Best Windows and Linux Web Browsers for very old computers

by Johnson Yip on March 19, 2012 · 2 comments
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in Computer, Networking, Software, software tutorial, Tech Tutorials, Web Browsers


If you still own a very old or slow computer, the best web browser for it would be Maxthon 3, Avant browser, slim browser, K-Meleon, Arora, Midora, Google Chrome, Chromium, Opera web browsers. Using these web browsers will make you able to multi-task better because they use less RAM, and CPU Cycles.

A web browser which runs fast on slower computer could let you use your old PC for web services like Google Docs, YouTube, Facebook, Gmail, Google Reader, Calender, online flash games, etc to do what you typically do with regular programs on the web with web programs also called web apps which uses a lot less system resources then Full PC software because most web apps run off of the website not your computer.

Plus, they will run faster on older computer compared to the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera, etc which may not even be supported in older operating systems like Windows 2000 or older like 95-98, ME even if they were supported they run slowly if you have a slow computer with a Pentium 3 CPU with 256MB of RAM or less, and very little free hard drive space like under 100MB free.

These web browsers would also be better to use then Internet Explorer 6.0 which is no longer supported, and is slow compared to the web browser I’ll list in this guide.

Maxthon 3 is based on Webkit which Chrome,  and Safari uses and Trident which Internet Explorer browser uses. It has a lot of  features like Password manager, bookmarks, add-ons, themes, and other features you find on web browsers. The user interface also looks very modern and easy to use. The System requirements are also very low for such a new web browser.

Minimum Requirements
500MHz CPU
256MB RAM
20MB Disk Space
Windows 2000 / XP / Vista
Internet Explorer 6.0

http://www.maxthon.com/

Avant Browser is also a pretty good feature rich web browser which uses the IE Trident web browser found in Internet Explorer. I used Avant as my main browser for many years before I switch to Google Chrome, and it works great. It has all the features like Bookmarks, password managers, add-ons, custom themses and other features I need. It does not use a lot of RAM, or CPU space. If you prefer using a web browser which is based on Internet Explorer, Avant Browser is the browser for you. It is certainly one of the fastest web browsers which uses the Internet Explorer Trident engine. It works on Windows 2000, XP, Vixta, and 7. You just need a 300 MHz CPU and 128 MB of RAM, and Internet Explorer 6 or higher to be installed.

http://www.avantbrowser.com/

Slim Browser is also a web browser which is similar to Avant except the user interface is more basic, but Slim Browser has all the features a typical user would need like bookmarks, history, form filler, etc. It also use the IE Trident Web browser engine. Slim Browser system requirements are very low. All you need is Windows 98, and Internet Explorer 5.0 installed. It also works on Windows ME, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7.
http://www.slimbrowser.net/en/

K-Meleon is a Web browser which uses the Gecko Firefox web browser. However the user interface is not as modern as Firefox, and has no add-on supports for installing add-ons from Firefox.com.  The user interface kinds of looks like Internet Explorer 5.0. The main advantage is it starts up fast and uses very little system resources, so it is also very speedy on older computer. But, it has not been updated in many years, so it is not the best web browser for newer computers which can use more feature rich web browsers without slowing down. It is also one of the few web browsers which is kind of new which still work with Windows 95-ME.

System Requirements

Windows 95-Windows 7
32 MB RAM
15 MB hard drive space.

http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/

Arora Web Browser is also worth checking out. It uses the WebKit Web Browser like Google Chrome and Safari. It kind of reminds me of a more simple version of Google Chrome. It supports bookmarks, but I but there is no Add-on support like Google Chrome for cool widgets and plug-ins . I can’t find the system requirements, but if your computer has Windows 2000 or higher then you can probably run it. Arora is also available on Linux operating systems like Ubuntu. Arora also supports Adobe Flash Player in Linux.

http://code.google.com/p/arora/

Midori Web Browser is also worth looking at, but it is very basic, and does not have much add-on support. It supports Bookmarks, passwords, and all the basic stuff you find in web browser. It uses the WebKit web browser which is also used in Google Chrome and Safari. It also has HTML5 support for playing newer web browser based games, and HTML5 videos on YouTube.

Midori is probably the best light weitght web browser for very old computer since it seems it is still being updated on a regular basis by the developer unlike K-meleon and Arora which had no new versions in years. Midori also seems like the most stable and modern web browser designed for very old computers compared to Epiphany Web Browser for Gnome Linux which crashes often in my experience, and does not support Adobe Flash Player in Ubuntu Linux like Midori.

