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Essential Internet software

To enhance your surfing experience there are several essential software programs and plug-ins (software that runs within your browser) that you can download. Most are free or freeware and some are shareware (they will function for a set period of time and then you have to pay for them.)

Browsers

Browsers are the most essential element of surfing choosing the correct one can mean the difference between relaxed surfing and valium. To keep up with the new internet standards it is important to use the latest browser. Even though there are more than twenty different browsers available to windows the two main contenders are: Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator at versions 5.1 and 4.7 respectively. Explorer however has much better support for DynamicHTML ( HTML mixed with CSS and JavaScript) and is also slightly quicker. Netsape has plans to change the situation however with Navigator 6 which is available as a beta version. Generally in my opinion Internet Explorer is the best browser for the moment. If you are worried about diskspace however neither of these browsers are for you give Opera a try with a footprint under 2Mb and version 4 promising full standards support.
Check the latest browser statistics at Browserwatch.com.

Software and Plug-ins

Here is a list and links to the most popular plug-ins and programs associated with the internet. If you think I have left any out let .

  • Winzip(Shareware but does not stop functioning after evaluation period is over) - Reduces file sizes, most programs downloaded from the net are zipped.
  • Flash&Shockwave(Plug-in) - Plug-ins which allow you to view animations streaming animations
  • Winamp (Shareware but like winzip does not stop functioning after the trial period)- The best Mp3 player around!
  • Music Match Jukebox (A cut down version is available free the full version costs $29) - Create your own mp3's.
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