PROS / Internet Explorer has beefed up its security features to combat phishing and malware.
CONS / The page load speed is below average.
VERDICT / Internet Explorer has added great features, but it still can't catch up to the best web browsers.
No list of the best internet browsers would be complete without Internet Explorer. In terms of all existing browsers, Internet Explorer is the longest running. It was once the most popular browser, but suffered because the service was stagnant, while other browsers surpassed it in features and security. As it was once the most popular service, it became a target for malicious attacks and viruses. Recently, Internet Explorer has placed a heavy focus on boosting security and fighting malware.
While Internet Explorer has a good balance of standard features, the experience is hurt by the limited speed at which it performs. In our tests, it took a below-average 4.53 seconds to boot up Top Ten Reviews' site. The average startup, based on 10 different attempts, was cut down to 2.72 seconds. A matter of seconds may seem like a minor issue, but Internet Explorer's average is still double the time of the best browsers in our comparison.
Internet Explorer may not be the fastest browser, but it does not skimp on its feature set. Bookmarks and tabbed browsing are the focus. When you open a new window, you see icons of your most visited sites based on your browsing history. This software works great with PC touchscreens and tablets with Windows 8.
Internet Explorer also provides a variety of add-ons for a fully customized browsing experience. There are four different categories of add-ons: search providers, accelerators, Web Slices and toolbars. In each category, you find a number of downloads, each with a description. Most are free, but some you have to purchase.
Internet Explorer has upgraded its security measures to fight a constant onslaught of malware. It has added parental controls and several methods to detect phishing attacks. It's also added a security feature called SmartScreen Filter, which runs concurrently while you're online. If it detects anything suspicious, it opens up a window advising you to proceed with caution, or it may just block a site completely for your computer's safety.
There's no denying that Internet Explorer has been plagued with more security vulnerabilities than most of its competitors. Its large share of usage makes it a lucrative target for hackers and cyberthieves. However, the latest version of the internet browser includes effective updates designed to tighten security loopholes, and its use of sandboxing and other methods greatly reduces security threats. Additionally, Internet Explorer provides a very user-friendly interface. It may never be the top web browser again, but the updates make it worth revisiting.