firefox, and Which is Better?

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 4/9/2009

The war between IE and Firefox has been waging on with consumers caught in the middle. Most wonder what the difference is between Internet Explorer and Firefox, and which is better? Well, we're going to tackle the issue in this article and help you decide for yourself!

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    The Gloves Are Off - Firefox and Internet Explorer

    Firefox versus Internet Explorer – The war between these two mega-browsers has been waging for quite a while now, and the competition seems far from over. But, as a consumer, what really is the difference between Firefox and Internet Explorer and which is better? There are proponents and opponents on each side of the debate. To help you decide, here is an overview of the differences and similarities between the two.

    First of all, both browsers are free. Internet Explorer comes with most computers at no cost to you, and you can download Firefox at no cost to you. You can surf the Web and Google anything that you need using either browser. Perhaps, the main difference here lies in how the browsers display websites. Firefox gives you more space for viewing web pages. This basically means that you will have to scroll less than you do in Internet Explorer. Also, when you are viewing websites, Internet Explorer tends to have a kind of gray shadow behind images while images tend to show up clearer on Firefox.

    Another difference is that pages in Internet Explorer load about two seconds faster than in Firefox. While most people aren’t worried about a two-second difference, it still is a distinction between the two browsers. Also, pixels show up differently depending on which browser that you use. Paragraphs and sentences can shift, but you can still easily read text in both browsers

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    Is Firefox Safer than Internet Explorer?

    Many people consider Firefox the safer of the two browsers for two reasons. First, it comes with a built-in pop-up blocker. So, you almost always have to instruct the browser to allow pop-ups if you need to see a pop-up on a particular page. With Internet Explorer, you may manually have to change your settings to stop pop-ups. (Many of the newer versions of Internet Explorer do come with this as the pre-set feature.)

    There’s more, however, to the safety angle with Firefox than just the pop-up blocker feature. Since Internet Explorer comes with most computers, it’s used by more than 50 percent of PC users. Firefox is used by around 20-30 percent of this population. Hackers tend to want to target the largest audience with the least effort. So, basically, these people will more readily look for the holes in Internet Explorer before moving onto a lesser-used browser like Firefox, making Firefox a bit safer than Internet Explorer. However, the latest trends do show Firefox's market share continuing to grow.

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    CMS and WordPress Compatibility

    When it comes to CMS compatibility, Internet Explorer is the sure leader here. If you create buttons using CMS, sometimes they will not work in Firefox. Firefox does not properly read CMS code, but Internet Explorer does not have a problem with it. Also, if you write blogs, many blog sites, including WordPress, work better in Internet Explorer. You can’t edit your blog in Firefox because it won’t code properly. And, once you upload and publish your blog, the blog may look unformatted or pictures may be out of place in Firefox.

    But, you may still ask which is better? It really depends on what you prefer. Both will work fine for most people. You just need to decide which one works for you.

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