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 rudyg on 2. October 2012 - 9:11  (100101)

I was reading an article concerning web browsers usage of system resources. I think you will find this article useful.

http://www.raymond.cc/blog/battle-of-the-browsers-in-cpu-and-memory-usage/

by D.Smithee (not verified) on 21. October 2012 - 7:42  (101130)

Thanks for this, Rudy--I was getting sick of Chrome and Firefox using up 50% of my usable RAM with three tabs open. Kudos on doing the research for us.

by George.J on 3. October 2012 - 7:38  (100160)

Thanks that's an amazing resource. I wonder why the system config specs weren't mentioned in the article but from the looks of it, he have run the tests on a system having >1GB RAM. But the results may not be universal. Because memory usage of browsers varies for different computer specs but memory efficiency remains the same.

For example, if you run a similar test on a system with 256MB RAM you will get totally different result. Most of the *lighter* browsers weren't included in that test.

by CASD57 (not verified) on 16. September 2012 - 15:29  (99331)

I'm in the process of trying every "Light on resource" QTWebkit type browser that I can find for windows, So far Qupzilla is working the best for me..
Like the speed dial because that I don't open as many tabs on startup, normal I had 14 or more..but with the speed dial I only open 5-6..
Also I leave my browser on all day and most of the others would be processor up to 100% after a few hours..(or sooner)

Opera was my favorite but I got tired of hearing my computer working so hard

Chrome and all the other variations seem to be boggy/slow on opening pages

FireFox another resource hog..

QTWeb is ok but doesn't have speed dial and still uses more ram then Qupzilla

Avant loses my startup tabs

Dooble Browser a little to basic

Lunascape6 seems to be trying to do to much and it's slow at responding and freezes up alot

Apple Safari...wow not ready for prime time..

Comet Bird is ok compared to FF but still after awhile starts to use up alot of ram
Enigma browser.. is ok but I think Slim Browser is better

Slim Browser is Fine if you want a Trident browser..

Slim Boat..still alittle buggy

Maxthon3 ok but if you check the box that opens tabs at the end your startup tabs will open in reverse one time and the next time in the right order,,back and forth everytime you startup..to fix it you have to check the box to open new tabs next to current ..this bugs me..

Sea Monkey.. can't seem to find/import bookmarks

Pale Moon..use to like it but it got to it wouldn't work right on my computer ??

Sleipnier.. Still trying to work with it..seems like it's trying to hard to do everything..

My Computer:
AMD processor
4gig ram
120g harddrive with a 320g external hard drive

by George.J on 16. September 2012 - 18:36  (99340)

Wow, that's a lot of browsers you're testing. :) You missed K-Meleon though.

But I'm thinking if you've 4GB RAM why use "lightweight" browsers mentioned here against the mainstream ones?

by CASD57 (not verified) on 16. September 2012 - 19:05  (99342)

Sorry I used to use K-Meleon but got tired of it not always opening certain web pages..tried the beta 1.7? and it just crashes alot..

by George.J on 16. September 2012 - 19:34  (99344)

Version 1.7 is still in early alpha from the last I've heard of it, and it's not even usable for daily chores. Although 1.6 beta 2 seems to be great (Prerequisite: Microsot Visual C++ 2005 2.5MB). If pages aren't rendering properly try switching user agent strings which is available within the Tools menu, or you may tinker a few settings. Here's a list of user agent strings . I use ones for Chrome, Firefox and Opera alternatively.

by CASD57 (not verified) on 16. September 2012 - 19:53  (99347)

Yes 1.6 is more usable..
My small reviews is based on plug and play..What's fits my needs and is visual appealing without doing any code adjustments..
I do like K-Meleon and I wish it was still being updated, it is a fast browser

by CASD57 (not verified) on 16. September 2012 - 20:43  (99349)

Also

I'm trying out World Chrome from the makers of The World Browser..
It addresses somethings that bugs me about Google Chrome and one is the tabs on top...I hate that about chrome..
With World Chrome the tabs are like other browsers under the address bar..
also seems lighter then Chrome but still heavier the Qupzilla.. I'll use it for a couple of days and I'll know more

by Anupam on 16. September 2012 - 18:25  (99339)

Qupzilla is quite a good browser... one of the qtweb based browsers which is impressive. It has some quirks too, but it's still very good. We have discussed it in the forum here :

http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/internet-web-apps-and-net...

