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10 Most Popular and Forgotten Web Browsers

Updated on January 13, 2017
Bills Place profile image

Billy Haynes owns HD Writing Co. and is also a freelance writer, editor and web designer from Paragould, Arkansas.


Of course we all know the most popular web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome. However, do you remember Netscape or AOL? Have you ever heard of Flock? From time to time I see the question "What browser do you use?" and the answers are always the same, Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer (which is even starting to be used less).

Often coming across the question "what browser do you use" I decided to do a hub dedicated not only to the most popular browsers, but forgotten and discontinued browsers as well.

The list of browsers are alphabetical, each browser gives a brief description giving a little information about it, a release date, operating system (OS) it works with and link to download the latest version.

1. AOL Explorer

Release Date: July 2005

OS: Windows

This browser has been discontinued, but was build around Internet Explorer's Trident rendering engine. AOL signed a 7 year contract in 2003 with the creators of Internet Explorer (Microsoft) to use the layout of IE. The latest version was AOL Explorer version 1.5.

2. FireFox

(previously Phoenix and Mozilla Firebird)

Release Date: February 2004

OS: Cross-platform

Download (latest version): http://www.firefox.com/

Like Internet Explorer during the 1990s, Firefox has become a household name of the new millennium. However, it had a rough start with naming issues. First they were going to call it Phoenix, however Phoenix Technologies did not wanting them to use the name. It was then changed to Mozilla Firebird, but again trademark issues came up due to the Firebird free database software project. Because of the turn of misfortunate events we now have Mozilla Firefox, and what a wonderful browser it is!

3. Flock


(discontinued)

Release Date: April 2005

OS: Cross-Platform

Flock, interesting name for a web browser , but apparently the flock migrated somewhere else as the browser was discontinued in April 2011. Flock specialized in providing social networking and Web 2.0. It started out using the Gecko engine designed by Mozilla which Firefox is based on. After version 3 came out Flock was based on Chromium and used the WebKit rendering engine. Upon discontinuation Flock support and developers suggested using Firefox or Google Chrome.

4. GreenBrowser


Release Date: 2010

OS: Windows

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

I literally just learned about this browser as I was researching and typing this. It seems to have many features, some standard such as ad filter, tab bar and so on. However, the features that caught my attention Boss Key, which hides GreenBrowser in a hurry to keep others from seeing your surfing.

5. Google Chrome


Release Date: September 2008

OS: Cross-platform

Download (latest version): http://www.google.com/chrome

Google Chrome, another popular name in the web browser district. Then again when you have as much money to invest as Google and Microsoft, you can afford to make your product widely known in a short amount of time. When Chrome went public in 2008 it was available in 43 languages (now 50 languages).

For years Eric Schmidt (Google's Chief Executive) was against Google having an independent web browser as he knew the browser wars would be brutal. However, after Google co-founders hired several developers from Firefox, they built a demo of Chrome. Afterwards, Schmidt changed his views about the browser.

6. Internet Explorer


Release Date: August 1995

OS: Windows

Download (latest version): Internet Explorer

If you have ever owned, or been on a Window's PC you have likely heard of this browser. It uses the Trident layout engine, which many browsers have since signed contracts or purchased the rights to use the Trident engine's layout such as AOL Explorer, even Firefox and Chrome are Trident based applications.

7. K-Meleon


Release Date: 2010

*A reader mentioned the original release date was 2000, and was resurrected to work with all modern browsers.

OS: Windows

Download (latest version): http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/download.php

K-Meleon is a customizable browser based on the Gecko layout engine developed by Mozilla which is also the same layout engine Firefox uses. K-meleon has a simple and elegant look to it making it easy to use and learn to use.

8. Maxthon / MyIE2


Release Date: 2002

OS: Windows, Android

Download (latest version): http://www.maxthon.com/

This browser runs off the Trident and Webkit layout engines. Maxthon was first known as MyIE2. It includes features such as tabbed browsing, page save (incase browser shuts down), customizable, and more.

9. Netscape Navigator


Release Date: October 1994

OS: Windows

Netscape, remember that name? I remember using it a couple times way back when. It's another web browser from AOL that got lost over the years and discontinued in February 2008. Netscape 8 is based on Firefox, which makes me wonder how AOL goes wrong so much.

10. Opera


Release Date: 1996

OS: Cross-platform

Download (latest version): http://www.opera.com/

What began as a research project at Telenor is now a popular web browser. Opera's default search engine is Google which makes it that much more likable. Opera was big in the design world as it was one of the first browsers to support Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) coding. I have used this browser in the past, though Firefox is still my default I continue to have Opera on my desktop.

