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June 22, 2006

Looking For a New Browser? Try Maxthon

Maxthon is a browser produced in China that is built on the guts of Internet Explorer.  Chinese web users find it popular as it can be configured there with proxy servers to get around the censorship placed on popular search engines and sites.  The company that produced Maxthon doesn't promote this feature. Chinese online forums have instructions for the technically adept according to an article in ZDNet.

Compared to Internet Explorer and competitors, the Maxthon is blazing fast.  It features tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, and other really useful features such as ad blocking and Active X control blocking.  There is just the phrase "[Blocked Ad]" instead of annoying banners and flashy (pun semi-intended) animated ads on a given page.  Maxthon can save flash animations as downloads.  There is also a built-in RSS feature that automatically detects a feed and prompts as to whether you want to subscribe.  This is done through a small window in the lower right hand corner of the screen that disappears after five to ten seconds. 

The license is free although there is a nag screen to donate to the developers which appears on start-up.  They allow you to turn this off, however.  Once installed it imports tool bars and favorites from Explorer.  In my opinion, Maxthon is worth the look.  As I've used it it strikes me as Internet Explorer with vast improvements in utility and features.  All of these features come in a package that is a five megabyte download and a seven megabyte install.  This means it doesn't use nearly as much memory as the alternatives.  User reviews at Download.com give the browser high marks.  The install file has been download from there over 4.2 million times.  You can also get a copy at the Maxthon web site (almost 60 million downloads there).

June 22, 2006 | Permalink


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