Softpedia Editor's Review for AOL Explorer
More enhanced security and time-saving features than any other browser
Written by Bogdan Popa on September 19th, 2012
Read an in-depth analysis in our professional review for AOL Explorer
A couple of years back, one of the most promising browsers was AOL Explorer. Using Microsoft's Trident layout engine, with support for tabbed browsing and a pretty attractive look for those times, the application attracted some users but, unfortunately, its development halted.
Even if many years have passed since it emerged, AOL Explorer still works and packs some features that are really handy nowadays. It includes an RSS reader that displays the news in a separate section of the main window as well as a very useful pop-up blocker.
AOL Explorer shows thumbnails for every single tab, but it also comes with a dedicated sidebar to enable you to load the services you like the most with a single click. It's more like a favorites bar, only that it gives access to channels, history, feeds, mail and journals as well.
For security reasons, the browser includes a dedicated 'Spyware Quick Scan' feature that scans your computer for various malware threats that could hinder your online experience. In the 'Settings' menu you will find a list of selected programs that can be blocked as well as a couple of notification and blocking preferences you can customize.
Although not quite useful for a user who wants to browse the web as quickly and easily as possible, AOL Explorer includes some additional fun tools as well, including one that can turn a webpage upside down.
The biggest drawback is definitely the way AOL Explorer makes use of computer resources. During our test, it had a pretty visible impact on computer performance, with every new tab opened increasing the stress on the system.
To conclude, AOL Explorer is simply not up to the standards required today. Even if it works, it does so demanding a lot from the available resources and the features it comes with are inferior to most modern browsers.
AOL Explorer description
Here are some key features of "AOL Explorer":
· AOL Explorer attaches easy-to-see tabs to browser windows so you can find and get to the window you want in a snap. It lets you "keep tabs" on your Internet experience. Watch a demo of Tabbed Browsing
· AOL Explorer transfers your favorite website links from IE, and lets you access them from a "Portable Favorites Folder." This way, you can tap into your favorite sites on any machine using your AOL or AIM Screen name by simply going to http://favorites.aol.com
· AOL allows you to customize the look and feel of your browser. You might want to try the Midnight theme, or check out Bubble Gum or Kickflip. Choose from any of our sixteen themes to add bling to your browser
· You can now take the Side Panels in AOL Explorer and put them right onto your desktop. Take your Feeds Panel, Journals Panel, or whatever and have it right at your fingertips. Best of all, you can keep them open even when AOL Explorer has been closed. You are never far from the latest breaking events, blogs and general information
· Minimum Internet Explorer Version: 6.0
· RAM: 64 MB (Recommended 128 MB)
· Hard Disk Space: 60 MB
· Processor: 166 MHz Pentium Class processor (Recommended 700 MHz)
What's New in This Release: [ read full changelog ]
· Create Desktop Widgets from Panels - Your favorite Side Panels can now be "torn off" and used independently of the AOL Explorer experience - on your computer, on your desktop, wherever. The panel will remain open and functional as long as you choose: even after you close AOL Explorer. To create a Desktop Widget for a Panel, simple open the panel and click on the small "arrow" icon in the Panel's Titlebar.
· Visual Themes - Want a new look for AOL Explorer? Use the Themes Chooser to select one of many original themes to customize the look of your AOL Explorer.
· To choose a Theme, go to your Tools Menu and choose Themes.... Click on a theme, then click Save to update your browser.
· - Feeds Screensaver - Now you can view all of the RSS Feeds you have in your AOL Explorer Feeds Panel as a screensaver. Keep an eye on the latest information from across the room. The screensaver is not installed by default. To install the screensaver, open your AOL Explorer Feeds Panel and click on the ...