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5 lesser-known browsers: Free, lightweight and low-maintenance

Himanshu Arora | Nov. 7, 2013
Are Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome slowing your machine -- or are they simply more than you need? We look at some alternatives.

Also, I found it hard to distinguish the active tab from other tabs. Furthermore, a right-click on any non-active tab makes it active, which can be inconvenient in some cases.

Configuration settings are basic, and the browser has nothing extra to offer in terms of privacy other than some standard stuff like cookie- and tracking-related settings. Also, the process of importing bookmarks from other browsers could be reduced to fewer steps. Epiphany also encountered a couple of random crashes while it was loading a website at the same time that I was loading websites in a separate browser.

Finally, there are some ways in which Epiphany doesn't play well with others. It takes standard keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl+B, Ctrl+U and Ctrl+I that are generally used for text editing (bold, underline and italics), and instead assigns them to bookmark management, open page source in a new tab and private browsing, respectively. So, in a nutshell, you cannot use these key combinations for text editing purpose on Google Docs (or any other cloud platform) while working in Epiphany.

Bottom line
If you are looking for a Linux browser that can serve as an alternative to Firefox and at the same time integrates well with the Gnome desktop environment, then you might want to try Epiphany.

Konqueror
Developer: KDE
Reviewed version: 4.10.5
OS support *Nix systems, Windows, Mac
License: GPL

Konqueror is a versatile application that can function as a Web browser, a file manager and a universal file viewer. It was first released in 1996; since 2000, it has come bundled as a core component of the KDE software package.

It allows you to browse both local and networked files/folders (it supports protocols like FTP/SFTP, HTTP and IMAP) and lets you view files such as PDFs and spreadsheets.

What's new
The latest version 4.10.5 contains fixes for a font rendering issue in sites that use Web fonts and a browser auto-save issue that spins up the hard disk even when idle. No new features have been added in this release.

What's good about it

One thing that impressed me right away was the large display area for Web pages. Konqueror displays a tab bar only when there is more than one active tab, so that you have the maximum viewing area while browsing a single website. The browser opens a new tab when you double-click on the tab bar — a feature that I missed in most of the other browsers reviewed here. Also, tabs have flexible widths that adjust automatically to the title of the page.

The welcome screen contains links that let you go to your home folder, trash, network folders or bookmarks. Two or more files can be easily compared by splitting windows either horizontally or vertically.

 

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