There is little doubt these days that Google Chrome is the king of the browser – both on desktop and mobile platforms.
Microsoft has improved Internet Explorer and of course launched Edge with the rollout of Windows 10, whilst Firefox has reinvented itself to make it an alternative for portable devices but what web browser alternatives are there to the ‘big three’?
It seems hard to believe that it is 20 years since Telenor, the Norwegian telecom company launched Opera. Their biggest success has been Opera Mini which is designed for smartphones and has some impressive features.
The relatively recent addition of the built in ad blocker has gone down very well as too has the free Virtual Private Network that allows you to view sites that may have otherwise been barred due to geographical restrictions. Another impressive feature is the WiFi test tool in Opera VPN that scans a network to check that it is safe.
The browser was bought by Chinese firm Qihoo in July of this year and is available on Android from Google Play.
2. UC Browser
The UC Browser is owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and is an old campaigner having been available on all platforms since 2004. It is however the mobile version that has been the huge
success and it is even the number one browser on phones in India with around 80 million users.
This browser is particular popular with users who use their phone as an extension of their TV. Those who like to keep their browsing history a secret may also be drawn to the UC Browser as you can turn on an incognito mode similar to that found in Chrome.
You can download UC Browser for Android at Google Play
Vivaldi is another browser with its roots very firmly found in Norway. This new browser was only created in 2015 by Jon von Tetzchner but interestingly he is the co-founder and the former CEO of Opera. Vivaldi is an employee-owned company set up around the time Opera was due to be sold.
Vivaldi 1.0 was launched in April of this year and has the aim of being an efficient and fun method of browsing. It already has more than a million active users and this is growing all the time with big efforts being made to expand in Asia.
The current browser in now version 1.4 and has some neat features that are sure to appeal to those who do ‘parallel processing’ – opening multiple pages at the same time. The feature that
Vivaldi offers is a stack option that can be customised but easily allows users to switch between different tabs without cluttering their desktop.
Vivaldi is not just limited to a stack option when it comes to new features. The browser is capable of understanding mouse gestures for rapid action as well as offering a notes option whereby it remembers which site you were browsing at the time and allows you to take screenshots.
It may not suit everyone but at the rate it is evolving it is likely to gain more users sooner rather than later.
The browser is available for Windows, Mac and Linux at Vivaldi.com.