Best web browser for XP

Discussion in 'Windows XP General Discussion' started by ClippyBeer, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. ClippyBeer

    ClippyBeer

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    Well I have an old Compaq laptop from 2004. Max memory is 512MB so forget about Vista, 7, etc.
    Since the major browsers have abandoned XP I've been test driving some of the Mozilla forks for modern website compatibility. The 3 mozilla-based I have found to be most compatible are Newmoon, MyPal and Basilisk. Of these 3 my favorite is MyPal. Although it only scores 423 out of 555 on http://html5test.com/ I have found it to work perfectly with practically any modern website I've accessed it with. Built-in H.264 support, WebM/OGG etc. means it will play practically any online video WITHOUT flash. I have tested with Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, CNN, ESPN, BBC Iplayer, Putlocker, etc.

    (I hope none of you are still on dial-up)

    [​IMG]

    Yes I am using Moonscape theme for that good old-fashioned Netscape Navigator feel. I have only a few extensions loaded.

    [​IMG]

    I have heard rumors that MyPal has adblock built-in but I couldn't find anything in options to indicate this so I added UBlock which I have been using for years on Chrome and Firefox. The trick is you have to enable practically every filter in filter lists and update.

    [​IMG]

    Another thing I like about MyPal is the portable option when installing - take your browser with you along with all your bookmarks, extensions, etc on a flash drive.

    Hopefully MyPal will continue to be updated periodically for compatibility.

    I think dependency on Adobe Flash for anything web is at an end. The only plugin I keep is Silverlight since that's the only way to watch Netflix on XP.
     
    ClippyBeer, Jan 13, 2019
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  2. ClippyBeer

    ClippyBeer

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    I have been testing other browsers for modern website compatibility on XP. The only ones besides the 3 above that are still maintained at the time of this writing are K-Meleon, QT-Web and derivitaves (Otter) and Advanced Chrome 54.20.6530.0. so I downloaded and installed. There are other browsers rumored to be working on XP (Yandex) but their websites are scant on system requirements and wanted me to "Agree to participate in improving Yandex services by sending browser usage statistics to the developers". Hard pass on Yandex for my testing.

    I put them though their paces and ran into a few glitches (QTWeb/Otter are crash-prone). For example, ESPN.COM wouldn't show the high scores banners on those web browsers. Another site I visit regularly, Masslive.com, doesn't render properly on any of these browsers

    [​IMG]


    Here's the site on NewMoon/MyPal, Serpent/Basilisk AND any current version of Chrome/Firefox on newer Windows:

    [​IMG]

    NewMoon/MyPal and Serpent/Basilisk are still the champs on Windows XP. The other browsers I tested worked fine with most websites but as you can see had some quirks with CSS rendering on certain sites.

    Please note I am not in denial about XP's end of life, I could easily install a Linux distro on this old laptop but for now I'll keep XP for the sake of nostalgia. At least modern websites are still accessible (I also went on Discord's test server, worked fine). My next test is Skype's web client - will post follow-up when I get a chance to test.

    In the meantime I would like to hear anyone else's experiences with other browsers still being maintained for XP, specifically I am interested in an updated Chromium based browser for XP - Advanced Chrome Custom is based on Chromium 54 and that still had rendering issues on certain sites. Try ESPN and Masslive.com for baseline.
     
    ClippyBeer, Jan 16, 2019
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  3. ClippyBeer

    Computer semi-expert

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    Why not install both? Use GParted to make a new partition and install GRUB bootloader.
     
    Computer semi-expert, Jan 26, 2019
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  4. ClippyBeer

    Lockherup

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    I don't think there is much out there aside from what you already mentioned. I find the new mypal to be the best choice because it plays youtube live and dtube as well. Newmoon is not bad either. I don't think they will be going away anytime soon and since its on github anyone can take over and compile their own when the devs go away.


