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I am being forced to update - so which browser is the safest?

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Danny M2Z15/01/2016 10:19:59
936 forum posts
1 photos

My workshop pc is happy with Windoze XP, the 'Old Girl' (it's really her name) has served me faithfully since 2004 with only a new hard drive and a bit of extra memory.

Some of my ancient technical programs refuse to work with later versions of windoze, lol - some are actually DOS based, such as gearcalc etc. But they are invaluable.

My problem is that when the Old Girl is allowed to access the internet, her browser (Internet Explorer) is sometimes told that it is out of date when visiting certain websites. Usually she is offered to 'update' to Chrome or Firefox.

I am not happy with Google's invasive privacy issues and have no idea about Firefox. I also understand that some people like 'Opera' .

All the Old Girl requires is to go online occasionally to look-up technical data.

I don't mind updating the browser but I do mind about being tracked and spammed with popups for every website that I ever visit.

So - which browser?

* Danny M *

roy entwistle15/01/2016 10:22:17
1400 forum posts

I use Firefox on XP with no problems


Neil Wyatt15/01/2016 10:23:39
18721 forum posts
727 photos
80 articles

Firefox seems to be the de-facto standard for compatibility, security and privacy.


David Clark 115/01/2016 10:36:35
3357 forum posts
112 photos
10 articles

Firefox seems best. Make sure your computer clock is correct as this can cause errors and invalid certificate errors.

Roger Provins 215/01/2016 11:17:56
344 forum posts

+1 Firefox

CotswoldsPhil15/01/2016 11:38:17
196 forum posts
112 photos

+1 Firefox all day and every day

In settings turn off "allow third party cookies" and set it to "clear cookies" when you close it.

You may get the odd web-site that protests - especially links from Google Ads.

You could also install Ghostery - shows you all the tracking stuff in websites, this site has just 2 - Facebook and Google Analytics


Edited By CotswoldsPhil on 15/01/2016 11:57:18

Bikepete15/01/2016 11:57:52
233 forum posts
34 photos

Firefox is good, but if you are at all concerned about security and privacy you should also install the Adblock Plus and Ghostery add-ons - free and takes just a few clicks from within Firefox. Adblock blocks almost all ads, and Ghostery stops pretty much all trackers etc. There's also one called 'Noscript' which stops even more potentially nasty stuff, but I found that it stopped too many websites working...

EDIT - also Firefox has a 'private browsing' mode which automatically disables cookies etc.

Edited By Bikepete on 15/01/2016 12:05:55

Russell Eberhardt15/01/2016 12:11:19
2686 forum posts
86 photos

Yes, +1 for Firefox and Adblock Plus.

I too have an XP machine in the workshop running Mach3 for the little cnc mill and only occasionally let it connect to the internet. I say "have" but unfortunately it has just died (motherboard fault) so I'm looking for another old XP machine with a parallel port for Mach3.


Thor15/01/2016 17:16:33
1395 forum posts
41 photos

Hi Danny,

Glad to hear I'm not the only one running XP. I have not used Internet Explorer much, I have used Firefox, I update it regularly.


Frances IoM15/01/2016 17:30:13
1150 forum posts
28 photos
suggest also adding "request policy" - very useful in blocking the many cross links mostly used by advertisers that add nothing but bloat to the page but definitely use Firefox
An Other15/01/2016 18:04:13
210 forum posts
1 photos

Another Firefox user + Adblock (on Linux). If (like me), you are annoyed about the intrusiveness of Google, you can switch off Google Analytics (on any site you visit - and Google Analytics is on hundreds of sites) - visit the following link:


There is also an alternative to Ghostery to stop tracking sites, as an add-on to Firefox, called Privacy Badger. (search Addons in Firefox)

Johnboy2515/01/2016 20:24:34
259 forum posts
3 photos

Firefox is one of my favourite browsers.. I have installed it on to an 'old' Compaq laptop. I recently put Windows 7 which replaced Vista (Vista was the reason I stopped using it!) works much better with a memory upgrade. I was reliably informed that if I were to re configure with a semiconductor 'harddrive' it will be extremely quicker than it is now. I've see the result and sure enough to it boots up in a blink of an eye!

