Menu Search
Jump to the content X X
SmashingConf London Avatar

We use ad-blockers as well, you know. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf London, dedicated to all things web performance.

15 Impressive Alternative Browsers

It’s 2015 and your choice of browser has proven to be as important as your choice of operating system. Dedicated apps may be competing against browsers on mobile devices, but that is hardly the case in the desktop environment. On the contrary, each year more desktop browsers appear, and some of them can change the way you browse the Internet for the better.

Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera dominate the world’s desktop browser market. Whichever statistics you check (NetMarketshare, StatCounter’s GlobalStats1 or W3Counter2), you’ll notice that they often contradict each other in declaring which browser is leading the race. However, no matter which method is used to determine usage share, all sources agree that those five browsers do not own 100% of the world’s desktop browser usage. They may be the most popular, but they are not the only options available for accessing the Internet. So, what about the remaining share?

Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link

Meet the alternative browsers — an unofficial term for all browsers other than the Big Five. These browsers, in most cases, follow the lead of Opera, which is based on the open-source Chromium project (as is Google Chrome). Anyone can take the Chromium code and build their own browser from it, adding and removing whatever functionality they wish. A similar case is Firefox, which is also an open-source project.

Alternative Browsers7
(View large version8)

Keep in mind how often the Chromium engine is updated. Chromium, like any other software, has bugs. The developers behind it strive to eliminate those bugs, introduce performance fixes and minimize security threats. This is why Google Chrome has a six-week update cycle. It’s also why other Chromium-based browsers should follow suit. Most browsers try to keep up with Chromium releases, but some fall behind by six or seven versions, which is damaging to the user’s online security and browser stability.

So, since alternative browsers are basically tweaked copies of bigger browsers, does that mean they are bad tools for productive web browsing? Absolutely not! Alternative browsers aim to deliver improved performance and extra features to enhance the user’s online experience. They are a quick way to get a tool with all of the functionality a user needs right after installation.

Below are 15 desktop browsers that are worth considering if you’re tired of the browser war champions. This list isn’t comprehensive — several hundred browsers are available online — but these are the ones that regularly receive updates and provide a new web surfing experience.

We won’t delve into the development aspects behind each browser. Instead, you’ll find a quick overview of the most interesting features and of functionality that isn’t available in the popular browsers by default or even with add-ons. We’ll also mention the rendering engine used in each browser to give you an idea of how you will experience the web in them: Blink (on which Chrome is based), Trident (Internet Explorer), Gecko (Firefox) and WebKit (Safari). Let’s start with those that have the most features and move towards more single-purpose browsers.

The Browsers Link

UC Browser Link

  • Operating system(s): Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Symbian, Java
  • Rendering engine(s): Blink
  • Key feature(s): most cross-platform, distinctive UI

UC Browser9 is one of the most cross-platform browsers — you can even make it work on an old Symbian device. This isn’t the only reason to check it out. The well-rounded design and smooth animation of all elements make UC Browser feel fresh and modern. An up-to-date Chromium engine contributes to browser’s security. To begin, you choose how a new tab will look: a bubble-like speed-dial UI or a more traditional layout. UC Browser offers a cloud account for all of your settings, bookmarks and extensions from the Chrome Web Store, a decent alternative to the whole Google ecosystem.

(View large version11)

Downloading files is another notable aspect of UC Browser. The downloads manager isn’t advanced (you can’t download torrents or online video), but it’s rather unique. It is the only browser that sorts downloads by category, helping you navigate gigabytes of files. The browser can even download files to the dedicated UC Cloud Storage. Although its capacity is small, 2 GB, this is a useful feature for mobile devices because you don’t have to wait for downloads to finish.

(View large version13)

UC Browser doesn’t focus only on security, file downloads and social networks. This browser aims to appeal to a wide audience, without dictating how it is to be used. Most Chromium browsers can be considered an improved version of Chrome somewhat, whereas UC Browser is more of a new Chrome.

