If you own a PC, you're either still using the pre-installed Internet Explorer or you wised up and installed Firefox. If you're a Mac owner, you're either still using the pre-installed Safari or you wised up and installed Firefox. Those three browsers take up a collective 97.1 percent share of the market. But what about the rest of us slobs who protest anything corporate, reject anything mainstream, and don't even know why? There is surprising amount of excellent web browsers that get no love at all. And these are our five favorites.
5- Sunrise (Mac)
Sunrise is a fast little browser with a simple and clean UI for you anal retentive minimalists. It has a compact and sparse toolbar; seriously, they even combined the stop and refresh button into one. It's differentiating features are color-coded visual bookmarks and quick page resizes (640/800/1024/FH). It's great for quick and dirty web browsing, but I would hold off if you want something more reliable.
4- Shiira Project (Mac)
3- Songbird (Mac/Windows/Linux)
If iTunes and Firefox made sweet internet love, their spawn would be Songbird. Now you can listen to Michael Bolt...err, I mean Vampire Weekend while downloading porn with ease. It's win-win! This media player in browser's clothing is full of innovation. Say you're browsing a music blog; you can click on an MP3 and it'll play on Songbird as if it was a local song. If you want to store it on Songbird, you just have to drag and drop. They call themselves the "Pioneers of the Inevitable," with previous "hatchlings" by the development team including the Yahoo! Music Engine and Winamp. I say bring on the inevitable.
2- Flock (Mac/Windows/Linux)
Flock is definitely the browser for social network junkies, integrating Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. In terms of a web browser, it's not just a portal that you take for granted but something truly interactive. No one has ever said "I'm gonna cruise around my Internet Explorer," but you could very well waste an afternoon cruising around on Flock. It's engaging and full of features. The UI is bulky, but it's for power social-whoring and ADD web browsing. 'Nuff said.
1- Opera (Mac/Windows/Linux)
Oh, what a storied past Opera has. It's been shareware, ad-supported, blocked from MSN.com, and became the official web browser of the Nintendo DS and Wii. The evolution and controversy surrounding this browser have been exciting to watch. But, it is first and foremost a powerful tool. It's fast, clean, and a great default browser. Some would call it the best browser on the market, but Rocky ain't gonna beat Apollo without kinks. Opera still has many compatibility issues and is not yet Open Source. Opera is also a victim of "Sniffing." No, I'm not talking about nose candy; it's actually something a lot dorkier. After a proper evaluation, it's clear that Opera is an excellent browser to use for web research, opening links, and general goofing off.