Firefox is starting to look like Chrome and Chrome is taking steps toward hiding URLs. While there are certainly some supporters of each move, there are plenty of folks disgruntled by the changes.

Fortunately, Chrome and Firefox aren’t the only games in town. Opera, Maxthon, Safari, and even Internet Explorer are all viable alternatives. And since Firefox is open source and there’s an open source development version of Chrome called Chromium, developers who want to make new browsers that retain the features of older versions of those browsers.

Here are a few browsers to check out if you’re not happy about the directions Google and Mozilla have been taking.

pale moon

Pale Moon

This open source browser is based on Firefox, but it drops support for old hardware in order to optimize performance on newer devices. The developer also has no plans to adopt the “Australis” user interface that makes Firefox 29 and later look a lot like Google Chrome.

While Pale Moon is a Windows-only browser and it has only one lead developer, it’s the browser that’s come up most often in comments on our recent article about the recent Firefox makeover.

Update: Pale Moon is now available for Linux, and even Android as well as Windows. 


The folks at Opera have gotten a lot of attention for their speedy web browsers for mobile devices in recent years. But Opera’s been offering desktop web browsers since 1995 and has a history of introducing features such as tabs and Speed Dial bookmarks long before they become industry norms.


The latest versions of Opera are based on the same Blink rendering engine as Google Chrome, but it includes features like data compression to help speed up browsing when you’re on a slow network, support for its own system of plugins, Speed Dial bookmarks, and more.

Iron Browser

Like the speed and simplicity of Chrome, but don’t like the fact that Google tracks your user data? This browser is based on the open source Chromium browser and looks a lot like Chrome. But it blocks data tracking and includes some other minor changes.

iron browser

The default search engine is also set to DuckDuckGo, although you can change that setting.


Prefer a browser that users Mozilla’s Gecko rendering engine? K-Meleon is a light-weight, open source web browser for Windows that uses Gecko. But it has its own user interface that’s independent of Firefox.


It’s also highly customizable, with support for a limited number of plugins, but a huge variety of tweaks to change the appearance and behavior of the browser. K-Meleon didn’t see a lot of development between 2010 and 2014, but the developer recently started offering beta builds of a new version based on the Gecko 24 rendering engine.


This cross-platform browser runs on Windows, OS X, and Linux as well as mobile devices. It uses the WebKit rendering engine, and includes cloud synchronization features.


Maxthon also includes support for extensions, and has some unusual features baked in, including a split-screen mode, a built-in resource tracker, and more.


Google’s Chrome web browser is based on open source software… and Chromium is that open source software. This browser has much of the same code as Chrome, but it lacks some things like the built-in Flash player and PDF viewer.

chromium logo

Chromium would be an odd choice for folks looking to get away from Chrome, since the open source version of the browser often gets new features before they’re available in the stable builds of Chrome. But if you prefer running open source software, Chromium is an option. It’s also the software that many other browsers are based on, including Opera, Iron Browser, and Sleipnir, among others.


If you have a Mac or an iOS device, you have the Safari web browser. But Safari is also available for Windows machines… and it’s actually a pretty decent web browser, with support for Reading mode, and extensions.


Unfortunately, Safari 6 is not available for Windows, so the latest version of Safari for Windows is version 5.1.7. So this is probably a better option for Mac users.

Internet Explorer

If you’re running Windows, you’ve already got Internet Explorer on your system… and while the browser has a reputation for ignoring web standards and generally underperforming competitors like Firefox and Chrome, the truth is IE has come a long way in recent years. If you haven’t tried the default Windows browser in a while, you might want to give it another look.


Internet 11 is fast, has a simple but effective user interface, support for high DPI screens, and support for WebGL, among other things.

Liliputing’s readers are a bit geekier than your average citizens of the web… so it’s probably not a huge surprise that Google Analytics tells me Internet Explorer is only the 4th-most popular browser among visitors (behind Safari, Firefox, and Chrome — which is way out ahead because it’s used not only by Windows, Linux and Mac users, but also Android users).

Here’s a look at the browsers people were using to read Liliputing in April, 2014:

april browsers

So what browser are you using these days? And are you looking for an alternative?

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47 replies on “Unhappy with Chrome and Firefox? Here are some alternate web browsers”

  1. This article was posted on 05.02.14. Typing this on 09.13.18, over 4 years later. Hmm… I wonder what the numbers look like now. I imagine Chrome, Firefox leading the Desktop category but the influence of mobile browsers would be interesting to document at some point.

    I myself use multiple browsers and devices. I think a major browser could disappear overnight and nobody would blink an eye except for Google and Mozilla, whose plug-in/extension stores, make them both core tech.

  2. I would NOT recommend Opera. I used it for quite a while, but ultimately abandoned it when it began to take on the look of Google, and was always annoyed that with virtually every “upgrade”, my bookmarks were DESTROYED (I suspect because my bookmarks were highly customized), tools to customize features were either moved to other locations or completely eliminated

  3. opera is like only choice now that firefox has gone to shit. when every new “update” breaks something, you should stop calling them “updates.” it’s unbelievable that firefox can compete with skype on shittiness and not even be owned by microsoft!

