I have talked about how important it is for webmasters to test their work in other web browsers before, and I am a big fan of BrowserCam. I even have an account there. I recently found a new web service that offers free remote connections called CrossBrowserTesting.com.
The service is not very different from BrowserCam except their pricing structure is not a subscription model, but rather a pay for what you use model. That is nice becuase I find I will use BrowserCam a lot one month and then not need it at all for a little while I could probably save some money if I switched to CrossBrowserTesting.com.
CrossBrowserTesting.com offers a slightly smaller set of systems to test on. They offer a good range of Windows systems from Windows 98, Windows XP and Windows Vista. Not sure why Windows 2000 is not there. They only offer Ubuntu Linux as a Linux offering and Mac OSX is still to come. It would be nice to have a few more systems to choose from, but considering the biggest problems usually raise their ugly head on Windows systems those would be the ones you might need to use most.
The best thing about CrossBrowserTesting.com is they offer you five minute sessions for free. I have used the free testing service several times and it works well. It is amazing what you can accomplish in five minutes when you know that is all you have. For the average person that just needs to test their website five minutes should be plenty of time to check something and then come back later and check again.
One thing to note is that you will need Java installed and running properly in your web browser to use the service. CrossBrowserTesting.com uses the built in VNC Java viewer to display the remote computer in your web browser.
I recorded a short video of me testing the blog out on a Windows 98 machine and the browsers that are loaded. There are a few errors on the site with Internet Explorer 6, but you know what, I really don’t care. Sorry to the 30% of you that are still using Internet Explorer 6, I recommend you go and install Firefox. You’ll be happier.
Now there is no excuse for any of us not to test our websites in other browsers, when there is a web service offering it. Go and give Crossbrowsertesting.com a try.