This article is part of my tech blog posts for hamlethub.com.

You're probably familiar with Google the search engine. But did you know that Google also offers a web browser? In fact, the engineers at Google have spent a significant amount of effort crafting a browser worthy to compete among IE, Firefox, Safari and Opera. Their goal was to create a browser that is fast and simple to use. In my opinion, they've succeeded.

First of all, why would you want a new browser? Isn't the one you have now good enough? Perhaps. And in fact each of us who frequent time in front of a computer has a favorite set of programs (one of them being a browser) which makes them feel like "home". But while at first you may find it unecessary or awkward to use Chrome, you may end up staying because of its benefits.

Start by downloading Chrome at www.google.com/chrome. Once installed, you can forget about managing updates to Chrome. Unlike Firefox or IE, Chrome will quietly update itself in the background without needing your assistance. Chrome's self-monitoring and auto-maintenance helps to protect you against the latest known website viruses and phising scam sites. Nice, eh?

Once open, Chrome by default will load up Google's well known search page. (You can, of course, change your default home page to anything you wish.) But don't type anything yet into that search box! Instead, we are going to use Chrome's address bar to search. In Chrome, the address bar is also the search bar. You may be asking, 'what in the world is an address bar?' An address bar is the long input field box at the top of Chrome that displays the address of the page being displayed. If you are currenty on Google's search page, your address bar should display an address like http://www.google.com/. For now, click inside the address bar and delete its contents.

Next, we are going to type our search term in the address bar : 'celery'. As you type each letter of the word celery Chrome will display its best guess of popular searches related to the word typed so far. In my case, when I type 'cel' Chrome displays 'celebrity cruises' and 'celebrity gossip' as its best guess for what it thinks I am searching for. If I was searching for 'celebrity gossip' then all I would need to do is click on the suggestion to bring up dozens of unflattering articles about Jennifer Anniston. As tempting as that may be, I need to search for 'celery' and not gossip. When I type in 'celery' in its entirety Chrome offers two types of suggestions. The first is alternative popular searches containing my term: 'celery soup' and 'celery root'. And secondly it offers a link to the most relevant search result for my term: the wikipedia page about celery. If I wish I can click directly on that link and Chrome will load up the that wikipedia page. But if I wish to view all search results instead, I should press the enter key.

Chrome is also looking out for you and will warn you if it detects a site to be suspect. For example, how would you know if the form you are filling out on a page will be sent securely? Chrome makes it easy to tell by providing green or red colored alerts in the address bar (Yes, more uses for this box!). Type in www.bankofamerica.com in the address bar and Chrome will load up this bank's home page and display in green some key hints that this page is properly encrypted. Firstly, there is a box within the address bar containing an icon of a lock followed by 'Bank of America Corporation [US}.' Following that green box is the address of the page: https://www.bankofamerica.com. The 'https:' part of the address is also displayed in green. This greenery is Chrome's way of communicating to you that it has verified that messages between this page and Chrome will be sent securely. Unless you know what you are doing, I advice against sending any sensitive data on a site where Chrome displays any amount of red in the address bar.

In a future article, I will explain additional features of Chrome that will enhance your browsing effectiveness and felicity.

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