  4. Unhappy with Chrome? Then try this one that’s basically Chrome with a different icon

  5. Try Polarity and Midori. Both are very fast and get the job done with efficiency. No more RAM/power hogging from Chrome and Firefox.

  6. Why is Mozilla still in business!? FF is the worst browser to have ever been created in the history of the internet. It will always be slow as molasses, that will never change because Mozilla doesn’t care. So someone buy them out please and close them down for good. Thank you.

  7. Tired of Chrome? Have Opera 25, which looks exactly like Chrome!

    I miss Opera 12.17. The best browser there ever was! Unfortunately, the Presto based browser got discontinued (stupidity kicks in, as everybody loved that and was the perfect solution if didn’t like Chromium/Blink based browsers!), and now it became a Chrome clone!

  8. At this very moment Opera shows up 19 times! in the Task manager and is using enough resources to run Chicago for a year and a half. NO other browser I use (or used) even comes close to this level of resource hoggery, so OUT with it. I won’t use IE. Firefox and Google Chrome come complete with an avalanche of tag-along adware, malware, spyware et cetera, more than even the NSA could drop in, so they are not even on the tail end of the long list. I feel like Diogenes, looking for an honest browser. Remember when things used to be simple and … reliable?

  9. I’m trying SEAMONKEY
    It looks promising… even if I have to abandon windows

  10. Firefox was a great alternative to destroy the monoply monolith IE
    But it has become the monster it intended to kill..
    It is big, heavy, buggy, authoritative and a pile of crap

    I’m setting on a journey to find a better browser…

  11. A very good summary of the options. I’m one of the many Opera users disappointed by the move to Blink. I’ve tried half a dozen browsers and can’t settle, but unlike another commenter, I’ve found Maxthon to be very good. I particularly like the resource sniffer, and – crucially – separate search box. Overall it works great for me. I also like Pale Moon, but whitehatsecurity’s Aviator also seems like a good option for security/privacy.

  12. I’ve been with FF since post-Netscape – when it was Firebird. FF used to be a great browser but things have changed.

    I got over the re-load button controversy from the latest build. They fixed it to the address bar to the right so that it couldn’t be moved. Even Chrome has it on the left side. For some reason they took away the option to relocate it so that one had to install an addon enable it. So I did that. But FF has also been running noticeably slower than Chrome on many pages. Some pages wouldn’t play media etc.

    I’ve been looking around for an alternative and found Comodo Ice Dragon. It is significantly faster and so far has no issues rendering the same pages and running media that FF had issues with. They also make a Chrome alternative called Comodo Dragon which I feel beats Chrome.

    1. Thank you! I just took a look at these and I like them both. I used to use Safari, but Apple’s lack of support for the Windwoes version made me stop using it. It looks like the Dragons will fit the bill.

  13. Thank you sooo very much! Am very grateful with your info.. i couldnt find anywhere a very well defined article like yours.Thank you once again. You rock!

  14. WaterFox… 64bit Mozilla Based Browser that uses Firefox data files if FF is already installed!

  15. Nice follow-up story.

    Money, cell-phones, and social media are redesigning today’s web experience– creating more uniformity, predictability, and dullsville.

    When form follows function, sneakers begin to look like goat hooves; browsers, like thermometers on Kindles.

    I miss the free-form individuality of the old Geocities and Youtube (remember when channels were supposed to belong to us?).

    Gnu/Linux and freeware needs a renaissance– a new generation force-fed on proprietary apps has become too dull to break free.

    Opera has its good points, but is heavy.

    Firefox began losing its way when it forgot Foxkeh.

    Bing is as exciting as a toupee.

    Chrome? Popular like Starbucks– beware.

    At Starbucks you augment your gourmet experience with a hideous product-placed soundtrack which you can’t escape. In Chrome you become a target for the Google Mind– yechh!

    I like Dillo. It is functional, fast and readable, once adjusted.

    It spurns cookies and keeps you from wasting time at carnival websites full of trivialities, flash, and yokel traps– it is pretty simple.

    1. Bing is as exciting as a toupee. << depends on whether Donald Trump is wearing it! w00t! Trump 2016!

  16. I installed Maxthon in order to dump IE, Chrome and Firefox. But I found this article in a search after finally becoming fed up with numerous sudden refreshes of every single tab I have open, and a resulting 30 second or more delay before I can access anything. This is the most pathetic browser I have ever used and I would strongly suggest to avoid Maxthon if at all possible.

    1. Replying to 4 year old post for anyone else curious. I run lots of browsers (GUI, Text) and have some very old hardware. Pale Moon is, by far, the fastest viable (starting up, light on RAM, fast & great rendering, decent footprint, minimal hard disk caching) compared to so many others I’ve tested on 10+ year old hardware with 1gb – 2gb RAM.

      The key word here is viable. Dillo, for example, is a faster GUI browser but it isn’t viable for surfing the modern web.

