Battle of the Browsers: Maxthon

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Smokey, Aug 20, 2005.

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  1. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

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    A lesser known browser for comparison against the bigger name brands: Maxthon.

    Maxthon is an IE-based web browser that has the expandability of Firefox, the features of Opera, and the security of both, built in. Maxthon can be downloaded here.
    Don't let the 4.4 MB download size catch you off guard - this browser is truly packed with features. It is far from bloated, though, using very good memory management and a very clean interface to supplement its various built in capabilities.

    From the first install screen forward, Maxthon allows you to customize what features you want, and which ones you don't. It gives you the freedom to choose whether to install the pop-up blocker, the automatic form filler, etc. This allows you to have all the features you want, and not consider it bloated!

    As I mentioned above, this browser is based on Internet Explorer, so it integrates the basic features and settings of IE with tabbed browsing, a pop-up blocker, security features, skins, and many other small, but handy features. It also provides for some added configuration options, such as a content filter, ActiveX filters (that's right, it supports ActiveX!), and has a built in RSS Reader.
    Good memory management is something that Firefox and Opera both lack strongly in. Both browsers have memory leaks that cause the browsers to freeze after a few days - or eat so much of your RAM that you can't run anything but them. Maxthon has a very strong advantage here. Throughout testing, its been using less than 10 MB of RAM, compared to the almost 150 MB that Opera used, and the 30+ that Firefox used.

    Maxthon is also skin-able, allowing you to customize your user interface further. It has five built in skins, and you can download / create your own skin as you desire. This feature is handy for those of you who like to have pretty colors and graphics, but for the rest of us, there is a nice "no skin" option.

    Something I love about this browser, something that neither IE, Firefox, nor Opera have is a "System Clean" sub-menu, allowing for quick access to clearing your cookies, temporary files, history, cache and more. In the other browsers, you have to dig through several menus and tabs to get to these options. In Maxthon, it is all laid out in the "clean system sub-menu of Tools.

    In conclusion, I think I like Maxathon's customization options, and some of its features (like basic ActiveX support), better than both Firefox and Opera. The user interfaces are pretty much the same, but I have to give Opera the slight advantage in this category. For memory management, Opera comes in dead last, while Maxthon takes the gold by a long shot. In the end, all three browsers serve their purposes well, and will probably grow to be the best three browsers made. Overall, it comes down to personal choice: if you want built in functionality and capability, go with Opera; if you want basic functions, but the option to add features as you need them, Firefox is probably the way to go; if you want to find a balance between the two, or have a computer with limited RAM, Maxthon is probably your best bet. Try them out and put them up to your own personal test!

    Author: Tyler Thompson, PCMech.Com


    Some Maxthon features:

    Download Control - You can set Maxthon to not load a specific file category like images, sounds, scripts or flash movies to speed up the loading of pages.
    Privacy protection - With a click you can clear your browsing information, such as cookies, history etc or you can also set Maxthon to clear them for you when you exit.
    Mouse Gestures - Lets you quickly send commands to Maxthon using your right mouse button like refreshing the page and going back or forward.
    AD Hunter - Annoying ADs in pages and pop-ups can be blocked by Maxthon. Each time a pop-up is blocked a sound can be played and a warning shown. Also all the pop-ups can be reopened by viewing the blocked addresses window or by clicking the icon on the status-bar. Annoyed of banners and ads in pages? Then just right-click it, add it to the AD hunter filter and Maxthon will never load it again.
    Favicons - Maxthon can display site icons in the tabs and your favorites.
    External Utility Bar - You can add links to other programs to the utilities bar and launching them is just one click away. You could even set them to start and close with Maxthon automatically.
    Skins Support - Using different skins you can change the look of Maxthor´s icons, menus and backgrounds.
    Plug-ins Support - Expand the functions of Maxthon with tool-bar and sidebar plug-ins. IE plug-ins (tool-bars) are also supported.
    Quick Search - Set you default search engine and just type the keyword in the address bar to do your web search. An advanced search can also be done in the sidebar.
    Super Drag&Drop - You can highlight text in a page, drag&drop it and a web search will be done. Drag&drop a link and it will open in a new tab, same with a image.
    Custom Start-up - When you start, Maxthon can open your last visited pages, startup favorites or a group of other pages.
    Favorites Bar - You can have your favorites open with just a click.
    Auto-hide panels - Save space the smart way. The tool-bars and the sidebar can both auto-hide and float again when you point at them.
    Pages Groups - You can set a number of pages under one group so you can open them quickly with just a click or when you start Maxthon.
    URL Alias - It may be hard to remember a long url. With Maxthon you can set a small \\\"name\\\" for any url. For example, you can set <A href="http://///"maxthon///" target=_blank>\\\"maxthon\\\" for http://www.ruihehang.com/maxthon/ and then all you have to do is to type "maxthon" in the address bar and Maxthon will bring you to the website.
    Status Bar Extras - Maxthon can display your IP address, your System´s resources, your network speed and the number of blocked pop-ups in the status bar. Other 5 quick functions are also accessible from the status-bar.

