Tech@Work: Upgrade Your Web Browser & Save Time

February 1, 2000

If you’re like most Web surfers, you’re probably still using the browser that came with your computer. That's OK, but if your system is even a year old, You’re missing out on today’s most efficient browsing tools.

By studying how most people use the Web, Microsoft and Netscape have enhanced their browsers--Internet Explorer and Netscape, respectively--to make the most common Internet tasks easier, faster, and more efficient. Here's What’s new:

Off-line browsing--If you’re a notebook computer user, you’ll love the ability to "capture" your favorite Web site for later viewing, even when you’re not online. Not only can you read your favorite Web magazines, but you can also save your Web site to show it offduring listing presentations, when you can’t plug into the Web.

Memorized Passwords

If you’ve subscribed to any premium content or use other sites, such as One Realtor Place® , that require a log-in, you’re probably tired of entering your user name and password every time you visit. If you’re not concerned that strangers will access your systems, let your browser memorize and submit your log-in information for you. IE, for instance, detects when you fill out a log-in and prompts you with the option of saving the password for future use.

Finding Information

The latest upgrades offer tools that make it easier to find what you’re looking for. In the locator field, you can type not just Web site addresses but actual keywords or names. The browser will automatically search the Web for you. In Netscape, for instance, type the words real estate to retrieve search results, such as domain names that include those words, in the browser’s Netcenter.

Surfing Faster

When you begin typing a Web address, the latest browsers will compare what you’re typing with sites you’ve previously visited and display a list to choose from.

You can also see a complete history of the sites you’ve previously visited by holding down the Back button in Netscape. In IE, press Ctrl and H at the same time or view your history from the View menu. The history can be sorted alphabetically, by date, or by how often you’ve visited.

Online Security

The latest upgrades also offer increased data encryption when you’re sending sensitive information online.

In addition, browsers support much greater protection for your personal computer system when you run downloaded Internet software, such as Java.

Take offers a real-time streaming stock information center. To access the center, you must run the entire Java program, a dicey proposition. Without the latest browser, such downloads could run damaging code on your system.

Although there are differences between the two most popular browsers--Netscape doesn’t offer off-line viewing options, though you can download newsgroup messages--choosing is usually a matter of personal preference. To upgrade your current program, determine which version you have by going to the Help menu and selecting the About option. If your version is older than 5.0 or 4.7, upgrade at the browsers' Web sites.

In addition to instructing GRI programs, Stephen Canale has spoken at hundreds of seminars in 45 states, covering subjects relating to real estate sales and technology. For more information on his products, newsletter, and seminars, visit

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