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Internet Explorer

CNET Editors' note: Update, March 20, 2013: Please note that Internet Explorer 8 is now for Windows XP only. Because of its numerous security and stability flaws as a legacy browser, CNET does not recommend using IE8 except as a last resort. In light of its limitations when compared against the competition, we have downgraded IE8's final score to 2 stars.

Also, we strongly advocate using either Chrome or Firefox, both of which receive updates every six weeks on Windows XP, and offer improved security as well as better browsing features. If you are looking for the most recent version of Internet Explorer, you can read CNET's review and download IE10 here.

CNET Editors' review

Update, March 14, 2011: Note that Internet Explorer 8 is now for Windows XP only. If you have Windows Vista or Windows 7, you are strongly encouraged to upgrade to Internet Explorer 9 (download) for improved browser security and better browsing features.

Internet Explorer 8 addresses just about all of the major concerns that users and critics have had with the world's most used browser. Whether they get answered in a way you like is another matter.

There are several new and interesting features. Web Slices lets you save predefined sections of a Web page for at-a-glance viewing. Instead of going to a traffic Web site for updates, the latest commuting news comes to you. Similarly, Accelerators make repetitive tasks one-click behaviors, for instance finding directions or blogging. InPrivate browsing introduces a cache and history on-off switch, while related tabs are color-coded and automatically reorganized as you open them. There's also tab sandboxing, which means that when a tab crashes, IE itself won't, and it even tries to resurrect the page that crashed.

There's a greater emphasis on Web standards and security than before. The SmartScreen and cross-site scripting filters throw up a red warning page when you're about to visit an unsafe site. There's also domain highlighting, which grays out the name of the URL you're looking at except for the domain itself. This sounds simple, but effectively draws attention to spoofed site URLs. There's also a compatibility button so that sites designed specifically for IE 7 and earlier can still be viewed.

IE 8 lacks a default "smart" location bar that many other browsers have, but you can search your history and most visited pages from there. Also, the installation process still requires a reboot--unimpressive, to say the least. Drawbacks aside, there's no reason to not upgrade if you're an old fan of IE, and there's even a few things in IE 8 for new users.

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    2.4 stars

    out of 1,688 votes

    • 5 star: 351
    • 4 star: 159
    • 3 star: 132
    • 2 star: 256
    • 1 star: 789
  • Current version:

    2.3 stars

    out of 593 votes

    • 5 star: 102
    • 4 star: 65
    • 3 star: 49
    • 2 star: 96
    • 1 star: 280
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 593

  • 1.0 stars

    "Internet Explorer 11"

    November 20, 2013  |   By Mike7244

    Version: Internet Explorer 8

    Pros

    So far there's nothing good I can find about it, except with Norton I was able to save all of my passwords.

    Cons

    Sucks, its the worst search engine that Microsoft has ever created. I never saw something that has so many flaws. When you do a search it constantly locks up and have to constantly use task manager to shut the tabs down. The live tile version is exactly the same way. Another problem on their home page when you click on the main article tile 90 percent of the time now it doesn't work or the page can't fill itself completely in. They need to fire the creator or whoever created 11 the worst on in their history. When I try to report a problem it's near impossible to let them know. USE CHROME OR FIREFOX. It's such a shame when these idiots tied it into their new search feature but it doesn't work. False advertisement on how great 8.1 is the greatest search ever, NOT.

    Summary

    y

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Better then IE6 and 7"

    June 23, 2013  |   By mitchelld1

    Version: Internet Explorer 8

    Pros

    NOTHING!!!

    Cons

    EVERYTHING!!!

    Summary

    This is a very bad browser, it is better then ie6 and 7 but ewww!!!
    DO NOT USE IT!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Probably the worst browser out there."

    November 5, 2012  |   By FlyingSquirrel88

    Version: Internet Explorer 8

    Pros

    -Useable.
    -Great for untechy folk.
    -Free.
    -Made by Microsoft.

    Cons

    -Slow.
    -Crashes all the time.
    -Can't eaisily add plugins.
    -Hard to make webpages compatible with it.
    -Does not support latest web standards.

    Summary

    Internet Explorer is a useable browser, but I would strongly recommend another browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Failure In Every Aspect"

    October 6, 2012  |   By TechXpression

    Version: Internet Explorer 8

    Pros

    Nothing at all

    Cons

    Slow, ugly design, a million toolbars, and slow (Yes, I said it twice. It really is that slow)

    Summary

    It's the dumbest browser that Microsoft ever thought of.Need I say more?

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Absolute rubbish. Does not behave like a browser should"

    September 17, 2012  |   By bogan_az

    Version: Internet Explorer 8

    Pros

    The Close button

    Cons

    its existance

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  • 5.0 stars

    "My favourite browser since i bought my PC(with IE 6)"

    August 2, 2012  |   By Coa96

    Version: Internet Explorer 8

    Pros

    Everything is very fast, its even faster than google chrome. User interface is great, adress bar is awesome - everything is well organised

    Cons

    Reputation - Many people have problem with IE because their windows is in terrible shape (and that's the reason why they start hating IE)

    Summary

    In my opinion IE is the best browser, i've been using it since version 6 and it has never dissapointed me.(sorry for bad English I am from Serbia)

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  • 1.0 stars

    "I don't like this browser,Chrome and FF is much better"

    July 22, 2012  |   By rudolf323

    Version: Internet Explorer 8

    Pros

    Bookmarks can be accessible from task bar
    Nice design

    Cons

    It has very ****** engine
    Very slow
    laggy

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  • 1.0 stars

    "it's total crap"

    July 6, 2012  |   By DSWDobson

    Version: Internet Explorer 8

    Pros

    let's see, during the few minutes it works before the message "internet explorer has stopped working" it does what you would expect from a browser

    Cons

    it stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working and stops working

    Summary

    it's complete crap, get the picture? Total waste of hard drive space, and my experience with Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit so far isn't much better. I never had a problem with 32bit. Microsoft has gotten so dang fat and lazy they don't even try to make a product work right until they've sold millions of copies and people start to complain

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  • 5.0 stars

    "JUST RESET IT'S SETTINGS IF YOU HAVE PROBLEMS WITH 'IE'"

    May 19, 2012  |   By salesalex

    Version: Internet Explorer 8

    Pros

    Internet explorer is a good browser with simple interface.

    Cons

    It seems to me that every program which I install wants to add something to internet explorer , and those toolbars and 'right click add-ons' are internet explorer's ''killers''. For me - everything which wants to add something permanently to my browser without asking is a malware ,and programs which does not warn you about those add-ons should not be installed .

    Summary

    Do reset to you're internet settings periodically , and you will have no trouble with it ...JUST GO TO - CONTROL PANEL - INTERNET OPTIONS - ADVANCED - RESET - and restart the browser after that,then you can change you're home page etc...

    Updated on Aug 24, 2012

    hello dograg,
    I think that you should turn automatic updates on,maybe that makes problems with your IE,and uninstall all the ''system optimizers''-if you got any -except CC cleaner . And reset IE like I had explained in review.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Bad version.... keep your current IE version."

    May 16, 2012  |   By jknowlto

    Version: Internet Explorer 8

    Pros

    There are no pros.

    Cons

    They took away all of the comfort (what I was used to) and gave me a screen devoid of quick links. Additionally, videos don't load correctly, many of my work-based applications/websites crash or appear strange. PDFs load as if they're 8-bit. It's a really terrible version. I even had to move to chrome to submit this review. No wonder it's gotten such bad ratings.

    I've gone to using Chrome exclusively when I was a pretty devout IE user.

    Summary

    Just a bad version.

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Results 1-10 of 593

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