Surfing the Web with Google Chrome

Google ChromeThese days surfing the Internet can put as much strain on your computer as playing the latest games or running bulky office or graphics applications. The increasing demands of online video, flash applications, fancy webmail and badly coded websites have created the need for web browsers to become far more efficient with resources and effective in managing errors and crashes.

There is one browser that really shines through in these areas: Google Chrome. Chrome is a relatively new browser released by Google in 2008. What separates Chrome from the competition (Internet Explorer and Firefox) is the way it handles errors and crashes. I won’t bore you with technical details save to say that it’s quite smart. If a web page crashes, hangs or leaks, Chrome will make sure that the problem doesn’t affect the overall performance of your computer. 

Not only does Chrome make sure your computer stays speedy while browsing the web, it also speeds up web browsing, makes searching a breeze and integrates completely with Google’s complete range of products. 

Not stopping there, Chrome offers some less obvious benefits that leave the competition in the dust:

  • Use Google search from the address bar.
  • Search websites from the address bar. Chrome recognises a lot of web pages and asks if you want to search within a particular web page. Try it out; type “Facebook” in the address bar.
  • A task manager for web pages: Press Shift+Escape and a task manager will appear with information on everything running in your browser and the resources those tasks are consuming.
  • When you visit a foreign-language web page, Chrome will offer to automatically translate it for you.
  • Visual history: Press Ctrl+H and get a visual display of your history, complete with thumbnails of websites you last visited.
  • Search for highlighted text by right-clicking on it and choosing the ‘search Google for...’ option.
  • Browse in privacy. Press Ctrl+Shift+N to start an incognito window and rest assured that you are browsing without leaving a browsing history. This is especially useful for people who may be looking for a new employer.

Chrome is available for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. You can download your copy here. If you are installing it at work, please check your employer’s IT policies first.

A complete list of Chrome keyboard short cuts is available here.