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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Viper Browser: A Lightweight Qt5-based Web Browser With A Focus on Privacy and Minimalism

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Brief: Viper Browser is a Qt-based browser that offers a simple user experience keeping privacy in mind.

While the majority of the popular browsers run on top of Chromium, unique alternatives like Firefox, Beaker Browser, and some other chrome alternatives should not cease to exist.

Especially, considering Google’s recent potential thought of stripping Google Chrome-specific features from Chromium giving an excuse of abuse.

In the look-out for more Chrome alternatives, I came across an interesting project “Viper Browser” as per our reader’s suggestion on Mastodon.

Viper Browser: An Open-Source Qt5-based Browser

Note: Viper Browser is fairly a new project with a couple of contributors. It lacks certain features which I’ll be mentioning as you read on.

Viper is an interesting web browser that focuses on being a powerful yet lightweight option while utilizing QtWebEngine.

QtWebEngine borrows the code from Chromium but it does not include the binaries and services that connect to the Google platform.

I spent some time using it and performing some daily browsing activities and I must say that I’m quite interested. Not just because it is something simple to use (how complicated a browser can be), but it also focuses on enhancing your privacy by giving you the option to add different Ad blocking options along with some useful options.

Viper Browser Setup

Even though I think it is not meant for everyone, it is still worth taking a look. Let me highlight the features briefly before you can proceed trying it out.

Features of Viper Browser

Viper Preferences

I’ll list some of the key features that you can find useful:

  • Ability to manage cookies
  • Multiple preset options to choose different Adblocker networks
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Privacy-friendly default search engine – Startpage (you can change this)
  • Ability to add user scripts
  • Ability to add new user agents
  • Option to disable JavaScript
  • Ability to prevent images from loading up

In addition to all these highlights, you can easily tweak the privacy settings to remove your history, clean cookies when existing, and some more options.

Viper Browser Tools

Installing Viper Browser on Linux

It just offers an AppImage file on its releases section that you can utilize to test on any Linux distribution.

In case you need help, you may refer to our guide on using AppImage file on Linux as well. If you’re curious, you can explore more about it on GitHub.

My Thoughts on Using Viper Browser

I don’t think it is something that could replace your current browser immediately but if you are interested to test out new projects that are trying to offer Chrome alternatives, this is surely one of them.

When I tried logging in my Google account, it prevented me by mentioning that it is potentially an insecure browser or unsupported browser. So, if you rely on your Google account, it is a disappointing news.

However, other social media platforms work just fine along with YouTube (without signing in). Netflix is not something supported but overall the browsing experience is quite fast and usable.

You can install user scripts, but Chrome extensions aren’t supported yet. Of course, it is either intentional or something to be looked after as the development progresses considering it as a privacy-friendly web browser.

Wrapping Up

Considering that this is a less-known yet something interesting for some, do you have any suggestions for us to take a look at? An open-source project that deserves coverage?

Let me know in the comments down below.

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