Stop Using IE

I know this is the security industry and we lag the Amish but... Please stop using Internet Explorer (IE).

First of all, Chrome is far faster (recent tests even against IE10 show that - see here and here). If you value your time, use Chrome.

Secondly, typically using websites in IE generates the most problems because IE strays from standards and most developers do not develop on IE.

Also, that's what the smart people are doing. For instance, only 32% of IPVM visitors use IE anymore.

I understand that some people don't have administrative privileges and are trapped on IE, including a number of IE8 or, gulp, IE7. Also, some need IE for specific legacy applications.

However, in general, your life will be better moving away from IE and going to Chrome or other modern browsers.

Are you using IE? Download Chrome now.


I hope this is directed at manufacturers. Tell them to stop writing ActiveX controls so we can move away from IE. (Though I prefer Firefox myself.)

Well, it's directed at everyone :)

There's still a lot of integrators who use IE as their default web browser. I just don't get it. It's one thing to have it available/installed but using it as the default web browser is generally less efficient than using Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

I stopped using IE back in 2006 since IE 6 was so succeptable to ad-ware and viruses. It took Speco years to make their DDNS viewer not just be IE only.

HTML5! I use IE as infrequently as possible.

IE10's HTML5 support is improved but still lacks that of Chrome and pretty much every other major browser (see this chart).

I have been using Firefox/Chrome exclusively for upwards of 4 years now. Never looked back.

Since none of the other 32% apprently want to admit it, I will. I use IE all the time. But it's not a preference, nor an aversion of other browsers - I use them all, interchangeably, depending on what I'm doing.

While I am posting this from Chrome, I really don't even care what browser I use unless I'm forced to care. I have IE, Chrome and Firefox installed on both my laptop and desktop. Certain things I use work better on specific browsers (JAVA crashes more often when I'm using Chrome, for instance), and some (like ActiveX-based apps) only work on one specific browser. Firefox has some cool plug-ins that the other two browsers don't have...

If speeds were significantly different, then I would prefer the faster, obviously.... but I don't perceive much of one so I continue to not really care... :)

Marty, the problem I suspect is the people who only use IE, because that's the default and they've never considered alternatives or heard someone make the case for another browser. Ergo, this discussion.

One thing I might add is that posting comments to these discussions using IE is not suggested... it (more often than not) literally takes two clicks of the Post Reply button to add comments to a string like this one.

1st click has no noticeable effect on anything (no matter how long u wait), 2nd click engages and posts your comments. This does this same thing from both my machines. Also, edits of existing comments do not 'take' using IE... it appears to update, but never shows the edit.

So whenever I post here, I use Chrome - because it works 'right' every time... :)

I'm curious if anyone else can validate my findings above RE: IE and posting comments?

Chrome installs into the user folder and does not need Administrator priveledges to install on any Windows platform.

You can also use one of many USB-based / virtualized executables. Check out Cameyo here.

Thanks, Seth.

Anyone on IE with issues, like Marty, please let us know.

That said, IE almost always is going to produce more issues, especially when using older IE versions with different implementations of javascript, etc.

Bottom line, if you haven't tried out Chrome, Firefox, etc., you really should.

So far, of the 100 of you who have visited this post, only 5 were using IE. Unfortunately, then, I am preaching to the choir :(

Netscape... I knew someone who paid for the "Gold" version in the store.

I wish it were that simple. I need all three and occasionally even use Safari... I normally have ~15 browser pages open and 2 browsers. Way too many systems/platforms/extensions have been IE-Specific for many reasons and with embedded systems firmware in devices like printers, FAX machines, Cameras, other AV equipment, Routers, Switches, banking/vendor sites with Java, Active-X, etc...

There is *no* way all the vendors will reach back and "fix" their embedded web interfaces on old systems. (Would you? How far back?) Everything not currently for sale (2yr sales life) is considered "legacy" since there is no new revenue stream.

For many years IE was not perfect and was certainly buggy, but lest we forget, for the majority of the last 10 years, (yes we use/support equipment 5+ years old), the other browsers so popular today either did not exist (FF 2004, Chrome 2008), were not well standardized, lacked features, had integration limitations, were not installed on enough systems to be worth writing for, etc... (And still do...) 18 years ago Netscape had ~95% of a very much smaller market. 10 years after that, IE had about the same 90%+ percentage. Another 8 years and the trend is similar. IE is 25-50% depending and trending downward...

