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Browser surf wars

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Software

Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer, Safari... We rate the Big 5 of the browser brigade to help you decide which should be your window to the cyber-world.

It all began with WorldWideWeb. Not the vast smorgasbord that is cyberspace, but the basic browser that was developed, in 1991, by Brit scientist Sir Tim Berners-lee. It was renamed nexus to avoid confusion with the World Wide Web. Much data has since flowed under the bridge and users are now spoilt for choice. But before you download every new beta version, we help you choose what deserves your default click.

Firefox 3

With a Guinness World Record of more than 8 million downloads on its launch day, Mozilla Firefox 3's arrival in cyberspace was nothing short of a supernova. But this was not a criterion on our test block and we put it through its paces to check if it was worth the hype and hoopla. Firefox has always been known for the features it offers and its extensibility factor with thousands of add-ons available. but since a Web browser is not only about features and add-ons, we tested it, on the basis of Design and Usability, Feature sets, Performance and Speed, and Security and Privacy.

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