When you think “web browser”, the chances are that Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer come to mind. These five are always compared, but they aren’t the only browsers out there. There are alternative web browsers for gamers, for playing media, and for the online security.
Great alternative browsers exist that are faster than Firefox and Chrome for several operating systems. We’ve created an extensive list of 22 web browsers having various features that make them stand out from the crowd. Below you’ll see the list and then I’ll walk you through needed details about them.
Updated January 2017!
Alternative Web Browsers
- Avant Browser
- Comodo (Dragon/Ice Dragon)
- Coowon Browser
- Dooble Browser
- Lunascape Browser
- Project Maelstrom
Avant Browser is an ultra-fast web browser with a user-friendly interface. One feature that makes it stand out are its three rendering engines – Trident, Gecko, and Webkit. These are the engines behind popular browsers Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google Chrome (respectively). Users can select which engine they prefer, and switch whenever they cannot render a webpage.
And with the multiprocessing feature, one failed tabbed won’t freeze the entire browser. Avant Browser comes with a video sniffer, download accelerator, ad blocker, and flash animation filter. Browsing with Avant is private, and uses little memory and CPU. Most importantly, Avant Browser is free in price and promises to be free of malware.
Beamrise is a unique alternative web browser for social network users. The browser merges chatting and browsing into one experience. The sidecar chat connects with services like Facebook, Skype, and Google Chat. Beamrise features visual bookmarks, showing screencaps of web pages instead of just text.
Video chat is built into the browser, as well as emoticons and animations. And Beamrise lets users send free texts powered by Android. While Beamrise is free, it only functions on Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems. For 7 and 8 users, it surely is one excellent alternative web browsers for windows.
BlackHawk is a user-friendly, simple web browser. It features the speed of Chrome and the functionality of Firefox, packed into one. The browser has its very own themes to choose from, as well as a handful of extensions. It is a decent alternative browser for users who love Firefox or Chrome – but want a less bloated browser. BlackHawk is free, though the company also offers anti-virus and security products for sale.
Browzar is dedicated to total browsing privacy. This web browser does not save cookies, history, temporary files, passwords, or cache. Browzar cleans up all data once closed and does not require installation. Since Browzar is portable, users can download it and carry it on a USB drive.
It is a quick, secure alternative for banking and cloud applications. And at 222 KB, it is one of the smallest and lightest browsers you will ever download. Browzar is free and designed with Windows 7 operating systems and lower in mind. But it proved functional on my Windows 10 Home PC, give it a go.
Citrio is a fast and lightweight web browser based off of Chromium. Because of this, the layout and functionality are like Google Chrome, but more straightforward. Citrio features a built-in download manager with a download accelerator to speed things up. It also has an integrated torrent client, eliminating the need for extra software.
And with Citrio’s video downloader, no additional converters or extensions are required. But Citrio does support add-ons and extensions. Citrio comes with malware and phishing protection and doesn’t save your personal information. Citrio free and available for both Windows and Mac.
Comodo (Dragon/Ice Dragon)
Comodo offers antivirus and internet security programs for both home and business. They have several free solutions available, including secure web browsers. Comodo Dragon is based on Chromium, while Comodo IceDragon is based on Firefox. Both browsers are fast, secure, and come with built-in Comodo security.
Comodo Dragon is compatible with Chrome addons – Comodo IceDragon is compatible with Firefox plugins. Like other privacy browsers, Comodo does not track activity and stops cookies. Both browsers are compatible with Windows and free to download. Like Browzar and Citrio, Comodo is pretty much a go-to browser for security conscious folks!
Coowon is a web browser made with web gamers in mind. It is based off of Google Chrome and is compatible with Chrome’s addons. Coowon supports mouse gestures, dragging to go, double clicking to close tabs and more. Gaming features include game speed control, game botting, and record and play. Coowon also has gamepad support so that users can map buttons to keyboard keys. Coowon is free and available for both Windows and Mac.
Dooble is an open source web browser with a focus on privacy. It features encryption, content blocking, third-party blocking exceptions, private browsing, and more. Dooble comes with both a file manager and download manager. Dooble is free and compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, OS/2, and FreeBSD.
Epic is a Chromium-powered browser dedicated to protecting privacy. Epic doesn’t save any information – no history, cookies, passwords, cache, autofill, nothing. Closing Epic deletes databases, preferences, local storage, sessions data, and much more.
The browser comes with ad and tracker blocking, as well as a one-click encrypted proxy. With this proxy, users can access blocked sites from anywhere in the world. Epic is a free browser that works with Windows and OS X operating systems.
Like Avant, Lunascape uses three rendering engines – Trident, Gecko, and Webkit. Unique features include highlighted search, tab lock and shift lock, cascade view, and backups. Lunascape supports mouse gestures, skins, and bookmark synchronisation with either iLunascape for FirefoxSync.
