Lightweight Web Browsers

Introduction

Lightweight browsers are an alternative to the Heavyweight (or Mega-Browsers) because many people need a browser that will run on older systems or simply one with less features.

The Lightweight browsers offer a large variety of alternatives from the traditional heavyweight browsers. Each review will highlight the key features of the browser and specify if the browser is good for older systems or has unique functions. Browsers that have not been maintained by the developer for 12 months or longer will not be considered. All the reviewed browsers will have the essential features of a quality browser including active security, web search, privacy viewing, pop-up blocking, download management, plug-in and extension support.

 Mega Browsers 

 

 Lightweight Browsers 

 

 Other Browsers 

In a Hurry?

Go to details...  Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide

Lightweight Web Browsers

Flashpeak.com

The folks at FlashPeak.com have created two lightweight browsers in this category. Slimbrowser was developed as a lightweight high speed alternative for the Windows OS and uses the Trident engine. Slimboat is similar in appearance, but the core uses Webkit. Both are reviewed with emphasis on what makes each unique.

SlimBrowser Some of Slimbrowser's key features include full or partial screen capture, spell check, Site Groups, form Quickfill management, Photo management, and Social Networking. Quickfill is used to save form information from websites where you may repeatedly have to enter differing information. Once you complete the form, save the page and Quickfill will recall the information next time. It also supports multiple identity files for multiple users. Photo-Salon will create frames or other enhancements for pictures before they are uploaded. Auto size will automatically resize pictures to a customizable predetermined size for uploads without changing the original file. This is a good web browser for Windows only.

SlimBoat has key features that include Site Groups, and Social Networking. With Site Groups you can create groups of tabs for various websites to open all at one time. For example all your favorite news sites can be grouped so in one click they all open on individual tabs without selecting them individually from your favorites. The Social Networking has two functions. Web page sharing to all the popular sites like Facebook and Twitter or e-mail, and a Facebook button to quickly post web pages, web page text and images or your status by clicking a button and not having to login to your Facebook account. For a browser that is only on version 1, it's packed full of features in a lightweight format.

Comodo

Comodo is a company focused on Internet Security.  You won't see a lot of bells and whistles in the browsers because their focus is behind the scene helping you have a better, safer browsing experience.  The features they do display are generally related to security like Web Inspector and Privacy Dog.  Dragon's UI is similar to Chrome but some of the buttons and menu options are different.  Install Comodo Internet Security (also free) to run in virtual mode, the equivalent of using a sandbox. Create an account and sign-in to share your browser settings on the cloud making them available to other computers you may use.

Comodo Dragon is an alternative browser to Google's Chrome.  Dragon is based on Chromium technology and is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.  Dragon incorporates the features and abilities of Chrome with enhanced security and privacy from Google.

Comodo IceDragon is similar to Comodo Dragon. It is Comodo's equivalent of Firefox. IceDragon share's many of the same security features as it's Dragon partner but the UI and menu's are similar to Firefox.  IceDragon is fully compatible with Firefox plug-ins and extensions.  Ice Dragon can also use Comodo's free DNS Servers to improve performance and privacy.  If you're looking for a  more stable, safer and faster equivalent to Firefox, try Comodo IceDragon.

 

Torch is a media browser featuring built-in torrent downloading, media grabber and audio extractor. Also features easy media sharing to social media sites. Torch was considered as a mega browser, but it's lack of cross platform cloud support held it back. Really a powerful browser with a clean look, Torch can also be considered a Chrome alternative. Torch can be a good lightweight version if you want a browser that focus' on file and media downloads/sharing. Some people may find Torch's Chrome like UI off putting.

