Browser

Review: The Avant Browser a dual-engine alternative

The Avant Browser uses dual-rendering engines to ensure it can handle any website that comes its way.

The Avant Browser is an interesting alternative because it is designed to take on any kind of site with its dual-rendering engine support (Gecko and Trident) built in. For an underdog web browser, it packs quite a punch.

System requirements

Who's it for?

Avant Browser is for those who want a web browser that can do it all without having multiple browsers installed and that offers varying degrees of site support.

What problem does it solve?

Avant Browser makes an attempt at a surfing experience that includes "everything but the kitchen sink," with an array of bells and whistles as well as broader site support.

Standout features:

  • Two installer options: Avant Browser is available in both an "Ultimate" version and a "Lite" version, depending on whether you want more feature support or a smaller installation size.
  • A versatile backup system: With a special Avant Browser account, you can automatically back up browser settings, bookmarks, RSS feeds, and more. Simply log in to an Avant Browser session on any computer, and your settings will transfer right over.
  • Infinitely customizable: Avant Browser offers to clear your browser cache and wipe clean other miscellaneous data every time you close your browser, to disable various web elements, such as ActiveX and Flash animations, to provide easy proxy configuration, and more.
  • Fast loading times: The web-browser is certainly no slouch, despite all the extras that lie within. It starts up and is ready to go in a jiffy.
  • Site support is surprisingly good: Almost every site I threw at the browser managed to load and display properly, thanks to its unique dual-browser engine setup.

What's wrong?

  • The UI is too busy: Unfortunately, in an effort to try and do everything imaginable, Avant Browser windows tend to be cluttered with a plethora of menu options and buttons. Such a design can distract from the browsing experience.
  • Gecko engine is a bit behind: Although not a serious flaw, the included Gecko engine is a bit behind that of the latest version of Firefox in terms of web page support.

Competitive products

The bottom line

Avant Browser is definitely worth considering as a primary web browser. It offers a fairly polished and clean experience, and despite being a bit busy in the UI design department, the pros outweigh the cons.

Also read:

About

An avid technology writer and an IT guru, Matthew is here to help bring the best in software, hardware and the web to the collective consciousness of TechRepublic's readership. In addition to writing for TechRepublic, Matthew currently works as a Cus...

15 comments
Senina.Chung
Senina.Chung

It's a tri-core engine alternative now. Like the features about rendering engines. I can switch default engine, switch the engine for current page and assign engine to websites this is what other browser don't have. Really special browser. Load speed is fast too, and use less resource compared with other browser. This is really a strong browser.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

always recommend it to people who want to stay with a MSIE based browser. However, several years ago I switched to Firefox for a number of reasons and have stayed with it since because it had add-ons that weren't available with MSIE or Avant at the time. Now some of those extra capabilities are available through MSIE and Avant, but I see no reason to switch back. Also, I've since switched to using Linux so I doubt I'll ever go back to a MSIE based browser, but I do still recommend Avant to those who want to stay with something MS based.

yasenina
yasenina

After installing the lite version, my Avant Browser lite version auto upgraded to the final ultimate version. The newest avant browser ultimate 2012 has inherited the good performance of firefox: fast, stable, memory saving. The newest Avant downloader can sniffer and download videos in the webpages. Superb, the downloader is small size and totally free.

Slayer_
Slayer_

The latest Avant is really good. You can switch which engine each tab uses just by right clicking the tab. And you can have certain pages always use a certain engine.

macgvr
macgvr

I tried it and while there are things to like, I just didn't care for the interface and it crashes, constantly. I also didn't like the prompt every time I closed the browser. I will be trying an addon for Firefox that allows opening tabs with IE. I think that will meet my needs better.

marcdw
marcdw

One browser that should be in the competing product list is Lunascape. This one is a triple-rendering browser (Trident, Gecko, WebKit). Seems a bit heavy on my legacy machines but should be quite nice on today's modern computers. The Gecko engine is the one used in the 3.6.x Firefox browsers.

diddleupdrs
diddleupdrs

I like the browser. The split view feature, the built in interpreter, and a lot of the other features, especially that it has it's own search engine . But... some of the pages I go to load different than my other browser, and some of the pages take forever to load, especially if I have more than one or two tabs open at the same time. I go to one page every day with one or two of my email accounts open at the same time and that second/third page takes forever and locks up the whole browser. (I meet the system requirements + some) right this minute I have only 263+ available (but I'm using Flock) and I have never had any problems with it locking up. The version I tried wasn't the Ultimate, it was the Lite. I've already recommended it to a lot of my friends

davidibaldwin
davidibaldwin

I installed it and couldn't get it to stop trying to be the default browser so it only lasted about 15 minutes before it was gone...

techrepublic
techrepublic

If there were actually standards that were adhered to, there wouldn't be a need for multiple browsers.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I prefer the busy UI, its more like Internet Explorer 6, and makes it very easy to use. Switching to Compact view helps with the clutter. And I always turn off the tool bars and reorganize it. Standard, Address and Tabs is all I use. My folks love the full screen mode (since they insist on using 800 x 600 resolution). All the buttons properly have text as well, making it very user friendly.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Do you have a web browser you turn to when Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari just won't cut it for you? Which one and why do you like it?

Matt Nawrocki
Matt Nawrocki

I thought there was a checkbox that you could uncheck at start up that would tell Avant to quit nagging you about that sort of thing?

Slayer_
Slayer_

If even just for Avant's superior interface.

Matt Nawrocki
Matt Nawrocki

Interesting insight Slayer. I will admit that the full screen mode on Avant is quite nice and you pretty much see nothing browser-window related on the screen. A stark contrast to Firefox and IE. :)

Slayer_
Slayer_

You can also do things like set it to default, but not have it open up clicked URL's or not open HTML files, etc. At work, I have mine as the default browser, but it won't open HTML files or help files. HTML files open in IE.