    And:

    - Tabbed Browsing Interface
    - RSS Reader
    - External Utility Bar
    - Multiply Search Engines
    - Regular updates
    - 47 Language Packs
    - And much more....


    Sources: FreewareFiles.Com & Maxthon.Com



    I have tried Firefox, Opera, IE7 Beta, Maxthon and Avant.

    My first choice: Maxthon, I have never seen before such a great browser!

    Maxthon is donation-ware.


    Smokey
     
  2. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    Good choise, Smokey ;)

    I use it since June 2003 and it's great...
     
  3. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Hmmm ... MSIE-based Maxthon v1.3.3 still better than Microsoft's newest browser, MSIE7. Makes you think :)
     
  4. Stephanos G.

    Stephanos G. Registered Member

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    i use it the last 3 months, very satisfied
     
  5. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

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    Thanks for the compliments!;)

    I have played around with Maxthon 2 weeks, and after playtime, I was sold....

    What a great browser, I'm not very easy happy or satisfied, but when I have to rate Maxthon on a 1 - 10 scale, I give it a 9,5.
     
  6. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

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    I have tried IE7 Beta 1, and I'm not satisfied with it.

    IE7 will not win the "battle" with other browsers, I'm disappointed that M$ didn't look to the pro's other browsers have, when I see the differences between f.e. IE7 and Maxthon it is clear that M$'s job in development is not done with IE7.

    The only good issues in IE7: trying protect the user from phishing and tabbed browsing, but in IE7 that function is minimal in comparision to Maxthon.

    IE7: a missed opportunity for M$....
     
  7. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    You are welcome ;)

    And when the new version of IE will be release, Maxthon will be even better... ;)
     
  8. snowbound

    snowbound Retired Moderator

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    This browser really interests me. :)

    From what i have read in Smokey's post, it is as secure as Opera or Firefox, but is it really?

    I love my Opera for this reason(no activeX amongst other things) and would like to try Maxthon but am a little worried about the security aspect of it.

    Maybe u fine people who use it can validate that it is as secure as Opera or FireFox?

    Thanks.


    snowbound
     
  9. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    It isn't so secure as Opera or Firefox because it use the IE kernel, but only a few plugins for IE works...

    From the author of Maxthon, Bloodchen:
    Sometimes, Maxthon fix some security issues of IE, like for example the IFRAME-exploit...

    See also this website: Browsers compared - A comparison between all popular browsers.
     
  10. snowbound

    snowbound Retired Moderator

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    Thanks for that VaMPiRiC_CRoW. :)

    I was a little worried about it's relation with IE and now i see there could be some security issues... not that there isn't any in Opera but since i stopped using IE a year or so ago my security apps. have been very quiet with Opera and FireFox.

    Thanks also for the link, i'll have to take a look. :D


    snowbound
     
  11. ct3n

    ct3n Guest

    Well leaving aside the security factor where maxthon is inferior, firefox outshines Maxthon in terms of the ability to build your own browser with extensions.

    Maxthon has a lot of addons, but they tend to be limited compared to firefox extensions.

    There are many features provided by these extensions that I take for granted that can't be done in maxthon.
     
  12. Tassie_Devils

    Tassie_Devils Global Moderator

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    Maxthon was one of the first 'alternative' browsers I used [Avant/Slim Browsers plus couple others] until I discovered FF [have not tried Opera].

    Now, apart from FF, Maxthon was my favourite by far and away, no doubt, and I have not tried it for quite a few months now, but since Smokey's ;) little tribute to it, I think I shall give it a burl again, see what's improved, as the last time I was impressed.

    The memory management seems like it would be a huge drawcard, as I checked and currently FF is drawing 43K on mine, and IE is 22K, so a 10K would be nice.

    It's downloading as I type for me to try it out again. :)

    Cheers, TAS
     
  13. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I fully agree with you and I'm also very disappointed in M$ and not only for their browser.
    All what M$ has to do, is making a study of the competing browsers and combine all the good stuff of these browsers in MSIE7 and add their own ideas.

    I would take this as an insult, if there was another browser, that was much better than my own browser, certainly when that browser was using my OWN engine.
    What's the matter with M$ ? Don't they have any competing spirit anymore ?
    After SEVEN major versions of MSIE, they still have a mediocre browser, in spite of all that money.
     
  14. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    The memory management of the last version is even much better... ;)
     
  15. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    For me, the problem of Firefox is the fact to have a lot of bugs, the extensions sometimes doesn't work well, the extensions method are always changing and this fact disables some extensions...

    Maybe the v2.0 will resolve all this issues...
     
  16. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    About the IE 7.0, I only want it because of the engine... the rest I already have in Maxthon... :D
     
  17. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

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    Satisfied??;)
     

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  18. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

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    I am not the original author of the review... ;) , that's: Tyler Thompson (PCMech.Com)

    I publiced here his review I found about Maxthon, because I was sold when I was finished testing Maxthon, and like to share others my fun with Maxthon, again, I'm really impressed and happy with it!:)
     
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