Web Testing for IE. How accurate is IETester?

I am using IETester for testing web sites with IE. I find it quite frustrating that it crashes frequently. More importantly, it does not seem to be too reliable. Sometimes, a site looks broken in IETester's IE8 but looks fine in real IE8. (I suspect that HTML5Shiv didn't load correctly in IETester at times) Anyone experiencing the same problems? What alternatives do you use?

I once resorted to using Windows 7's XP Mode to run IE7 then use Windows 7's IE8 (meaning) that I didn't upgrade to IE9 :( also I wont be able to test IE9... I think that setting up many Virtual PC's for each browser will consume lots of resources (say I have a Virtual PC for each version of IE ... or is there another way)?

Even if I use those Web Services for Browser Testing, I will be missing out of Debugging Tools like IE8's Developer Tools or IETester's DebugBar (I know they are nothing compared to FireBug but its still something)


I can confirm your experience: IETester sometimes deviates from what the "real" browser shows. I have seen this even with pure CSS constructions in simulated IE7 and IE8.

I have no own experience with them, but MS offer virtual machine packages for the various versions of IE. They migh be worth a shot, I've been planning to give them a test drive for a while. They run their native browsers and are bound to be 100% reliable.

I've never tried IETester.

I recommend IE Collection http://utilu.com/IECollection/

I've been using it for the last couple years and am very happy. It doesn't include IE9, but it allows you to run side-by-side versions of IE6, 7 and 8 without "clashing" with each other.

you will run into subtle (and some not so subtle) but persistent errors in all the ietester/iemulti/iecollections that are out there. your best bet is separate virtual machines (like parallels or vmware) with the versions of ie you need to test.

ie9 has "decent" compatibility modes for ie7 and 8 and even has some decent javascript debugging; however, i have even seen differences in ie7 vs. ie9 in ie7 mode, especially in javascript.

I have used I.E Tester for the past few years and although there are a few subtle glitches here and there... these glitches are not Show stoppers. I.E. Tester has been a tremendous help to my design work for cross browser compatibility. But thats not to say use only I.E tester exclusively... I would recommend it highly. Its really saved me some time with just a few quick clicks.

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