Cast your mind back a few years and the words â€œInternet Explorerâ€ may have leapt instantly to mind when you thought of which browser to use on your desktop.
Nowadays though, Google has entered the browser market and made the fight really about Chrome versus Firefox.
Despite IE still claiming a 51.8 percent browser market share according to research firm Net Applications, rival browsers are gaining ground. Firefox currently has 21.1 percent, Chrome 14.5 percent, Safari 7.7 percent and Opera 2.9 percent market share.
Naturally, some of you may already have your preferred browser and reckon youâ€™ll stick with it no matter what. But with the browser wars heating up and more of us relying heavily on the internet to perform our jobs and daily tasks, having the right browser for our needs is vital.
So in a head-to-head battle which browser wins: Firefox or Chrome?
Chrome has the edge here thanks to its ability to run each tab as a separate process. This ensures each tab is kept individual and means should one become infected by faulty code, only that tab closes rather than the whole browser. (If itâ€™s never happened to you, trust me youâ€™ll really appreciate not losing all your open tabs in one unfortunate moment!)
This helps to keep your PC more secure by containing the malware.
Chrome is the most compatible browser as it works on Windows, Mac and Linux-based operating systems. This compares to Firefox which works well on Windows and Mac-based platforms but can struggle on Linux.
Chrome also has a function inbuilt in the task manager that lets you see how much memory each tab is using so you can manage them more effectively.
Both Firefox and Chrome are renowned for being fast browsers, although Chrome takes the lead as the fastest. This is because of neat features like predicting the address youâ€™re typing before youâ€™ve typed it; and although Firefox 4 is far quicker it still tends to run more add-ons which slows the average machine down.
The minimalist look is a design feature of both these browsers, with clean and user-friendly layouts. Tabs are simply laid out on top of the address bar, making the experience spacious and visually pleasing.
When it comes to features, the browser you prefer will depend on your personal tastes.
For example, Chrome has a smart way of syncing bookmarks which means you can view your bookmarked sites on different PCs. Simply log in to your Google account on any computer with Chrome installed for this option to work.
Firefox has the App Tabs and Tab Groups functions for organising open pages effortlessly and neatly, keeping the desktop clutter-free.
Thereâ€™s a good reason Firefox and Chrome tend to be regarded as the key players in the browser wars â€“ they are fast, secure and user friendly. Personally, I rate Chrome higher than Firefox as it is faster and does everything I want it to do without making a fuss.
If youâ€™ve not tried both, itâ€™d be a good idea to do so. That way, you can find the browser that supports your surfing style the best.
Caitlin Barker is a freelance writer and tech journalist. She writes articles covering a wide range of technology and internet subjects including how-to guides, reviews and second hand laptops and mobile phones buying advice including new and used iPhones, Blackberry and Android.