Maxthon Browser – Can It Compare To The Big Boys?

Chrome, IE, Firefox & Safari are all names that are commonplace on most computer systems nowadays. All of “the big 4″ compete for the top spot to become the worlds best Internet Browser. However, this race is very much a marathon rather than a sprint and coming over the horizon is a new name that is gaining a small but loyal following. Maxthon.

Maxthon started life back in 2002 as MyIE2 which was aimed as a replacement for Internet Explorer. Since then it has evolved dramatically and now in it’s fourth version, Maxthon 4 is now a browser in it’s own right with some really unique features.

Maxthon Running RefuGeeks (Click to enlarge)

What sets Maxthon apart?

Maxthon has quite a few aces up it’s sleeve that no other browser has out of the box. Here is a list of some of the features that Maxthon has that other don’t:

  • A password manager, dubbed “Magic Fill”. It doesn’t just remember your passwords like other browsers do, it allows you to save and manage “identities” much the same as password managers like LastPass.
  • Dual engines. Maxthon uses both the IE, Trident engine and also the Ghecko engine found in Firefox. This means that it can render many more sites. Have you ever come across a site that errors out saying it’s only compatible with Internet Explorer? Maxthon detects this and automatically switches engine so that you can still display the website without changing browser.
  • Ad Hunter - Many people use the Ad Block plugin that has become very good at blocking those pesky internet ads. Maxthon has Ad Blocking built right in.
  • Snap - Yes Maxthon it has a built in screen capture tool as well!
  • Resource Sniffer - This is possibly the best feature of Maxthon. It allows you to “sniff” a webpage for resources like images and video’s and allows you to the download some/all of the resources either to your local hard drive or to the cloud storage that you get with Maxthon for free.

Maxthon Resource Sniffer

There are also other features built in like mouse gestures and “super drag & drop” but I personally didn’t find much use for them. If you want to find out more then use this link.

What I don’t like?

There isn’t a great deal not to like about Maxthon. It has a really clean and modern interface and with all the extra out of the box features listed above, it works really well. However, I did really want Maxthon to replace IE9 as my browser in work as one of our system relies on IE to work for some strange reason. Unfortunately I couldn’t get Maxthon to work with our internal system; but I haven’t given up. I will continue to tweak the settings to see if I can get it working.

The only other thing I didn’t like was the window controls. In Maxthon they appear as three blank rectangles until you hover over them, at which point they change into the familiar minimise, maximise and close buttons. Whilst the blank ‘rectangles’ tie in well with the overall look of the UI, I think this would be confusing for some users.

Maxthon Window Buttons


Overall Maxthon 4 is a worthy browser for anyone looking for an alternative browser to one of “the big 4″. Unfortunately for us Linux users, Maxthon is only available on Windows, Mac, iOS & Android. If you want to try Maxthon then all you need to do is hit the download button below.

Download Maxthon



Have yo tried Maxthon browser? If so, why not tell us what you think in the comments section below or head on over to the forums to add your thoughts.

Maxthon Browser – Can It Compare To The Big Boys?
User Rating: 0 (0 votes)
  • Yop Spanjers

    Maxthon is great for HTML5

  • Jan Tomášek

    If Maxthon doesn’t work on your internal systems try switch from WebKit to IE engine.

    • Kev Quirk

      I’ve just tried enabling this feature but it didn’t work unfortunately :(

  • Hildegerd Haugen

    I am a mac os x user but I threw FF and chrome out a long time ago, and are using Opera, Roccat and Maxthon. Safari is on the machine too, but have never actually liked and used that one.