I use Safari 5.0.6, Firefox 3.6.28, iCab 4.8.0 and Internet Explorer 5.2.
I speed up Safari by dumping everything except preferences, bookmarks and a week's history each day. I disable tabs, RSS, fraudulent sites, location services, plug-ins and extensions.
I doubt that anything on the internet will ever hurt you. My modem/router's firewall keeps out most things. What are you afraid of?
From your question I am assuming that you have a PPC iMac.
Internet Explorer has not been supported for the Mac for a decade.
Safari is the obvious choice. The latest versions of Firefox do not work on a PPC Mac (Intel only) but there is a version that does: TenFourFox:
You can download TenFourFoxG5 from here:
Now for the interesting bit: TenFourFox, like Firefox, does not support most plug-ins. Unless you are prone to headaches (in which case don't) you can read about that here:
But there is a workaround!
Open TenFourFox and type in the address bar: about:config (no spaces) and click return. This gives you a warning that it might harm the application. Ignore that and click on 'I'll be careful, I promise' and you get the config file that you can edit - with great care.
Look/search (scroll down) for: tenfourfox.plugins.enabled
Set it to true. (Double click it to toggle it)
Now close TenFourFox, open it again, and Flash will now work, as it now uses the plug-ins that Safari has stored.
I am using Flash 10.1.102.64 in TenFourFox and it works just fine.
Thanks Klaus. I used earlier versions of TenFourFox because they were much faster than Firefox but by the time they disabled plug-ins my tests showed that the older Firefox was faster so I switched back. I will try it again with plug-ins enabled as you described. So my browser list is now:
Safari 5.0.6, TenFourFox 10.0.5, Firefox 3.6.28, iCab 4.8.0 and Internet Explorer 5.2
Thanks Klaus, I installed TenFourFox and it is essentially the same as foxfire. It even brought in my bookmarks from my own version. It seems to be fast and working well.
I have another related question though: TenFourFox downloaded onto my individual account but not on to my hard drive as it usually requires. How do I get it loaded onto my hard drive so all users can use.
Keep Safari 5.0.6 lean and it is the best browser - it's the latest version of it that can run on a PPC Mac in 10.5.8 and even Lion only uses 5.1 (my G4 can run Safari 5, iTunes 10, and iLife 8 - I think Apple do a good job of allowing older machines to run their own software pretty much up-to-date).
No-one has mentioned Opera. That too is a great "little" browser, though you might need one of the archived version from their site - I use version 9 but you may be able to get away with a later one.
There is also Camino, which like Opera is a free download and which some Mac users swear by.