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 

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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.

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Comments

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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