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seamonkey browserI am not usually the type of person that tries a new browser unless the one that I’m using really bombs out on websites or features that I absolutely need. After Firefox became too bloated and laggy for me, I switched to Google Chrome about a couple of years ago (not sure of the exact timing). Since them, I’ve been pretty happy. Chrome is fast, fairly light (although it can become a memory hog after using many tabs), and it is able to properly load about 99.99% of the websites out there.

So, I didn’t go out in search of an alternative browser for the sake of replacing Chrome, I did so in the hopes of consolidating web apps. I’m tired of the size and bloat of Thunderbird, but I’m also frustrated that there aren’t really many clients out there that even come close to competing with its features and robust connectivity to every email account that I want to link to.

Thankfully, during my search (where I always start with MUO of course), I stumbled upon Justin’s review of SeaMonkey SeaMonkey: The Overlooked All-In-One Mozilla Web Suite SeaMonkey: The Overlooked All-In-One Mozilla Web Suite Read More from a few years back. From the developers of Firefox, SeaMonkey promises to provide you with access to all of your online needs – browsing and email primarily, although an IRC client and WYSIWYG web editor is also included.

In my quest to consolidate desktop applications that chew up my precious memory as I’m trying to test other apps and blog at the same time, I thought I would give SeaMonkey a full-out test run and really dig into its features.

Using SeaMonkey For Everything

In Justin’s review back in 2010, he offered a quick overview of the browser and a screenshot of composing an email, but since my interest is in completely replacing Thunderbird which I’ve been using for years, I really wanted to dig into whether it is capable of what I need it to do. I was also curious what progress the Mozilla team has made since the 2010 release – the latest available download being 2.11 (with a 2.12 Beta 1 available since July 21 of this year).

For the purpose of this review, I downloaded the most recent stable version. The first thing I noticed about the install is how quick and seamless it is, especially if you use Thunderbird as your email client. Everything, including all of the account settings that you configured in Thunderbird, is automatically imported into SeaMonkey.

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seamonkey browser

This is just sweet, because the thing I dread most about starting any new email client is the hassle of having to reconfigure all of the email accounts that I use. With SeaMonkey, the install handles it all – providing me with a good first impression of the software.

With that said, it would (and still will) take some use to convince me that SeaMonkey has the horsepower that I need for everything I do online. There are mixed reviews around the web on SeaMonkey, but the one benefit nearly everyone notes is the fact that you get an all-in-one app. If the browser can perform at even 90% of  Chrome’s capabiities, allowing me to dump Thunderbird as an external app once and for all, then I’m sold.

As far as the browser goes – it’s a browser. What more can I say?  You get large navigation buttons, your standard URL field and of course the quicklinks bar that you’re used to with Firefox.

seamonkey web browser

It’s clearly based on the Firefox browser in terms of design and the look and feel, although in all honesty the SeaMonkey menu system and layout feels a tiny bit more clean and intuitive. I really took a liking to the quick navigation icons at the bottom left corner of the browser window. Each of these icons makes up the five main components of the application – the browser, email and newsreader, web composer, address book, and IRC Client.

seamonkey web browser

By the way, for what it’s worth, the SeaMonkey browser easily screamed through web pages that normally take a little longer to load, at least based on my initially run through. Although for anyone out there that has tested many browsers, you probably know that the true test of a browser is how fast it loads pages after a year or two, and after installing a few add-ons as well.

With that said, I was very satisfied with the initial speed of the browser and it’s ability to correctly display an assortment of websites that I frequent often.

The real test of course is the email client.

seamonkey web browser

If you’ve used Thunderbird then you can see that the main interface looks nearly identical to the Thunderbird client. Even with all of the same accounts configured, I definitely noticed that the SeaMonkey email client ran a lot faster than Thunderbird. There’s no doubt about it. Although, the claim that SeaMonkey packages all Internet features into one is a little misleading, because the email client is actually an app all on its own. You can close the main SeaMonkey client and keep email running, or use the “SeaMonkey Mail” launch icon in the start menu.

When you launch the HTML composer, you’ll see a web design app that could probably compete with some of the best free web design programs out there, like Kompozer Kompozer - Free Web Design Software To Whip Together Webpages Kompozer - Free Web Design Software To Whip Together Webpages Read More .

mozilla seamonkey

If you prefer writing your web pages in straight HTML, that’s not a problem. Just click the HTML Source button at the bottom and code to your heart’s delight.

mozilla seamonkey

The publishing process is pretty fast and easy. If you have an FTP account set up on your web browser, just fill in the details here to quickly transfer your files or modifications to the website.  This saves you the hassle of having to run a separate FTP app to update your site with changes.

mozilla seamonkey

The address book is very simple and easy to use. You can import addresses from Thunderbird, so I basically didn’t have to do any work at all to have all of my same contacts available, which was pretty sweet. From the address book, you can select a contact and kick off either a new email or launch your default IM client to chat with them.

SeaMonkey does have an IRC chat client, which I don’t really plan on using. For one thing, I’m not much into chatting these days. For another, do people still use IRC these days? Given the number of users across the channels, I guess people do!

