[Windows] Columbus Browser is a lightweight and quick internet browser [Mac OS X]

Columbus BrowserI have heard of a lot of internet browsers, but I had never heard of Columbus Browser. So when I came across it, I was looking forward to giving it a try. It’s not so much that I am unhappy with the current browser I am using (SeaMonkey). In fact, I like it very much, but I am always looking for the next “best thing”. Call it a bad habit of mine. So is Columbus Browser it? Let’s find out!

WHAT IS IT AND WHAT DOES IT DO

Main Functionality

Columbus Browser is a very lightweight and quick browser. In fact, its speed is one of the best things it has going for it. Also, the browser tends to use less system resources than other browsers while still giving you a lot of helpful features. Columbus Browser also comes with a ton of integrated features, like a search box that allows you to choose which site you search, built-in translate button, and the ability to open multiple tabs with just the click of your home button.

Take note Columbus Browser is on Windows and Mac OS X. We specifically reviewed the Windows version.

Note: Please realize that there is an inherent risk in using a web browser from a relatively unknown developer. If the developer of the browser is malicious in anyway, all your internet activity and logins and personal information can easily be stolen by the developer. We are not saying Columbus Browser is a malicious program. This is just a general cautionary note about browsers. Proceed further at your own risk. dotTech and its writers are not responsible for any gain or harm incurred.

Pros

  • Quick
  • Doesn’t use a lot of system resources (less than browsers like Firefox)
  • Specify the search engine you want when searching. Websites you can search from include Google, Bing, Wikipedia, Conduit and DuckDuckGo, which is listed as Columbus
  • Set multiple pages to open when you click on your “Home” button

Cons

  • Crashed multiple times during use
  • No ability to import or export bookmarks. In fact, while using the program I was unable to find my bookmarks
  • Very bland browser with few customization options
  • Don’t expect to download a lot of add-ons, like an ad blocker, because there are none

Discussion

Columbus Browser ScreenshotWhen I went to the Columbus Browser website, I was excited when I saw that the browser prides itself on using few system resources. This is great because I like Firefox and SeaMonkey, both of which can start getting pretty heavy on the system memory. While using Columbus Browser I did notice that it uses less system memory, but it lacked so many other features that it wasn’t even worth it.

Before we get into the bad, let’s cover the good. The browser is extremely quick, not just to launch, but in navigation. Maybe this is because there really is not a lot of bulk to this browser. This does improve how quick the browser zips you around the internet.

Like a lot of other browsers, its search box allows you to choose which site you search from. It does include popular sites like Google and Wikipedia. However, it replaces sites like Yahoo and Ask.com with DuckDuckGo and Conduit.

My favorite feature of the browser was probably its “Home” button. In the options, you can actually change how many websites open when you click the home button. So let’s say you check five different sites every time you open your browser. Simply set those five sites to open whenever you click the home button. You can set up to 11 sites to open whenever the button is clicked.

Unfortunately, that is where the good stuff ends. Not only that, but most of the bad stuff heavily outweighs the good. For example, the browser is really fast, but it is quick to crash. What good does it do me to zip around the net when it is just going to crash every few minutes? I used the browser for about 15 minutes, and it crashed on my twice. Maybe it was the sites I was visiting, but I should not be restricted to which sites I can visit when using a browser.

Next, the browser does not allow for you to add on other features. For those of you who love your add-ons, this browser is not for you. There is no ad blocker, theme changer, nothing. You get what you get. I guess this is how the browser keeps its speed, but there are just some extra features that I simply want with my browser; and the inability to add-on other features is annoying to say the least.

Also, there is no way to import your bookmarks from other browsers. In fact, speaking of bookmarks, I could not find a way to use bookmarks at all. There was a bookmark button, but clicking on it did nothing. Not only that, but I went through all of the toolbar options and could not find “bookmark” options anywhere. A good bookmark system would, in no way, have saved this browser, but it couldn’t have hurt.