Maxthon Link

  • Operating system(s): Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone
  • Rendering engine(s): Trident, Blink
  • Key feature(s): cross-platform, own ecosystem

Maxthon14 is a popular Chinese browser available for desktop and mobile platforms. It incorporates two rendering engines and packs an abundance of features, including split-screen view, a built-in proxy manager, ad-blocking and moderate acceleration of downloads. By logging in with Maxthon Passport (analogous to a Google Account), all of your settings, tabs, extensions and passwords are synced across multiple devices.

(View large version16)

Maxthon’s UI is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it’s a fresh interface for managing tabs, extensions and all of the added functionality. However, most of the extra features are available via yet another sidebar, which might be an annoyance for some users. The RSS reader, downloads manager, note-taking app and games are not the most necessary extensions, but they can be uninstalled. Maxthon has its own extensions service, but you’re not likely to find a lot of your favorite Chrome or Firefox plugins.

(View large version18)

Despite all of the rough edges, Maxthon is a powerful yet resource-light browser. You can monitor resource consumption in a customizable toolbar at the bottom of the window, which is a nice touch. For cross-platform use, Maxthon is certainly a great option. It’s smooth and fast, but filled with features and extensions that not everyone might want. This leads us to an interesting alternative.

MxNitro Link

  • Operating system(s): Windows
  • Rendering engine(s): Blink
  • Key feature(s): minimalist, fast

MxNitro19 is a different take on Maxthon. With speed the focus, this browser is like a stripped-down version of Maxthon, with almost nothing except basic functionality. MxNitro is minimalist, lightweight and speedy. It’s fast to install and ready for browsing immediately — no need to tinker with the settings because none are available.

(View large version21)

There are no extensions, no cloud syncing and no downloads manager. The sole purpose of MxNitro is to enable you to browse the web with no clutter, distraction or resource drain. It’s not perfect yet. The developers are improving the browser, promising to make it available on other platforms and to integrate ad-blocking. The biggest problem with MxNitro is the absence of a convenient bookmarks manager or speed dial. There is a quick launch menu with some predefined websites, but users can’t customize it. MxNitro might be the perfect solution for people on old PCs or with low demands.

Torch Link

  • Operating system(s): Windows
  • Rendering engine(s): Blink
  • Key feature: multimedia-oriented

Torch22 aims to be a powerful media-consumption center, rather than a straightforward browser. It is Chromium-based, heavily restyled, with some added functionality. The new tab page boasts a customizable, minimalist yet stylish design, while the toolbar sports shortcuts to all media features available in the browser. The Torch Music app is a shortcut to the web app of the same name, a music-streaming service with many popular artists and albums. However, all of the music comes from YouTube; hence, the rather low sound quality. Torch Games is a Flash games collection that helps you kill time at work. The Facelift tool (a Facebook theme changer) and the share button make it a convenient tool for social-networking fans.

(View large version24)

Torch’s downloads manager delivers files somewhat faster than Chrome, but it often has bugs and crashes. Torch can also download torrents and magnet links, which are handled not in the downloads manager but in a separate tab. The feature to play videos in the browser while they are being downloaded, while not yet completed, is an interesting alternative to watching videos online. Videos can be downloaded from streaming services such as YouTube, Vimeo, Daily Motion, etc.

(View large version26)

Torch has several mild annoyances, though. It tends to display popups to explain features, and it asks you to spread the word about it in social networks. If you don’t need some of the features, there’s no easy way to remove them, and the developers don’t seem to hurry to update the Chromium engine, which can result in security vulnerabilities. Despite all this, Torch is a great experience for movie, music and social-network lovers.

Citrio Link

  • Operating system(s): Windows, Mac
  • Rendering engine(s): Blink
  • Key feature(s): fast downloads, timely updates

At the time of writing, Citrio27 does the best job of making timely Chromium updates, helping with security, bug fixes and implementation of new features. The browser is a lot like Chrome, but it looks simpler and performs better. Citrio is a simple yet powerful browser for file downloads and media consumption.

