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.
- Operating systems: Windows XP, Vista, and 7
- Cost: Free
- More Info: http://avantbrowser.com
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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 Customer Success Professional for Ultimate Software in Santa Ana, California.