     
    Lockherup, Jan 26, 2019
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  5. ClippyBeer

    ClippyBeer

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    NewMoon/MyPal use the same core so the are more or less identical - I've tested them side-by-side. My preference for MyPal is the portability option. It can run from a USB flash drive and all bookmarks/extensions are saved locally. This enables you to take MyPal with you and run it on a different computer without having to install anything. Very handy when someone is complaining that their internet is slow or not working - their web browser is slow, freezes or just crashes. I run MyPal from my flash drive and if that works fine then you know the problem is with their browser, probably some rogue extension or unwanted toolbar that is causing problems. (A lot of programs are bundled with toolbars that are installed because people just click 'next' without reading). I have lost count the number of times being able to run a portable browser has helped me pinpoint this very problem. I also have all my bookmarks and extensions handy.

    Serpent/Basilisk is more closely related to Firefox, even in the menu options and the built-in PDF reader. Firefox without the bloat.

    All are excellent choices - I have all three installed and run them side-by-side, no conflicts.

    Because I don't have a need - I have other Windows 7, 8, 10 computers. This laptop is old so I don't really plan on using regularly. It's more a novelty for the sake of nostalgia.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
    ClippyBeer, Jan 27, 2019
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  6. ClippyBeer

    WindowsXPforever

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    i will rather stay with new moon since its updated weekly :)
     
    WindowsXPforever, Jan 27, 2019
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  7. ClippyBeer

    Janice

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    Of all these suitable browsers for XP which ones, if any, make it possible to delete cookies, like 'Self destructing cookies' does in Firefox and also to prevent scripts from running, like 'No script' in FIrefox.
     
    Janice, Jan 29, 2019
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  8. ClippyBeer

    WindowsXPforever

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    There are compatible version for them AFAIK
     
    WindowsXPforever, Jan 29, 2019
    #8
  9. ClippyBeer

    ClippyBeer

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    NoScript 5.19 (legacy version) works fine with PaleMoon/MyPal (I have it on both). Scroll down to the link for "NoScript Classic (5.19)" and install.

    Unless you use private browsing neither of these browsers feature self-destructing cookies. There is, however, a Self-Destructing Cookies add-on for PaleMoon that auto-deletes cookies.
     
    ClippyBeer, Jan 30, 2019
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  10. ClippyBeer

    Janice

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    Thank you. Great help.
     
    Janice, Jan 30, 2019
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  11. ClippyBeer

    ClippyBeer

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    Rather than using NoScript, have you given UMatrix a try? There appear to be a lot of issues with NoScript and Palemoon/Mypal to the point where Palemoon developers will not provide any support for those using this extension.

    My experience is that NoScript can be a little heavy-handed, disabling practically all scripts thus rendering some sites only partially functional or completely non-functional (like disabling javascript altogether).

    UMatrix offers more granular control over which scripts can be run and my testing shows that it works with more websites than NoScript while still offering the same protection.

    The latest version that will work with Palemoon/Mypal is 1.1.4 and can be downloaded from the author's Github repository. Choose the uMatrix.firefox.xpi file and it will install. Just disable NoScript for the time being and test UMatrix with your favorite sites. Palemoon developers, however recommend uninstalling NoScript altogether.
     
    ClippyBeer, Feb 1, 2019
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  12. ClippyBeer

    WindowsXPforever

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    Posting this from IE8 with the POSReady trick,Google chrome frame and PROXHTTPSProxy made by an MSFN user.Looks like IE8 is not bad as it is :)
    http://prntscr.com/mfajeb
     
    WindowsXPforever, Feb 1, 2019
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  13. ClippyBeer

    Janice

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    Haven't heard of this one before. Thank you I'll give it a try.
    The link here is not showing the download site. Could you please give a link to the download page?
    Your screen shot looks great. Could you post more details? How about a link to the MSFN page or any other place where I can find more information and a link to the download page too.

    Thank you
     
    Janice, Feb 1, 2019
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  14. ClippyBeer

    ClippyBeer

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    When you click on the link it will bring you to the install page.

    [​IMG]

    Left clicking on the 'Install Self-Destructing Cookies for Pale Moon' button will install the extension into Pale Moon.

