Netscape Communicator vs. Microsoft Internet Explorer: Some folks passionately advocate one or the other of the two major Internet browser programs. There are good arguments for using each. Netscape Communicator is an integrated suite of active elements -- you can explore the web, send and receive e-mail, read newsgroups, even design your own web page and place it on the Internet (free) from within Netscape. The same things are available from Microsoft, but not within the Explorer program. Explorer, on the other hand, gives you more information about progress in accessing and loading Internet web pages, is slightly faster on loading web pages, and keeps a record of what you have connected to in past internet sessions -- Netscape only records your current Internet session. Advocates of either program will eagerly tell you of other advantages.

Both programs are now free downloads on the Internet, and both are often distributed free by Internet providers. You can also order either program on CD-ROM for a nominal fee, a useful thing to do if you have a slow connection or want to have it for reloading or use on multiple computers. The look and feel of the programs is similar enough that either easily can be used by folks who are used to the other, and Microsoft, seeking to get larger market share, has made it possible to make Explorer look almost exactly like Netscape.

So which should you use? The simple answer is "Use both." Unless you have limited memory storage capacity, put both programs on your hard disk and take advantage of the features you like. If you have a reasonably fast machine (anything built in the last five or so years) you can even easily run both programs simultaneously. Happy surfing!

For Info and download links for Netscape Communicator and Microsoft Internet Explorer, go to: