Best Free Web Browser

Introduction

This category is divided into three sections: 1) MEGA WEB BROWSERS includes the most popular, powerful and heavyweight browsers; 2) LIGHTWEIGHT WEB BROWSERS includes the browsers that provide the best performance with respect to memory and CPU consumption; and 3) OTHER BROWSERS includes browsers that haven't been discussed in the both categories above. For a full comparison of features of the various browsers, click here.

Reviewing web browsers is different than reviewing other types of software categories because the choice of which browser is best is truly subjective and the browser updates are released with tremendous frequency.  The major web browsers compared in this review are the most common used around the world. While some comparisons are necessary, each browser will really stand on its own merit and new features of the latest releases.  As such, each browser will be reviewed based on major updates.

The most popular of the major browsers are Google Chrome (Chrome), Internet Explorer (IE), Mozilla Firefox (Firefox), and Opera. Also entering contention this year is Maxthon. There is much debate regarding which one is the most popular at any given time. According to various surveys on the Internet Chrome and Firefox tend to lead the pack for the following reasons; 1) strong app support, 2) cross platform compatibility.

Regarding performance the statistical difference between them is so minor, most users won't see a difference. Startup and performance is another subjective theme as it depends on the hardware, software and browser configuration for each user. Deciding which browser(s) to use depends on the need. The average user may be satisfied with IE or Opera. Power users may prefer Firefox, cloud oriented users may prefer Chrome or Maxthon. Some users may prefer to use multiple browsers, taking advantage of the unique features each has to offer.

Due to modern advances and competitiveness, all of the major web browsers share similar, and what I would call, essential features. Examples of these features are; tabbed browsing, privacy browsing, password manager, download manager, searchable address bar, and cross application syncing. The individual browsers may use different names for their respective features but the functions are basically the same. The reviews will attempt to highlight the key elements of each browser to help you decide which browser may be best for you.

Wiki Comparison of Web Browsers compares web browsers in essentially 11 categories.  For a web browser to be classified as Mega, it must compare to IE, Chrome and Firefox in all 11 categories.

Discussion

MEGA WEB BROWSERS

After Google hired several Mozilla Firefox developers, they released Chrome in 2008 to provide users a clean, fast and stable browsing experience.  Chrome is one of the most popular browsers today.  It has become more than a web browser however, Chrome is an integral part of Google's cloud syncing across multiple hardware platforms, Google applications and services.

Chrome is available for Win XP - Win 8, OS X, and Linux. For smart phones and tablets, Android and iOS versions are available using the Webkit engine.  At it's core Chrome's engine is Blink, developed as part of the Chromium project and V8 a JavaScript Engine. After installation Chrome opens with two tabs. The first tab provides a login screen in case you have a Google account. If you don't have a Google account, click "skip for now" to proceed. The window will show the New Tab which will provide links to other Google services like YouTube, Gmail and Google Docs. The second tab is called Getting Started. Getting Started is a good resource for learning more about Chrome's features. Simply click "learn more" on the Welcome to Chrome page.

Chrome has a large selection of extensions (like apps on a smart phone) to enhance the browsing experience.  Chrome also has WebApps, programs that run within the browser instead of installing on the computer.  Google has another feature called cloud print.  Essentially if you have a printer that supports cloud printing at home or work, add a cloud printer to Chrome's advanced settings and you can print to the printer from Chrome.  Have you heard of ChromeVox?  An excellant text to speech feature for the visually impaired.  ChromeVox is a Google extension that reads the text in any open tab in Chrome.  

Most web developers still use Internet Explorer compatibility as the standard for developing websites.  Long ago there was an issue with viewing some websites do to their coding with a browser other than Internet Explorer.  I'm happy to say I haven't seen any of these issues with Chrome and would consider it safe for all commercial websites.  Chrome is an excellant browser for those seeking a clean, fast, and stable internet browsing experience at the novice and advanced levels.  Now to get past Google's use of Chrome to promote all their other services.

