Maxthon Browser Review

25 Aug 2005

I’m having an extraordinary experience with this new browser, and I thought : let’s blog this!

Maxthon Internet Browser software is a powerful tabbed browser with a highly customizable interface. It is based on the Internet Explorer browser engine, which means that what works in the IE browser will work the same in Maxthon tabbed browser but with many additional efficient features.

Latest upgrades :


+ ‘more rss’ button on rss sidebar.
+ Search drop down.
+ Podcasting support.
+ Online update will remember item’s check state.
* memory usage adjustment.
+ , Maxthon feed directory.


Listed features : [Maxthon - Feature Tour ] – I’ll discuss the ones I come across.

Downloading : No problemo ! Superfast.

Installing : Some remarks

After chosing your language, you’re offered the following interface :


Do not install this ! Why not to check the box ? Let’s go down the list:

    Auto-saving passwords is not-done. Never-ever use that option not even in IE.

    Login & submit buttons that are clicked automatically… what if you don’t want to?

    I’ll fill in the registration forms myself, so I know what I’m supplying. So should you.

    I’ll think of my own passwords. Everyone can find a password. Think hard enough.

    Encrypting data? For who? What happens to it? How do I recover it? Is recovering free? You can’t tell, I’m not going to check on Master Password’s functions either, so better not allow this to happen.

    Gator… DING-DING-DING. Isn’t that umm… Claria, WhenU… AdWare? Yup! Better skip this too !

Next step : Customizing your view.


I unchecked the search bar, and also hid the favorites which were nicely taken over from IE. We’re off ! Let’s explore this thing for real.

First buttons I noticed are these : maxthon6

So let’s check’m out one by one.
The first one is ‘view source’. An option I use quite frequently, so it comes in handy that I have it there.
The second one is the icon of Macromedia’s Flash. It’s Flash Save 1.21 and it allows you to isolate and save Flash movies on any page that’s open in a tab. No more need to dig through your temp folders to find that cool animation or game, just save it. Much better.
If you click the third icon, the quote, an alert pops up that says : ‘ this button enables you to send SMS from your PC to any mobile in the world. To enable this function you must register as a user with our partner ZYB. Registering is free, and you get 5 free SMS upon registration’. Now that’s a cool feature. Little research tells us you’ll pay 8ct/sms from the sixth message you send. Also : “When you install the ZYB desktop client you can right click any text on the web and get it to your cell. It takes just two clicks.” Works on any webpage.
More info on these SMS services at [ZYB]
The fourth button says ‘EnableRightClick’. Umm. I don’t really get that. But you can click it on and off if you want to look busy. ;)

I was surprised to find an autodetect for RSS feeds on a page, but after some testing, I conclude there’s still a lot to be done here.
For instance, my own feed isn’t recognized, but I could locate the bug: Although the link on the page is correct, the dectection and auto-add function insert an extra ‘/’ in the url, so indeed it’s an error, but it ain’t mine.

Here’s an example of the alert that pops up :


Also, when you’re on a page with multiple feeds [This one, for example] it only detects one, feed, namely mine and thus generated another error. If the feed’s url doesn’t end on .xml, it doesn’t seem to be recognized, because no other notification was given although at least five good RSS feeds are listed here. Bit of a downer.

So then I checked out the sidebar. It has a link to ‘weather’. — That’s weight you can drop, unless you like researching the weather, with all respect for that.
There’s a link to M2-Bookmark, something that requires a username and password, which I don’t have.
Next button (I’m running bottom up in the sidebar here) is for RSS. The listed feeds are Reuters and Yahoo and some other general feeds, and the feeds from Maxthon. So I thought lets add a feed. Mine for instance. So I click the ‘Add’ button. Alert pops up, saying I need to install Chinese. I refuse. Error 404, in senseless characters. Seems I won’t be adding my feed here today.

Adding Nathan’s feed while surfing his site works just great and it looks like this :


The built-in RSS reader is really ok, very clean and styled lay-out. Titles, excerpts and timestamps are very clear, and the top right section of the screen displays all the current titles in the feed, in case you hate scrolling. Reader approved.

Back to the buttons : ‘Resources, – we’re half-way up -, opens up a general list of ‘general knowledge links’ of world facts . Good thing to have if you can’t use Google.

Things in the list : Telephone Directory (infobel), Flightbooker, WorldWeather (again), Online Calculator, Online Virus Scanner, Internet Connection Test (wtf?), Currency Rates, Stock Screener, … one more useful than the other. Ther service is there, it’s the gesture that counts.

Next up is ‘folder’ which lets you browse ‘MyComputer’ etc.
Next up is ‘history’, and clearly it lets you browse what’s in the cache.
Then the ‘favorites’, no further explaining needed and then… a feature that I find impressive.

Impressive is a serious understatement here. The search is VERY extended, I’ll list it up :

The ‘General’ tab lets you search in Google, All The Web, Alta Vista, Steady Search, Yahoo, MSN, Lycos, Excite, Galaxy, MetaCrawler, AskJeeves & Killerinfo. That’s 12 engines.

So then you need to be careful (which I wasn’t). I checked all 12 boxes and entered ‘Coolz0r’ in the search box and hit the ‘enter’. Twelve tabs appeared at once, all with search results. Better do it one by one. Practice makes perfect. Heheh. Galaxy doesn’t do it though, it just opens up the page without auto-inputting the search string. You’ll have to re-enter it there.

On the right :
it will open 53 tabs with the query.


Then all other options have specific search engines for the topic they’re specialized in.

The list :

Software searches in : FileForum, FreewareFiles,, SnapFiles, SnapFiles Freeware & Tucows.

FileMirrors has following uptions : ‘Name Begins With’, ‘Name Contains’, ‘Name Equals’ & ‘Name Ends With’

Pictures performs a Google Image Search or a search in or PicSearch.

MP3’s takes a peep in : – Album, – Artist,, Astraweb,
Lycos Music & All The Web MP3

Coding tracks for : ASP/VbScript, C/C++, Delphi, Java, JavaScript, Perl, PHP & VB

Words searches the main web dictionaries for answers and matches. Examples used are :
Merriam-Webster online & thesaurus, &

News is very mainstream and looks in GoogleNews, YahooNews, BBC -, CNN -, ABC News, All The Web News & AltaVista News.

Last but not least, Products aims your search to, Yahoo Shopping, eBay or Walmart.

A lot of search, I tell yah !

Owkay. Last thing I’m going to point out is the ‘grouping’ option, I’ll do it by means of an example. To moderate my blog, I need to open a tab for (to ping it), a tab for (to ping a lot of things), a tab for (for comments) and maybe some other sites I regularly post on. I can use the ‘Save Windows As Group’ link in the menu to create a group that I’ll call ‘blog’. Later on, I can add any page to this group, or delete one, if needed. I then can have maxthon start up the browser with opening the group of sites I need.
I believe you could call this : controlled tabbed window management.

Nice ending for this tale : if you shut down the browser …


/browser approved, stays installed to check it out some more. If anything shocking happens, good or bad, I’ll blog it.

Try for yourself : [Download]

Hat Tip : [CasualJim]

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Posted by Miel Van Opstal in General, Reviews, Thoughts, Tools


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