Lightweight Browsers

Introduction

Lightweight browsers are an alternative to the Heavyweight (or Mega-Browsers). Some 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.

Discussion

Flashpeak.com

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    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 to offer versions in Windows, Linux and Mac OSx. Both are reviewed with emphasis on what makes each unique.

     

SlimBrowser - Windows

SlimBrowser   freeware version 7.00.070 was released Nov 28, 2013. Also available in a portable version, Slimbrowser is compatible with Windows XP(with SP2)/Vista/7/8, Windows 2003/2005/2008/2012. Runs on both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows. Minimum system requirement: Windows XP SP2+Internet Explorer 6.0 with at least 512MB RAM. Core engine is Trident.

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 - Windows/Mac/Linux

SlimBoat  freeware version 1.1.44 was released Nov 27, 2013. Also available in a portable version, Slimboat is compatible with Windows XP/Vista/2003/2008/Win7/Win8, 32bit / 64bit, Mac OS X 10.6 or later, 32bit / 64bit, Debian-based Linux, Generic Linux (SUSE, CentOS, Mint, Fedora, RHEL, Slackware, etc. Core engine is Webkit.

Some of Slimboat's key features 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.
 

Torch - Windows/Mac

Torch is a freeware browser developed on the Chromium engine. Available in Windows (ver 29) and Mac (ver 25). Supports Windows OS: XP with Service Pack 2+, Win7, Win8 (Vista is not supported) and Mac OS X 10.6/10.7/10.8.

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.
 

Comodo Dragon - Windows

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 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 Ice Dragon - Windows

Similar to Comodo Dragon, Ice Dragon is Comodo's equivalent of Firefox.  Ice Dragon share's many of the same security features as it's Dragon partner but the UI and menu's are similar to Firefox (FF).  Ice Dragon is fully compatible with FF 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 Ice Dragon. Compatible with Windows Ver XP thru Ver 7.

 

 

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Comments

by George.J on 24. August 2011 - 10:55  (78245)

**Please post your suggestions for the various web browsers that could be included in this category

by Anonymous225 (not verified) on 24. August 2011 - 11:59  (78250)

Avant browser is lightweight. Or it used to be...haven't used it for a while though.

by George.J on 24. August 2011 - 12:39  (78251)

Yeah it was lightweight the first time i used it a long time back. Let me look into it again.
edit:Atleast its homepage claims Avant to be lightest web browser on Windows platform
"Avant Browser is the lowest memory usage web browser on Windows platform. Memory usage is one of the most important factors to measure a browser's performance. We strived to avoid all possible memory leaks in Avant Browser and give you the best"

by Anonymous225 (not verified) on 24. August 2011 - 14:18  (78261)

Same as...I seem to recall the main reason I stopped using Avant, at the time, was because it had a tendancy to crash. Hopefully it's now much improved. Same could be said for K-Meleon when I used it ages ago, however I recently started using it on XP again and it's excellent. By the way Midori is getting better all the time in my opinion, I've been using it on Bodhi Linux.

by Joab on 24. August 2011 - 19:53  (78297)

I don't know if you've tried it but for me Comodo Dragon seems pretty lightweight and decent.
Definitely worth a try.

by supanut on 25. August 2011 - 10:03  (78321)

The World Browser is no longer being developed.
Last version is from February 2010.
K-Meleon is also nearly dead...last beta is from December 2010.

by George.J on 25. August 2011 - 12:59  (78331)

--"The World Browser is no longer being developed.Last version is from February 2010"--
Support of IE9 kernel and various fixes have been implemented in its latest release 3.4.0.5 (April 11 2011) http://www.softpedia.com/progChangelog/TheWorld-Browser-Changelog-70722....
K-Melon 1.7 alpha2 development is in progress but is not yet officially out. It’s true that some of these browsers have crawling development, yet they are the best bets on systems like Win98, 2000 and even XP in resource consumption.

by Anonymous9090 (not verified) on 25. August 2011 - 13:17  (78332)

How about the Lunascape? Isn't a lightweight browser?

by George.J on 26. August 2011 - 8:39  (78376)

Sure, I'll give it a try :-)

by Panzer (not verified) on 26. August 2011 - 10:03  (78380)

K-Meleon works on Win95 too.

by Joab on 26. August 2011 - 19:14  (78401)

