Top alternatives to Firefox, Chrome and IE

Niamh Lynch


You’ve tried, contrasted and compared, and by now you’re probably dedicated to your favorite browser. There’s a good chance that browser is one of the big three, in other words, Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome.

What you might not be aware of, however, is how many alternative browsers are out there. There’s a niche for different ways to surf the web, and judging by the number of apps out there, it’s not that small. More browsers means more options for users, and that’s got to be a good thing, right?

So, fancy taking a look at the competitive world of the alternative browser? Excellent! Step this way…

Maxthon was born as MyIE2, an optimized version of Microsoft’s legendary browser. Today it has reached a 3rd version under the name Maxthon. This browser boasts two rendering engines, Trident and WebKit, which guarantees optimal web page viewing, and it also adds extras like ad-blocking and mouse gestures. It’s one of the most popular of the alternative browsers, and with good reason – it’s packed with options!

Pale Moon is an optimized version of Firefox that aims to bring you the best performance on computers running a Windows-based operating system. Compared to Mozilla’s browser, it’s faster and lighter on resources, although being based on Firefox, Pale Moon features the same stability and reliability, as well as support for extensions and themes. A fourth version was recently launched, keeping it bang up to date with Firefox’s latest effort.

Rockmelt is also known as the social browser, and we’ve already mentioned it a few times. Its main advantage is integration with apps like Twitter and Facebook, and truth be told, browsing without having to open new tabs for your social networking is very comfortable. It runs on WebKit, the same engine as Chrome and it’s pretty quick.

QTWeb is a browser that combines Chrome and Safari’s WebKit engine with the QT framework of  Nokia, the technology behind programs like Skype, Google Earth and VLC. Both technologies are references in the world of open source code, which means that not only do they perform at a very high level, but you’re also guaranteed constant development from the community of developers that supports them.

Slimbrowser is another browser developed from an IE base. In its heyday, it brought us features like auto-fill and pop-up blocking, but these days it’s looking a little tired when compared to Internet Explorer’s newer  versions. At the very least, it’s light and stable, but this isn’t a browser that’s likely to rock your world.

Avant Browser was one of the most advanced browser alternatives around, until the release of Internet Explorer 9. It has lots of cool features, but probably the most interesting are a private mode, multi-process tabbed browsing, bookmark sync, mouse gestures and a built-in RSS reader. Lots of the features that once set it apart are now commonplace, however, so it needs to take it up a notch to stay in the game.

Comodo Dragon is Comodo’s incursion into the browser market – although the company is better known for utilities. This program is a Chromium derivative with an emphasis on security and speed, but even though it’s a close relation to Chrome – it looks and feels really similar – it doesn’t support standard Chrome extensions. It really beefs up safety and privacy, though, whether you’re using it in private or normal mode.

Lunascape is undoubtedly the best bet for users who never want to meet an incompatible page ever again! This browser renders pages using the top three engines on the market Trident (IE), Gecko (Firefox) and WebKit (Chrome), making it the only triple-engine browser in existence! Three engines give you three different ways of viewing the web, not to mention added extras, like slow script deactivation and theme support.

This just a small selection of the many alternative browsers out there. Nonetheless, it’s worth taking a look – who knows, you might find a perfect browser you didn’t know existed, or even a future star. Why not vote for your favorite?

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Are there any top-class alternatives that we’ve left out? Let us know below!

[Via: OnSoftware ES]

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