Chrome to go

Take Chrome with you with this portable freeware Web browser.

Google Chrome is a free Web browser that's become a legitimate contender due to its speed and versatility. It's especially easy for programmers to create and share extensions that add useful capabilities to the basic Chrome engine and framework. We looked at Google Chrome Portable, a portable version of Chrome from PortableApps. PortableApps modifies popular open source programs for portability, packaging them with an installer that copies the program file to a destination of your choice, which can be on your hard drive or a removable device such as a USB drive or memory stick. All you have to do is click the executable file to run the program without having to install it in Windows or alter the directory.

If you haven't tried Chrome yet, you've probably had a whiff of it since other browsers are copying many of its features and functions, such as the versatile Omnibar address bar and its simplified interface. Chrome consistently kicks apps in browser speed tests, and it doesn't get as bloated and dumpy as the others do when you've customized them with add-ons. No browser's add-ons add on as quickly and easily as Chrome's, and they're easy to manage from the Extensions page on the Tools menu, which is accessed by clicking the wrench icon on the interface. Google Chrome Portable seems to perform exactly like the installed version, with pretty much all the features and extras.

So what makes Google Chrome Portable different from Google Chrome? Since it's portable, it doesn't leave your encrypted passwords behind, which means you can't retrieve them on another machine. However, PortableApps includes password portability as an advanced function that users must enable. More significant is digital certificate storage: Google Chrome Portable uses Windows for certificates, so any certificates it installs are saved in the local copy of Windows and won't travel with you, plus they'll be accessible from that particular machine. Therefore, you shouldn't use any private certificates with it, except on your own PC.

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