CONCLUSION AND DOWNLOAD LINK

Columbus Browser may be quick, but it has nothing else going for it. It is missing common features that you would find in other browsers, like bookmarks and the ability to use add-ons. On top of all of this, the browser is very unstable and crashes all of the time. It would have been hard to call this a good browser back in the 90′s; today, it is just completely outclassed by other browsers on the market. Do yourself a favor and skip this one.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 1.2.6

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8, Mac OS X

Download size: 12.3 MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 1/46

Is it portable? No

Columbus Browser homepage

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12 comments

  1. Greg Withnail

    I don’t agree that it has nothing else going for it but speed. The reason I am drawn to it is that its developers haven’t jumped on the “clean” interface bandwagon. There are actual menus which are actually labeled. It’s high time the obsession with removing visible functionality was addressed, and function stopped taking a backseat to form.

  2. RealBull

    [@Rob (Down Under)]
    Sorry, I didn’t get to answer your questions, but Seamus McSeamus helped you out nicely. I think COmodo’s Dragon & IceDragon are similar, so I don’t think you’re missing anything. It depends on what which browser engine you prefer.

    Yes, I know all about the Google updater. That, along with their sidebar gadgets and desktop search was sucking the life out of my CPU. I disabled the updater and uninstalled the gadgets and DT search. Later I uninstalled Chrome, too because it was slowing my computer down as well.

    Actually, my main browser is Opera. I know it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for me, it is very fast, light on the CPU, easy to customize and easy to use. But they recently announced they will be using webkit and discontinue using their own browser engine. If that happens, I’ll start using mainly gecko browsers.

  3. Rob (Down Under)

    I have worked out how to do it (get search results in a new Tab)
    Type about:config in the web address box and hit enter.
    Type this up the top browser.search.openintab
    Double click the False to change it to true

  4. Rob (Down Under)

    [@Seamus McSeamus]
    Thanks that did the trick.
    . . .
    I have one other desire when using such a search box.
    My os has been running for 6 years so it may have inherited a setting from the past.
    When I do a search in FF using that wee search box, the full search ‘page’ opens in a new Tab, which I love as it stops me accidentily discarding what was in the tab that I was in.
    I have noticed that FF in other PCs is not polite and it clobbers what is in the current Tab. I notice that IceDragon’s wee search box also clobbers the current tab.
    Does anyone know how to get those searches to open in a new Tab ?

  5. Rob (Down Under)

    [@RealBull]
    I have installed IceDragon and so far I like it.
    I have a question – I love the Wee search box in FF in the same ‘toolbar as the web address (URL)
    That does not appear to be an Addon(?), so do you know how I can get the same in IceDragon ?
    Thanks,
    Rob
    PS If others are trying IceDragon, and would like a portable version, the installer has a checkboc that you can tick. I would recommend that you pre prepare a folder for your portable programs, and browse to that folder during the Install. The default folder that the install offers, is in the normal (installed) Programs folder, AND I WOULD KEEP WELL OUT OF THERE (for your portable programs)

  6. Rob (Down Under)

    [@RealBull]
    I have decided to ban Google stuff from my PC, as twice it (not sure which Google program) quietly triggered an auto update that slowed my PC to a semi freezing crawl. On one occasion I was near the end of the massive downloads of the free giveaway of nearly all the Adobe programs. I was worried that I had a virus, and threw everything away, and restored an earlier image of my OS partition. Then had to re-download all the Adobe programs. cost me 10 hours to catch up to nearly the same state that I was at.
    The next time that my PC started freezing I decided to locate the offender, and discovered it was a Google update running. I then stopped that process, and uninstalled everything Google. (I won’t miss Chrome, as I appear to be the only person on the planet that does not like it’s smarmy minamilistic interface.)
    I notice that one of your recommendations is based on Chrome, so I will give that a miss. I will try the FF based one. What do you think I am missing, by not trying the chrome one ?
    Rob
    PS I am still using Google Search, but I am looking for alterntives, as they have started censoring images, and won’t admit it.

  7. RealBull

    Nice article/review. Is it built with gecko or webkit engine? If you mentioned it in the article, I apologize. Since you compared it to Firefox & SeaMonkey, I assume it is gecko.

    “Note: Please realize that there is an inherent risk in using a web browser from a relatively unknown developer. If the developer of the browser is malicious in anyway, all your internet activity and logins and personal information can easily be stolen by the developer.”

    It is nice that you mentioned this, some people don’t realize this! I’m a big fan of Comodo’s Dragon(webkit) and IceDragon(gecko), they are fast and I am assuming trust-worthy. Also I like using WaterFox, a gecko browser built for 64-bit PCs.
    I’m looking forward to reading a “Best Browser” article by you. There are so many now.