Many people consider Google Chrome, Opera and Safari their preferred web browsers. They are still quite heavy and use a lot of resources. Popular browsers can put additional strain on your CPU, RAM, and drain your battery faster. You can break away from the standard browsers and immerse yourself in the world bare-bones.
It is a great solution to the problem that system resources are being hogged by a more powerful browser with many tabs open. These browsers perform the same task as their more well-known counterparts and offer no compromises in terms performance.
Here are the top five light web browsers that you should try. The selection was made based on the current supported projects, minimal resource consumption, and the number supported OS. You should stick with the main browsers if you want a robust web browser that offers more security, graphics and add-ons.
1. Pale Moon
Pale Moon is a great choice for anyone who has a modern CPU. It works with any multicore processor that is above or equal to an Intel Pentium 4 series or AMD Athlon 64. Pale Moon requires at most 300 MB disk space and 256MB RAM. However, it recommends at least 1GB RAM. Although this may seem like a lot, the installer app is much smaller than the actual installed app and the browser will most likely not use that much RAM.
They currently support Windows OS and Linux OS. However, there are ongoing development projects for other operating systems. If you are using this file on Linux, installation is not necessary. You can just download the file and extract it, then run it.
KMeleon is designed for Win32 but works on Win64 and Linux with Wine installed. This lightweight browser, based on Firefox’s Gecko layout engine, requires only 70MB of disk space to download and 256MB recommended RAM.
This browser is compatible with systems running XP. The browser can be downloaded from SourceForge.
qutebrowser has a minimalist GUI and keyboard-focused VIM-like bindings. It is a dream come real for many Linux developers and Linux fans.
This browser requires additional installation of Python 3.6.1 or higher to be installed.
Although it’s easy to feel intimidated by this browser’s learning curve, once you get used to it, you will be amazed at its efficiency.
Midori can be a great option for those who aren’t very demanding. Open-source browser with a good selection of features. It is also one of the most efficient browsers when it comes to consuming the minimum amount of resources.
This browser has many features including HTML5 and RSS support as well as anonymous browsing and spell checking. Midori does offer privacy settings and font/display options. It used previously the encrypted DuckDuckGo search engine as its default to protect your privacy; however, Midori switched to the non-encrypted Lycos for faster performance.
Another highlight is the minimalistic user interface. Midori’s search bar has some buttons that you might expect, but it is all. This allows the search to take centre stage.
5. Comodo IceDragon
Comodo IceDragon, a well-known cybersecurity firm, has created a powerful browser. It has many features that are similar to Mozilla Firefox, and strong security to protect all data. There are many add-ons, extensions and menus available.
IceDragon uses Comodo DNS servers for converting URLs to IP addresses. This browser also has a dedicated virtual box. It doesn’t touch your system so it is not at risk of infecting your computer with malicious software.
This lightweight browser allows you to remove performance and crash reports and scans websites for potential threats. IceDragon is compatible with Windows and requires 128MB RAM and 40MB of hard drive storage.
Microsoft has taken great steps to ensure that more programs are compatible with it, even though it was designed for Windows. Red Hat and Oracle are well-known Microsoft companies.
Honorable Mention – Lynx Web Browser
Lynx, the oldest and most supported web browser in the world, is a text-based browser. It works on Linux, MAC, Windows and other platforms. A text-based browser is not suitable for all users, but it does offer some security features due the nature of cookies and ad tracking. Traditional ad-tracking has no effect because it doesn’t process images and cookies.
Lynx does not offer cookies or tabs traditional, but there are extensions that will allow you to whitelist or blacklist certain cookies on websites.
Lynx is a great alternative to graphics if you don’t mind working in a terminal window. This browser is still supported.
Lightweight browsers for Linux/Unix-Based OS
Unix, Linux or any Unix-like OS user has a few choices. There are many lightweight, minimalist browsers available. We will only mention a few.
The Dillo browser is designed to protect privacy and personal security. It uses very little system resources. Dillo, written in CC++ is a fast and effective browser.
NetSurf requires only 16MB of download space. It is a fast, efficient browser that can use as low as 30MB RAM per tab. NetSurf is compatible with a wide range of devices and embedded systems. This compact browser is a great alternative.
There is a Windows version of this browser, but some features are not available and it has been known to crash. We’re listing it as a Linux browser.
GNOME was created for the GNOME desktop environment. It is an elegant and simple browser that follows the design principles of GNOME 3. GNOME Web is a fantastic browser that uses the WebKit engine.
What web browser is the lightest?
Pale Moon. Pale Moon will be the lightest for the sake of this list. They are rare, but they can still occur in other browsers which might make them require more resources than Pale Moon.
Which is the best overall browser in 2022?
Firefox. Although Mozilla Firefox has a higher RAM usage than many other browsers and is less lightweight, it’s still one of the most popular in nearly every category. It is one of the fastest internet browsers and has private windows. Additionally, it reliably blocks malware.
Which browser is the most secure?
Firefox, IceDragon. Firefox again. Firefox is the most popular browser and consistently ranks low in malware. IceDragon, which is lighter than other browsers, is the best because it has the most support as well as a virtual container. This means that IceDragon does not directly interact with your system.
You can get more privacy and security through your browser by checking if there are extensions for no-script or ad block. No-script is more important than the adblock.
The Final Verdict
It is almost impossible to pick one browser from this list that is the best. Each browser excels in its own way, so the final decision comes down to personal preference and browsing requirements.
Qutebrowser is a great choice if you like VIM-style keybindings. Pale Moon is a browser that requires less learning. They all provide pleasant browsing experiences that are significantly more efficient than their more robust counterparts.
All browsers can be downloaded and used for free. If you don’t like them, uninstall them and install another.