Avant Browser

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CNET Editors' Rating 5.0 stars


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  • 5.0 stars

    "Generally better than the rest"

    November 22, 2004  |  


    I've tried 'em all, and for me, Avant represents the best overall mix of features, stability, usability, etc. I was a Mosaic user in the beginning, switching to Netscape like every other sane person in the world once Navigator Gold came out. I remained a loyal Netscape user until IE 4.01, and I've been an IE user ever since. I've tried Opera, Mozilla, Firefox (starting back when it was called Firebird) and many text-based browsers, and while I appreciated each for their particular strengths, IE was still the best all-around browser by far. When MS released IE 4.01 and introduced the "hooks" in the Windows OS that allowed third parties to integrate IE's rendering engine into their own products, IE's "bastard children" were born, beginning with NeoPlanet. Since then I've tried most of the prominent examples of these browsers: MyIE2 (now called Maxthon), SlimBrowser, Avant, etc. For my needs, Avant is the best. I'm not a huge devotee of tabbed browsing, never really saw the need (particularly after XP came out and you could "group" app windows together into a single taskbar button), but in the last 3-4 years or so, MS has definitely dropped the ball in terms of coolness and features. There are still more plugins and enhancements for IE than anything else, but most of them are already incorporated into IE-clones like Maxthon and Avant. Firefox's popularity will breed cool third-party extras, so it will be interesting to watch Firefox development, but my feeling is that Firefox's popularity may cause MS to get off its butt and start improving IE again. In the meantime, I'll use Avant. It's the most stable and responsive IE-clone I've tried, and has a good range of features. There are some features present in SlimBrowser and Maxthon that I wish were in Avant, like "auto-login", "auto-refresh", "auto-scrolling", etc. Sometimes I wish the authors of all the IE-clones would get together and combine all their features into one browser, or better, go work for Microsoft and make all the features standard in IE. In any case, Avant allows me to enjoy all the features that non-IE users enjoy in the alternative browsers like Firefox, as well as many features not available in any other browser, and still enjoy IE's integration, compliance and ubiquitousness (it's perfect for coding, since it's still IE underneath). I'll continue to use it until something better comes along.

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