firefoxYour Web browser is not your operating system! Nor is it your search engine. There’s a surprising amount of confusion, and it leads to anxiety. In fact, there’s plenty of time to panic.

Windows is the most common operating system – that’s what manages all your files and programs. Google Chrome is the most common Web browser – that’s what lets you use the Web. Google is the most common search engine – that thing you use when you want to find out how old Meryl Streep is. Simple enough. There are alternatives to all of these. And good reasons to switch if you’re having problems.

Recently, for example, Google announced that its Chrome Web browser would no longer support Windows XP and Vista operating systems. Some readers thought they were going to have to drop Google. What they meant was, they were going to have to drop Google Chrome in favor of another Web browser. We suggest Firefox. It’s made by Mozilla, and you can get it for free fromĀ Mozilla.org.

Sure there are other alternatives, but Windows XP users can forget about Internet Explorer. Microsoft stopped offering security updates for Windows XP users two years ago. Similarly, Apple stopped doing updates for XP users of their Safari Web browser two years ago. Ditto for the Opera Web browsers. Switching to Firefox is easier and cheaper than buying a new computer.

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