Firefox is only about 9 years old and Chrome is only about 5.

It would be awesome if there we only needed one browser, but I believe that will not happen soon... We are the tech-savvy bunch who are less likely to be put off by the various issues, the real numbers for the population are not so clear at all and are certainly no where near the 5% for this post.

Clearly Chrome is gaining the most in many uses and IE is the biggest loser across the board, but none are truly universal. IMHO, if it were not for the hostile guerilla-style marketing of usurping the users browser and search engines with nearly every downloaded utility/installer, IE would still rule the web due to the fact that Windows is still ~80-90% of the desktop/laptop market. Not that this is a good or bad, thing, just an observation. I do have less trouble with Chrome than IE

Try this for some interesting reading...

Usage_share_of_web_browsers

Enjoy,

-Corey

Corey, my point is that for people who are doing general web browsing - company websites, linkedin/facebook/twitter/youtube, news sites, espn, etc., etc., Chrome is a much better default choice.

It's one thing to use multiple browsers as needed, it's another to only use IE and not recognize what else is better out there.

I bet IE would have less than 5% marketshare if it wasn't preloaded ;)

Yes I hope manufacturers are reading this. Active X is a huge pain in the butt, its pretty terrible when you have to go through several steps just to get the active x settings to work right.

A couple of points:

I have to use IE at work. IT doesn't support other browsers and certain intranet programs don't work on anything but IE. Plus, we are not given priviledges to install anything on our computers.

Google Chrome? HAH!!! If I wasn't careful, I'd have it at least 100 times over. Many programs will auto-install Chrome during updates if I don't carefully uncheck the box. Even worse, a couple of shareware programs I've tried installed it despite my unchecking the box. For that reason, I refuse to install Chrome and will delete it every time. Any company that pushes their program that blatantly will never get my business.

By the way, I use Firefox at home - not necessarily because it's better but a Windows Update screwed up IE and nothing I've done short of re-installing Win7 has fixed the problem (hyperlinks don't work).

I have to agree with Carl there and it's probably why I have a slight aversion to it.

Google pays third parties a small sum for every installation. Based on this logic, both Firefox and Chrome both deserve your ire, since Firefox was guilty of this for some time as well.

While I can appreciate your distaste for Chrome getting pushed down your throat, Chrome is still the best browser on the market. Perhaps you should check out Chromium, which is the open-source project that develops a non-Google browser... as non-Google you can get when they do most of the development.

As for IT departments out there, there's no excuse to not roll it out. Google has tools to implement Group Policies and control Google from Windows Active Directory, as well as deploy automatically. In fact, you can implement 'Legacy' browser support, which means that Chrome will load IE in a frame for websites that require it.

In other words, most IT departments are just lazy and don't appreciate true security protocols since the biggest vector for attacks is client browsers.

Anywho... </rant over>.

Carl, as I mentioned above, I can certainly understand company IT restrictions, forcing one to use IE.

As for Chrome being bundled with shareware, I doubt that is of Google's doing. More importantly, if you download Chrome directly from Google, I don't see what security risk this would pose.

Btw, that's pretty ironic that a Window update screwed up IE :)

"As for Chrome being bundled with shareware, I doubt that is of Google's doing. More importantly, if you download Chrome directly from Google, I don't see what security risk this would pose."

Google Chrome and Toolbar, and the Ask Toolbar and search engine are among the biggest "pay per install" bundles. My understanding is that Google and Ask pay bundlers between $1 and $2 per installation.

Although some programs and updates have an option to "opt out" of the bundles by unchecking them on the install web page see here, other programs either hide the "opt out" settings under a "Custom Installation" tab or don't even offer an "opt out" option. There are a number of posts from disgruntled Adobe Flash users here.

Firefox or bust!

They are not "just lazy"..... they are also myopic.