Related Products and Links

 

Quick Selection Guide

SlimBrowser
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
http://www.slimbrowser.net/
7.0
3.65 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows XP SP2 + Internet Explorer 6.0+
SlimBoat
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
http://www.slimboat.com/en/
1.1.50
11.7 MB
32 bit only
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows XP or later; Mac OS X 10.6 or later; Linux
Torch
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Built-in features: Download accelerator, Media manager, Torrent manager, Music player.
http://www.torchbrowser.com/
33.0.0
2.3 MB online; 78 MB offline
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Open source freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows XP SP2, 7, 8 (NOT Vista)
Comodo IceDragon
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
https://www.comodo.com/
37 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows XP, Vista, 7
Comodo Dragon
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
https://www.comodo.com/
49.0 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows XP, Vista, 7

Editor

This software review is maintained by volunteer editor Remah. Registered members can contact the editor with any comments or questions they might have by clicking here.

You are welcome to join the discussion in our web and networking forum

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 Mega Browsers 

 

 Lightweight Browsers 

 

 Other Browsers 

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Comments

by Remah on 13. September 2014 - 3:37  (118556)

The article format has been updated to match the other articles and a Quick Selection Guide added. I'll be updating the discussion and adding screenshots over the next week.

Remah - Editor

by presque_vu on 6. April 2014 - 3:44  (115527)

Comodo Dragon is a great browser for users who don't like Chrome because of it's invasive google elements and people who love Firefox but just find it too slow.

Comodo Dragon feels snappy and loads quickly even with eight add-ons installed:
HTTP Everywhere
Zotero
Readability
Web Of Trust
LastPass
Disconnect
Adblock
Avast security add-on

There is no Comodo Dragon Browser for Mac, Linux or Android.

by ryan39d on 14. March 2014 - 5:46  (115003)

Does Comodo IceDragon download is in CNET? My Bluhell Firewall blocked a site that host the file from CNET, thus, I did not risk my pc for that. Is there any way to download IceDragon aside from CNET?

by ryan39d on 15. March 2014 - 11:42  (115027)

Yes, the link leads to Comodo website but the download link leads to CNET. Thank you for the Softpedia link, and the other link to know about bundled softwares. I guess I will trust the one that is being hosted at Softpedia.

Thank you all. :)

by MidnightCowboy on 14. March 2014 - 6:38  (115005)

For future reference, CNET uses a wrapped installer and is best avoided as a download source. More information here:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/cnet-downloadcom-wrapped-install...
http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/what-else-have-you-just-download...

Better and safer third party download sites are Softpedia, MajorGeeks and FileHippo. MC - Site Manager.

by joeguru on 14. March 2014 - 5:54  (115004)

Download directly from Comodo. You can use the hyperlink in the review.

by Joe A.TT on 14. March 2014 - 13:01  (115008)

The hyperlink in the review directs you to Comodo. The problem is the download link on Comodo's site redirects you to Download.com (AKA Cnet).

[Suggestion]
Change the hyperlink in the review to http://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/Browsers/Comodo-IceDragon.shtml

by sicknero on 14. March 2014 - 16:03  (115014)

For what it's worth, I've always used the CNet page to get Ice Dragon and so far it's always been a clean file with nothing bundled and no wrapped installer.

The Major Geeks link (http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/comodo_icedragon.html) downloads directly from Comodo but as far as I can tell it's exactly the same file.

by vz on 31. January 2014 - 17:40  (114109)

For weak netbooks the best REALLY lightweight brs are QtWeb 3.8.5 and QupZilla, so was SeaMonkey 2.0.14 (but now this version is a little old). All three have portable versions.

by jacemace on 28. January 2014 - 22:20  (114045)

Just tried K-Meleon, uninstalled it right away. I did not like it's functions or performance at all. And no (native or otherwise) adblocker.

by jacemace on 28. January 2014 - 22:21  (114044)

Slimbrowser crashes all the time.
It displays this message on the tab:

This browser session has crashed for some reason. You can choose from the following two options:
•Open the same web page again.
•Open the same web page in compatibility view.

It uses as it's default in text search this page: http://search.flashpeak.com/?sbSource=searchbtn (their own web site)
which is a customized file: "Google (custom).qseg" None of the other search engines that are used by in page context are customized (wiki, youtube et al.)I'm not sure where to get a standard google qseg file and I didn't feel like editing in notepad.