(View large version29)

The downloads manager is used for normal downloads, torrents and magnet links alike, without particularly differentiating between them, and it is comfortable to use. The speed boost and the ability to resume downloads in case of a failed connection make Citrio a great tool for downloading large files.

(View large version31)

In addition to its useful downloads manager, Citrio comes with a bunch of extensions. While the YouTube downloader and the video player for downloads in progress will be well received by some users, the news reader and social sharer are very basic. There are better alternatives in the Chrome Web Store. And if you don’t like a particular extension, it can be easily removed. Overall, Citrio is a nice downloads-oriented Chrome alternative that won’t confuse new users.

Baidu Browser Link

  • Operating system(s): Windows, Android, Windows Phone
  • Rendering engine(s): Blink
  • Key feature(s): video downloader, social media integration

Baidu browser32 is a Chinese offering oriented around social media and downloads. It supports Chrome extensions, and Facebook and WhatsApp extensions are preinstalled (but can be deleted). Baidu is based on Chromium but has separate URL and search boxes, reminiscent of Firefox. Browser skins can be swapped, and the speed-dial panel with preinstalled bookmarks can be customized.

(View large version34)

Baidu has an integrated BitTorrent client, with an option to limit the downloads thread so that it doesn’t interfere with other downloads or the buffering of online videos. There is also a capture tool and an online video downloader, which is the most convenient function of Baidu. This is a rare example of a browser that lets you choose the quality of video to download and has a separate button for downloading MP3 audio. Online video can also be given a separate window, allowing users watch it without having to keep a tab open for YouTube.

(View large version36)

Unlike UC Browser, Baidu isn’t much different from Chrome, although it tries to be. Its fast startup time, advanced YouTube functionality and downloading tricks make it useful for media consumption.

Sleipnir Link

  • Operating system(s): Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iOS, Windows Phone
  • Rendering engine(s): Blink
  • Key feature(s): pleasant fonts, tab grouping

Sleipnir37 is a Japanese web browser based on the Blink engine; hence, Chrome users will find it familiar. The browser strongly resembles Safari, bringing not only the Mac OS X design, but also standard Mac fonts. Sleipnir renders fonts similarly to the Mac, appearing rounder and thicker. The merit of the effect is highly subjective, but reading text in Sleipnir is a pleasant experience that is difficult to ignore.

(View large version39)

However, fonts aren’t all Sleipnir has to offer. Instead of providing favicons and tab names, Sleipnir displays thumbnails of opened pages, making navigation somewhat easier. The thumbnails are a nice touch when five or six tabs are opened, but more can get cumbersome. This is where Sleipnir’s groups kick in: Tabs can be sorted by topic for easier navigation; for example, keeping personal websites separate from work-related ones.

(View large version41)

Because Sleipnir is available on multiple platforms, you can use Fenrir Pass (analogous to a Google Account) to sync tabs, groups and passwords and to send pages to your smartphone. The browser supports mouse and touchpad gestures, as well as Chrome extensions. Performance and speed are good, but Sleipnir has a steep learning curve because of its unusual design and workflow. If you’re willing to try it out, the experience may be very rewarding.

Epic Link

  • Operating system(s): Windows, Mac OS X
  • Rendering engine(s): Blink
  • Key feature: security and privacy

Epic42 is the only privacy-oriented browser on this list. That’s mainly due to the more regular updates of the Chromium engine compared to other popular browsers in this field (for example, WhiteHat Aviator43 and Comodo Dragon44). It’s usually several versions behind Chrome, but that’s better than the alternatives. Epic is designed for a secure browsing experience out of the box. You could argue that users can add a bunch of extensions to Chrome and get the same effect, but not every user knows how to do that or knows what exactly needs to be blocked.

