Those looking to have it all, and then some, need to look no further than the Avant Browser. In addition to the tri-core switchable rendering engine capability, which allows you to switch between Trident, Gecko, and Webkit rendering engines effortlessly, there simply is no shortage of settings and tweaks at your disposal. You can set URL compatibility by browser engine, create mouse gestures for seamless navigation, store passwords in a password protected cache and even upload bookmarks and browser settings to the cloud for quick restoration later.
This Chinese-made web-browser has been turning heads in recent years, with its superb attention to detail and useful extras. Three features that stand out the most in Maxthon are the extension sidebar, which grants the user speedy access to installed add-ons, a very polished download manager that can upload downloads to a cloud storage area for safe keeping, and a multi-PC browser sync. Now, thanks to their massive push into the smartphone and tablet arena, Maxthon will even sync browser data to supported mobile devices.
3. SRWare Iron
Security-minded individuals that value their privacy will appreciate what this next choice has on tap. German software house SRWare has a browser based on Chromium called Iron. It does away with any unique identifying information that can tie your browser back to you, as well as disabling Omnibox auto-complete and other Google-specific code. Yet in spite of all these changes, the browser looks and functions virtually the same to standard Google Chrome, meaning all your browser extensions will work just fine.
5. Tor Browser
And finally, when you need a browser that makes obfuscating web traffic easy as pie, Tor Browser should be considered heavily. Several notable features are the portable EXE format for easy transport on a flash drive, the inclusion of several security conscious plugins like NoScript and HTTPS Anywhere, and the Vidalia Control Panel, which allows you to refresh your online "identity" and monitor bandwidth usage on the Tor network quickly and easily.
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.