Mozilla Firefox was released in 2004.  Designed to be part of a Web Suite of chat, mail and HTML editing software, the developers felt the browser would make the suite too big and released it separately.  Firefox is considered one of the top three major web browsers.  Unlike Internet Explorer and Chrome, Firefox is owned by a non-profit (Mozilla Foundation) and completely open source being developed by a team of volunteers worldwide.  Consider it sort of a grass roots web browser that has found particular favor among Linux Distro users.  Firefox uses the Gecko engine developed by the Mozilla Foundation.

In 2011 starting with version 5 Mozilla started a program called Rapid Build.  There goal was to release new versions of Firefox every 6 weeks.  Firefox is now at version 25.  The reasoning is to get new features to the users faster.  That is a pretty ambitious goal.  

Some of Firefox's defining features include being able to pin a tab using the Pinned Tab feature to permanently make a tab like e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or other sites you like to keep open on the tab bar.  Switch-to-Tab will attempt to let you know when you already have a website open on a tab.  As you type in the Omnibar (address bar) Firefox will check to see if you have that site open.  Accidentally close one or more tabs and want to reopen them?  With Firefox you can.  Matter of fact while I was writing this I had to use the restore tab feature being very glad it was there.

Update: Firefox 27 has been release without much fanfare.  Most of the updates are in the background and won't be noticed by the average user.  For security Firefox upgraded to TLS, the successor to SSL security. For what its worth, Google 30 and IE 11 already have this technology.  They also made some API updates which will enhance how social media sites can be viewed but its all in the back ground, so most users aren't likely to see the difference.  During my peek at version 27 I was very disappointed in the performance, especially when speed is so heavily touted by Mozilla, the developer.  Version 28 is in Beta right now with a focus on Windows 8.x compatibility.  Just in time as Windows 9 is waiting in the wings.  Is it just me or does Mozilla seem to be getting farther and farther behind in the PC Browser category since splitting into the Android market and now Firefox OS? 

Internet Explorer has ties to Bing, Google Chrome has ties to Google Search, what does Firefox have? A search bar that let's you choose your search engine on the fly!  How cool is that?  Not only can you choose from the big three search engines, you can also search Amazon, Twitter, eBay and Wikipedia.  Yay!  Being independent does have it's advantages, and eliminating the bias' of the corporate conglomerate is huge.  There is also a status bar at the bottom for quick connection to your downloads, bookmarks, history, and more.  Even with all the good there is a little bad.  The most common reported issue seems to be from web sites that use Flash Player.  See the Firefox support page for possible fixes.  Overall I really enjoy Firefox using it at least 50% of the time for web browsing.

Internet Explorer (IE) was first release in 1995 with Windows 95.  Because it's bundled with Windows, IE is the most widely distributed browser in the world, and arguably the most popular in North America.  Currently using the Trident engine first released in 1997 and Chakra released in IE 9.

With the release of Version 10, IE has gained some market share the past 12 months, while Chrome and Firefox are declining some.  This vague opinion was reflected on 2 notable websites tracking browser use worldwide.  One showed Chrome in the lead, the other showed IE in the lead, both showed Firefox in third, both showed IE gaining and the others declining.  Personal opinions are even farther apart, and for this reason I won't get into debates on which one performs better or is the most popular.  As mentioned in the introduction, its a subjective debate.

Many think the only reason IE is still competing in the browser wars is because its so widely distributed.  The latest version however has demonstrated IE can be what it should be, more stable, secure and faster then previous versions.  The interface is clean, Chrome like, with minimal menus, a clean simple appearance and inconspicuous icons for quick access to favorites, settings and the home page.  Press the ALT key to reveal the neatly hidden traditional menus.  If you're a traditionalist, use Alt to access the View menu, Toolbars, where you can turn on the hidden traditional toolbar appearance.  IE needs improvements with tab sandboxing, the ability to control crashes by isolating them to the tab instead of crashing the entire browser.  IE is lagging behind Chrome and Firefox in the add-on/extension realm but significant improvements have been made.  Using the tracking protection add-on will help prevent third parties from gleaning information about your browsing habits.