(View large version46)

Epic is basically Chrome with no strings attached to Google: No data gets sent or collected, trackers are blocked, AdBlock comes preinstalled, and a convenient one-click proxy switcher will hide your IP address. Users also have a measure of control over what to block. When you click the umbrella icon, Epic visualizes what services are tracking you and shows toggles for add-ons, data encryption, ad-blocking and notifications.

Lunascape Link

  • Operating system(s): Windows, Android, iOS
  • Rendering engine(s): Trident, Gecko, WebKit
  • Key feature: multiple rendering engines

Lunascape47 is a simple cross-platform web browser that takes advantage of its three rendering engines. This feature is backed up by a cascading view of web pages. With it, you can display one or several websites in the browser without having to open a separate window.

(View large version49)

The highlighted search lets you search a selected term from multiple sources. Lunascape also has a ticker that displays new headlines from selected sources in the toolbar. This functionality can be expanded with a number of Internet Explorer and Firefox add-ons, as well as by some Lunascape exclusives.

(View large version51)

While the browser doesn’t look modern, performance and resource consumption are good. Lunascape’s trump card — the ability to open a website with any rendering engine — will be useful for compatibility.

GreenBrowser Link

  • Operating system(s): Windows
  • Rendering engine(s): Trident
  • Key feature: enhanced Internet Explorer experience

GreenBrowser52 is based on Internet Explorer. There’s nothing fancy about it: The experience is pretty basic, the design reminiscent of Internet Explorer 8, and there is almost no advance functionality or plugins to compete with Chrome’s. However, GreenBrowser still gets updates, performance is good, pages load quickly, and the user has everything they need for simple web browsing.

(View large version54)

Nevertheless, GreenBrowser integrates many useful features: ad-blocking, speed-dial, drag-and-drop options, mouse gestures and a “boss” button to quickly hide the browser. A nice touch is the clock in the browser’s bottom taskbar, which makes full-screen mode a little more convenient. This is how Internet Explorer should have looked and functioned years ago. If MxNitro is a little raw for you, try GreenBrowser.

SlimBrowser Link

  • Operating system(s): Windows
  • Rendering engine(s): Trident
  • Key feature(s): lightweight, fast

SlimBrowser55 is an improved version of Internet Explorer. The lightweight installer delivers a full-featured and fast browser with a customizable taskbar. Built in is a YouTube downloader, a weather forecast widget, ad-blocking, Facebook support, a form filler, a popup blocker and a lot of other nice details.

(View large version57)

SlimBrowser has a downloads manager, although not as powerful as the ones in Chromium-based alternatives. It might be not much, but for the fans of Internet Explorer, SlimBrowser probably works better than it. And, as advertised, it launches and loads pages much faster.

PirateBrowser Link

  • Operating system(s): Windows
  • Rendering engine(s): Gecko
  • Key feature: integrated Tor client

PirateBrowser is a project developed by the Pirate Bay team and whose main purpose is to overcome governmental restrictions on certain websites. It basically consists of Firefox, Portable Edition + Vidalia + the FoxyProxy add-on. Vidalia is a user-friendly GUI for the Tor anonymity network58, which reroutes your Internet traffic. Once you launch PirateBrowser (which doesn’t require installation), Vidalia automatically connects you to the Tor network, launching Firefox thereafter.

(View large version60)

FoxyProxy switches the user’s Internet connection across multiple URL proxy servers. PirateBrowser won’t give you absolute anonymity on the Internet, but it’s a great starter kit for circumventing online censorship.

Tungsten Link

  • Operating system(s): Windows
  • Rendering engine(s): Blink, Trident
  • Key feature: built-in file manager

At a first glance, Tungsten61 seems like nothing special. It’s a minimalist Blink and Trident browser with typical performance. It supports Chrome extensions, and its design is similar to Internet Explorer 10’s. The interesting part is that Tungsten is not only for the web, but also a browser for your local files and apps.

(View large version63)

Software such as Clover creates a tabbed browsing experience for Windows Explorer. Tungsten turns this idea upside down. The browser opens Windows Explorer inside a tab, so you can navigate your folders, open files and launch programs. While not revolutionary, it’s nice to find a feature that comes close to the ChromeOS concept of doing everything in the browser.

