7 Best “New” Web Browsers With A Chance Against Chrome & Firefox

introE   7 Best New Web Browsers With A Chance Against Chrome & FirefoxMany people swear by either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, but there are a myriad of other new web browsers that are definitely worth a look. Truly, neither Chrome nor Firefox are perfect. There are some features we would like to see built into Firefox (that meanwhile, we’ll just have to satisfy with addons), and others that we still wonder why Chrome hasn’t bothered to include such as RSS feed detection (which meanwhile can also be satisfied with an add-on).

A lot of the following browsers ship with addons that you would otherwise have to obtain yourself, so they may make for a fresh breath of air.

Chromium [Cross-Platform]

Since Google Chrome is a fork of the open-source browser project, Chromium, anything that applies to Chromium can be applied to Google Chrome, while not everything that pertains to Chrome can be applied to Chromium.

For instance, to illustrate the very first point, both Chromium and Google Chrome offer Search Suggest, which presents you with a list of suggestions as you pause when you’re typing in your search query. An area where the two browsers differ is in crash reporting or usage statistics; by default, sending these reports is opt-in and disabled in Chromium. Chromium also comes without a PDF Viewer and Adobe Flash Player, but all is not lost since you can actually utilize any of the extensions in Chrome’s Web Store in Chromium.

Acquiring this browser takes a bit more than just finding the Download section and clicking on the installer link. You can follow these instructions here or you can use the unofficial, portable version on SourceForge.

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Chromium-Based Browsers: SRWare Iron & RockMelt

SRWare Iron [Cross-Platform]

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If you like Google Chrome’s speed, but are concerned with privacy, SRWare’s Iron web browser might be for you. Since Google Chrome and SRWare Iron are based on the open source Chromium project, you’ll spot few differences. On the internal side of course, Iron doesn’t include Chrome’s information-collecting features, such as URL-tracker, error reporting, etc. Aside from those internal differences, Iron works pretty much the way you’re used to in Chrome. Chrome extensions and themes will also work on Iron, just like Chromium.

To check out the portable version and the regular install in Windows, head to the website. Mac users can download Iron here, while Linux users can go to this thread.

RockMelt 2 [Windows + Mac] + iPhone Sync

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If you’re big on sharing interesting news on Facebook, Twitter and/or email, RockMelt (in beta) might be worth a look. It’s similar to Flock, the social browser derived from Mozilla Firefox, in that it targets the die-hard social media addict so it integrates notifications from sites like Facebook and Twitter. It comes with a few tricks of its own though, the iPhone app [iTunes link], which syncs your items marked to read later, as well as bookmarks.

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Though RockMelt doesn’t support Google Sync, you can sync your RockMelt browsers across PCs and Macs with your Facebook account.

Wyzo 3 [Windows + Mac]

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A few things have changed since we last reviewed Mozilla-based Wyzo, but it remains the most useful browser for the frequent downloader since it comes with FireDownload, a download accelerator, and FireTorrent, an extension that turns this browser into a torrent client. One new feature in Wyzo 3 is the inclusion of SkipScreen, the extension that allows you to skip waiting screens from popular file-sharing sites, such as MegaUpload and the like, while it no longer seems to ship with CoolIris and FireGestures.

Maxthon 3.0 [Windows/Android]

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We first took a look at Maxthon in 2008, where we noted that Maxthon began as an extension of Internet Explorer and so, it uses the same rendering engine. These days, Maxthon supports both the Trident rendering engine (which is the layout engine for IE, so you can still view IE-optimized websites) as well as Webkit, which powers Google Chrome and Safari and renders Maxthon’s Ultra Mode, loading pages almost instantly.

In addition to its dual display engines, Maxthon also has a sea of nice features, such as mouse gestures, bookmark sync with Maxthon Passport, speed dial, popup blocker, online notepad, RSS reader, instant translator, screen capturing tools, and resource sniffer, which detects all video, image, and audio links on a website. The Android app also has a few of these features, namely the RSS reader, speed dial, download manager and gestures.

Opera 11 [Cross-Platform]

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In addition to extensions, Opera contains a few more impressive features that make it stand out from the crowd. With Opera, you don’t need another desktop mail program, torrent client, or web server, as Opera offers these services. Since Opera also offers browsers for mobile phones and tablets, you can use Opera Link to sync your bookmarks, speed dial, custom searches, etc. Opera users also get a free space on the My Opera community, that they can use as a blog or to share files.

One additional cool feature that we should mention is Tab Stack, which is one among many other tab management features Opera has, and can help you not only group tabs, but also streamline your workflow.

Internet Explorer 9 [Windows 7/Vista]

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IE9 is heaps better than its predecessors, and sports a more minimalistic look, but perhaps the biggest feature it has over other browsers is, without a doubt, its integration with the Windows OS. Jumplists definitely take advantage of sites like Twitter and Facebook, which behave more like applications, and make some functions more seamless.

Have a favorite new web browser that wasn’t listed? Share it with us in the comments!

Image credit: RockMelt, Shutterstock

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34 Comments -

Argoson

 Don’t forget Palemoon which is an optimized version of Firefox (http://www.palemoon.org/). It is for Windows only, but also offer a portable version to put on a USB drive without installing anything on the local machine. Much faster compared to the “Vanilla” Firefox

Jessica Cam W.

I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the suggestion! 