IE does offer some useful utilities, like the performance dialog for add-ons.  If the browser speed is being impacted by add-ons, a message pops up.  Open the the Choose Add-ons window to see what is slowing the browser and make changes.  Security is strong with Tracking Protection and Smartscreen Filter.  Overall the improvements in IE 10 make it a contender again, at least for now.  

Opera, was released in 1996 and is current the 2nd most popular mobile browser.  Opera has been credited with originating many features, like their Speed Dial, that other web browsers have adopted under a different name.   Opera started out using their own engine called Presto until version 15 when they began using Google's Blink to provide the browsers more power and options.

Watch out big three, Opera is edging in with version 18.  Adding Firefox's Pinned Tabs, and the multi-search engine select feature.  All the browsers allow searching from the address bar, however unlike Firefox which offers a separate search box to select different search engines, Opera incorporates this ability into the address bar.  Simply type a search term and the address bar expands by dropping down with suggestions.  At the lower right edge of the drop down list are the optional search engines Google, Yahoo, Bing, Amazon and Wiki.  Who's borrowing who's ideas now?  

Has Opera become an industry follower instead of leader?  Opera is following Firefox's features and using Google's Chromium/Blink 32 engine. Sounds like they are struggling to keep up.  Many Opera users are frustrated with how recent versions of Opera manages favorites/bookmarks compared to Opera 12.  The developers have incorporated a method to import bookmarks from versions prior to 15.  They also added a feature called the Quick Access Bar (favorites bar).  Turning on the Quick Access Bar requires several steps.  At first I didn't understand why, then I started thinking they want users to get used to using Speed Dial instead of the traditional favorites.  Opera does provide a lot of features and settings, however trying to learn or find them is challenging.  On a more positive note Opera Speed Dial is an innovative take on defining how favorites should be managed.  Given a fair chance I think Speed Dial adds a modern casual yet deceivingly powerful take on web browsing.

Update: Opera 19 has been released as stable.  Major changes include updating the Quick Access Bar to a Bookmarks bar (symantecs). Turning on the Bookarks Bar from the settings menu is much easier than the hoops I had to jump through to turn on the Quick Access Bar.   Another new feature is the ability to make any image a browser wallpaper.   A lot of work has been done with extensions with more than 700 now available.  For Advanced User's more flexability and features have been added to the Opera Cabinet. Besides the additional features, Opera has been working diligently to fix bugs and glitches as demonstrated by the change log for version 19.  This version should offer allot more stability.  I also noticed some performance enhancements in this version of Opera. Version 20 should be arriving soon and hopefully bringing with it enough changes to warrant a full review.

I feel Opera is a refreshing browser.  It's fast and efficient, providing tools to optimize a true web "browsing" experience.  Using the Speed Dial and Stash features provides a different yet unique prospective.  After the initial installation Opera opens with two tabs, Speed Dial and Welcome to Opera.  The welcome doesn't provide any guidance as such.  It's more of a road map to the essential icons and features of the browser.  For additional detail click the "help is here" hyperlink.  Overall Opera doesn't quite hold up to the big three in complexity or bells and whistles.  However it does contend with them overall in essential features making it a Mega Browser.

Maxthon was released in 2003, known previously as MyIE.   In 2010 Maxthon released a browser for Android.  Two years later they introduced a Mac, and iOS version.   Maxthon uses Trident and Webkit engines. This combination creates a dual display engine for more website compatibility.  

Why Maxthon?  This browser is light and fast with a lot of features that don't bloat the browser's performance.  Many features that are add-ons or extensions with the other browsers are developed as part of the browser, so they are better integrated.  Maxthon also has some distinctive features like the split screen view.  With this feature two tabs can be viewed side by side.  The interface has semi transparent skins that blends the edges of the interface so they aren't distracting making the web page being viewed the star of attention.

Maxthon's claim to fame is cloud syncing between devices.  Create a free account with Maxthon and take advantage of it's many features to share data between a computer and cell phone or tablet.  The tabs viewed on the PC can be viewed on a cell phone or tablet.  Files can be downloaded to the cloud to share between devices.  The Cloud Push feature will send a web page to another device.  Using the share with friends a web page can be pushed to others via e-mail.  