It is available for Both Windows and Linux according to http://www.twotoasts.de/index.php?/pages/midori_summary.html 

Google Chrome which is Google’s official web browser is also worth a try if your computer has 128 MB of RAM, running Windows XP Service Pack 2 or higher, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, Debian 6, Fedora 14, OpenSuse 11.3, Mac OS X, Pentium 3 for Linux, Pentium 4 for Windows, has 100MB of free disk space. I have been using Google Chrome as my main web browser in Windows, and it works great since it also has a lot of add-ons, extensions, and it is very stable. It has all the features I need like Bookmarks, history, password manager, and lots of cool themes. It is also updated regularly for improve security, stability and performance because it uses the fast WebKit web browser engine which Apple Safari also uses.

https://www.google.com/chrome/

You can also install Chromium which is the open source web browser which Google Chrome, RockMelt, and other web browsers are based on. Ubuntu, Puppy Linux, and other Linux distro operating system makes it easy for you to install Chromium on your computer by searching for it, and agreeing to install it. I use Chromium as my main web browser in Linux, and it is very stable, fast, simple, and feature rich like Google Chrome, and it is updated regularly to fix bugs and improve security. Chromium also uses the Webkit web browser engine.

http://www.chromium.org/

Opera Web Browser is also worth a try, but I notice its Adobe Flash performance is not very fast. But, it is fast at HTML5 games and videos, and text and picture based websites and blogs. It is also a very fast web browser if you don’t use it for Adobe Flash websites like YouTube. It also has some add-ons, but not as many compared to Chrome or FireFox. But, it has most of the features you may want like mouse gestures, password manager, bookmarks, history, etc built-in to the browser, and it is also very easy to customize the look and feel of the web browser with themes, or changing the location of the buttons and toolbars.

System requirements for Windows.

  • Windows 2000 on a Pentium II
  • 128 MB of RAM
  • 20 MB of free disk space

Opera will work on Linux operating systems like Ubuntu, Puppy Linux, Fedora, Debian, RedHat, OpenSuse, and more.

http://www.opera.com/

FireFox also made some improvements in  newer versions of Firefox like 10, 11 when it comes to speed, but in my experience it does not run very well unless you have 1GB of RAM in Windows, but it runs better in Linux since it is the default web browser for Ubuntu, and many other Linux Distros. Firefox supports Add-ons, extensions, custom themes, toolbars, bookmarks, history, and more.

Recommended Hardware for Windows
  • Pentium 4 or newer processor that supports SSE2
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 200MB of hard drive space

It should run pretty good on Linux as long as you don’t install tons of add-ons, toolbars, and plug-ins to Firefox, but in my experience Chromium is a slightly faster web browser in Linux then Firefox.

http://www.mozilla.org/

What is your favorite web browser to use on a slower computer?

SeaMonkey which is like Netscape and also made by Mozilla also runs pretty fast on most computers. It supports themes, add-ons, plug-ns as well. It also has an e-mail client and IRC chat built-in. You can also use Sea Monkey to make websites with the WYSIWYG editor. It also supports HTML5, hardware acceleration and improved JavaScript speed.

http://www.seamonkey-project.org/

Green Web Browser which is based on Internet Explorer’s Trident Web Browser engine is a very fast and light resource web browser in my experience. It has most of the features which I need like bookmarks, autofills, password manager, Search, and a lot more. It seems to use the less RAM and CPU Cycles out of all the web browsers which I tried.

http://www.morequick.com/indexen.htm

Tip: closing unused programs which you don’t need anymore since you are not using them will help speed up your computer, so if you have other web browsers, word processors, media players, photo editing software, other software open, you should close them to free up RAM, and CPU Cycles which will speed up your computer and web browsing. Also, make sure your computer is not infected with viruses and spyware which also slow down your computer, so scan your computer for malware, virus, and spyware with an anti-virus on a weekly or daily basis.

Restarting your computer can also make your computer less slow. Also, close  un-used tabs and windows on your web browser, and uninstall or disable unused plug-ins, add-ons, and extensions. Using the default theme might also make your computer feel faster when browsing the web.

Sometimes uninstalling, and reinstalling your web browser to the latest version of your web browser may make it faster.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve April 14, 2013 at 6:36 am

Chrome based browser are tooooo slowwww ! On my 6 MB+ broadband chrome based browsers loads only 1 page more than 15 sec to be page fully loaded !!! Only 1 computer and nothing interfere with it ! So much for speed of chrome based browsers ! Opera browser has serious NSL and java script problems ! And all browsers are exstensively RAM polluting and choking computer if more than 10 pages opened with java script enabled ! Web developers are miss using java script and no one is doing nothing about it ! There is no java script ID engine for blocking java script that cozes huge RAM polluting and that without flash ! Browsers have no intelligent resource management and equally choking on modern powerful some sort multicore home supercomputer with 16 GB RAM or even more as on P4 x86 with 2 GB RAM or more ! I have tested it ! Internet is no fun any more and browser developer as web page developers have lose all the credibility ! What they develop ? How to get user nerves sky high or what ? Not only that we have to live with crap OS like MS is now browsers and web pages are also crap ! There should be java script identifiying engine to sort out java script problematic web pages and web pages that are overloaded and blocking it ! User experience with internet is getting worse not better ! Web page shoud take ammount of RAM just as same when saved to HDD under 1 MB ! How come that no one is seeing this ???

Johnson Yip April 15, 2013 at 5:11 pm

I agree with you Steve. Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox are using too much RAM even when a few websites are open. Midori, and Flash Peak’s Slimboat web browser seem to run pretty fast on slower computers.

Web Browser Plug-ins, add-ons/extensions and toolbars may also be slowing down your web browsing speed.

I notice Java, Javascript, Flash, and shockwave to slow down browsers most.

I notice using Linux operating systems like Lubuntu, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Puppy Linux seems to make web browsing faster, and use less RAM compared to Windows which is slower in my experience.

Using my Google Nexus 7 with Dolphin Browser, and Boat Browser seems faster than Windows.

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