I uninstalled slimbrowser right away.

Will add that it does have a good native ad blocker with a good list.

by joeguru on 29. January 2014 - 3:02  (114049)

I use Slimbrowser regularly without issue. There may be a compatibility issue with your system. If you are interested in the software, I recommend trying the developer's forum here: http://www.slimbrowser.net/en/forum/

If you're looking for more of a Chrome alternative, try Comodo Dragon or for Firefox alternative Comodo Ice Dragon.

To be fair I will say the lightweight browsers are less stable under certain conditions than the Heavy Weights. It's just a matter of which one will work with your system and needs.

by joeguru on 29. January 2014 - 2:51  (114048)

Please post updates and information about Kmeleon in the Freeware Forum.

by souzarm on 1. January 2014 - 18:37  (113318)

Thanks!
Vote in K-Meleon...

by Panzer on 31. December 2013 - 9:00  (113297)

Project K-Meleon is still soldering on. You can get K-Meleon 74 here:
http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/forum/read.php?1,125632,page=1

by joeguru on 7. December 2013 - 19:59  (112828)

In case you're wondering, more browsers are being reviewed and the list will expand. Sincere recommendations are welcome.

by collieman2 on 30. November 2013 - 4:04  (112639)

I am using an old DELL Dimension 4300 with 256 megs of RAM. I am a Firefox fan and was using the latest ver 26. But I noticed how slow the computer became after opening FF. It was really using up the memory so I decided to try a lightweight browser. Came here to Gizmo's for a lightweight browser. Saw that K-Meleon was top rated so I downloaded and installed it. I liked it 's appearance and the way it handled bookmarks. Started using it. But the more I used it, the more problems I encountered. A lot of web pages didn't load right making a jumbled mess. Then I kept getting script error messages all the time. Pages wouldn't load until I stopped script. After disabling JAVA the script errors went away BUT web pages wouldn't load because of that. I searched the K-Meleon forums and there were no answers. Support was very poor I found. Then I missed a bunch of addons that FF had. The list goes on and on. All this with a new install of XP. Just a very bad experience with K-Meleon. Just a terrible browser. I'm going to try a few of the other lightweights.

by rhiannon on 5. December 2013 - 22:07  (112791)

If you want to stay with Firefox type browsers, you might try Ice Dragon Internet Browser by Comodo or Pale Moon. Both look, feel and function similar to Firefox and both will use Firefox extensions.

Another issue that's been raised before is cookies - some are Flash cookies and can really slow down Firefox. I use the BetterPrivacy add-on to clean them out.

A clean install also helps. :)
I use FEBE or MozBackup - Backup to back up and restore my all my settings. I prefer FEBE because it allows you to pick and choose what extensions you want reinstalled.

by joeguru on 30. November 2013 - 4:58  (112642)

Sorry to hear of your experience. I'm new to this category and haven't reviewed the programs yet, so if you would like suggestions and can provide more information about your system, like the version of Windows you are using, please post in our Freeware Forum. Thank you for your feedback.

by ichabod on 24. November 2013 - 6:09  (112502)

After reading the comments here and at raymond.cc about GreenBrowser, I went to the MoreQuick website. At the bottom of the product page is an Award section with logos from eleven websites, most of which are unfamiliar to me. For one of those websites, the logo says simply "editor's pick"; but for each of the others there is a 5-star award.

I clicked on the Softpedia logo to find that Softpedia editor's rating is actually 3.5, not 5, for the current version; the 5-star rating was from 2006. Next, I found that 4 of the other "awarding" websites have been detected by some blacklist engines.

Similarly, I looked at the Awards page from Maxthon.com, and found that 10 of their 33 "awarding" websites have been detected by some blacklist engines.