Other built in features include Resource Sniffer which downloads video, music and pictures from the web page.  Like downloading YouTube videos?  You don't need a third party utility with Maxthon, you can do it from the browser with Resource Sniffer.  Maxthon has many features, but one of my favorites is Night Mode.  The browser will change to colors that are more suitable for night viewing.  Choose the default or customize from a palate of colors.  Night Mode also has an automated feature that lets you set the time of day or night you want modes to automatically switch.

Whether you use the cloud to share information between devices or simply want a browser packed full of usable features that won't slow the browser performance, Maxthon is worth checking out.

Sleipnir 5 is truly the unique browser in the Mega class.  While Maxthon brought unique designs from China, Sleipnir (pronounced slay-p-near), offers unique ideas from Japan.  That's right, a browser developed in Japan using a name based on Norse mythology.  There is nothing mythical about this browser based on Google's Blink engine, Sleipnir seeks to provide a "luxury" browsing experience by reinventing the browser UI and quality of text.  Released in 2004, Sleipnir was stolen, so the developers had to start over with version 2.  The original English versions were launched in Europe around 2010. Sleipnir supports Windows/Mac PCs, iphone/ipad, Android and Windows phone.  Sleipnir 5 does pass the Acid 3 test and HTML5 test.

The tabs are the focal point of the toolbar displaying a thumbnail image.  Menus are minimal on the left corner while the former address bar now called a portal field is on the far right.  Sleipnir believes the long address bar is a thing of the past.  Most people browse the Internet using search terms or hyperlinks not typing web address.  The portal field serves the same function as most address bars being used for searching or entering web address, however it's not the focal point of the toolbar.  Doesn't the term "portal field" just make sense?  It somewhat grows on you when you think about it.  A web browser is a portal to the Internet.

Using mouse gestures to navigate between pages in Sleipnir is a different experience than other browsers.  Using mouse gestures in Maxthon or Opera will essentially navigate the history of an open tab, in Sleipnir mouse gestures navigates between the open tabs like changing views in a smart phone.  Speaking of smart phones, Sleipnir is another web browser on the trend of blending their PC browser to emulate smart phone and tablet browsing.  It also supports touch screen PC displays.  My biggest complain about Sleipnir is their lack of proper support.  Their website lacks a lot of information and it could be because translating the browser into an English version is their latest challenge.  Still if you're looking for something truly new in a web browsing experience I think Sleipnir is worth trying.
 


Related Products and Links

Quick Selection Guide

Google Chrome
5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Supports multiple operating systems, frequent & silent updates, built-in flash and pdf viewer, large selection of extensions, cloud printing,
Getting slower, newer version has some backward software compatibility, still runs 32 bit.
http://www.google.com/chrome
31.0.1650.57
Online Installer: 576 KB (Offline Installer: 33.37 MB, download link below)
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available but not from the developer.
Windows, Linux, Mac OS X
Mozilla Firefox
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Simplified interface, competitively fast, broad cross platform support, very secure, sync & panoramas, thousands of add-ons, excellent website compatibility, large developer community
Doesn't play well with Adobe Flash Player.
http://www.mozilla.org/
27.01
23 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows, Mac, Linux
Internet Explorer
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Amazing speed, minimalistic interface, pinned sites, improved web standard compliance, download manager with malware protection, tracking protection, H/W acceleration, good OS integration
Tab handling not as good as others, limited extension support, not as cloud friendly, no cross platform syncing, for MS-Windows only.
10.0.9200.16521
827 KB Win32.exe installer
32 and 64 bit versions available
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 7 and 8
Opera
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Fast, feature rich, cross platform support, tab stacking, web standard compliant, built in mail & torrent client, extension & themes support, visual tabs & mouse gestures, Opera turbo, account syncing
Limited Extension gallery, key features layered in extensive menus
http://www.opera.com/
19.0.1326.63
34 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows, Mac, Linux
Maxthon
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Small footprint, fast, true cloud sync across devices, split screen view, custom skins, cloud push, cloud download, resource sniffer.
Inadequate tab functions. The core is still lagging some technologies of bigger browsers.
http://www.maxthon.com/
http://www.maxthon.com/
4.1.3.2000
1.74 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available but not from the developer.
Windows 7, 8, OSX
Sleipnir 5
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Innovative, sleek, cross-platform, tab thumbnails, unique designs
poor support
5.0.1.4000
43 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows or Mac OSx. See Additional Information Below.

version v 5.0.1 | Vista / 7 / 8, Version 4.3.2 | For OS X 10.6 or later
Available for Mac/Android/Windows mobile devices.

