Browsers from Russian IT companies: an attempt at an unbiased review

Published on March 12, 2015

Browsers from Russian IT companies: an attempt at an unbiased review

    How to make a person use their own services: search, maps, mail? .. We all know that most people never change the default program settings - they cannot or do not want to bother and the browser is no exception, so set your search priority (with the knowledge of the user with or without it) often means getting another unsuspecting soul into your evil networks. And if you install a browser that is already correctly configured for the user, then ... a dream right! With the advent of the open Chromium project, the dreams of many web service providers have come true, and its builds have begun to appear like mushrooms after the rain.

    I have never used a single assembly of the Chromium except the Chrome itself and the new Opera, but recently I have sorted out curiosity: what can be done there and is it worth paying attention to or is it just a continuation of the glorious work of Denis Popov? No sooner said than done, I rummaged through the Web and selected the participants for review. I considered only Russian assemblies and only from large suppliers of web services, because otherwise, I would not have had enough life for my review.

    Interesting? Then let's start.

    There are a lot of screenshots under the cut, the total volume is ~ 3 mb.

    Today in the program:

    All the tested assemblies I installed on a clean Windows 7 Home Basic x86, in VirtualBox, with default settings. I did not consider other platforms for a banal reason: almost all the reviewers exist only for the desktop and only under Windows.

    So Number One - QIP Surf Browser


    QIP Surf is a free website browsing application. A convenient and simple browser will make your work on the Internet reliable and secure.
    Well, let's see. Download the installation file, run it, and the



    Installer tried to download Adobe Flash 11 (!), But it didn’t work. Well, it doesn’t matter, we will live without flash for now. After clicking the “cancel” button, the browser has successfully installed, we look further. The QIP Surf interface is as follows:



    Chrome, like chrome, nothing special. Only to the right of the address bar are several icons of predefined extensions. The list of extensions themselves looks like this:



    Click "More extensions", go to the Google Chrome extension store and there ...



    Unpleasant. By the way, what version of the product do we have? We look at the window "About the program":



    User-agent line:
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/27.14.1453.94 Safari/537.36
    It turns out that the browser is built on the basis of Chromium from July 2012! It’s sad. According to Wikipedia, it is under active development, but judging by what I see, it has not been updated for the third year already - it seems to me that offering an actually unsupported product on the main page of your project is unfair to the user. MORE: it is impossible to identify this browser by the User agent, for example, an UA-line from fresh Chrome:
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/41.0.2272.76 Safari/537.36

    About other features: a browser in a freshly installed form takes 98 mb, the default search is qip search. To the credit of the developers, the assembly did not try to push the “necessary” software except Flash, it didn’t get into startup and the default browser didn’t become without demand - a rarity in our worrying time. In addition, I didn’t come across software that would try to install Surf with me, including the QIP IM client (maybe I just looked badly), it seems to me that the chance that this browser will reach the average housewife on a PC is minimal, and this is good, given the engine is not the first freshness, the vulnerability of which no one is going to close.

    Next in line is our Uran browser


    The Uran browser has several advantages over other browsers. Install our browser and see for yourself!

    We all know the platform for the free creation and hosting of Ucoz sites, many experience negative emotions for it, but the conversation is not about that now. If you go to any site hosted on Ucoz and do not use a paid hosting tariff, we will see an advertisement in its right corner (AdBlock users pass by) and a button offering to disable this advertisement. If you click on it, we will see the following window: The



    browser was installed without problems, it looks like this:



    There are even fewer differences from Chrome. About the "browser without ads" the truth is only partly true - it is not only on Ucoz sites, but nothing prevents installing AdBlock, since the version of the engine allows it. By the way, this is the only observer among those considered today who openly calls himself “Chromium assembly” - the others bashfully hide this information in the “About the program” window. By the way, here it is:



    User-agent string:
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/35.0.1916.153 Safari/537.36 u01-04
    Already better, although Chromium is also "with a sweet spot", dates back to May 2014. Pre-installed extensions: You

    can also install extensions from the Google Chrome Web Store. About other features: like the previous browser in question, Uran does not try to drag left software with it, does not create unnecessary shortcuts, and only “uCozMedia UranUpdate” puts it into startup, but without demand sets itself as the default browser - ugly, I don’t like it when do. Default search: Yandex, occupied space after installation: 359 mb.

    This browser has a narrow niche, it was created for people working with the Ucoz platform, and for sure it is in demand by them , otherwise it would not exist at all it is not distributed along with free software, (correct, if not) therefore it is unlikely to get to the housewife’s PC either, so we will leave it to those who are interested in it and move on to the list further.

