Slowly, step by sometimes painful step, I continue to extract Google from my life.
Today it was about the browser. I’ve been using Microsoft’s Edge browser on my mian laptop, a Window’s 10 machine. It works OK, but there are a lot of extensions I used with Chrome that simply don’t exist for Edge, which meant Chrome kept hanging around. An old friend of this blog, Jed from Freedomsight, had suggested Opera, Seamonkey or Firefox. Well, for reasons stated in an earlier post, Firefox is out.
I tried Opera last night on a different machine, and it seemed to work quite well, and it also had a lot of the browser extensions I was looking for (or at least similar extensions). However, when I tired it on my main laptop today, it exhibited all sorts of weirdness. The other machine is Windows 7, so that may be the issue. In any event, I need something that runs on both versions of Windows.
So off to Bing. Still getting used to it’s quirks, and I don’t care for the way they serve their ads, but it isn’t Google. TechRepublic has an article on “Five free alternative web browsers for Windows”, which sounded worth a look. Number 3 was SRWare Iron.
Iron is a Chromium-based browser, which means it is based on Google code. However, it is based on the open source part of the code, and SRWare has eliminated much of the code Google added in to tie the browser to Google services. Some parts do remain, such as the ability to log into Google for personalizations, but it seems much of the under the hood stuff is gone. From my standpoint, all the extensions I was used to having have been downloaded and work. I can substitute XMarks for Google’s bookmarks sync (and more if I want to pay for it, which I well may), but I’ll have to sync extensions myself. That is a minor annoyance.
I’m still exploring the differences of this browser. It does seem a bit slower, but since that comes and goes it may be from another cause. It hasn’t crashed so far, and I’ve pretty much abused it. It unfortunately doesn’t come in an iOS version, which sucks. SRWare provides a specialized search engine interface which is supposed to neuter your favorite search engine’s privacy-offensive features. Still using Bing at the moment, but I’ll play around with Google and see who it works.
So if you find yourself in the market for a new browser for whatever reason, give Iron a shot. So far I’m glad I did.