I’m Karen, a 38 yr old housewife with a son of 9 and daughter of 11. We have an old desktop computer that is cranky these days, and a 3-year-old laptop that was inherited from a friend a couple of months back. The desktop had months and months of various problems: it survived two house moves, a sneaky virus which we didn’t know about, and then finally was infected with the nasty Sasser Worm thingy in May. That worm rendered it useless, so we got it wiped and re-installed. After it was cleaned up the overall performance improved, but it still had its own quirks, and annoying (and often rude) pop-ups and adverts would still blight us, even with AntiVirus software.

Our needs as a family are fairly straightforward: email, digital photos, a little on-line shopping, some writing, and general web browsing. I felt that the type of use our machine was getting was not strenuous enough to make it crash, freeze and do various other ‘weird’ things as often as it did—and by that, I mean as many as 5 or 6 times an hour on some days!

After the desktop was re-installed I looked about for prices/spec for a new PC; around that time, my brother urged me to install Firefox on the new computer. Until then, I had no idea that that there were other programs that could do what Internet Explorer did—we don’t read magazines or visit sites which would tell you that sort of information!

Last July we were given our new laptop. On receiving it, I followed by brother’s recommendation and set up Firefox. It was fairly straightforward to download, and has proved easy to use since. We get absolutely NO pop-ups or adverts, and 99% of our favourite sites work. On that basis I installed it on the desktop; the children report that “those grey boxes” and “rude things” have stopped coming through, and that it doesn’t crash so often now. I’m not the slightest bit “techie-minded,” and nor am I interested in changing that—I just need the darn computer to switch on and work, because it’s a tool. Firefox is so far proving to be very easy to use, and causing no problems.

We will not be going back to Internet Explorer. Ever.