The 5 Lightest Web Browsers – November 2020
Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox do an excellent job of supporting your browsing needs. But they are also quite demanding and consume a lot of system resources. These popular browsers may put an additional strain on your RAM and even drain the laptop battery.
Using less-known lightweight browsers is a great solution to this problem. These browsers do the same job as their better-known counterparts, and there are no compromises in terms of performance.
Here’s the list of top 5 light web browsers you might want to try. We’ve based our selection on additional benefits such as security and feature-rich platforms that use less RAM.
1. Comodo IceDragon
Developed by a well-known cybersecurity company, Comodo IceDragon is a powerhouse of a browser. The browser itself has features similar to Mozilla Firefox and robust security to keep all data intact. You get the usual assortment of add-ons, extensions, menus, and more.
IceDragon utilizes Comodo DNS servers to convert a URL to an IP address. More importantly, this browser has a dedicated virtual container. This means that it doesn’t get in touch with your system, so there is no risk of malicious software unknowingly infecting your computer.
This light browser provides you with the option to remove crash and performance reports, and it also scans web pages for potential threats. IceDragon works on Windows and requires 128 MB of RAM and 40 MB of hard drive space.
Torch is an excellent solution if you use the internet to enjoy multimedia. This browser exists on the Google Chrome rendering engine and sports many customized features to make playing and managing multimedia easier.
For example, Torch Music is a YouTube-based service which allows you to access all your music and videos in one place. There is also a pre-installed button to download YouTube videos, as well as a torrent downloader.
The browser comes with an easily navigable user interface with three zones. The central zone displays website content, the one on the left is dedicated to sharing, and the right zone offers more browsing options.
Similar to Comodo IceDragon, Torch uses 128MB of RAM. Torch will need 100 MB of disk space which is slightly more than our first choice.
Some users have stated that the browser’s installer does have Trojan viruses. Based on our research that comes from downloading Torrents and certain extensions so with all browsers, beware of what you’re installing and you should be fine.
Midori is an excellent option if you are not a demanding user. It is an open-source browser that offers a decent selection of features. What’s more, it stands out as one of the top browsers in terms of consuming the least amount of resources.
In terms of features, this browser offers HTML5 and RSS support, anonymous browsing, a spell checker, and more. Midori also does include some extras like font/display and privacy settings. Previously, it used the encrypted DuckDuckGo as the default search engine to protect the privacy of your information, however, Midori recently switched to the non-encrypted Lycos to allow for much faster performance.
The minimalistic user interface is yet another highlight of this browser. Midori has a search bar and a few usual buttons but that’s it, allowing the search to take center stage.
Another Chromium-based browser, Brave is making our list of lightweight browsers for a few reasons. Not only does it use less RAM per tab than Chrome, but it’s also an acceptable substitute for other browsers.
Added security features and access to the Chrome Web Store make it exceptional in the ‘feature-rich’ department. But, having all of those features can make Brave a resource hog too. Fortunately, based on our tests, the majority of users have great success with this browser.
As with anything else technology-related, some people love it and some people don’t. We say this to say that Brave is at its core a lightweight browser and it’s up to the user to decide whether it meets their specific needs.
5. Maxthon Cloud Browser
This browser is not only light using 512 MB RAM, but it also sports some of the features that should satisfy even the most demanding of users. Maxthon Cloud Browser comes with a screen capture tool, Night and Reader modes, ad blocker, a note pad, RSS feed, and more.
On top of that, it comes with Magic Fill, a built-in password manager. Unlike most other light web browsers, Maxthon synchronizes user data via a dedicated cloud service. Create an account on Passport, Maxthon’s cloud service, and you’ll be able to synchronize your data across different devices.
The user interface is a bit unusual, but you’ll have no problem getting used to the toolbar on the left. Another highlight of this browser is its multi-engine support. Maxthon offers you the option to use the Google Chrome Webkit and Internet Explorer Trident engines.
What is the Most Lightweight Web Browser?
Torch. For all the features the Torch web browser has, it seems to be unstoppable in regards to speed and performance. Torch is also straight forward to use and requires little downloading and RAM to function. The built-in download button also prevents you from installing harmful malware – another speed sink on your hard drive.
What is the Best Overall Browser in 2020?
Firefox. Although Firefox is considered a bigger RAM sink than the other, more lightweight browsers, it’s still the best overall in almost every category. It’s one of the fastest internet browsers, comes with private windows, and reliably blocks malware.
Which is the Safest Browser?
Firefox, IceDragon. Yep, Firefox again. Out of the popular web browsers, Firefox is the safest and constantly rates low in malware. IceDragon is the safest for the lighter browsers, as this browser has the most support, and has a virtual container. This means IceDragon doesn’t directly interact with your system.
The Final Verdict
It’s almost impossible to single out one of the browsers from this list as the best. Each one excels in its own respect and the final choice boils down to your personal preference and browsing needs.
For example, IceDragon is probably the safest, while Maxthon has the most features. Torch is among the lightest, but Midori and Vivaldi are not far behind. All of them provide a pleasant browsing experience without any strain on your system.
You should also know that these browsers are completely free, and you won’t be bombarded with targeted ads on most of them.