So, from those two products, that's one-third of the "awarding" websites detected by some blacklist engines. Now I'm interested in the opinions of others, because this makes me wonder if it's common for legitimate developers to link to possibly unsafe "awarding" websites (perhaps just an oversight due to overzealous marketing on their part), or if this shows an ethics problem with developers who do this.

by joeguru on 26. November 2013 - 10:41  (112547)

Thank you for the comments. Because you are looking for feedback and opinions, I recommend you post this concern in the freeware forum for dialogue. This comment section isn't for continued discussion, but your comments are always welcome.

by mr6n8 on 24. November 2013 - 14:36  (112509)

I would probably attribute it to overzealous, but it is hard to believe that the developer does not know the sites are scams. I would think that a reputable developer would check the sites before listing. Many sites award the 5 stars to insure a link back to their site.

This reminded me of a story I read a few years back - I just found it in a Google search.
A developer became suspicious of "awards" his product was getting, so he created a fake program "awardmestars" to see what "awards" it for. The "program" was a text file that basically said this program does nothing, saved as an .exe.
http://successfulsoftware.net/2007/08/16/the-software-awards-scam/

At last count, awardmestars had 23 5 star awards.
http://successfulsoftware.net/2007/12/13/the-software-awards-scam-update/

The software was (and probably still is) available on hundreds of download sites, some even posting the screenshot that says "this program does nothing at all..." without even realizing what was going on.
http://www.oryxdigital.com/awardmestars/awardmestars_screenshot.gif

by sicknero on 24. November 2013 - 16:31  (112511)

That's a great story, I'd not heard of that before :-D

I did have a look at the Maxthon awards page (Maxthon having been my secondary browser for about a year now) and I found an award from a site that WoT flags as red. On the other hand when I ran the URL through Virus Total it scored 1/51 with WoT being the only one that flagged it.

I did notice that there's a "Gizmo's Top Picks - Product of the Year" award which no longer seems to exist, it just links to a "OOPs - We can't find that page" notice.

Other awards state the year, although there are a lot I've never heard of.

I'll check them all out more closely sometime and probably raise it on the forum to see if they have anything to say about it.

by Panzer on 4. July 2013 - 19:24  (108977)

K-Meleon 1.6.0 Beta 2.6:

What's new:
- minor fixes to K-Meleon binaries - These include, but may not be limited to, an increase in the length of buffer size for injectJS, prompt and iniread, fix crash when too much result with autocomplete, and fix crash when session history is empty.
- K-Meleon Restart Plus - The restart button will close and restart K-Meleon.
- Skins Management - SkinSwitch allow the user to save and reload the toolbar layout for each skin.

Extra Tools added:
- Note4me provides the user a note taking system with automatic annotation of the date, time and URL of the page.
- Groups2 provides the user the ability to store the URLs of the currently open tabs, and give a name to the group.
- The PriorTabs macro causes closed tabs have their URLs stored in a list.
- Quickstore provides menus for storing and using up to six URLs (to save the URL for a page or link temporarily).
- StoreFS provides a method for the user to store selected input fields and make them available later for repeat input.

For more info locate and open Additions.htm, which can be found within K-Meleon1.6.0_Beta2dot6_en-US.7z file.

http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/forum/read.php?1,112235,page=9 (download is at the bottom of the page)

by Paxmilitaris on 1. June 2013 - 5:42  (108195)

I'm wondering about Java and Flash capabilities of the lightweight browsers. I'm using FF 21 and stuck with flash 10.3 since flash 11 makes FF bug. I'm using win XP on an Intel Dual core 4300 1.8 Ghz with 2 GB of Ram.

For the Avant Browser the web site claims to have the lowest memory usage but according to http://www.raymond.cc/blog/battle-of-the-browsers-in-cpu-and-memory-usag... they have the worst.

by George.J on 1. June 2013 - 8:07  (108196)

The tests at Raymond were done on a fairly good system, and these results may not reflect on a low end system in a similar fashion. Even though Firefox gets the lowest memory usage in the tests it's nearly unusable on a low end system running WinXP and less than 512 MB RAM.

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