I want to use the laptop with a separate monitor for AutoCad and a CNC program. After a bit of research the Linux route with LinuxCNC looks promising.

Ajohnw15/01/2016 23:48:46
3631 forum posts
160 photos

If you use the flash player it might be worth checking to see what version you have. There is one that has a security problem. This seems to be firefox related but may only relate to some OS's as Adobe haven't updated it for all of them yet and might not ever again. Seems Chrome has got round this by producing PepperFlashPlayer. This might just be a linux problem but the culprit player was used on all platforms.

I've been having a busy security time - some one pretending to be me in a chat window in a browser somewhere.

I've been using Chromium for a while. AKA Chrome but not by Google, it's just what Chrome was based on.

My favourite is Opera. Mainly for the way it handles bookmarks but an upgrade is way over due for me. Looks like I need to update my OS to get an update.



Danny M2Z16/01/2016 00:23:54
936 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks heaps people - It appears that Firefox is the most popular choice (with the add-ons) so it's going onto the workshop pc.

* Danny M *

ian j16/01/2016 11:02:53
304 forum posts
278 photos

After reading this thread I have just installed Firefox on two windows XP PC'c & my Windows 7 laptop. Is it my imagination that apart from browsing been alot faster the whole PC/Laptop apears to run faster? ie no more internet explorer not responding/long running scripts.

I like the facility where you can sync bookmarks and passwords across all devices.

Is there a setting where the viewing size is the same for each TAB?



Edited By ian j on 16/01/2016 11:04:05

duncan webster16/01/2016 21:59:19
3444 forum posts
63 photos

Hi Russel Eberhardt,

I have a surfeit of old PCs, one needs a new chipset fan (very cheap), the other has lost contact with its graphics card. If you're in the north west and either is any use you're welcome. I'm going to fix one up as the workshop computer, but not both, and I need the room

Danny M2Z17/01/2016 06:40:33
936 forum posts
1 photos

Firefox installed ok. It is very much faster without all the baggage.

Interestingly - it soon became apparent which web pages leak everything that one looks at. This one being a prime example **LINK** i.p. address tracking reveals that somebody in China has the hots for my workshop pc!

I might have to re-consider whether to remain with that group. It's a pity as I was planning to purchase some new toys from hobbyking but now having second thoughts about their security.

Nice to say, no such issues detected on this site.

So it was definitely a worthwhile upgrade.

* Danny M *

Russell Eberhardt17/01/2016 11:01:12
2686 forum posts
86 photos
Posted by duncan webster on 16/01/2016 21:59:19:

Hi Russel Eberhardt,

I have a surfeit of old PCs, one needs a new chipset fan (very cheap), the other has lost contact with its graphics card. If you're in the north west and either is any use you're welcome. I'm going to fix one up as the workshop computer, but not both, and I need the room

Thanks Duncan but as I live in France, near the Spanish border, you are a bit far for me!

Many thanks all the same.


ian j21/01/2016 11:47:12
304 forum posts
278 photos

Having recently installed Fire Fox ver.43.0.4 on my Win 7 laptop I now find on ebay if I look at an item & click on other items nothing happens. if I clear cookies & cache in FF history it's ok once but if I try again to look at other items nothing happens until I clear cookies & cache again. It works ok on my Win XP PC's

Any suggestions ?

Thank You


Bazyle21/01/2016 12:20:13
5982 forum posts
220 photos

By the way I have found yahoo groups works a lot better in Chrome or FFox than IE because of the way it responds to adverts. Also Onshape CAD only worked for me in Chrome.

While we have a browser related thread if you are a website manager make sure not to use the latest fancy features which may mean not using a site builder tool that adds gimmicky stuff. Otherwise your site will annoy people. The most annoying thing of course being the little twerps who put up a screen saying you should update your browser. The Southern Fed site is currently not quite behaving with IE11.

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