Internet Explorer 11, the latest version of Microsoft’s evergreen web browser is now firmly in the spotlight. After arriving as the default choice with Windows 8.1, the program was also recently released for Windows 7 users.
And Redmond continues to talk about its new browser — this time the focus is on web security.
The company has floated up an impressively large number this time around, claiming that IE11 manages to make 40 percent of the Internet more secure. And all this is possible because of the technologies used by the new browser.
Microsoft explains that IE11 is the first browser that does not rely on the old cipher suites like the RC4. Instead TLS 1.2 is used by default, which is one of the most secure standards available right now. Brace for some highly technical talk:
“The changes in IE11 increase security while still ensuring compatibility with the Web, in spite of the current widespread use of the RC4 cipher suite. IE11 does not offer RC4-based cipher suites during the initial TLS/SSL handshake. In this way, most connections successfully use non-RC4 cipher suites.”
Technical talk is rarely fun, without some accompanying statistics, and there are plenty here.
Redmond goes on to explain how it analyzed some 5 million Internet settings in order to determine that 96 percent of them also support chippers other than RC4. And here is where the latest version of Internet Explorer springs into action:
“Notably, nearly 39% of these sites support non-RC4 even though they prefer RC4 – and for these, sites, IE11 substantially increases the security of the Web.
For the rare cases where the browser cannot negotiate a non-RC4 cipher suite with the server, IE11 falls back to negotiating TLS 1.0 or SSL 3.0 with RC4 to ensure that you can still reach the sites you need. Microsoft is actively working with many of these sites to enable support for non-RC4 cipher suites.”
Some pretty technical stuff in the post above, but it is explained neatly, and is well worth a read.
Internet Explorer 11 is the default browser built into Windows 8.1, and is currently available as an optional download for Windows 7 users. Microsoft has also started gradually pushing IE11 to the users of the world’s most popular operating system, but if you can also manually download and install it.