5 Reasons Chrome Should Be Your Work Browser | PCWorld Business Center

5 Reasons Chrome Should Be Your Work Browser | PCWorld Business Center.  (No longer available online. Original text included below.)

Are you using Google’s Chrome web browser yet? Many are, and web tracker StatCounter says that for the first time, Chrome usage has surpassed Firefox to become the second most popular browser, behind Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Though the stats are from the UK only, Chrome is on pace to soon surpass Firefox globally. What is driving Chrome’s popularity, and should your business be using it?

Google wants us all to live in the browser, businesses included, and is taking steps to make it possible. It is developing Chrome OS at the same time, which allows “Chromebooks”, a netbook like laptop, to run what appears to be nothing but a web browser. Google is constantly adding features to make its offering more secure, faster, and easier to use. Most of these aren’t exclusive to Chrome, but Chrome is unique in incorporating them all. Here are the top five reasons your business should be using Google Chrome.

1. Sandboxing

Sandboxing prevents what’s happening in one browser tab from affecting other tabs by running each tab as a separate process. This is like separating browser tabs into individual programs that can’t talk to each other. This helps prevent malware from installing, which is critical in preventing outside attackers from gaining access to your businesses data. It also generally keeps a tab that has crashed from effecting other tabs, which can save you time and lost work.

2. Auto-Update

No matter how carefully coded, all software has bugs, and some of these can make the software insecure. To minimize the time required to patch these holes as they are discovered, Google built Chrome to auto-update, so it constantly patches itself. This not only reduces the chance of an outside attacker exploiting a hole in the software, but gives you the latest features as they are released as well.

3. Safe Browsing

The Internet is a dangerous place, with malware and phishing being the two most common threats. Google tracks websites that it suspects are dangerous, and if you enable “Safe Browsing”, Chrome will bring up a warning page before you visit one of these sites. This is another step to keep malware from opening your computer to an outside attacker, and it also helps prevent business related login information from falling into the wrong hands. 

4. Speed

One of Google’s main goals with Chrome was to improve browser speed, and it is constantly making performance improvements. Many of these focus on improving the speed of JavaScript, which powers most of Google’s online services. For businesses that use Google Apps, this means Chrome will generally be the fastest and most reliable browser to get work done.

5. Flexibility

Firefox’s large library of extensions is one of the reasons for its success. Chrome offers an extensive number of extensions as well through Google’s Web Store. Extensions offer users a way to expand the functionality of their browser. Increasingly, web based services like those from Google, Evernote, and StumbleUpon are using Chrome extensions to more tightly integrate their websites with the browser. Chrome’s ability to install, enable, disable, and uninstall extensions without restarting the browser not only saves time, but with extensions like “Context”, allows users to turn on and off groups of extensions depending on need.