How secure is your web browser?

If you refuse to budge and upgrade your operating system, the least you can do is install the most secure web browser.

Let's face it, updating your computer software is a chore. That little dialogue box never appears at a good time, it's always when you're right in the middle of doing something. So you keep putting it off, and putting it off, until before you know it, you're years out of date.

But there's a real price to pay. Not only will you miss out on the latest features, you won't have the latest security updates either, meaning your system could be easy prey for hackers. Here, we're focussing on which web browsers are and aren't supported on Windows XP and Windows Vista (both of which operating systems are no longer supported by Microsoft).

[Read more: 10 quick fixes to Windows 10 problems]

Be warned - if you're using one that's not supported, you're putting your computer's security at risk!

 

Windows XP

Windows XP

Internet Explorer 8: Not supported for XP.

Internet Explorer 9: Not supported for XP.

Internet Explorer 10: Not supported for XP.

Internet Explorer 11: Not supported for XP.

Firefox: No longer fully supported, though the Firefox extended support release (ESR) does still provide security updates only. This will end in June 2018.

Opera: Version 36 is the last supported version for XP, but the company says it will continue to offer security patches.

Lunascape: Supported as long as you’re running Service Pack 1 (SP1) or later.

Google Chrome: No longer supported.

[Read more: Why are Windows XP users still clinging to the past?]

Windows Vista

Windows Vista

Internet Explorer 8: Not supported for Vista.

Internet Explorer 9: Supported, as long as you are running Service Pack 2 (SP2). 

Internet Explorer 10: Not supported by Vista

Internet Explorer 11: Not supported by Vista

Firefox: No longer fully supported, though the Firefox extended support release (ESR) does still provide security updates only. This will end in June 2018.

Opera: Version 36 is the last supported version for Vista, but the company says it will continue to offer security patches.

Lunascape: Supported and safe to use.

Google Chrome: No longer supported.

 

How to check which version of Windows you have

Windows XP: Click Start – Run. Type winver and press Enter.

Windows Vista: Click Start and type Computer. Right click and select Properties.

 

[Read more: Boost your browser: Speed up web browsing with Internet Explorer 11]

Web browser download links

Internet Explorer 11

Internet Explorer 11

Download Internet Explorer 11

BT customers can also download an optimised version of Internet Explorer.

Firefox

Firefox

Firefox is one of the leading web browsers to rival Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. But it's not supported for XP or Vista.

Download Firefox now

Opera

Opera

On older systems Opera warns that “it is likely that it will be less usable”. If Opera fails to start up, unfortunately it won’t work on your system. You can only use Opera 36 on XP and Vista.

Download Opera now

Lunascape

Lunascape

Lunascape is one of the lesser known web browsers, but is a reliable alternative that is supported on Windows XP and Windows Vista.

Download Lunascape now

[Read more: Which web browser is best for Windows 10?]

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