In Development Link

Vivaldi Link

  • Operating system(s): Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
  • Rendering engine(s): Blink
  • Key feature(s): highly customizable, tab stacking

Developed by a team of ex-Opera developers, Vivaldi64 is being created to repeat the initial success of Opera and satisfy fans of the original browser. So far, we’ve gotten four technical previews of the browser but not a full release. It’s too early to judge, but Vivaldi already shows some interesting features.

(View large version66)

The design is flat and minimalist and stands out from the crowd. The color palette changes according to the current website’s predominant colors. Speed-dial is most certainly present, so there’s no need for that add-on. Page action is new: You can control a page’s colors and fonts, apply filters and distort it as much as you like. It’s more of a gimmick, but the feature could find useful applications.

(View large version68)

Just like in Opera, you can stack tabs into groups. Because of this, tab previews make a lot more sense than in other browsers. Notes can be left on any page, and future versions promise a Vivaldi mail service. Once Vivaldi leaves beta (or the technical preview stage), we can expect a powerful competitor in the browsers war.

Project Maelstrom Link

  • Operating system(s): Windows
  • Rendering engine(s): Blink
  • Key feature: P2P web browsing

Project Maelstrom69 is “the world’s first torrent-based browser.” Maelstrom receives web content from peer networks instead of the servers that host the website. This is done for the purpose of distributing web content and making it independent of the hosting servers. In case a server goes down (whether because of malfunction or government restriction), the content will still be available because many people have it and are willing to share.

(View large version71)

Maelstrom is Chromium-based and is Chrome in every other respect — functionality, navigation, extensions, etc. You’re not limited to P2P-distributed websites; you also get access via HTTP and HTTPS. The problem with Maelstrom is that few websites support this technology. When you first access a P2P website (a list is available on the browser’s home page), you’ll download its pages using a magnet link. Hence, the process takes more time than usual. Maelstrom is an interesting idea and, because it’s still in beta, needs more time to get polished and popularized.

Conclusion Link

The combination of new features and familiar workflow makes alternative browsers a convenient way to transform your web-surfing experience. Most people will be well off choosing an alternative browser based on their current favorite. That way, they’ll be able to get the most out of new features without having to adapt to a new environment.

The best part is that you don’t need to make a full switch. You can select a browser that boosts performance or introduces functionality that your main browser lacks and use it for that purpose only. Eventually, you might even forget that you’re not using Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer. Also, not everyone needs the full power of Chrome or the customization of Firefox. Less is more, and sometimes all you need is a fast and reliable way to access a search engine.

This is what alternative browsers give users who are willing to try something new: the possibility to bend the Internet to their needs and preferences.

(ah, ml, al)

Footnotes Link

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16
  17. 17
  18. 18
  19. 19
  20. 20
  21. 21
  22. 22
  23. 23
  24. 24
  25. 25
  26. 26
  27. 27
  28. 28
  29. 29
  30. 30
  31. 31
  32. 32
  33. 33
  34. 34
  35. 35
  36. 36
  37. 37
  38. 38
  39. 39
  40. 40
  41. 41
  42. 42
  43. 43
  44. 44
  45. 45
  46. 46
  47. 47
  48. 48
  49. 49
  50. 50
  51. 51
  52. 52
  53. 53
  54. 54
  55. 55
  56. 56
  57. 57
  58. 58
  59. 59
  60. 60
  61. 61
  62. 62
  63. 63
  64. 64
  65. 65
  66. 66
  67. 67
  68. 68
  69. 69
  70. 70
  71. 71

↑ Back to top Tweet itShare on Facebook

Victor Clarke is a tech writer and enthusiast blogger. He's a fan of exploring and discovering new software, mobile and web-apps that make online life easier, more interesting and diverse. Feel free to email your findings. You can find Victor on Facebook and Medium.