Editor

Thank you for reading this article. If you think, it could be improved or your favourite Web Browser is not present in the article please do post your feedback and suggestions in the comments section below. Also don't forget to rate this article yes

This software review is copy-edited by Victor Laurie. Please help edit and improve this article by clicking here.

You are welcome to join the discussion in our forum here
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Comments

by MrWhite on 1. July 2013 - 18:57  (108887)

I'm not sure yet, and frankly I'd rather not be too specific since it might come across as favouritism for a competitor, given my above appreciation of the recent problems with Firefox, the browser I've been using for years and which I used to be a big fan of.

I will just say that it won't be any of the two major competitors, in both cases because of what companies they are owned by, given my appreciation of their actions and stance on privacy and individual rights.

I still need to do some testing, but I expect it will be one of the relatively less known browsers (I will make sure to check out the ones you mentioned, too) - in my experience, the good, no frills, transparent, safe, fast and nimble software is the one coming from small or independent groups of people (before they become too big for their own good and the good of their users).

by supanut on 1. July 2013 - 13:15  (108877)

I would agree on those points, but I think the reason for Firefox's slow startup is because it have to load its components, while with IE some components of the browser is already loaded along with Windows.
Now I'm using IE, and I like its Windows intigration features, but too bad few sites took advantage of it.
I do still like Firefox for its customization and no rebooting the system when installing, and also of its huge add on directory, and also its rapid development cycle compared to that of IE.
Also, IE have 1 very annoying problem, and that is it loads some unnecessary iFrames and adds, even with the 'do not track' feature enabled, while Firefox didn't and so thus loads a bit faster.

by Panzer on 18. June 2013 - 8:57  (108575)

"... We See In Every Direction is a Web browser for collaborative, synchronized surfing ... Users can type, click and change URLs in real time together; they can jockey for control of the browser – akin to fighting for the TV remote – or choose to sit back and let their friends take care of the surfing ...":
http://ineverydirection.net/

by MidnightCowboy on 1. May 2013 - 11:33  (107405)

Dedoimedo's opinion of Yandex here:

http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/yandex-browser.html

by crombierob on 4. April 2013 - 12:35  (106816)

Here is another tweak you can do in about:config
I love the little Google Search box that shows top right.
(PS You can also have choices of search engines for that box)
If you highlight some text and drag it to there, then it does a Google search for you.
What I don’t like (HATE), is that it clobbers your current Tab.
If you know of anyone who likes that, post their address, and I will get them removed from the gene pool.
If you wish to change that behavior, and get the search results into a new Tab, then go into about:config and go to -
browser.search.openintab
It probably is showing False, so double click the line to change it to True

by Juxxize on 5. April 2013 - 9:50  (106833)

yes a good about config tweak , i have my Firefox set to open in new tab as-well

by crombierob on 3. April 2013 - 13:36  (106773)

I notice that I have Flashblock Add-In, so that may be why my Flash's don't play automatically ?
But I believe in my other PCs, they too do not play automatically, and I suspect that NoScript is preventing auto play.
Could I be correct ?
Rob
PS Everyone should be using noScript.

by bo.elam on 4. April 2013 - 22:16  (106825)

NoScript blocks flash if you have it set that way in Options>Embeddings>Forbid Adobe flash. If that option is ticked, flash content wont play unless you allow the page by whitelisting it or allowing the page temporarily.

Even if you don't have that setting ticked, sites with flash content might require you to allow scripts in order for the videos to be displayed. For example, if you like to watch a Youtube video, the video wont play unless you allow youtube.com.