The main downside that I can see is, that it runs in several processes, which I just find irritating and unnecessary.
After trying some of the ones in the article Comodo Dragon probably isn't worth a mention.
Good article :)

by George.J on 27. August 2011 - 3:20  (78414)

Yeah, it is common for all Chromium browsers to separate tabs as processes in memory leading to greater resource consumption if you have many tabs open. Anyways it should go into the category of "Other Browsers" which am working on right now.

by Collier on 27. August 2011 - 10:02  (78431)

Tried all of them except Midori. Old slow system 2003 vintage. K Meleon best by some distance tho I like QT web as well

by Anonymous 32 (not verified) on 29. August 2011 - 5:40  (78530)

You could try Itz Browser 2.0. It is a very light browser. http://www.ehqhelp.net/itzbrowser.php

by George.J on 29. August 2011 - 8:19  (78540)

Its true that's its a lightweight browser but it's still not worth using unless it supports atleast Win XP, being a lightweight browser. Presently it supports only Vista and Win7.Also you need to have Microsoft.net 4 installed.

by Way (not verified) on 29. August 2011 - 17:19  (78576)

Isn't K Meleon nearing a new release? I thought I read that somewhere but cant remember where. Anyway it is past time for one.

by Anonymous32 (not verified) on 29. August 2011 - 18:51  (78578)

Itz Browser 2.0 does support Windows XP, it was the first version that didn't. I use it on my Windows XP machine, and it works flawlessly. Most computers will have .NET Framework 4.0 installed via Windows Update. Windows 7 probably even comes with it installed.

by Mage (not verified) on 29. August 2011 - 20:53  (78585)

Can ITZ be configured for high security as the other more well known browsers like IE9 Chrome FF and Opera?

by Anonymous 32 (not verified) on 29. August 2011 - 22:24  (78589)

Itz Browser runs off of the Trident Layout Engine, and can be configured from the Internet Options from the Control Panel for higher security.

by George.J on 30. August 2011 - 3:58  (78609)

Great!But i can't recommend it to the readers unless the product page reflects that it works on XP. Also EHQ have contacted Gizmo's here: http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/software-suggestions/5273... and its says some components doesn't still work on XP. So I would put off ItzBrowser for now until it fully supports XP and hope it will come out of its beta stage soon.
edit: It would be great if someone could find a portable version for it.

by Zinja22 on 30. August 2011 - 11:11  (78635)

Orca browser is also a lightweight.

by George.J on 30. August 2011 - 12:11  (78639)

Orca Browser is like Avant for Firefox, from the developer of Avant Browser. But it seems like it hasn't been updated for quite a while now. Last one seems to be way back in Dec 2009 and no beta versions have been out since. Anyway let me take a look at it.
edit:Orca Browser is no longer in development. It seems as if development have been shifted in favour of Avant.So it won't be featured in this page.

by ehqhelp on 1. September 2011 - 23:49  (78841)

Since my post in the forum, EHQ has been moved to a new site. The new Itz Browser page is located at http://www.ehqhelp.net/itzbrowser.php

by George.J on 2. September 2011 - 3:23  (78846)

Great! And the page does reflect that the product supports XP. I'll review it shortly. Meanwhile are there any portable versions available?

by ehqhelp on 2. September 2011 - 5:02  (78850)

Not currently, but, if everything goes to plan, there should be one for version 3.0 (which, hopefully, should be released on the April 12, 2012). We want to work on Itz Browser 2.0 until we make it almost perfect for Windows. With only one annoyance that we have to fix, it should be rather quickly.

by George.J on 11. September 2011 - 16:38  (79428)

What's the layout engine used in ItzBrowser 2.0?

by ehqhelp on 11. September 2011 - 22:18  (79446)

It is Trident.

by Tamara (not verified) on 19. September 2011 - 3:00  (79865)

Are QTweb browser and K-Meleon both compatible with Sandboxie? Also anyone know when K Meleon will be updated? It is waaayyyy past.

by arnie23 (not verified) on 19. September 2011 - 3:19  (79866)

I use K-meleon sandboxed. Sandboxie will run whatever you choose as your default browser sandboxed. If it's not your default browser, right click it and choose to run sandboxed.

by George.J on 19. September 2011 - 3:25  (79867)

Yes, Sandboxie should run with any web browser without much issues. If you want to check the known conflicts of Sandboxie with other programs here's a list http://www.sandboxie.com/index.php?KnownConflicts

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