    Next we have - Rambler browser, it's Nichrome


    A convenient browser for those who want to always be in the know about what is happening in the country and the world, not to miss the latest news and keep their favorite services on hand
    I did not find the name “Nichrome” anywhere, although I had heard it for sure before. Perhaps Rambler refused this name (although it remained in UA). It is installed without problems, we look at the appearance:



    Here, unlike previous browsers, at least we drew a new theme, similar to the design of the Rambler.ru site. There are still “Recommendations”, as in the new Opera, which, as it turned out, are added by the “Rambler Monitor” extension (it is present in the Google Chrome store, you can install it in any other Chromium assembly). All pre-installed extensions:



    New extensions are installed without problems from the Google store. Browser version:



    User-agent string:
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/38.0.2125.111 Safari/537.36 Nichrome/self/38
    - The version of Chromium from October 2014, lags behind Google Chrome in three major releases - so far the best result. Like Uran, without asking the user, it sets itself as the default browser, puts the application with the poker name "Holdem" into startup, which is an automatic update tool. Excess software (except for Adobe Flash 13) and does not create shortcuts. Each time I highlight this point, because I wrote an article inspired by this study, and expected that my poor virtual machine would be littered with a bunch of junk, but the first three browsers in question pleasantly surprised me. Immediately after installation, Nichrome takes 163 mb. Benefits? I don’t know, the three extensions present in this assembly can be installed in Chrome, but since it exists and develops, does it mean that someone needs it? Leave the Rambler browser alone and move on to a more interesting object.

    The fourth in line is the famous Amigo from Mail.ru


    Here I directly hear the plaintive crack of mice and armrests of armchairs, hands enikeyshchiki reading this article, admins and other "tyzhprogramistov" with their hands - this browser earned fame louder than all the others combined! How many times I personally cleaned it from the cars of friends and acquaintances is not amenable to counting, but I consciously set it for the first time. Here's what they write about him on the download page:
    Social Media Browser
    The description is rather meager, download (horror, I download Amigo!), Install, (your mother, I install Amigo !!!) and ...



    Damn, where did he come from, there weren’t any checkmarks in the installer! We look more closely at the download page, and of course:



    It seems that I considered myself beaten-broken, and overlooked! Well, it’s my fault, with Mail.ru programs you need to keep an eye out. We look at the appearance of the browser:



    The changes are more noticeable than the previous browsers under consideration, even the main menu button was redrawn and moved, giving the proud signature "Amigo". Oddly enough, there are no pre-installed extensions, all additional features are built in at a deeper level, as Opera and Vivaldi, for example, do. When I clicked on the letter icon, I thought that the email client was built in the browser and admired it in advance, but when I logged in through the Yandex.mail account, it turned out that it merely redirects to the address https://e.mail.ru / , and you can access it from any browser. As the developers promised, Amigo has built-in social network clients:

    There is nothing to describe, they are present, and that’s it. Maybe someone finds it convenient, probably for the housewives for whom the browser was created, this is a plus. There is also a music player from the social. networks. Other features: no matter how much I searched, I could not find how to change the default search - it is there naturally from mail.ru - even if you go to the Orthodox chrome url chrome: // settings / searchEnginesan empty window pops up. At the same time, if on google.ru PKM, click on the search bar and select "Add as a search engine ..." then something seems to be added. If you repeat this procedure, the system swears that such a search already exists, which means that somewhere the information is stored, but where is the mystery covered in darkness. Blocking the change of the search engine is not that ugly, it is a vile act, ashamed, fellow developers, ashamed! In addition to Amigo itself, the following shortcuts are created on the desktop and the Quick Launch bar:



    What do VK and Odnoklassniki shortcuts are also petty: these are not url shortcuts, but shortcuts to Amigo with these addresses, i.e. even if another browser is installed by default on the system, these shortcuts will open through Amigo. We look at autoload:



    Very well, Amigo also recorded himself there, why - it’s not entirely clear, perhaps to speed up the launch or monitoring of social services. networks, but could one be warned about this? Even in the settings there is no mention of this! When I sat down for this article, I tried to be impartial, but such behavior just kills me! We look at the program version:



    User-agent string:
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/32.0.1709.125 Amigo/32.0.1709.125 MRCHROME SOC Safari/537.36
    The version of Chromium from January 2014, which has been rotten for more than a year - have they really not been updated for so long? And at the beginning of the review, I noted that the biggest work was done on this browser. Apparently a long time ago and so good that it does not need to be updated. In a freshly installed form, the program takes 390 mb.
    A brief summary: this browser honestly deserved all the self-hatred, it spreads literally with every free software that can now be downloaded from the Web, it shoves its shortcuts where they absolutely do not belong, there was almost no case when I examined a computer that “ something slows down, ”and this comrade would not be there. The only good thing is that I did not find the Guard'a mail.ru (or whatever it is called there) and the “Sputnik mail.ru” which were faithful companions of the products from this developer. I don’t know what caused it, but they are not there, and that’s good.