I have no problems with IE at all. I also use FireFox and maybe sometimes Chrome. I like the fact that IE does not constantly try to get me to sign-in like every other Google product. All that does is allow Google to data mine and resell regional profile data to third parties. Not sure why everyone thinks anything but IE is 'so secure' when I see exploits for everything out there on a monthly basis. If you wanted to expolit something would you code for a product used by 10-15% of the world population or the majority? Besides, Chrome is like Apple products which people only even look at initially because they want to feel special and use something 'the rest of us mouth breathers' somehow dont appreciate. "Apple products never have problems!" Would you complaign about something that you bought at three times the cost of a PC then install software (limited selection) that costs three times as much all for a computer used by maybe 10 percent of the population? I digress...Chrome is okay I guess even if every download out there tries to sneak it in on you.

Not sure why everyone thinks anything but IE is 'so secure' when I see exploits for everything out there on a monthly basis.

This is patently untrue. You see bug reports for everything out there, not exploits. Exploits require something to actually happen. Bugs are just reported as potential issues.

What makes Chrome so 'special' is it's sandboxed design and the rapid release cycle and quick bug repair. IE fails in this regard because Microsoft has repeatedly failed to quickly work around some of these issues, due to them being fundamental to the design of their software. One of these fundamental design flaws is called ActiveX. Look it up.

Now, to discuss exploits, you have to see what actual researchers do. Take a look at competitions like Pwn2Own that allow closely held exploits get used without dangerous disclosure to the black hat community, and allow the developers to fix it.

And, by the way, Chrome went unhacked until 2012- and that exploit was debatable.

Chrome is like Apple products which people only even look at initially because they want to feel special and use something 'the rest of us mouth breathers' somehow dont appreciate.

Keep on believing that. Chrome now has the largest share of browsers on the web and is still growing. Probably because they're paying to get that access. I disagree with the methodology, but I'd rather see a secure browser that never allows crap on PC's from MySpace and Facebook than the security hole that is IE. Which, by the way, in the fleet of desktops that my company manages, is the only browser we have substantial user issues with- such as malware, trojans, and bloatware.

All, thanks for the detailed feedback.

One point I don't understand is why so many people are on old IE versions. For instance, 40% of those using IE that come to IPVM are still using IE8 or IE7. Many sites do not even support those browsers any more plus I wonder how out of date those browsers might be, in terms of patches, etc.

If you are determined to use IE, fine but can you at least use IE9 or 10?

"One point I don't understand is why so many people are on old IE versions. For instance, 40% of those using IE that come to IPVM are still using IE8 or IE7. Many sites do not even support those browsers any more plus I wonder how out of date those browsers might be, in terms of patches, etc."

John,

There are a lot of Windows XP systems out there. IE8 is the highest version you can install. More reasons to go to other browsers. However, as a security advisor, I am leary of any software that tracks, records and ARCHIVES, my every click and navigation on the web. Google/Chrome does this. Most browsers do this locally. Google stores your history on the cloud and uses it to control your choices. I am not Google adverse. I use it every day. But, with FF browser. Like the others, I use what I need to get the job done. Chrome has the best html5 browser for rendering video, so I use that too. But I never use Chrome for personal browsing.

I use 2 browsers on a daily basis. Chrome and IE. I keep both at the most current build. I'm also the network admin for a network with over 2000 endpoints. On all of our computers we have the option of chrome, Firefox, and of course IE. Most users use IE and it works fine for them 98% of the time. There are certain times that a user will call with an issue and we suggest they try Chrome. For general browsing I like to use Chrome but there are many sites that IE works better on. I'll be honest, now that Chome has come into maturity I almost never use FireFox, but I also don't use any plugins that a lot of people use Firefox for. One of the issues I have about Chrome is not so much the browser but the constant insistance that Google wants to know and report on my every click and step. I think browsers, like most computer related items, have a following and a lot of it is personal preference for one reason or another. There will always be multiple options and a debate offer which is better.

"One point I don't understand is why so many people are on old IE versions." Well, some people are still on Windows XP so they're limited to IE8 I believe. But another common reason I've found is the way Microsoft keeps dumbing down the browser and taking away funcitons people like. One of the more common complaints is how they took away the seperate search box in Internet Explorer, instead making the URL address box also a search box. So mentally they may still be stuck on Internet Explorer but don't want to upgrade to newer versions they don't like.

Luis, They didn't take away the search box. I use <Control> L.

I love the Chrome interface. But, I do find it extremely slow at times though when under XP. Under Win7 it is fine.