  1. 1

    I’d rather not cross browser test 35+ browsers – so here’s to hoping the big 5 stay the big 5.

    • 2

      If you consider Opera to be a part of the Big 5, then you should keep in mind that it’s based on Chromium, just like many browsers on this list. I rather doubt that soon there will be changes in Big 5 (well, except maybe Edge will replace IE). Still, the idea behind most of the browsers mentioned here is to boost a certain aspect of how YOU surf the web. If you download a lot of files – there’s a special browser for that. If you want more privacy – try out a privacy based browser. If you want to embrace simplicity – there’s a browser that is basically only a browser with nothing added to it. It’s nice to have a choice.

    • 3

      Have you ever needed to before? It didn’t bother you I’ve tried dozens of browsers on PC and already around dozen on Android, why would it start to now?

  2. 4

    I remember how great it was to use Green Browser back in 2004. Especially gestures, mind blowing, I miss them in Firefox, couldn’t find an addon to replicate.

    • 5

      I was actually surprised when I first tried out Green Browser. There’s nothing fancy about it now in terms of functionality or design, but it works pretty well. Out of the box you get a speed-dial (which I consider necessary), ad block and an easily customizable taskbar. By the way, Vivaldi has gesture controls, so you might like to check it out.

  3. 6

    Maelstrom seems like a really cool idea. Wish it was out for Mac…

    • 7

      Yes, the idea is great and I hope we see more implementations of it. Right now it’s a proof of concept, but who knows, maybe in 10 years the Internet will be torrent-based.

  4. 8

    There is no Yandex browser :-(

    • 9

      Yandex Browser is more suited for users in Russia. It has several unique features (last time I checked, the extensions “shop” was a breath of fresh air), but I doubt that people outside Russia might consider switching to it. It’s tailored to work best with other Yandex services, which are not as popular as Google’s around the world.

      • 10

        The Yandex browser interface is actually pretty sweet and I don’t think you have to be in Russia to enjoy it. I also feel it’s a good alternative missing from the list.

      • 11

        Only for russian users? Sounds rather prejudiced.

        cu, w0lf.

        • 12

          I never said that it’s ONLY for Russian users. Consider Yandex browser to be a Russian analogue to Google Chrome. Every service that Google provides in Chrome is replaced by Yandex analogues on Gmail, Market, Maps, etc. Surely there are several additional features, but most of them come down to a different speed dial and tabs panel moved to the bottom. Some of the design choices (like speed dial and tabs with adapting palette) are similar to the ones available in Vivaldi browser, and between these two, I’d say you’d better check the later. Also, Yandex browser hides site’s full URL, which raises the risk of phishing. The point is that if you’re not going to use Yandex services in the browser and replace them with Google’s, there’s almost no point in instaling this browser.

          • 13

            So .. hiding parts of the URL: Doesn’t Firefox and Chrome do the same? Chopping of “http://” and more seems to be the major new trend ..

            cu, w0lf

  5. 14

    Do we really need more browsers?

    • 15

      It’s true that there are hundreds of browsers available. The problem is that most popular browsers try to stay neutral in terms of functionality to cater for a wider audience. The alternative browsers try to find a particular niche of users and cater for them. Also, Internet Explorers has successfully replaced Netscape Navigator back then. I don’t think that most users asked for a new browser. They had IE and it turned out better. Later (during the Windows XP “era”) IE was still a great browser, but a lot of users discovered Opera, Firefox and Chrome. Lately, there has been a lot of changes in Firefox (and a lot more to come) that upset its users. Soon they might consider moving to something else (though it’s most likely to be something open-source).

    • 17

      Yes we do, especially on the mobile front. It won’t bother you, you probably didn’t know how many browsers there existed just on pc’s, when Symbian was closest to “smartphone” and J2ME had only just given possibility to create the ultra light opera mini on regular phones.

      I have my reasons to have more than most even know, let alone try, installed on both desktop and my phone.

