IE is not that bad of a browser. Despite most people’s rejections to it, they are more from past experience than current. Most people have a tendency to hate IE due to what happened to them with IE6 and the bad things it had with ActiveX controls. IE8 itself is not that bad. There are more things that can be done with it. First and foremost, IE8 does have addons. Not like Extensions for Firefox or Chrome. But there are some. These are installed as stand alone items that activate once you start up IE8. Not the best thing in the world, but they do work. I have used the XMarks and the IE Ad Block one with great success. I have also installed and tried the Facebook Webslice.
Now Webslices are different than most items in your bookmark bar. They are active and will refresh when changes are made to the site. Consider it like a YouTube Video in your bookmark bar of the site. As you get a small window that pops up when you click it and a view of the site in that window.
IE8 also has InPrivate Browsing. Which is what it sounds like. You open IE8 in a Private browse mode where no cookies are saved, and you can do much more. Such as block Ads with a built in ad blocker. Such a task is accomplished with a xml file for the InPrivate Mode.
All in all IE8 is not that bad.
Mozilla Firefox (Admins pick)
Firefox is next on the list. Now everyone knows of Firefox. It was the new kid on the block that knocked IE from its perch of being the best out there. It is open source so you can read just about everything and anything you want about it. So i will keep this brief.
Firefox has its own Addon Gallery. It is simple to install these addons, also known as Extensions. Just see one you like, click the install button. Restart the browser to use new item. You can customize Firefox in just about every aspect you can think of. From the layout, to what extensions are used to what theme is used. Aside from themes there is also Personas which help you make Firefox more personal.
Firefox is a bit faster than IE. With the addition of such items as FasterFox, NoScript, FlashBlock, and CookieCuller you can make the browser one of the most secure on the web. Now i know many Firefox fans will be up in a roar that i have not spent that much time on Firefox compared to Ie. Dont worry, the rest of the browser will get as much as Firefox as well. IE got more cause i had to share some insite on some items that are not well known. Such as the Ballot screen.
Chrome is the newest browser on the scene and it is coming on strong. Being open source it has already gotten knock off browser made (Dragon) and a project fully done by the community (Chromium). The thing to know about Chrome is that it is a lot like Firefox in the way things are done with it. It has Themes and Extensions. They operate much like they do for Firefox. Just click and install. But for Chrome you dont have to restart the browser. Most become active instantly.
There isnt much more you can do to customize Chrome though. You cant adjust the look of it beyond the themes available. But some of the extensions that are out there are fantastic. They have some extensions that act like the Webslices in IE. I have used these for Twitter and Facebook. Just click the icon, and do what i want. Even when on sites like this you can use them to do something on those sites.
Right now Chrome is doing good for itself. The people that have made the extensions have done a great job to bring a variety of things to the browser that are not available widely in other browsers. It is at least worth a look to try Chrome and the extensions.
Now Opera has been around for a long time. It first wa a pay per use browser where you paid money to remove ads. Then it went to a completely free and ad free browser. Opera has made some leaps and bounds in some areas and are lacking in others.
Opera has a good ad blocker. It uses a urlfilter.ini file that is just placed in the Opera Profile Folder and that is it. It blocks the ads completely. There is also custom buttons that you can use as well. They can do a variety of things. From removing the menu bar to jump to the top of the page or bottom of the page.
If your willing to put in the work, you can customize Opera to work for you. It isnt as easy or simple as Firefox or Chrome. But if you do your research and put in the time, it can be a great browser.