Still, new browsers seem to pop up every month. The latest to catch my eye has been around awhile. It’s based upon Google’s Chromium browser, but without ties to Google; though there may be a China connection. It’s fast. It’s stable. It’s free. But is it secure?
Maxing Out On Maxthon
My Mac must think I have a multiple personality disorder. Most of my browsing on the web is done in Apple’s venerable Safari.
It’s fast. It’s free. But Safari and Flash don’t play nice-nice together. So, I use Google’s Chrome for sites with Flash videos.
Google being Google I know they’re tracking my every move in Chrome, so sometimes I use Mozilla’s Firefox (first for the extensions, second to throw Google off my game).
That’s three brand name browsers. Why would I add Maxthon to my Mac browsing experience. Grins. It’s just for grins.
Maxthon bills itself as a cloud browser (aren’t they all) and there are versions for Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone devices. Start up Maxthon for the first time and here’s what you get.
Sorry, I’ll pass on that.
Since Maxthon is mostly Google’s Chromium you’ll find it instantly familiar. Fast. Stable. Free. Cross platform. On the surface, there’s plenty to like.
Maxthon renders webpages pretty much like Safari and Chrome.
Similar to Chrome and Chromium, settings on Maxthon are minimalist but there are themes available to make the browser stand out a bit more than the typical riffraff of browsers.
Advanced settings let you adjust fonts and privacy settings.
There’s plenty to like about using Maxthon, especially if you’re growing tired of Safari and Firefox and don’t want anything to do with Google tracking you online.
But that brings up an interesting thought. What’s the business model behind Maxthon? For Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, it’s easy. Money comes from search. What about Maxthon? I worry that it may be harvesting my personal data and tracking me behind the scenes, capturing and collating information about me and selling it to the highest bidder.
Or, maybe it’s just a labor of love by some browser-loving Chinese folks who are giving back a little because the web has given them so much.
Or, maybe something else.