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The Broadband Speed Test: Does Your Internet Browser Matter?
Browser Wars. In the late 1990s, the term referred to Explorer’s triumph over Navigator as the de-facto Internet browsing standard, but since 2003 it has applied to the battle between offerings like Mozilla’s Firefox, Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari and yes, Internet Explorer. Each browser has its cadre of faithful users who swear by their preference and nothing else, and each one makes claims about usability and simplicity. But can any of them make your Internet connection faster?
As reported by a recent PC Magazine article, different browsers do come with advantages. Chrome, for example, is known for its HTML5 support, effectively future-proofing it for Web app development. Firefox, meanwhile, has excellent startup time, memory use and security, while Opera can increase off-line speed with intelligent caching. Explorer, meanwhile, is what many users are familiar with but now supports WebGL and SPDY and includes excellent hardware acceleration. When it comes to a broadband speed test, however, who comes out on top? Nobody.
Even Playing Field
Here’s the thing: While different browsers can affect the speed of webpage loading and may impact the speed of file downloads owing to firewall or security constraints, none of them can make your Internet connection faster.
If you want to improve broadband performance, start with an online speed test to make sure your connection lives up to Internet Service Provider (ISP) promises. If everything looks good but you’re not interested in upgrading, you can try using OpenDNS, compression utilities like Opera’s Turbo, or in the case of DSL connections asking your ISP to turn off interleaving, which is a type of packet error correction that can increase latency.
So go ahead, use whatever browser suits you best—they’re all on par when it comes to broadband speed.
Paul Williams brings a wide range of experiences to his writing. He worked extensively in technology, as a software engineer, technical writer, and now a technology writer. Known as the leader of one of the top American Spacerock bands, his forward-looking music continues to be heard all over the world.