I have broadband at home, but sometimes during the travels I end up at a library, internet cafe, or public wifi spot that is unbearably slow. When I’m on the internet I want to see what I want to see and I want it now. To deal with this unbearable situation I have been exploring lightweight browser alternatives. In this quest I have found a few that are quite good, extremely fast, and even cross platform!
My favorite so far: Links2
Links2 is a new revision of Links that supports graphics! It is extremely fast, easy to use, and a great way to browse the internet without the clutter. Sites like Facebook will not load, but for reading the news it does really well! If you feel like you don’t need graphics, try just plain Links. It can be used from the terminal and is more than enough to enjoy the web experience.
Close, but no cigar: Dillo
Dillo is another lightweight alternative. Supporting tabbed browsing, Dillo is fast and lightweight, but for some reason lacks the charm of Links. It also seems to crash on my Ubuntu 9.10 install. A major downer.
For those that are feeling adventurous: Opera Mini beta 2 with Microemulator
Opera Mini is by far the best browser I have found in the mobile arena. Why not use it on the computer? If you don’t mind doing a little dirty work, you can get Opera Mini running on your desktop. It is not as fast as Links2 or Dillo, but the browsing experience is closer to what you would experience on Firefox, Chrome, or IE. Opera Mini is an impressive browser, and on a slow connection it makes a great Desktop browser. Opera Mini has a password manager and supports cookies! YUM!
Full fledged browser (not lightweight): Google Chrome
With the addition of Extensions to Google Chrome, I have almost fully transitioned from Firefox to Chrome! If you haven’t tried it out yet, please do. You will most likely be thoroughly impressed with its’ speed and generous real estate dedicated to browsing!