    I thought for a long time whether to include the Internet browser from Mail.ru in the review, a quick googling did not show that it was removed from support, and it is still available for download, but on the download page and on the Internet itself there are copyrights of 2013, Chromium is version 28 inside it, so I decided that nobody needs it anymore, and did not consider it, forgive the idler.

    And finally - Yandex.Browser


    Convenient and fast program for working on the Internet

    I will not mention the humorous name of this browser given to him because of its logo, because once already it cost me yourself, you know, what, when I started to argue about it in the comments on some topic. And my opponent lost even more, so no, you will see only the official name here. Download, install, look at the look: It’s



    immediately obvious that a lot of work has been done on the look, it’s completely unlike the original Chromium. We look at the program version:



    Stock User-agent:

    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/40.0.2214.115 YaBrowser/15.2.2214.3645 Safari/537.36

    Let me tell you a secret, I started writing a code review, the version was Chrome / 38.0.2125.122 YaBrowser / 14.12.2125.10034, and literally before publication the browser was updated - well done developers, keep up with the Opera, they are only one version behind Google Chrome, while than Chrome itself was updated to it only last week. We look at the installed extensions:



    Wow! It's good that they are all turned off, otherwise I would swear loudly. But once disconnected, well, let them be. Moreover, if we go along the standard chrome path chrome: // extensions / , we will see only one extension:



    All new extensions installed from the store will also get there. In the main window, shown in the screenshot above, they also appear in the "From other sources" group. It was a real surprise for me that the extension store here is not the catalog of Chrome, but the Opera - an unexpected decision for me. But if you go to https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/extensions?hl=en, then we’ll get into the Chrome extension catalog and from there they are installed without problems (for reference, in the new Opera you need to install the “Download Chrome Extension” extension to repeat this trick). Next, we look at what Ya.B brought with him to the system: it turned out, only a shortcut to yandex.ru. Rather, a shortcut to a certain executable that opens yandex.ru using Yandex.Browser, even if it is not installed as the default browser, is a strange solution, and no less vile than that of the guys from Mail.ru. At startup - nothing, in the "Programs and Features" - only the browser itself, no "elements" and "browser managers" - thanks for this, I did not expect. Other features: a freshly installed application takes 397 mb. There is a “turbo” mode, as in the Opera, and as I understand it, it works through the Opera’s server (correct if you made a mistake)corrected Vadim Makeev himself, Yandex servers are used there, but the technology is licensed from the Opera. There is its own implementation of the Express panel called “Scoreboard”, which pops up when you click on the address bar:



    Personally, I still prefer it when there are screenshots of pages, but this is not for everyone to judge other people's tastes. Plus we also worked on the address bar itself, added copy and share functions for urls. The address there by default is displayed in the format "Domain Header" (for example, on the page http://soft.yandex.ru/?from=prov_allwill be “soft.yandex.ru Yandex.Programs”). This approach is disgusting to me, I always prefer to see where I am, but for housewives it's probably better, I can’t judge, the main thing is that you can enable the normal url by rummaging through the settings. The “smart line” also has this feature: you can write “Habrahabr” in it and it will redirect us directly to habrahabr.ru - that is, the Google analog “I’m lucky” (which now you can’t use the live search without disconnecting, heh -he), there are still small buns, such as quick links, etc. - in general, a lot of work has been done with omnibox, we must pay tribute. I cheered up one moment: when I downloaded Yandex.Browser through Yandex.Browser, I saw:



    Surely all downloaded executable files are marked like this, but you must admit, it looks funny.

    Brief summary: Yandex.Browser, how Amigo strives to get into the system to an inattentive user in addition to a huge number of free programs - and this is bad. But, if you temporarily close your eyes to its aggressive “pulling in” and just look at it, you can see that serious work has been done on the browser, not limited to replacing the shortcut and pre-installing a couple of extensions, it can be recognized as an independent browser, albeit based on someone else’s engine .

    Instead of a conclusion


    Each of the browsers I examined was installed for the first time. I saw some of them before, but never tried to use it, so everything that is written here is a first impression. I did not touch on such important concepts as speed and quality of page display - they are all at a decent level, but you need to thank the “father” of Chromium for this. If I missed any important point or spoke unfairly about someone, I am waiting for comments with clarifications, deliberately concealing something or insulting someone.

    Well, and who is cooler, I suggest choosing the Community: the survey is attached.

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    So which is better?