Alternative browsers – Maxthon


Strictly speaking, Maxthon may not be a browser by itself as it uses the Internet Explorer engine. However, for the people who are using IE as the primary browser, it is a very feasible alternative. It is probably both good & bad as it uses the IE engine, depending on one’s point of view. It can be looked upon as a pretty good replacement for IE itself, atleast till IE7 is released.

Features: It includes the common features like tabbed browsing, RSS feeds, popup blockers, AD blockers, skinning & integrated web searching, along with a host of other features, like multiple proxy configuration, a text collector, privacy protection etc.

Pros: The handy tools available in Maxthon make it quite easy to customise the browsing experience. The integrated popup & AD blockers are also quite useful, as they can be customised. There is a host of other tools like form fillers & auto scrolling, waiting to be discovered & used. It also has support for some of the IE plugins, like the Google toolbar, so users can continue to use them with this browser. Another useful aspect is the fact that the basic settings (Internet options, Favourites etc) are shared with IE, so the settings do not have to be synchronised manually.

Cons: Being based on the IE engine does enable most sites to be displayed & work properly, but it also exposes the user to the flaws (mainly security related) of the IE engine. However, if one keeps the machine up to date, the possibility of such problems is low. The other problem may be the vast array of features, which may seem daunting to the basic user, but there is an option to choose the basic interface to keep the look more or less similar to IE.

What next: To check out Maxthon try:

http://www.maxthon.com

There are other similar browsers based on the IE engine available, like Avant browser which may also serve as a handy IE replacement.

An interesting note regarding a Firefox extension – IE Tab, which allows you to switch the browser engine from the Firefox default to IE & back at the click of a button. This can be quite useful when sites do not display properly in Firefox. The plugin can be found here:

http://ietab.mozdev.org/

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