We use about 60% IE8 and the rest are a mix of IE9 and IE10. (systems also can use Chrome and/or FF) IE8 is kept because there are so many sites that are IE8 specific or at least IE9/10 Hostile. We deal with hundreds of remote/vendor/provider sites every day and many of them have trouble with IE9/10. Sometimes we can fix them with a workaround, sometimes we cannot. I would be fine with IE9 or IE10 across the board, but no way that would work for many, of our users.

At work I use Chrome except for when using cameras that utilize active X controls to display their configuration screens and video streams. On some I have to literally install three separate times and it may or may not work. Definitely makes my life difficult. We also see issues with IE9 and IE10 when displaying some of our GUI items on some newer client machines until we go into and activate some IIS items that are normally disabled that is needed. (Thanks Microsoft).

Everything that IE has now that is a good feature has been stolen from other browsers. Everything that is not a good feature they developed. At least that is the way it always feels. Though venting on here doesn't make it any better.

I am in same boat as Carl, corporate standard is IE even though everyone hates it. We can venture outside of IE, but we lose any/all support from the corporate IT department. Of course the IT department uses Chrome and Firefox to do what they want...

Anyway, we have no choice but to use IE and I would wager the vast majority of the Fortune 500, 1000 and even 2000 is in the same boat. Microsoft is still in business for a reason and it is not because of their hardware.

Excellent comments and discussions!

Randy, thanks! I forgot about the Windows XP connection (and also that people use XP :). It turns out 12% of our visitors use Windows XP!

Corey, interesting points about sites being IE8 specific. I am assuming those are older enterprise applications? It seems the opposite with more recent web based applications. For instance, I was waiting at the car dealer for service for last week and tried to use Github on their courtesy PCs running IE8 and had all kinds of problems. Also, I see Google, Gmail etc dropped IE8 support last year.

Microsoft IE Vulnerabilities list, 134 total to Chrome's 61.

That said, I have no idea which (or if any) are more serious.

As I said in an earlier post, I use Fire Fox for nearly all my browser needs. I have a plugin called IE Tab 2. This allows me to right click a webpage that does not like FF and use a alternate IE rendering engine, from version 7 to 9. This solves any compatibilty issues with one browser. Since the latest update with FF, I can use FF with most html5 pages as well.

I use Safari on my iPad, Firefox on my home computer and IE10 on my work computer. I have not noticed IE to be appreciably slower than either of the others I use. I'm not forbidden to switch browsers on my work computer, but IE was what was on it and I've just never felt the need to change. That being said, I also have no particular preference for IE. If I switch to Chrome, how much time will I save over the course of my day? I don't recall the last time I ever felt like I had to wait an unusually long time for a web page to load, so I have a difficult time believing it would be very significant.

On another note, (and I don't ask this to be argumentative, I sincerely want to know), why do you care what browser visitors to IPVM use? Does it affect the administration of the web site? I've never set up a web site myself, so I honestly don't know.

Richard, older versions of IE are a particular pain for us (IE8, IE7, or, gulp, IE6). There tends to be many weird implementations particularly when it comes to javascript / AJAX functions. This is why, as I mentioned above, a lot of modern websites simply don't support IE8 or earlier. I'd rather us spend time on building new features than working on hacks to make IE8 work.

Even if one is using IE, I have to imagine IE10 is faster than older versions (especially 8 and 7). That noted, less than 20% of IPVM visitors who use IE use IE10. The overwhelmingly majority use older versions.

I've been using Chrome more lately than IE especially here at IPVM. Something with IE requires hitting the "Post Reply" button twice in order for the comment to show up.

John, thanks for confirming. I've filed that as a bug and we will take a look at that.

John, An interesting follow up discussion will be to see how many fewer people use older versions of IE like IE 7 and IE 8 after Microsoft cancels support for XP in April of 2014. I'd have to think even fewer people will be using legacy versions of IE and we will start to see more of a shift to chrome and firefox.

In other words, I agree with you. Pointless to work on hacks to make IE7/8 work with your site when the overwhelming majority of your user base prefers chrome/FF.

Can you make IPVM work with my Gopher?

^^^ That was funny.

From an 'I'd like to try it but.....'

Questions for Chrome browser users:

Are you required to 'sign in' to use it? If not, is there a difference in use ('tween signin or no)?

