RSS Readers

Have you ever used an RSS newsreader? Though you can surf to your favorite sites using your Web browser of choice, RSS readers bring all the news to you in a simple format that's conducive to getting more information quickly. The best RSS readers make it easy to add your favorite sites so you can quickly sift through headlines. When you find something of interest, you can often expand the story in an RSS reader or go directly to the site to read more. If you spend a lot of time on the Web, RSS readers are a great way to find the stuff you want without having to load a bunch of Web sites.

RSS readers come in a lot of flavors, including some that are browser plug-ins, others that offer a standalone desktop app, and still others that behave almost like widgets.


KlipFolio offers a unique RSS experience, giving you a personal dashboard that you can customize with news headlines, your favorite blogs, weather feeds, and tons of other information. The program sits on the side of your desktop and it's skinnable so you can customize it to your style.


Sage is a basic RSS feed and news aggregator for Firefox. With this add-on, you can navigate the latest newsfeeds right in your Firefox sidebar. The interface is extremely easy to navigate, with a top panel for headlines and a bottom panel if you want more information about a story. If you're looking for the easiest way to break into RSS, Sage is a good place to start.

RSS Bandit

RSS Bandit is a standalone reader that has many attractive features, allowing a user to merge news headlines from multiple sources onto a single page, and organize articles based on keyword, read/unread status, and date. The built-in tabbed browser allows you to read a full article and then switch to a different story without closing out the original article. If you like to open and read several stories at once, this is the reader for you.


Snarfer is a top-notch feed reader that will devour your RSS and Atom feeds, but more experienced RSS junkies might find it too basic. An uncomplicated, uncluttered interface follows a generic app design of left-side listed entries with a right-side preview pane. Experienced users will miss customizations like changing fonts and preview pane location, but if you want a simple way to get your news in one place--without an overwhelming amount of settings--Snarfer might be the right choice for you.


FeedDemon is a well-crafted, standalone newsreader that makes for an ideal choice for both novices who've never heard of an RSS feed and advanced users looking to put some oomph and flexibility into their reading habits. FeedDemon also features a Watch Channels option to search for news items containing user-specified keywords and places them in a separate group so they're easier to find. If you're looking for customization and flexibility, FeedDemon delivers.

RSS Captor
RSS Captor is an easy-to-use RSS client with a three-pane interface. Feeds are listed on the left, a list of stories on the top right, and details on the lower right. Tabs offer quick access to sections where you can set up folders for automatically saved messages and manually saved messages. RSS Captor excels with its options for sorting, filtering, and searching stories. If you plan on committing yourself to getting all your information via RSS reader, RSS Captor offers a lot to work with.

Some people can get by with using their bookmarks to save their favorite sites. But if you spend a lot of time on the Web and want a way to get the latest news from several sites, any of these programs are up to the task.

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.