Falkon Browser

Although the front seats seem to be taken by the same web browsers each year, suspicion has surfaced among some users who believe they are no longer promoting the free web as they used to. If you feel that your trusty browser has become bulky due to ads and other unwanted content, you can look for alternate solutions.

Previously known as QupZilla, Falkon is a free and open-source project, based on the QtWebEngine. QtWebEngine implements some of Chromium’s API into Qt, leaving aside unnecessary parts like the auxiliary services which communicate with Google.

Free and open-source with a built-in ad blocker

The web browser has a built-in ad blocker, which is activated by default, eliminating the need of installing an extension for this purpose. As a result, pages which normally have banners are loaded faster than other web browsers (evidently, which don’t possess an integrated and auto-activated ad blocker). Adventurous users can access the ad blocker’s configuration settings to create custom rules for blacklisting or whitelisting certain sites.

The DuckDuckGo engine is used for conducting web searches but can be changed into anything else, depending on your preferences. To quickly test multiple search engines without clicking buttons, Falkon gives you the possibility to assign shortcuts. For example, if the shortcut set for Google Search is “g” and you wish to look for “software”, you just have to write “g software” in the address bar and hit Enter.

Multiple search engines, Speed Dial, and session manager

Falkon tries to blend in with the Windows environment by mimicking its native look with the help of icon sets and other familiar graphical content. It even has a Mac theme. Taking cue from Opera, it shows a “Speed Dial” when opening a new tab, in order to view the thumbnails of recently accessed sites and revisit them.

A session manager is responsible for remembering details about your current browsing sessions, so that you can easily set a session aside, start a new one, and later return to the previous session. It’s like starting multiple application instances for different navigational purposes, except for cluttered windows that can make the whole thing confusing.

Private browsing sessions, screenshot tool, and many customization features

You can organize bookmarks, view history of visited web sites and clear it, open private windows to prevent Falkon from recording your tracks, use managers for downloads and cookies, take screenshots, and send links within a couple of clicks by immediately launching your default email client.

Furthermore, Falkon gives you complete control over the behavior of the address bar and tabs. You can disable JavaScript, customize fonts, use an external download manager if you’re not satisfied with the one that’s built into the browser, manage saved passwords and HTML5 permissions, allow OSD notifications, and even activate a spellchecker. Extensions can be loaded too (there are several plugins already enabled for autoscrolling, managing personal info, finding images, and others).

Made for ad-free online navigation

Taking everything into account, Falkon is not in any way flashy, ideal for users looking for a quieter solution than the typical web browser which assaults you with ads and loads pages slowly because of this. It had a great response time in our tests, loaded pages fast, and used minimal resources.

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