When away from your device. Do you load Chrome or can you have it on a USB stick for that?

Was there any features you lost converting to Chrome?

What is it that you find lacking chrome?

Do you use the smartphone app?

Are you required to 'sign in' to use it? If not, is there a difference in use ('tween signin or no)?

Signing in links your Chrome instance to your Google account. No, it's not required. The main difference is, you can synchronize bookmarks, histories, and optionally (with an additional login) password info across browsers on all platforms - Windows, MacOS, Android, even Linux. For example, I have Chrome on my desktop, netbook, laptop, and DVR. When I'm signed in, I can update a bookmark on any one, and it will appear on all the others. I can open it up on my Android phone, and have all the same bookmarks there as well.

You can also optionally synchronize plugins and extensions through your account: if I'm on my netbook and find a neat plugin for, say, displaying a photo's properties and EXIF metadata... I can install it on Chrome, and it will automatically download and install on Chrome on my other Windows machines as well (obviously there are OS compatibility issues with some plugins).

Sign-in also links your Google Cloud Print account, if you want it to, so Cloud Print-enabled printers are accessible to you from anywhere. I can read something on my phone, say, and then send it to my home printer via Cloud Print, so the hardcopy is there waiting for me when I get home.

When away from your device. Do you load Chrome or can you have it on a USB stick for that?

There is a "portable" (USB stick) version of Chrome available, although I don't generally use it. I'm more likely to just install Chrome when I need it.

Was there any features you lost converting to Chrome?

The ONLY things I miss that I had in Firefox, were a few specific plugins that have never been duplicated in any other browser (that I've seen). One is called "Down Them All", a fantastic tool for performing "web sucking", where you can bulk-download images, links, and other items from a website. Another is "BBcode", which adds BBcode formatting options to a popup menu: for example, in HTML you use the < b > tag to bold a block of text; in BBcode, you use [b]bolded text[/b]. The BBcode plugin lets you just highlight a block of text, right-click, and select the desired tags.

What is it that you find lacking chrome?

Other than those plugins... nothing.

Do you use the smartphone app?

I do not... because strangely, I find Chrome for Android's performance to be TERRIBLE on my phone. It might have something to do with it being an older phone (two-year-old HTC Desire HD), or the fact that I'm running a third-party Jellybean ROM... but Google's browser does not like my Google operating system .Chrome for Android has some quirks that annoy me, too, like ALWAYS reopening old tabs when you launch it from a new link, meaning unless you regularly manually close tabs, you can end up with a LOT of them, and that REALLY kills performance - as yet, I've not found a way to change this behavior.

On the whole, Chome is easily my preference, and like so many others, I only use IE when it's required by another app or hardware. In fact, I've found that with Axis cameras, it works MUCH better than IE - Chrome can use Axis' MJPEG push to view video with almost un-noticeable latency, while IE won't view MJPEG or H.264 video from them without installing a plugin of one kind or anohther.

"you can synchronize bookmarks, histories, and optionally (with an additional login) password info across browsers on all platforms"

- Trusting soul, aren't you?

I've never used Chrome, but I used both Safari and Firefox just because it's what I'm used to using and I hate switching bookmarks and settings to a new browser. Saw this funny article to day though: Two-Year-Old Flash Bug Still Allows Webcam Spying On Chrome Users.

I can say that IPVM does not like IE 9 or IE10.

For example, if I post in IE, I have to click 2 times to get things to submit.

Sometimes based on what I already have open, the IPVM pictures don't load.

I had to uninstall IE 10 because it was causing issues with certain web pages.

Google Chrome

For those of you that think Chrome sandbox is secure and it's bulletproof your wrong. You can get internet based viruses with Chrome just like IE. I work on PC viruses every week it seems. I can't tell you how many times I've heard...I though Chrome was safe. JUST LIKE the Mac users that think they can't get a virus so they don't run AV.

There is no perfect browser, use what you want. For me personally I don't like Google collecting all my data all the time so I mostly use IE9.

Dropping the anti-Redmond bias for a moment, one can see that each have their strengths:

Chrome: Best used as a fast and stable general purpose browsing platform.

IE: Best used as a fast and stable initial download/install/launch platform for Chrome.