There are several common elements that all browsers require in order to view websites. The most important ones being Java and Flash players.
In all my years working in IT, one of the most common problems that helpdesks experience are issues with viewing websites which almost always resolved by updating the java or flash players. The other most common problem are security settings for the browser.
First, let’s make sure you are using the most up to date versions of java, flash and shockwave. Here are the links and steps involved:
Java is still used a great deal on the Internet and there are many versions floating around. Your best best is to stay up to date with the latest version.
Flash Player from Adobe (Originally from Macromedia) is used by a tremendous amount of websites so having the latest player makes a lot of sense.
Shockwave Player also from Adobe (also formerly Macromedia) that is used by many sites, but not nearly as many as Java or Flash. Still, it’s worth having.
Another good habit is to stay up to date with the latest version of your browser. Check with their website regularly or setup automic updates to do it for you.
Here are the links to the most popular browsers which all have a download center for installations and updates.
Internet Explorer is the most used browser, despite all the negative press and vulnerabilities to hacking and viruses.
Opera is a quick browser that has a small cult-like following.
Maxthon was purchased by Google so look for more news about this browser. I’ve used it for years because it had many things ie didn’t have.
Flux is a new kid on the block and the first built for social networking. It can get a bit busy with so many things going on but it works great.
Netscape is on its last legs as AOL annouced its plan to terminate all future updates and support on February 1, 2008. Netscape was the world leader in browsers before Microsoft released their free browser.
Some prefer to turn off the option to view pictures on websites which does increase surfing speed but what’s the point if all you see is text and red x’s?
Lower Your Defenses (A bit)
Another thing to check are your security settings. Go thru each option and enable the ones for ActiveX (if you dare) and java. Select the Prompt option instead of Enable if that makes you feel better. This will fix many problems you might’ve encountered on certain sites that you just couldn’t view correctly or even at all.
Many times your surfing experience suffers due to popup blockers. There are so many popup blockers today that we sometimes have several enabled at one time which is overkill and only slows you down. Here are some of the most common blockers to lookout for:
Just about every browser has their own popup blocker so simply go to the options (properties/Settings) page within the browser to disable it or learn how to add safe sites that you don’t want blocked.
Google Toolbar has a popup blocker. You can turn it off with a click.
Yahoo Toolbar also has one. You can disable it as well.
Many AntiVirus and antispyware utilities also include a popup blocker (McAfee, Symantic, etc.). Go to their control panel to either disable or learn how to add safe sites to their whitelist to prevent future blocking.
These were just some tips that I’ve found that help your web surfing experience no matter which surf board you use.