  6. 18

    Technology is all about improvement. Even though there are numerous browsers, we are still on the look out for that ideal one, which can take care of all our requirements and gives us maximum output without any hindrance.

    • 19

      Thank your for keeping an open mind, Felix. There is no limit to perfection and I’d like to see browsers evolve even further. ChromeOS proves that browsers can do more than just view web pages and sometimes it’s not the OS that determines what you can do online, but the browser you use.

  7. 20

    UC Browser doesn’t appear to be available for Mac.

    My favorite on the list is by far is Vivaldi. It seems like the only browser that’s not just copying Chrome. It has a unique interface, lots of great features, and active development.

    • 21

      Thanks for pointing out about the mac version, Thomas. I don’t know how I even missed that.

      As for Vivaldi. I like it, but I can’t say that it’s THAT much different from all the other browsers. It’s still Chromium-based with new features added. I feel that it’s a little bit late for the party. I leave my final judgement after it’s fully released.

      • 22

        Vivaldi has been performing flawlessly since I installed it first on my Windoze system approx 5 weeks ago. The same goes for the “Technical Preview 4” on my main system, which is powered by Linux Mint.

        It has the nice cozy feeling of the original Opera interface, juiced up with modern browsing standards, and by now even replaced my former favorite secondary browser, ie. SRWare Iron.

        Apropos SRWare Iron: Why doesnt THAT one appear in your list, too? It’s basically Chrome without all the spyware, and definitely been around for a bit ;)

        cu, w0lf.

        • 23

          Actually there are too many security- and privacy-oriented browsers and their description in this article wouldn’t differ much. The browsers usually follow the same premise: take Chromium, remove everything Google-related and install one or two privacy-oriented extensions. So we’ve decided to leave only Epic Browser as among other privacy-oriented browsers it usually has the latest Chromium engine integrated.

          • 24

            Epic is not cross-platform though. Basically a waste of my precious reading time. While SRWare Iron has been the first of many, AND being cross-platform from the very beginning ^_^

            cu, w0lf.

  8. 25

    Thanks for this article! I have an ongoing post series on my website called “Browser Smackdown” in which I try out a different browser for a week and write a review. This definitely gives me some more options (I just downloaded Sleipnir; it looks very promising).

  9. 27

    Awesome and thank you. I never knew a lot of these exist. On a similar topic, which one of these would be best to use for website developers. I mean I’m pretty sure the answer would be to install all the major ones and test your designs against each one of them, but I find Lunascape to be really interesting having three different rendering engines.

    Can you do a feature about browsers with a good set of developer tools and addons? Many thanks again.

    • 28

      You’re right. For a developer, it would be best to use all of the major browsers. Lunascape can do the job, but it might fall short on the updates compared with the major browsers. Also, there a similar browser called Avant Ultimate wich also has multiple rendering engines.

  10. 29

    I really like the concept of Sleipnir. Vivaldi is also a very promising browser that packs a bunch of features the original Opera had.

    • 30

      Yes, the Japanese originality of Sleipnir is great. I really like font rendering there!

      As for Vivaldi, I hope that more opera features would be added. Personally I enjoyed the built-in bittorrent client for occasional torrent downloads. So far there were no indications that they will add it, but I still have my hopes. There are also going to add Opera Mail, but unless it’ll a mail client that supports your existing account, I expect the feature to flop.

  11. 31

    UC browser is not available on linux!

    • 32

      It’s nice to see that Linux gains some ground among users and developers start paying attention to it.

  12. 33

    Why isnt Cent Browser on this list?

    • 34

      One of the selection criteria was that the browser had to be actively supported and frequently updated by the developers. We’ve included the browsers which have received at least one update during two months prior the writing of the article. Cent might not had one then. Anyway, thank you for bringing that up to my attention. I’ll take a look at it.

  13. 35

    This article was very timely as both SRWareIron (45) and Opera (32) no longer play flash based games. No support for NPAPI plugins and the PPAPI plugin is missing too! Time to find a new browser.