Qtweb was a browser with potential, but sadly, it does not seem to be in development anymore, or even if it's in development, it's too slow.

SlimBoat impressed quite a lot, and it has loads of features. Discussion on forum here :

http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/internet-web-apps-and-net...

It's an impressive browser, but Qupzilla is quicker to startup, and feels lighter.

SlimBoat and Qupzilla are by far the best of the lot, and ones to watch out for. Hope they develop them into great browsers.

by a-l-e-x on 22. May 2013 - 23:13  (107975)

I tested all of these and a few others to boot, and the ones I liked the most were Midori, Qupzilla and Slimboat. I dont care about flash since I loathe adobe in every way, so that was of no concern to me. I liked how Midori handled Java much better than Slimboat, Slimboat crashes java applets like yahoo pool. Plus Slimboat tends to crash after a few hours of usage and also has some lag. Better than the usual browsers though. Qupzilla might be the best of all worlds though, it's very lightweight, has a fast turnaround rate (new versions every couple weeks), has a fast and responsive bug reporting system, supports Flash and Java well (though cpu usage is around 20 percent in yahoo pool vs 7 percent with Midori, both are way better than Slimboat which crashes on it.) All three are now compatible with yahoo and gmail and twitter and facebook. Any browsers lighter than these do not work well- qtwebbrowser does not support java at all and konqueror does not support direct messaging in twitter.

by alexxx46 on 15. July 2012 - 21:19  (96217)

The good of QtBrowser: tiny, quick and portable.
The bad: Java, Unicode and Flash problems. Not sure it is secure enough.
Overall: deleting from my computer.

by Scorpiorajkumar (not verified) on 15. June 2012 - 6:02  (94902)

Anyone tried Internet Surfboard and Wipeout Browser?.How is it? How is the performance of these browsers on Old systems ?

by George.J on 15. June 2012 - 7:33  (94907)

Internet Surfboard Browser is yet another browser based on QtWebKit. It seems like more and more browsers are using QtWebKit module. The fact remains that it doesn't offer anything new than other QtWebKit based browsers, other than that it doesn't leave history. Infact both the browsers that you mentioned here, focusses on privacy. Wipeout destroys any traces on exit by clearing out History, Cookies, Temporary Internet Files, Index.dat and Flash cookies. Whereas Internet Surfboard Browser claims that it doesn't leave any history on the hard disk while browsing. There's not even a history menu to clear the history. I'm not sure how could they ever do it, and I'll need to test the validity of their statement.

by Tbriggs (not verified) on 15. June 2012 - 16:03  (94925)

OK so is there any advantage to these browsers over just usiing Private Browsing mode in FF or IE9?

by George.J on 24. June 2012 - 12:00  (95305)

Private Browsing mode is a great way to hide all traces of your browsing activites. Wipeout takes it to the next level, by providing Private Browsing every single time when you browse. So there's no question of forgetting to turn on Private Browsing mode or surfing in a non private tab by mistake.

Secondly, extensions can be another problem that's beyond the control of Private browsing mode, because certain extensions may save history of your activities and we don't know how they handle with the personal data. So you'll also have to make sure that extensions are turned off. Chrome and IE does a good job in disabling extensions by default whereas Firefox doesn't. Also IE partially writes contents to index.dat file which could be crucial. Wipeout doesnt face this problem.