    Right-click and choose 'Save Link As...' to save the extension as an XPI file which can then be manually installed. This is my preferred method so you have your own backup copy should the download link one day disappear from the internet (look what Mozilla did to all legacy extensions). I have all my favorite extensions as XPI files backed up - same with Chrome - all CRX files backed up. Have you ever noticed how newer versions of extensions sometimes don't work right or have your favorite features removed?
     
    ClippyBeer, Feb 2, 2019
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  15. ClippyBeer

    j896

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    Can you post a link to that MSFN topic i would like to try it on my XP
     
    j896, Feb 2, 2019
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  16. ClippyBeer

    WindowsXPforever

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    There is no MSFN topic for it
     
    WindowsXPforever, Feb 2, 2019
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  17. ClippyBeer

    wyxchari

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    The best is Mypal.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    wyxchari, Feb 10, 2019
    #17
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  18. ClippyBeer

    jim davis

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    Yes , and later they update it--LATER so they don't have to tell you upfront when you are the one in a million to read the fine print(before down load) - that they are now (after update) keeping and selling your geek interpreted life story-info, my friend at Verizon said 4/5 of the venders do it this way, he said they taught him in school to launch programs that way to get
    the largest market capture.

    In School :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
     
    jim davis, Feb 12, 2019
    #18
  19. ClippyBeer

    cmccaff1

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    In my honest opinion, MyPal/New Moon/Pale Moon is far and away the heavyweight champion of XP-compatible browsers at this current time. I have used Centaury/Serpent/Basilisk in WinXP SP3 without any major problems, except for one tiny yet critical game-breaker: copying/pasting text does not work 100% with Google Translate. This is the only site I have had problems with in Centaury/Serpent/Basilisk, but it's a site I use every day (which renders it unusable for my day-to-day browsing; if you don't frequently use Google Translate then it's not an issue). Google Translate, I should note, works flawlessly in MyPal/NewMoon/PM.

    In general, the hierarchy of XP-compatible browsers (at least based on my personal experiences) seems to work out in this way:
    1) MyPal/New Moon/Pale Moon 28.x.x (27.9.x for SSE1 and older; 26.5 is also good, but now shows its age on many websites)
    2) K-Meleon (KM-Goanna, maintained by roytam1; K-Meleon 75.1 & older show their age on many sites and 76RC tends to crash)
    3) Centaury/Serpent/Basilisk (due to the Google Translate issues I cannot rank them any higher than 3rd)
    4) Firefox 52.9.1ESR (45.9.xESR for SSE1 and 3.6.29pre for pre-SSE; 24.8.1ESR and 28.0 are the last pre-Australis FF versions)
    5) SeaMonkey 2.49.5 (2.40 [2.48 unofficially] for SSE1 and 2.0.15pre for pre-SSE) (while it is on a par with Firefox with regards to rendering, it ranks lower because of its inferior compatibility with most add-ons [and an inferior score on the HTML-5 test]; even so, it is still one of the best browsers for XP and a worthy spiritual successor to Netscape Communicator/the Mozilla suite)
    6) Chromium 49.0.2623.112-r403382 (this is essentially Chrome 49ESR for XP but far superior to the original Google Chrome as it has built-in codecs [h264,h265,flac,xvid,etc]/WebRTC support [both of which I remember Adv. Chrome 54/Opera 36 lacked]; while I've never been a Chromium fan, I recommend this version as it still works VERY well with the majority of sites in 2019)
    7) QtWeb 3.8.5 (sadly, QtWeb hasn't been updated in over 5 years, but it remains a solid choice for lightweight web browsing & has a few neat features that most of the heavyweights lack [including a simple yet effective built-in ad/CSS element blocker])
    8) Presto Opera (take your pick; 12.18 is the last version/my favorite, but older versions tend to be better in their RAM usage)
    9) RetroZilla (a fork of Gecko 1.8.1 [used by Firefox 2.x/SeaMonkey 1.1.x/Netscape 9.x] which improves compatibility with the Internet of today as much as possible, though only so much can be done given the age of the code; the latest version [2.2] added TLS 1.2 support and fixed the longtime root certificate issues, which helped tremendously--if you're not a fan of the SeaMonkey/Netscape-type interface, roytam1 made a custom build of 2.1 which has built-in TLS 1.2 support [though the root certificate issues still persist] and restores the Firefox 2.x interface; it bears noting that based on my personal testing RZ is the newest browser out there which supports older Windows versions down to 95/NT 3.51 and works properly in 256 colors!)
    10) Internet Explorer 6/7/8 (not highly recommended, but they are light on RAM usage and can still browse many sites as long as they aren't heavy on modern scripting fluff; disabling ActiveX/JavaScript and enabling TLS 1.0 makes a HUGE difference)

