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Internet Explorer Review

Bottom Line

New life has been breathed into Internet Explorer, which boasts superior privacy protection and controls, excellent anti-malware and fast browsing to boot. On the downside, the browser only works with Windows 7 and above and it's at the bottom of the pack in phishing protection.

Performance

Pros

  • Excellent privacy protection
  • Top-notch anti-malware
  • Fast

Cons

  • Not compatible with older Windows operating systems
  • Limited syncing and add-ons
Our Analysis
Specs

Features

Fast, yes, but for features, Internet Explorer can't compete. Although IE has made strides in offering enhanced features and rebranding itself as a privacy protector, it's still behind Chrome, Firefox and Safari in many realms. IE can hold its own against the other leading browsers in terms of speed thanks in part to its graphics accelerator, but it is too restrictive by limiting IE10 and IE11 to Windows 7 and 8 users only, reviewers say. Microsoft's browser won't sync except on Windows 8 PCs, and while it now offers add-ons, they are limited. Given the performance and features of Chrome and Firefox, many reviewers recommend Internet Explorer only for those whose main concern is privacy.

Privacy and Security

Top in privacy and malware protection. Experts praise Internet Explorer for offering consumers unprecedented browsing privacy. The Do Not Track option is automatically turned on in Internet Explorer 10 and 11. In Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, Do Not Track needs to be turned on; in Google Chrome it's buried. Explorer also partially blocks third-party cookies, prompts for geographic locations and is the only major browser to offer tracking protection lists, which give consumers the option not to be tracked by advertising and marketing sites. Internet Explorer 10 and 11 scored highest on privacy in independent assessments of browsers by NSS Labs; both also had the highest malware catch rates (over 99 percent) but scored the lowest in guarding against phishing attempts (in which nefarious websites try to gain access to sensitive information like passwords and credit card details).

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