I wrote a blog last year called The Enemy Within about the huge drain that Norton Internet Security places on your computer, causing it to run slowly and sometimes crash. For a freelance writer who needs flow in their work, that’s not good. I advised then that a new security suite called Vipre was my pick, and I stand by that, having had zero security or speed issues since swapping over.
However, not everything in my pooter world was immediately resolved. In fact, although my computer started running a lot quicker, it was still freezing up and crashing, sometimes every half hour, to the point that I was having to close down my freelance writing efforts and reboot to get going again.
I did a little Googling (in half-hour stints in between crashes), and, of course, the world and its mother has an opinion on why computers don’t behave. Finally, though, I managed to narrow down the specific issue I was having and thus hone the results.
The problem was Firefox.
It wasn’t the result I expected because I had been using it in preference to Internet Explorer for years, with no real issues. In the beginning, word was that it did not have the vulnerability to security attacks that IE had. I have no idea if that’s true, but you give these things a go, don’t you?
The consensus from a wide range of results was that the add-ons Firefox loves to throw at your favourite programs can cause a variety of conflicts and compatibility problems. I suppose Firefox over the years has become a victim of its own success. By trying to cater to every program with an add-on here and an add-on there, I suspect it became over-engineered.
Even removing Firefox from my system and starting from scratch didn’t help. Some add-ons seemed to be hanging in there, even without my wilfully adding them, as though Firefox had become self-aware and was deciding for me what I needed for my installed programs – think SkyNet in Terminator 2, although perhaps not so able to provoke Armageddon.
I didn’t want to go back to IE, so I thought I’d give Google Chrome a try. It had always seemed like a poor pretender to the IE or Firefox crowns, but, realistically, why would the brains behind Google not be able to design a damn fine web browser? In fact, why would it not be the perfect accompaniment to the Google search engine?
It was. It is. Since switching several months ago, I have not had one single problem with my computer. No freezing, no crashing, no weird messages or blue screens or any need to reboot. I have just one add-on – WOT (Web of Trust) – which I installed myself. Chrome has never annoyingly suggested I should add anything else, and none of my programs has suffered for the lack of them.
Not all freelance writers need a web browser to carry out their endeavours. If you’re simply writing creatively in Word without any need to Google for information, then it’s probably not relevant. But I would say that the vast majority of today’s freelance writing projects certainly do require an internet search facility.
Personally, I love Chrome for its efficient simplicity. It just works.
If you’re having computer problems, and you’re using Firefox, it could be as simple to resolve as switching your browser.