For fastest performance, if you are using any version of Internet Explorer, consider switching to (in order of preference for improved performance):
Older web browsers don’t receive regular security patches, as they are no longer maintained by their developers.
In the case of Internet Explorer, the problem is worse, since its use of ActiveX controls makes it particularly vulnerable. IE 6 and earlier are plagued by vulnerabilities. The current release at the time of this writing, IE 8, makes vast improvements in security — it may be the most secure browser available. Improvements include better protection against ActiveX exploits.
If you like spyware, malware and viruses, by all means, keep your old browser. Otherwise, upgrade.
Because they don’t follow web standards, older browsers can render a page with unexpected results. Text may not be visible, components may become inaccessible, pictures may float off in unexpected directions. We’ve seen cases where text appeared in tiny, 3 pixel high letters, and the browser’s “resize” function didn’t work. Newer browsers are far less prone to these problems.
Many new technologies for web pages were developed and adopted after older browsers were released. Today’s web pages are filled with dynamic or advanced content, such as:
- Animation, including Adobe® Flash
- Dynamic menus (such as the one’s found on this site)
- Visual effects (e.g., drop shadows, transparency, blurred backgrounds)
- Drag & drop components
- Image viewers
- Secure forms
- Ability to upload or download files
- Sound and video players
- Interactive games
Poor support for these components in older browsers limits the user’s ability to use them. In severe cases, they may hamper one’s ability to navigate the site.
By building sites that validate correctly to the standards, developers are much more likely to preserve accessibility for all users. If you are sight-impaired, have difficulty using a mouse or keyboard, or are viewing the site on a mobile device or other small screen, using a modern browser or screen reader is the best way to ensure that you can view and navigate all of the content.