Questions for Readers:


  • What browser(s) do you currently use, or have used in the past?
  • Are there any web browsers that you think should make the list

Comments

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    • networmed profile image

      networmed 5 years ago from SPL

      Firefox, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome aren't actually belong to the forgotten browsers. In fact, these are the popular browsers and widely used today.

      Flock was really good, unfortunately its development stopped. Flock was originally derived from the Mozilla Firefox platform, later changed to chromium.

    • Bills Place profile image
      Author

      Billy Haynes 5 years ago from Paragould, AR

      Networmed, thanks for viewing my hub. Firefox, IE and Chrome are the popular browsers the title refers to. I can see now how the title could be misleading in that way though. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. :)

      Unfortunately Flock was one of the browsers I had not tried myself, but researching and reading up on it was interesting.

    • networmed profile image

      networmed 5 years ago from SPL

      Flock still available for download at filehippo and other download sites. And yes, it's one of the good browsers out there, unfortunately, due to its development being stopped, it can't be trusted anymore. You know, everyday security threats are being release by cyber attackers and exploit it through web browser-based attacks.

    • profile image

      The Jiggle Monster 5 years ago

      Interesting facts on things I haven't yet learned about the internet. I prefer using Google Chrome but unfortunately my boyfriends computer has Firefox ... I honestly didn't know that there were more than just Internet Explorer, AOL ( Which I thought was still working and up to date , but I seem to be misinformed )Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Thank You for the knowledge of the unknown internet junk I could use.

    • networmed profile image

      networmed 5 years ago from SPL

      Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are very popular even for MAC users.

      If you're a Mac user, you probably be using Safari. It's its default web browser, although, it is also available for Windows platform.

    • Bills Place profile image
      Author

      Billy Haynes 5 years ago from Paragould, AR

      Yeah, the ever growing list of virus's and security threats is the main reason I don't use discontinued/outdated browsers.

    • Bills Place profile image
      Author

      Billy Haynes 5 years ago from Paragould, AR

      Haha, your very welcome for the unknown internet junk knowledge. :)

    • Bills Place profile image
      Author

      Billy Haynes 5 years ago from Paragould, AR

      Safari, I knew I was overlooking a popular one! I'm a Windows user myself so I tend to forget that is the default for Mac users. I do however have it downloaded on my Windows platform along with several other popular ones. Being a freelance web designer it's handy to have the top used browsers downloaded to cross check browser compatibility while designing, and Internet Explorer makes cross browser compatibility a nightmare...

    • Shawn Scarborough profile image

      Shawn Scarborough 4 years ago from The Lone Star State

      Very interesting hub. I had never heard of some of these web browsers before.

    • rodocop profile image

      rodocop 4 years ago

      Learn more about new K-Meleon:

      https://hubpages.com/technology/k-meleon

      This browser isn't forgotten and it's going to be resurrected. No one powerful alternative would compare with K-Meleon in terms of speed, small system footprint and customizability.

      Try it and become real K-Meleonnaire!

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Nice hub. I too had written a similar one a few months back. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Keep on writing.

    • profile image

      John 3 years ago

      iCab

    • rodocop profile image

      rodocop 2 years ago

      Well, 2 more fixes about K-Meleon:

      1) if you specify year of the browser birth as 'Release date' then it must be 2000 for K-Meleon.

      2) Now KM is resurrected and works fine with all the modern web.

    • Bills Place profile image
      Author

      Billy Haynes 2 years ago from Paragould, AR

      Thanks for the added information! :) I'll update that.

    • profile image

      twodawgs 2 years ago

      The first browser I used when I was first introduced to the worldwide web in 1994 was NCSA Mosaic. I'm surprised there is no mention of it, since it was credited with touching off the explosion of internet use in the early/mid 1990s.

    • Bills Place profile image
      Author

      Billy Haynes 2 years ago from Paragould, AR

      Hi,

      Thanks for reading. I have been meaning to write another hub with some additional forgotten browsers, I just haven't found the time. :)

    • profile image

      Plinkus Polonius 2 years ago

      Bill - I currently use IE8 with Google Chrome Frame.

      The rendering and performance is superb so I don't plan on using anything else.

      Why didn't this IE derivative make the list?

    • Bills Place profile image
      Author

      Billy Haynes 2 years ago from Paragould, AR

      Plinkus - Thanks for reading, As it was only a list of ten I had to eliminate some, but plan on doing another list if I ever find the time. Since writing this I have ran into many more browsers I didn't even know existed so I'm going to work on a list of those as well.

      If you have any other suggestions please feel free to let me know.

    • profile image

      Jekyl 11 months ago

      Has there been an update to this list? Also, I'd like to know who actually owns and controls these browsers. It seems like Microsoft and Google are trying to gobble up all the browsers, so they have more monopolistic control of things.

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