Bo

by Anupam on 3. April 2013 - 14:50  (106778)

Of course, if you have FlashBlock installed, it won't allow flash to play automatically :D. But, with latest versions of Firefox, you do not actually need FlashBlock, as the feature is now inbuilt in Firefox. You just have to turn that feature on via about:config. Look for plugins.click_to_play, and set it to true from false by double clicking on it.

Yes, NoScript might block flash too sometimes, if it's being done via a script.

by supanut on 3. April 2013 - 12:04  (106768)

Using Firefox for about 3-4 years now, very good.
But, what really disappointed me is that Firefox always hang when Flash contents are loaded. Flashblock can no longer block Youtube on latest Firefox 21 beta.
Internet Explorer is a very good option, with its deep integration with Windows 7, and is the first browser that I had ever used and know, and seems most friendly with screen readers.
But, IE has limited number of add ons, and I need to use third-party programs to back up my profile!
Chrome looks interesting, but screen reader, particularly Jaws, does not work too well with it, but at least it does not hang when Flash contents are loaded, and like FF it has dozens of extensions, the combined address and search box is very cool (IE has it too), the sync feature rocks, and starts up very fast.
Now I don't know whether to remain using Firefox or go back to IE. I will have to leave Chrome out until screen reader support has improved.

by Anupam on 3. April 2013 - 12:58  (106771)

supanut, Firefox has the feature to block flash and java, but it's kinda hidden. It's been there since a few versions. To turn that feature on, open about:config, and search for string plugins.click_to_play. Toggle the value from false to true. Flash content will not load up automatically now.

by supanut on 3. April 2013 - 15:53  (106780)

Oh wow, it worked! Thanks very much for this tip! I didn't even know that this feature was there!
Mozilla should make it visible to normal users though, since normal users would probably not bother with about:config thing; rather, they will probably look under Firefox options window.

by Anupam on 3. April 2013 - 17:02  (106781)

Welcome :). Well, if you follow the changelogs of new releases, you will know what's new. We also discuss about the new releases in the forum.

Maybe they will make it as an option in later releases, who knows.

by Joe A.TT on 3. April 2013 - 22:37  (106793)

Anupam, I've tried looking for this "about:config" in FireFox and can't seem to find it. I've clicked on the small brown "FireFox" rectangle with the downward-pointing triangle - not there. I've hit "Alt" on my keyboard to bring up the hidden menu bar - not there. I'm puzzled. What am I missing? Could you be more specific about where to look?

(BTW, I'm still on v19.0.2 - haven't upgraded to v20 yet).

by Anupam on 3. April 2013 - 22:44  (106794)

Joe, you have to enter about:config in the address bar :). There, it will show a list of all hidden configurations. Search for the string via the search box that I told above. Double click to toggle the value.

Pay attention to the warning that comes when you type about:config and hit enter. Keep track of what you changed.

by Joe A.TT on 3. April 2013 - 22:56  (106795)

Thanks Anupam! That did it. [You live and learn all the time :),even at the expense of looking like a fool sometimes, lol.]

by Anupam on 3. April 2013 - 23:03  (106796)

Pleasure :). And don't worry about how you learn it, but learning is important :).

by Juxxize on 4. April 2013 - 9:28  (106809)

the about:config feature in Firefox is one of it's really great features and it reduces the need for some add-ons , like home page redirect and flash block like Anupam said.

by Joe A.TT on 4. April 2013 - 14:51  (106818)

Thanks Juxxize. That's certainly a big plus. I'll check it out.

by ixan on 21. March 2013 - 14:07  (106427)

I have used Chrome since the beginning. It was by far the fastest browser, but now I find it extremely slow in initial opening. It can take as long as booting up the machine, a couple of minutes. I have tried disabling all extensions and having only one tab open but it is still very slow. If it wasn't for all the extensions and the fact I have four machines which need to be synchronised I would have tried another browser long ago.

btw the best browser since 2002, it still has features like the awesome link list that no other browser does, is morequick.com's Greenbrowser. Unfortunately it isn't fast as it's built on IE.

by George.J on 21. March 2013 - 15:56  (106430)

1. Check if any security software is interacting with the browser, and try disabling them (eg. firewall, antivirus).

2. If Chrome was still slow to startup after disabling the extensions, the next thing to do is to try disabling plugins. Type "about:plugins" in the address bar and disable all of them and try restarting the browser again. Then enable each plugin one by one, until you find which plugin was causing the problem.