It’s there if you want it, and the chat Interface is certainly up to par with modern IRC clients, and of course light years ahead of the sort of IRC chat clients I used back in the late 90’s. Of course, those ran on IBM mainframes, but anyway, I digress…

As you start navigating through the SeaMonkey menus and features, you’ll see many of the sort of things that you came to love about Firefox – the menu system is nearly identical, and you’ll see any available RSS feeds for the site you’re visiting with the RSS indicator in the URL field.  Sometimes it’s just those little things that you miss – so if you’re switching from Firefox, you won’t miss too much.

You’ll also find that the Mozilla community does offer a number of add-ons for the SeaMonkey app, but nowhere near as many as you’d find for Firefox of course. There are a good list of them out there though, and one of the first that I installed was Ghostery.

When you browse Mozilla plugins, you’ll see all of them for Firefox and SeaMonkey, with the ones that are available for SeaMonkey highlighted. The ones that are not available will be grayed out.

seamonkey browser

So, in my final analysis I decided that SeaMonkey has the horsepower that I need, and is robust enough to handle the variety of websites that I frequent, and it satisfies my need to access multiple email accounts in an easy app that is at least tightly linked with the browser.

They do appear as different apps, but you will find the browser integrated with everything. Give SeaMonkey a shot and let us know if you think it might be worth using as your own all-in-one Internet application. What do you like and what don’t you like? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

  1. dragonmouth
    October 10, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    It is no wonder that after using Firefox, Thunderbird and Kompozer, you find the analogous SeaMonkey modules familiar. They are one and the same. SeaMonkey is a Mozilla Internet suite which contains Firefox, Kompozer, Thunderbird, etc. Most, if not all, SeaMonkey modules can be and are used as stand alone applications by those that do not want to install the entire suite. I, for example, use only Firefox because I use another email client, do not chat or create pages.

  2. Kevin Hong
    August 15, 2012 at 3:46 am

    I wonder how does the chat function compares to say Chatzilla.I'll probably give this a try and see.

  3. Reý Aetar
    August 14, 2012 at 3:37 am

    except the default theme everything is great

  4. MerVzter Balacuit
    August 5, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    i tried seamonkey before , because im just a normal user i wasnt contented of it, i do believe its feature and its capability but a lot of things need to understand

  5. Lambvolution
    August 4, 2012 at 4:02 am

    SeaMonkey just a firefox with different skin..

    • Ryan Dube
      August 7, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      That's actually kind of true. Clearly the same engine, but it has a different look and feel overall. Not sure if it'll get quite as bogged down as you load add-ons as Firefox does, but I guess we'll see...

  6. LeviTashun
    August 3, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I'm still on Firefox. Seems like it's losing a lot of users to Chrome these days, and now this... are the devs still with Mozilla or is it an independent thing, I wonder?

    • Ryan Dube
      August 7, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      If the percentage of add-ons is any indication, Firefox is still king as far as development goes. As far as I know the developers are still with Mozilla, but I'd be interested to hear from anyone that might know more about current development efforts there.

  7. Justin Fortin
    August 3, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    It's gonna take a lot to pull me away from chrome.

    • Mike Vaz
      August 3, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      agreed.

    • 9dc62f254771e15b861f2dc8a0718109
      August 4, 2012 at 9:03 am

      agreed, but who knows, i wil let know once giving a try.

      • 9dc62f254771e15b861f2dc8a0718109
        August 4, 2012 at 9:07 am

        hii admin, i connected with my google account, y is a it showing like this name 9dc62f254771e15b861f2dc8a0718109

        • Ryan Dube
          August 7, 2012 at 4:23 pm

          That is odd, but what do you mean you connected with your Google account. Connected to what?

        • 9dc62f254771e15b861f2dc8a0718109
          August 8, 2012 at 2:46 am

          Inorder to comment i need to signup,so i signed up with my google account.At the top right of the page i can see my name where as in comment section i see this 9dc62f254771e15b861f2dc8a0718109 as the name of the commentator.

        • Tina
          August 8, 2012 at 7:14 pm

          This issue with the cryptic user name happens occasionally. We are not sure why. However, it can be fixed. See comments posted in response to this question on MakeUseOf Answers:
          How do you change profile name on MakeuseOf?

    • Ryan Dube
      August 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      Agreed - I still use Chrome religiously, but there are times when I need a separate browser session to do other work in Google, so I now fire up Seamonkey to get warmed up to it. I'm really starting to like it - the speed hasn't slowed down yet!

    • achyut reddy
      August 9, 2012 at 12:37 am

      yep.

  8. Rigoberto Garcia
    August 3, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I use Chrome and Internet Explorer alternative, but a greater proportion Chrome. I have also installed Firefox but with very little use except for specific issues. I see SeaMonkey, as you describe it has all the features you need for everyday work. Proceed to download and evaluate. Do you know if there is a version for the iPad2?

    • Ryan Dube
      August 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      Hi Rigoberto - thanks for the comment. I don't use iPad2 so I'm not familiar with what's available for it. Have you checked the app store?

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