    Although Maxthon still supports XP and has the highest score on the HTML5 test of any XP-compatible browser (with a massive 526, more than 100pts over Pale Moon), I did not (and could not in all good conscience) rank it in the top ten for three reasons:
    1) It is made & maintained by a Chinese-owned/operated company, which is to say your information very well may not be safe.
    2) Compared to every browser in the top 10 (including even IE), it has a numbingly simple interface & many settings cannot be tweaked; I haven't been able to find a built-in method for turning off JavaScript, which raises a big red flag for me personally.
    3) Because of its obscurity, there is a very limited number of addons/extensions available, and most Chrome extensions are not compatible despite the code being forked from Chromium 61 (sadly, this is not open-source code, so no Chromium 61XP for us).

    Whew! This took some time to write, so I hope folks will find it useful! On a side note, other candidates for inclusion in the top ten included Netscape (take your pick; 4.08 Navigator/4.8 Communicator is my favorite version), OffByOne, and D-Plus. D-Plus is the smallest of the three and does support tabbed browsing/modern protocols (SSL2/SSL3/TLS1), but cannot navigate some sites (I can't log into Gmail with it, which makes it a no-go for me). Earlier Netscape versions lack support for the aforesaid protocols and also can't do Gmail; newer versions can, but since Netscape later in life started using the same Gecko engine as Firefox (and support ended before Firefox's support run with these engines did), there's not much point in using the new ones. OffByOne has tabbed browsing support but no support for modern protocols, and again I can't get into Gmail with it either. Even so, these are still good choices if you're on a machine with limited RAM or just want to have a faster experience for basic sites.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
    cmccaff1, Mar 31, 2019
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  20. ClippyBeer

    Mike_Walsh

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    @ ClippyBeer:-

    Did you ever get around to trying out Skype for Web? We use Palemoon a lot in the Puppy Linux community, and since NewMoon/MyPal appear to be based almost directly on it, the following 'workaround' ought to work for you, too.

    We were having a bit of a 'blue-sky' session in which various members were discussing assorted work-arounds they've come up with to achieve things that wouldn't normally be possible for Palemoon. One of the guys figured out how to get Skype for Web to behave itself in Palemoon, which is based on quite an old fork of Firefox; because of this, you've got to go into 'about:config' and create a new 'string', in order to fool Skype into thinking you're using a up-to-date version of Chrome. (The same 'work-around' is needed even in FF Quantum, believe it or not; it seems to work for all the Mozilla-based browsers.)

    All you're doing is creating an 'override' for the 'user-agent' string.

    Go into about:config.

    Right-click in the 'Preference' title-box, top of the left hand column->New->String.

    Add new string name: general.useragent.override.skype.com. 'OK' it.

    Then, add the following 'value': Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/70.0.3538.77 Safari/537.36. 'OK' it. (You'll be taken to the new string, and you'll see it in the list).

    Exit about:config, and re-start NewMoon/MyPal/Palemoon.

    Works for us. All things being equal, it should also work for XP. Let us know if that helps. (Remember, when it comes to web-based stuff, it's all completely 'platform-agnostic' - it doesn't matter a jot if you're on Windows, Mac or Linux. If the browser will run.....the work-around is possible.)


    Here ya go. Skype for Web running in the current Palemoon 28.4.1, under 'Tahrpup' 6.0.6 efi:-


    [​IMG]


    Mike. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
    Mike_Walsh, Apr 11, 2019
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