6 browsers to change the way you surf the Web

These alternatives to Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari transform your Web surfing experience.

Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari are the most popular gateways to the Internet, but if you find these mainstream browsers lacking, we have six feature-rich alternatives worth checking out.

Chrome alternative

Opera (Windows, Mac)

Opera is best known for innovating browser features that become essential, such as tabs and Speed Dial (a visual grid displaying bookmarks and favorite sites). Since Opera adopted WebKit and began taking code from the Chromium Project, it has become a great Google Chrome alternative. Opera runs Chrome extensions alongside its own add-ons, but what stands out most is Opera's touch-friendly interface -- now you can enjoy this familiar Chrome experience on touch-enabled PCs.


Firefox alternative

Pale Moon

Pale Moon (Windows)

Created for Mozilla enthusiasts, Pale Moon boasts the classic Mozilla browser interface -- pre-Australis update. But that doesn't mean that this Firefox spin-off is behind the times. On the contrary, Pale Moon drops support of older hardware in favor of reliability, adds support for 64-bit systems, and enables more browsing customization. Pale Moon also comes with default search engine DuckDuckGo and fully supports Firefox add-ons.


Secure browsing

Comodo Dragon (Windows)

Designed for power surfers, Comodo Dragon is a Chromium-based browser that provides an extra layer of defense as you traverse the murkier digital frontiers. Dragon disables many of Chrome's standard features -- such as Google user tracking, bug tracking, and default Google search settings -- in the name of security. Comodo also offers to route your browsing through its own DNS servers upon installation, where it can make additional checks of SSL certificates. For a Firefox version, check out Ice Dragon.


Media-friendly browsing

Torch (Windows, Mac)

If you need a browser optimized for downloading, sharing, and playing media, then look no further than Torch, a Chromium-based browser designed to let you easily access your entertainment. Torch's media grabber lets you save embedded music and video streams, while the download manager -- which prioritizes speed -- delivers content faster. Torch also features a built-in Torrent downloader that enables file streaming during downloads. Rather than competing with Chrome, Torch aims to deliver the best online entertainment experience, even if you only use it for YouTube cat videos.


Privacy-minded browsing

Tor Browser (Windows, Mac)

To avoid browser trackers, try Tor. This little bundle allows you to access The Onion Network for anonymous Web browsing without requiring you to set up and configure the Tor client separately. Tor Browser is a customized Firefox build that automatically encrypts your data via the Tor client and wipes your cookies and history clean at the end of each session. Tor Browser also comes with additional Firefox extensions like NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere, which ensure safer, tracking-free Web browsing. Best of all, you can install it on a thumb drive for private browsing on the go.


Minimalist browsing

Midori (Windows)

The most popular lightweight browser, Midori doesn't compromise your system resources. Built on the same WebKit engine that powers Chrome and Safari, Midori also supports the latest Web tech, like HTML 5 and CSS 3. However, you still need Adobe Flash Player to make Midori work with most major sites, including Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

About Tuong Nguyen

Raised in the Bay Area but educated on the sandy beaches of San Diego, Tuong writes for Download.com specializing in Windows Security and Mobile Apps.