      On modern hardware, it’s harder to tell and mostly unnecessary. I personally like Firefox Quantum & Vivaldi on modern stuff.

  17. I really like Opera. It’s a good browser and is my solid second browser. I love the ability to stack tabs to save space. I wish Chrome had that feature.

    1. Why not the first, Cal? I’ve been using it for about 5 months now when Firefox started getting slow and I got sick of Chrome crashing on me. Opera is fast, clean, secure, has plenty of great extensions that don’t bog down your surfing, and I love the speed dial. I’ve read about compatibility issues with certain sites, but I have yet to experience it for myself. I’ve only had a problem with Opera once; I was doing some online math homework, and the pop-up player stopped working. Oddly, it was fixed when I checked the box that blocked popups for the site, even though the site requires popups enabled. Anyway, Opera is amazing, and I don’t know why it isn’t more popular. I made it my default browser the other day when I realized how much I hate to use any other browser any more.

      1. It’s the second mostly because Chrome has not yet let me down. I prefer a lot of the customization and control in Chrome. It does crash once in a while, but not enough to sway me to Opera permanently.

  18. Just installed Pale Moon after reading the article. Not using Regular Firefox any longer. Thank you so much.

    1. I just did the same a few days ago. After Firefox 57 goes live, we won’t be the only ones … It’s SO sad how Firefox is becoming nothing more than a Chrome in Mozilla’s clothing after putting up the good fight for so long. >.<

      1. Same thing happened with Opera. A different browser with some great features that were very useful on some sites now just a chrome clone. I hope that some of the alternative Firefox browsers don’t switch track.

  19. Safari on Windows is NOT an alternative. It is old, gets no security fixes (or any fixes at that) so should not be used anymore.

    1. Not to mention, it’s made by crApple, which is like Twinkies: pretty packaging and lots of hype/calories, but no quality or nutritional value, and a Macintrash is expensive. At least Twinkies are cheap.

  20. An alternative browser which is missing from and should be on the list is midori, a light weight fast browser which uses the same rendering engine, webkit, as chrome and chromium.

    Learn more at midori-browser dot org

    1. The font rendering on Windows is…ick though. If you want a Webkit browser on Windows, try QupZilla. And Chrome and Chromium use Blink.

  21. “and even Internet Explorer are all viable alternatives”

    How can Internet Explorer be a viable alternative when it requires a public announcement from the Department of Homeland Security advising users not to use Internet Explorer for Microsoft to come up with a fix for yet another serious security flaw?

    “Friends don’t let friends use Internet Explorer.”

    1. They all have security flaws and they all need fixing… So good luck singling one out while ignoring the problems the others have…

    2. “Friends don’t let friends use Internet Explorer.” – that may have been true for IE < 10 but not for newer versions. Actually a fix for the security issue is out now. And as @CyberGusa pointed out, every browser or OS has security issues all the time (remember the iOS and OSX SSL bug? took more than a week to fix…).

    3. If you use security as the only factor of a viable alternative, you’d be using Lynx as your default browser. There are no known instances of malware infections or cross-site scripting (XSS) exploits. Here’s the link.

      Hope you don’t mind text based browsers. Is that okay in your book?

    4. Gee, I don’t know. Maybe because many large corporations are slow to update their software and thus still use IE. Besides, as messed up as IE is, I’d rather take my chances with it than trust Google (or Firefox, now that it’s becoming Chrome’s newest lacky).

  22. Great browser chart. I am developing a website, so if I stick with what looks good on Chrome and Firefox, then I will be safe. Maybe someday every browser will conform to W3C standards.

    1. so you ONLY use W3C standard stuff in your site? Half of most new fancy esp in Chrome(!) is NOT a standard (yet, may or may not be in the future). So supporting only C/FF is silly. Also depends on your audience. If you have more business users you need to support IE, maybe even IE8. Or you need to support strange browsers like Safari on iOS or the Android browser(s) which do some stuff different.

      1. I didn’t say I use W3C strictly, but it would sure help if all the browsers got together and followed some standard. It is a pain having to place snippets of code in my work just to satisfy the quirky behavior of lesser used browsers. Chrome, Firefox, and Safari render pages almost the same, so those are what I use for testing.

        1. Even if Chrome and Safari (and maybe Firefox) do render similar it does not make it a standard and sometimes they even are wrong (compared to a defined standard).
          Also in the last years it is simply not enough to support 2 or 3 browsers. Besides, even Safari on OSX, iPad and iPhone behaves differently. Or Chrome on OSX is different to Chrome on Windows (which I experienced the hard way). In more engines you test (just say Webkit/Blink but also Gecko/FF but also in IEs 8 and 11) in my experience you get the best results. Various reasons (bugs, incomplete standards, politics). But this dicussion has been done many times by people more capable of discussion than myself…

          And compared to the old times (re like 2000 or even 2005) standards behavior of almost all browsers
          is actually quite good, even in IE.

          Your original comment sounded a bit “naive”, therefore the a bit sarcastic answer 😉

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