Finally when you create bookmarks in private browsing mode they don't get deleted when you exit private browsing. You're safe when using Wipeout here.

by Scorpiorajkumar (not verified) on 16. June 2012 - 6:43  (94933)

I am not entirely sure of the benefits, but Firefox has recently been taking lot of resources and It is not the same Firefox as before. Maybe you should try the new Opera 12 or Chromium or Seamonkey(which is secure and faster than firefox)

by Anupam on 16. June 2012 - 6:51  (94936)

I disagree with the statement about Firefox. I haven't experienced any big memory hogging issues with Firefox. In fact, I am running the latest version without any problem on my old P-III machine with 512 MB RAM. On any newer machine, it should run without any problems at all.

by Luchsen (not verified) on 23. June 2012 - 14:14  (95267)

Just because you are a lucky guy, you can't just disagree. Firefox is always over 300MB RAM for me, and that's an absolute no-go on available 512MB RAM (I have that much, too). While my PC is lagging because of Firefox, I'm always sitting here remembering the times when I had double the sites open and half the RAM used...

Just yesterday I got the update to version 13 and the respective info site with a video that wanted to show me how I will be surfing faster now, and you know what? The video lagged totally...

by Scorpiorajkumar (not verified) on 23. June 2012 - 14:44  (95271)

Hi Luchsen

Does Pale Moon work in your system?

I am using Opera 12,Seamonkey 2.10.1,Chromium 21.0.1181.0 along with Chromium Auto-Updater 1.10 by Mulder

by Scorpiorajkumar (not verified) on 16. June 2012 - 6:45  (94934)

Tbriggs..I think you should try out Pale Moon Browser :)instead of Firefox :)

by scorpiorajkumar (not verified) on 15. June 2012 - 7:55  (94910)

which are the best QtWebKit based browsers available as of now ?

I know there is Qtweb, Qupzilla, Arora.Anything apart from these 3. Qupzilla is not working on my system.I checked that already.

In Qtweb, when you open a image, on the right hand side,I get to see the Google Image property page and I am not sure how to disable it

Can you please suggest me more names of other QtWebKit based browsers

Thanks

by George.J on 24. June 2012 - 12:17  (95307)

What you mean Qupzilla is not working on your system? Could you please explain if you had any error messages when installing or what else? Also there is a portable version available at their website http://www.qupzilla.com/download . Choose your O.S and select Portable Edition.

There's nothing such as best QtWebKit browser, it actually depends on your preference. Other than that you've mentioned, Slimboat is another QtWebKit based browser.

It's normal that you'll see image properties when you open an image from Google Images on any browser. The properties page disappears once you click on Full-size image.

by Scorpiorajkumar on 24. June 2012 - 13:50  (95309)

Hi George

I had downloaded the portable version and I got the "application failed to start error message" and I got in touch with the Qupzilla team. It seems I have to install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributables in order for the portable version to work.

Otherwise, install normal QupZilla version

by George.J on 24. June 2012 - 14:25  (95311)

Oh, the package is just 2MB and I normally have it installed on all my systems. Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package

by Scorpiorajkumar on 24. June 2012 - 14:56  (95314)

I am having Windows XP SP3 and this link which you have provided is for Windows XP SP4.

I would like to know whether we can get this Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package for Windows XP SP3 as a zip file.

I also would like to know whether the Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package will create problems/errors for my system.What exactly is the use of these files?

by George.J on 24. June 2012 - 16:35  (95317)

WinXP SP3 is the last service pack for XP, there is no SP4!
These are the supported O.S
-Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows XP

The package is required to run any software that is developed using Visual C++.

by Scorpiorajkumar on 24. June 2012 - 16:46  (95318)

any chance of getting those Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package files as zip files

by scorpiorajkumar (not verified) on 15. June 2012 - 7:46  (94909)

hmmm...ok..Have you personally tried using Wipeout?

When we download the file, we get only the application wipeout.exe in the system.I just want to check the browser regarding speed and stability and want to know whether it is safe to work on this browser.

I am using Opera 12 as of now :).Speed has improved in Opera :)..thumbs up:)

by George.J on 24. June 2012 - 12:04  (95306)

Yes, Wipeout only consists of a exe file and is fairly stable. Its absolutely safe when you are using Wipeout and not even forensic experts could determine your activity history ;-)

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