3. Also try cleaning your browsing data, history etc. It might help sometimes.

4. Uninstall the browser completely and Re-install again, or try switching to another version.

by crombierob on 18. March 2013 - 6:41  (106338)

Comodo now has a free version of FF
It is virtually identical to FF, plus has some (optional) extra Comodo security.
AND during Install, you can tick a checkbox to make it PORTABLE.
Life does not get much better than that (but see PS)
I would post a link, but it is a mile long. Google for 'Comodo IceDragon'

Rob

PS I believe everything is stored in your chosen folder (no Reg entries, and profile is in a sub folder), so perhaps multiple copies is possible (You can be sure that I will be trying that out, soon.)

PPS Chrome lacks NoScript
Chrome has nearly frozen my PC twice (auto uploading something in the background)
Chrome will never darken my 'PC Door Step' again

by crombierob on 3. April 2013 - 13:44  (106775)

Reporting back on IceDragon (Comodo's)
You can have as many portable folders as you like (I now do)
They do not interfere with each other, provided you only run one at a time.

by George.J on 18. March 2013 - 8:12  (106343)

Chrome has various other extensions that works just like NoScript.

These are ScriptNo, ScriptSafe, NotScripts

If Chrome seems to freeze your PC, try disabling extensions to see if that's what is causing the problem.

by MidnightCowboy on 18. March 2013 - 8:09  (106341)
by fca on 13. March 2013 - 8:48  (106203)

Don't understand why Google Chrome has been given top marks, given what I've read about Chrome being a security risk because Google is tracking & recording everything the user does online. Just do a search -- Google Chrome invasive OR invading privacy -- & you see many articles expressing concern. Can anyone please comment on that. Also, how do you rate SRWare Iron browser. It is based on Chrome, but with "massively modified source" to remove the privacy robbing features built into a full version of Chrome from Google.

by George.J on 14. March 2013 - 7:47  (106233)

Privacy and Security are two different facets in a browser, and they aren't related. Chrome is one of the most secure browsers out there. Sandboxing, Built-in Flash and PDF Viewers with critical auto-update feature, Safe browsing technology to name a few. Add to that there are a number of extensions available at Chrome store to improve security beyond your imagination.

On the other hand, there have been many conspiracy theories against privacy of the browser. To an average user who's simply surfing around the web and cliking on links, there are wouldn't be any privacy problems, and in fact there is only limited communication b/w Chrome and Google.com. Read here: Preventing paranoia

Browsing the web without sharing *any* information is a task which is nearly impossible in most of the cases. Google Search became the ultimate source of information around the web due to a reason, and there is certainly a 'Give and Take' policy concerning everything that's useful. For instance, I don't mind when the Search tries to correct my mispelled word to match it with their database to give better/suitable results.

Most of the privacy related options in the browser can be controlled and toggled from Under the Hood, and this article shows you how: Optimizing Chrome for better privacy

Changing your default search engine from Google to an alternative like DuckDuckGo or Ixquick would relieve most of your privacy concern, while still getting the best bits of the browser.

by ichabod on 7. March 2013 - 17:15  (106025)

George, do you have an update about Safari and the advisability of using it on Windows?

by George.J on 14. March 2013 - 7:59  (106234)

The browser hasn't been updated for a long time since my last review, and could you be more specific as to what you need advice on?

by tsndnm on 4. February 2013 - 18:00  (105095)

Just came across an(other) open source browser (it is still in beta, and appears to be actively developed)

https://opensource.conformal.com/wiki/xombrero

as per their homepage

xombrero is a minimalist web browser with sophisticated security features designed-in, rather than through an add-on after-the-fact. In particular, it provides both persistent and per-session controls for scripts and cookies, making it easy to thwart tracking and scripting attacks.

Hope it is worth your time...

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