Avant Browser - my new fave

  Jdoki 11:53 11 Jan 2005

I've been taking a long hard look at internet browsers and thought I would share my opinions on the forum. Please feel free to disagree!

First off, I appreciate IE has some potential security risks and these are generally more severe than those found in Firefox et al.

However after doing the whole open source, alternative browser thing for years and going through Firefox, Opera etc, I've moved back to IE... sort of.

I found that Firefox provided a lot of good features, but in the end I weighed up the 'potential' security problems of IE against the reduced functionality of alternative browsers. (By reduced functionality I mean web sites not rendering correctly - even if the IE support of HTML etc is not 100% correct, at least pages look as they are intended(!) - and some sites not working correctly, mainly those using ActiveX).

For the vast majority of people the chances of stumbling across a malicious link is actually small - in many years online I have rarely found a potentially harmful link, and would consider myself a wide and varied surfer!

After months of testing I found that there was no reduction in spyware or tracking cookies etc found on my system whilst using Firefox, than when I used IE.

So I decided to try and find a browser that gave me the better features of Firefox, with the greater functionality of IE.

My search lead me to Avant - click here It is based on IE, but has greatly increased feature set. Tabbed browsing, mouse gestures, true full screen browsing, RSS feeds and more. It's also free and only a 1.1Mb download.

I'm certianly not trying to convert people to the MS way of life; and believe that no matter how small the security threat is, those holes should be plugged - but speaking to colleagues and looking through various forums it appears that some people have an attitude that borders on paranoia when it comes to browsing the internet.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 12:26 11 Jan 2005

Been using it for over a year now ;-))


  Jdoki 13:32 11 Jan 2005

And there was me expecting the first reply to be a flame along the lines of 'M$ sux, IE is rubbish, ur PC will be hijacked if u use IE based browser'!

  Stuartli 14:28 11 Jan 2005

I really can't believe that statement.....

  Stuartli 14:29 11 Jan 2005

..I've still got to come across a webste that doesn't work as intended - I'm sure there probably are some but still to find one.

  Jdoki 14:50 11 Jan 2005

I can only tell it as I see it, Stuartli.

I was running Spybot and AdAware just as often on FireFox as IE, and on both it was mainly finding tracking cookies, and about the same volume of them on each browser - certainly no major difference - but either way none of what it was finding was marked as high risk.

Pages that render differently in FF and IE:

ebuyer - product listings start below the bottom of the side menu/logo bar. Sometimes the product listing do not wrap text correctly meaning it runs off the side of the screen - only does this on FF.

MSN - fonts are wrong using FF

And on numerous pages the text is spread across the screen, meaingin I have to scroll right to read it (I hate that) or overlaps other text making it unreadable.

It seems that IE and FF interpret CSS differently - I believe this is because FF interprets it 'properly' whereas IE is more forgiving from what I have read.

I'm certainly not saying I dislike the alternatives to IE - just that I have found the perfect combination of function and features with Avant, and I'm willing to 'run the gauntlet' of potential security problems I could face.

  Stuartli 15:28 11 Jan 2005

S and D and Ad-aware have become, as near as you can get, redundant on my system since installing Firefox - you may be confusing the normal usage listings in Ad-aware with spyware.

  Jdoki 16:00 11 Jan 2005

As I mentioned it is mostly tracking cookies etc - low risk stuff which neither browser will stop, although disabling cookies would sort out most of it ( and I must admit Firefox does have better Cookie management).

Actual high risk spyware/malware has never been a problem for me on either IE or Firefox (or Avant).

  GaT7 23:19 11 Jan 2005

Jdoki, to get rid of most tracking cookies do 2 things:

1. Get SpywareBlaster (SB) click here. Enable protection after install & check for updates regularly. SB blocks most ad/spyware/cookies/etc & doesn't even need to be running to work.

2. Don't disable cookies entirely, but just set IE to 'Block' Third-party cookies. This will work for Avant as well. To do this: IE -> Tools -> Privacy tab. Press the 'Advanced' button. Put a tick each in 'Override automatic cookie handling' & ' Always allow session cookies'. Select 'Accept' for First-part Cookies & 'Block' for Third-party Cookies. OK, Apply, OK.

I'm a big fan of Avant Browser too - that & Firefox does it for me : ) G

PS - If you're on Win2000/XP, also get the new Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta click here.

  Patr100 01:56 12 Jan 2005

Yes I have also been using Avant for a while now and the extra features it has along with IE compatability is invaluable. Theres no time wasted learning your way around a new browser. I really enjoy the ease of opening links in a new window(tab) with just the press of the mouse button.

Installed the often raved about FireFox a while back but didn't like it compared with Avant and soon removed it.

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