Cell Travis

Epic is another browser that may be worth a look. I use it to run older add-ons that are not yet compatible with the new Firefox 4 browser. Out of the browsers you’ve listed above, I like SRWare Iron and Opera.

Jessica Cam W.

Simon actually reviewed Epic Browser last year here. It looks pretty interesting.

Rstcomp

Epic has some definite options that I love. The bar down the left that takes you to job searches, is just one of them. I also used it for housing searches and it was terrific.

I would love to see a version come out for the US!

Heyoka1

 Well, there’s another Chromium-based browser not mentioned in the article: it is Comodo’s DRAGON. 

Jessica Cam W.

That’s a new one for me. How do you like it compared to Chromium/Iron/Chrome? 

Heyoka1

 Well, unfortunately, I don’t have any experience with Chromium/Iron/Chrome browsers (I prefer using Opera and Firefox most of the time). The design of Dragon is quite simple, the browser seems to be fast and, as Comodo company procalims, it is also a safe browser –> the DRAGON browser: 
– Has privacy enhancements that surpass those in Chromium’s technology
– Has Domain Validation technology that identifies and segregates superior SSL certificates from inferior ones
– Stops cookies and other Web spies
– Prevents all Browser download tracking to ensure your privacy…

Murre

Opera’s great! One of my favorite software together with Freemake  http://www.freemake.com

Sharninder

The only difference between these browsers and the default Chrome/Mozilla is that they have a different philosophy behind UI design or simply bundle some extensions. The actual rendering engine used is still from the parent browsers.

Jessica Cam W.

That applies for all browsers in the list, except for Opera since it uses Presto, which I believe is proprietary.

Manojks

Opera is not a “new” web browser! 

Jessica Cam W.

Yes, it’s not new, but with its extensions, tab management features, integrated mail client, etc. Opera is a really great contender against Firefox and Chrome. :)

du hoc uc

 I am using both of Firefox, IE, Chrome, Opera, Safari and i think Opera is nice, but it is not as well as Firefox and Chrome

SEO

 I personally use mostly Mozilla and Chrome. But Opera is great choice from the list you mentioned. I use opera in my office, useful browser. 
– Matt

James Bruce

I really wish you didnt promote IE in any way, shape or form ;( IE9 changes nothing, it is just as sucky and incompatible as the rest. (plus the site has consistent errors in IE that I cant fix, so I’d really rather users didnt use it if thats ok…)

Jessica Cam W.

I9 is at the end of the list and its paragraph has 4 lines for a reason. :) It’s just kind of impossible to talk about new-ish browsers without mentioning IE9.

Applesucks

Your comment sounds like a small frustrated Apple worm!

Amir Syakirin

dude, i think IE9 is the most amazing browser for now, im not sure if u used frequently or just a ‘try’

Rstcomp

I agree. By far, out of the seven browsers I keep on my computer, it is the SLOWEST! I still have to use it for most government tax payment sites, but that is it for me. I will be happy when it is gone for good. Chrome is my main browser.

Andrés

Maxthon has two cores, so it’s like having Chrome and IE in the same browser. Webkit core (like Chrome or Safari) gives speed and Trident Core (like IE) gives compatibility with older pages that are not shown properly by the newest browsers. Maxthon switches automatically to properly compose the page on screeen, and you can also manually do it whenever you want, just with a clic.

du hoc uc

Thanks for your new browsers, I will try some of them soon, but I think Firefox is the best. I use Firefox as my default browser.

Free_electron77

 Chromium base ones are awesome. Personally, I like using Chromeplus. One of the pros I dig a lot is that Mouse gestures are highly customizables and they work on EVERY page, unlike Chrome on the extension pages and others.

Anonymous

Wyzo looks promising. However, I doubt that most of these will make a dent in Chrome’s and Firefox’s user base. 

Andrés

Overall, Maxthon is by far the best taking into account compatibility (dual engine Webkit+Trident ), speed (optimized webkit engine plus fastest Java rendering) and lots of integrated features (not just add-ons) and customization options. For example, it includes a built-in ad hunter for rendering the pages without banners. By the way, this cooooool feature is not mentioned in the report.

Jessica Cam W.

 Thanks for the tip on the ad-hunter! I didn’t notice the feature when I was testing Maxthon out unfortunately.

LL

 maxthon is great

Vagablonde

heres my input to this article…the makeuseof website totally freezes on me using firefox or IE…Opera opens it right up and I am once again able to view your site 

Tina

Vagablonde,

I’m not aware of any issues with MakeUseOf.com in Firefox or Internet Explorer, it works perfectly on my end. It is more likely an issue on your end.

Our tech expert suggested ad-blockers. It could also be toolbars that were installed on these two browsers, but not on Opera, that generally affect your browsing experience. 

If you continue to have problems viewing MakeUseOf.com and would like to solve them, please ask a question on MakeUseOf Answers and describe your software situation and the symptom/s in more detail. Thank you!

Barrymbrady

I use Michael hardys Koolfox and Hyper sonic browsers , They are compatible with all fire fox add ons , 

Sonny Bass

 Thanks for the article. I normally use Chromium, but for school websites and online classes I was stuck with IE or safari neither of which I like. Maxthon is working great on those sites. I may be able to completely get away IE! 

venkatesh

maxthon 3 is a full featured browser…

Saunak Panda

hey guys check out the new web browser ‘dolphin 3d ‘

Dusty

i love ie 9, its running smooth with my window 7