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Does Your Internet Life Seem Strangely Unfulfilled?

Sandra Prior
Jun 9, 2008
You buy a new PC, it comes with Windows and there's a browser included. It doesn't seem like there's much more to know, but the truth is rather different.

Make the Right Choice

Internet Explorer may have the lion's share of the browser market, but do you think it's the best product? Have you tried anything else to be able to make a fair comparison?

Consider the following.

Are you still using an old version of Internet Explorer? Unless you have an old PC, and are short on RAM or disk space, you should make the effort to upgrade to Internet Explorer 6.0 or greater and take advantage of the latest features.

If you've never tried Mozilla Firefox or Opera, it's worth taking a look because there's very little out there it can't handle, and yet it's small and fast.

Learn How it Works

Hardly anyone bothers exploring the help files for an application until they get stuck, and this is especially true with browsers. You'll miss lots of potential useful features if you do this, so spend some time looking around your Help system and see what you discover.

There are a few generic tips that work with most browsers, particularly when it comes to reducing those annoying Internet delays. For example, if you have a list of pages to visit, right click on 2 or 3 links in succession and choose the 'Open in new window' option. If one of the sites is slow to load, you can be viewing one of the others in the meantime.

Sometimes pages can take ages to display, don't wait forever. If you click on Stop, most of the page will often appear immediately. Even if it doesn't, clicking on Reload may get you the rest more speedily.

The main browsers can generally do just about anything you need - browsing, FTP, mail, news, downloading, and more. That doesn't mean you have to use them for all those things. Specialist utilities are often more powerful and effective. For example, it would make more sense to use an FTP program when uploading files to your web site. You may need to change the file attributes using CHMOD (unix servers) and you won't be able to do this with your browser.

Internet Explorer can be set up automatically to collect favorite web pages for you, so you can read them offline whenever you like. Offline browsing like this is a great way to cut down on phone costs, but dedicated tools designed for this purpose do a much better job. Along the same lines, specialist download tools like Download Accelerator can help download files more quickly and effectively than any browser, plus it has the ability to resume broken downloads.

Coping with Common Situations

Even if your browser doesn't appear to do what you want, there's often a simple workaround - you just have to find it.

Clicking on a link usually displays or plays a file. If you want to save it to disk instead, right click on the link and select Save As.

To save a complete web page in Internet Explorer, just choose File, Save As.

Printing a web page containing frames can be difficult. But the designers knew this when they made it. Stay away from framed sites if you want to print.
About the Author
Subscribe to Sandra Prior Newsletter and get up to date Computer Technology News delivered right to your email box for free. See website for details http://usacomputers.rr.nu and http://sacomputers.rr.nu.
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