List of Alternative Web Browsers
All of these browsers feature:
- Tabbed browsing
- Cookies and cookie management
- Plugins and Java
- Ad blocking and/or pop-up blocking
- Download Managers
- Integrated Search
- Favorites/Bookmarks and import
Major Browsers: Windows, Mac & Linux
Opera has managed to weather the browser wars since its original release in 1996. Constantly innovating, this browser is now a full-fledged Internet suite with web, e-mail, news (usenet and RSS) and chat with a wealth of features for new switchers and power users alike.
Opera also provides a mobile web browser, Opera Mini. In addition to Android and iOS, Opera Mini runs on most Java-capable devices, bringing the web to even low-end mobile phones.
- Features: Web · Email · RSS · Chat · Skinnable · Phishing Filter · Widgets · BitTorrent · Sync · Turbo Mode
- Import: Bookmarks from Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Netscape, or generic HTML file; Mail from Outlook Express, Netscape, Thunderbird, Apple Mail, Eudora, or generic mbox file.
- Download Opera for Windows, Macintosh or Linux. Free.
Mozilla Firefox has been the most successful alternative web browser since the “browser wars” ended. The flagship product of the Mozilla Foundation traces its lineage back to the original Netscape. Firefox was designed for simplicity, security, and extensibility, with hundreds of extensions available. The Mozilla Thunderbird mail & news client is a perfect companion. Both applications are open-source.
A mobile Firefox is available for Android and iOS.
- Features: Web · RSS headlines · Extensions for chat, customization, etc. · Skinnable · Malware/Phishing Filter
- Import: All settings from Internet Explorer, Opera, Mozilla, Netscape, bookmarks from generic HTML file.
- Download Firefox for Windows, Macintosh or Linux. Free.
- Read the Firefox Beginner's Guide.
Apple stunned the world in 2003 when they announced this browser for Mac OS X. It became so popular with Mac users that Microsoft stopped developing IE for the Mac! Safari is designed for elegance and speed, and is now both the default browser on the Mac and the most popular Macintosh browser.
Safari is also the primary web browser on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
- Features: Web · Private Browsing · RSS
- Import: Bookmarks from any browser.
- Download Safari for Macintosh. Free.
In 2008, Google stripped down the web browser to its essentials and rethought basic assumptions about what a browser should do. Focused on enhanced performance for web applications, Chrome stays out of your way and lets you focus on the web itself.
Chrome uses the WebKit engine (like Safari) and is similar to the default web browser on the Android mobile phone platform.
- Features: Web · Private Browsing · Malware/Phishing Filter
- Import: Bookmarks, History and Passwords from Internet Explorer or Firefox.
- Download Chrome for Windows, Macintosh or Linux. Free.
More Cross-Platform Browsers: Windows, Mac & Linux
Originally created as an open-source testing ground for Netscape, Mozilla gained a following of its own as AOL put its stamp on Netscape. Mozilla implemented many of the features that have since made Firefox popular. Official development has moved on to Firefox, and the suite continues in the form of SeaMonkey.
In addition to Firefox and SeaMonkey, Mozilla's “Gecko” engine is the basis for a number of platform-specific browsers, such as K-Meleon for Windows.
- Features: Web · Email · Chat · Editor
- Import: All settings from Netscape 4, bookmarks from generic HTML file. Current Internet Explorer Favorites appear in bookmarks menu.
- Download SeaMonkey for Windows, Macintosh or Linux. Free.
- Features: Web
- Import: Will use your current Internet Explorer, Netscape/Firefox, or Opera bookmarks.
- Download K-Meleon for Windows. Free.
The first web browser released for Mac OS X, OmniWeb focuses on power features. Since version 4.5 it has been based on Apple's WebCore technology, the same engine used by Safari, with innovations such as thumbnails for tabs, auto-save sessions, and per-site preferences. “Sure, you can use a standard web browser, with standard features. But you didn't choose a standard software experience—you chose the Mac.” Includes RSS headline support.
Even if you're not a Mac user, it's worth reading through OmniWeb's features page just for the writing style!
- Features: Web · RSS
- Import: Bookmarks from Internet Explorer, Safari, or generic HTML file.
- Download OmniWeb for Macintosh OS X. Free.
Launched from obscurity as the first publicly-available browser to pass the Acid2 test (the first to pass was Safari, but only the in-development version), iCab 3 was the last modern web browser still built for Classic Mac OS through 2008. iCab 4 and later use the WebKit engine and are OS X-only.
iCab Mobile is also available for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
- Features: Web · RSS
- Import: Bookmarks from Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Opera.
- Download iCab for Macintosh OS X or Classic. Free limited edition, $20 or €15 for iCab Pro.
- Let iCab Smile campaign and banners.
Konqueror is the web browser and file manager for the KDE Desktop. This highly customizable browser gained more attention when Apple selected it as the basis for Safari. Konqueror is tightly integrated with other KDE applications such as Kontact/KMail for e-mail, Akregator for RSS feeds, etc. (Konqueror can also run under GNOME or other desktop environments.)
- Features: Web · RSS via Akregator · Email via Kontact.
- Import: Bookmarks from Internet Explorer, Opera, Mozilla (and Firefox), Netscape, Galeon.
- Read about Konqueror for Linux/KDE.
Epiphany is designed for simplicity and speed. Originally an offshoot of Galeon, it now uses WebKit like Safari and Chrome. Epiphany is the default web browser on the GNOME desktop, and will also run under other environments.
- Features: Web
- Import: Bookmarks from Firefox, Konqueror, Mozilla, XBEL or HTML file.
- Download Epiphany for Linux/GNOME.
- Browser News
- Brand-X Browsers (2002 list)
- Wikipedia: Comparison of Web Browsers
- WWW-Browsers For Linux
French translation provided by Avice Robitaille.
Portuguese translation provided by Artur Weber & Adelina Domingos.