    Unfortunately the two I tried from your list were duds. Torch’s installer says “Requires installation of Movies App by Ask” – no chance. When I tried to download Citrio I got a security warning that it was trying to download other files too. I then found this review

    I guess the lesson is that nobody works for free. I understand the business model of Microsoft, Google, Firefox and Opera but how are these other free browsers paid for? The Citrio website, for instance, gives no indication of how they earn a living but they have an affiliate program?!

    I would happily pay for a browser like Vivaldi if it was slick, feature-rich and didn’t spy on me.

  14. 36

    Why not working on the major browsers and make them better (secure, etc) ? Why instead reinventing the same things in different browsers and broadcasting the developers know how allover ??

  15. 37

    I too am surprise that there’s no Yandex. it looks quite neat. Especially considering BAIDU was included. Oh well.

  16. 38

    Perhaps an interesting addition to this list could be this german browser: Still in Alpha, but could become interesting once finished. They focus on security & integrating search.

  17. 40

    all using the same big three rendering engines underneath
    (was wondering what else might be out there that I haven’t seen)

  18. 41

    Carmela Pedinni

    November 26, 2015 6:35 pm

    I just wanted to honestly thank whoever wrote this article for the excellent job on doing so. Honestly, there are so many web browser related articles out there, but very few that keep it clean, short and sweet like this one. Definitely bookmarking for later.

    Also, of all the browsers here, I myself really like Vivaldi. It isn’t that fast or security enhanced, but in the latest updates it became amazingly customizable and it has two very useful perks:

    * Tab grouping and
    * Simultaneously visualizing such grouped tabs.

    That makes it very easy for reading articles on the same topics, shopping for items on different stores and even using .PDFs at the same time. Makes the browser totally worth it – plus the sleek design and cool name.

  19. 42

    Where did you get that UC Browser is chromium based!?
    1st, it renders differently and has different kind of advanced features. Besides, I can only imagine chromium engine fitting into HD version – and only because I have mental idea that it’s around giant size that ff, chrome and operaium are, but why would it?
    I don’t think they could provide quite comprehensible HTML5 support (+ older x- and plain html), including ecmascript had they tried shrinking chromium into UC with extensions to it and other parts at same time… Unless you suggest the Android version uses the stock browser to render and run scripts, which doesn’t fit, besides it wouldn’t limit HTML5 and other rendering features in so tiny UC Browser Mini.
    And this is the 1st I’ve seen claimed UC is chromium based!?
    I doubt the J2ME version at least uses its own engine – at least the mini?
    No offence meant by my way of writing – actually I feel jolly.
    Symbian? Wasn’t that old thing before chrome?

    2nd. You’re missing Dolphin, one of the first big names of mobile only browser(s). Sadly it’s gotten bloated and slower, but compared to big three on Android, it’s still a blast. It actually deserves honourable mentions, for on my ZTE-Blade, (which had 2.1 first, but received upgrade to 1st Android with JIT support in Dalvik; Which java had at least for decade) it was light almost as opera mini, except for loading – yet while opera mini dealt with ultra compressed and stripped pages with serious limits to be fast; and viewable, only lately I’ve seen another mobile browser reformat desktop mode pages into unbelievably nice single column… UC, but we’re not talking of it.

    Dolphin rendered and unlike opera mini also executed realtime background JavaScript. But what’s the true thing Dolphin should be honoured for doing first?

    Dolphin released first mobile browser with FULL HTML5 support; naturally limited by devices unable to support this or that. This was when Android had only stock browser, and although chrome was soon released (with higher requirements on Android version, less features and worse score on Firefox beta came soon, although bigger than dolphin it supported 2.2 – however, it was slow as any, and I don’t think neither has yet beaten dolphin on the level of HTML5 support.

    Also, interesting products are ultra light dolphin mini, and dolphin zero, which uses almost no memory and does NO data, as it’s for when you want to open link without any trace left when you’ve viewed it.


↑ Back to top