I often get called by family and friends because their internet is not working. The first thing I always ask is, “What browser do you use?” and more often then not, the answer is “Internet Explorer” or “I don’t know, I just click the blue E.”
When I hear this, I always tell them about Firefox. Firefox is an internet browser that works much the same way as internet explorer, but it is much safer and more reliable. Also, when using firefox, your computer is less prone to have popups, spyware, and viruses. For the power users, there are alot of other options that you can enable with firefox. But the overwhelming majority of users just need to know that your computer and use of the internet will be much better off if you use Firefox.
When you first install Firefox, it will walk you thru transferring your bookmarks, cookies, and history from Internet Explorer. (Even if you want to shun my advice and not use it, you should download it now while your internet IS working. That way, when your internet is not working, Firefox will already be installed and ready to use.)
By the way, Google offers a free copy of Firefox, which also has the google toolbar so you can search google straight from the browser. There are also other features like spell check and autofill. Click on the banner at the bottom of the sidebar to download Firefox.
(PS, Mac users: I still like Safari the best. However, having Firefox on your Mac is still a good idea. Sometimes, when sites don’t work properly in Safari they will work in Firefox. You should have it there as an alternative.)