The browser is compatible with Internet Explorer and Firefox addons, as well as Lunascape addons. And Lunascape deletes personal data upon exiting the browser. Lunascape is a free browser available for Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android.
Maxthon is a cloud-powered web browser that is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Linux. Maxthon uses two engines – Trident and Webkit. The browser is lightning fast, and syncs user data to cloud so users can access it anywhere. Maxthon’s built-in security blocks malicious websites and phishing attempts.
Private browsing sessions do not track user data and Adblock Plus removes ads and popups. And extensions are available for the Windows and Mac versions. The download is free on all devices, and also features a portable download for USB drives – yet another reason why Maxthon is among the well-worth alternative web browsers.
Midori is a lightweight, fast, and free web browser that revolves around privacy. Like Google Chrome, it runs on the Webkit rendering engine, resulting in a similar layout. It features a built-in downloader and spell checker.
The browser lets users save bookmarks, RSS feeds and customise privacy settings. It may be simple, but Midori is also fast, with little bloat. Midori is free and available for Windows, with a special portable version. But the browser also has downloads for elementary, Ubuntu, Fedora, and more.
NetGroove is a tabbed browser based on the Internet Explorer engine. It is portable, meaning it requires no installation and works on a USB drive. It has basic browser functions – favourite, a links toolbar, and custom home page. This is convenient on public computers to safeguard your data and browsing history. NetGroove is freeware and functions on Windows systems.
Project Maelstrom is a torrent-based browser that runs on the Blink engine. It runs on a distributed web model by receiving web content from peer networks instead of servers. That way, a server going down will not remove content, because other people share it.
The browser is based on Chromium, and compatible with Chrome’s extensions. But Project Maelstrom is still in beta, and not every website supports this technology. It is currently available for Windows, with Mac support coming soon.
QupZilla is a lightweight and fast QtWebEngine browser. It has standard browser functions, like bookmarks, history, and tabs. QupZilla also features integrated AdBlock, speed dial, and an integrated RSS reader. It is free and available for several systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and OS/2.
Sleipnir is a Japanese browser that bears a strong resemblance to Safari but uses the Blink engine. Unique features include thumbnails of opened pages and sorting tabs into groups. Like Mac, Sleipnir renders fonts to make them appear rounder and thicker. It also has a portable version that can run on a USB drive, making it a quality alternative browser. Sleipnir is free and compatible with Windows and Mac.
SlimBrowser is a faster, more lightweight version of Internet Explorer. It features a fast download manager, built-in video downloader, and an integrated ad blocker. SlimBrowser can connect with popular web services like Twitter, WordPress, Google Plus, and others.
It has one-click Facebook integration, an auto form filler, and skin support. SlimBrowser is a powerful web browser alternative with little need for addons and extensions. It is free and compatible with Windows and also has a portable version.
Superbird is a fast and secure browser alternative to Google Chrome. It uses DuckDuckGo as a search engine, which does not collect your personal information. And Superbird sends zero data to Google or other third parties.
It features low memory usage, has improved privacy settings, and is NSA Prism safe. There are several plugins available that are compatible with both Superbird and Chrome. The browser is free and works with Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Torch is like a media centre built into a functional web browser. The media grabber makes downloading video and audio possible with a single click – no converters or addons. The built-in torrent manager is both fast and user-friendly.
The Torch Players lets users play videos before they have even finished downloading. And Torch music provides unlimited music in both the browser and mobile devices. Torch Games allows users to access games without downloads, and Facelift re-themes Facebook pages. The Torch is free and available for Windows systems.
Vivaldi is made by ex-Opera developers to create an entirely customizable web browser. It features speed dial, quick commands, rewind, and fast forward to speed up navigation. Users can take notes as they browse, access bookmarks in a side panel, and see a visual preview of open tabs.
Vivaldi’s interface adapts to the colour of the web page viewed, and can change with just one click. If you are a fan of Opera, Vivaldi is worth a look! The browser is free and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Wyzo is a web browser that optimises the online media experience. It incorporates multi-source downloading to speed up web downloads. Users can download torrents with a single click with Wyzo’s BitTorrent integration. Wyzo is compatible with Firefox addons and now includes a private browsing mode. Wyzo is free for download and compatible with Windows and Mac systems.
Yandex is a user-friendly browser based off of Chromium. The browser’s start screen is a hub for articles, news and videos based on your interests. And when internet speeds drop, Turbo mode speeds things up. Yandex features DNS spoofing protection, as well as data encryption. Users can also theme Yandex with preset backgrounds, or upload their very own pictures. Yandex is free and available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.
Which obscure browser stands out the most to you? And what features do you prefer in a web browser? With many of these browsers like Firefox or Chrome, the layouts will be familiar to most web users. But the unique features that each alternative browser offers give users a bigger selection. Do you have any to add to the list? Over to you!
Top/Featured Image: By Sean MacEntee / Flickr