Saturday, December 20, 2008

Google Chrome without data sniffing: Iron is here.

A german software company named srware took the GPLed source code of Google's chrome and ironed it down to create a browser that does not phone home to Google any more. The latest release of Iron ( from December 14 already contains WebKit version 528.5 and JavaScript engine V8 version and therefore is slightly newer than the respective versions in Chrome.

Your data is private again

The goal creating a Chromeclone was simple: Although Google Chrome delivered fantastic rendering and JavaScript speed from scratch and is pretty stable and compatible, criticism arose because the new browser shared it's data with Google.

Every time a new URL is entered this data is sent to Google. And Google can match these with the browser because every browser gets a unique id when it is installed. Furthermore, the Google Updater is installed and runs in background every time you start your computer (check your Task-Manager for "GoogleUpdate.exe"). This and more is deactivated in Iron, according to this page.

BSD-licensed, USB-stick version and source available

The browser identifies itself as "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/528.7 (KHTML, like Gecko) Iron/ Safari/528.7". The geeks at srware provide downloads for an Iron-Installer, an Iron-USB-version (without installation) and the source code they altered. The source is available under a BSD-license, so everyone can use it completely free even for commercial products.

Conclusion, language tips and full incognito

The rendering and JavaScript performance of Chrome attracted us from the beginning, alas the privacy drawbacks stopped us from using it. Iron does a good job here and comes, as a bonus, wit a USB-stick version and without installation but preconfigured with the german language.

To change the language choose the "SRware Iron anpassen" icon (top right in the tab of the browser) and click "Optionen". Then click the third button ("Schriftart- und Spracheinstellungen ändern"), choose the tab "Sprachen" and select your language in the "Iron language" - dropdown.

One more option at startup is the "--incognito" parameter. Start Iron with this (i.e. like "IronPortable.exe --incognito" to immediately switch into the anonymous mode. Have fun!

Labels: , , , , , , ,



Blogger Unknown said...

experimenting with Iron-USB and notice that response time seems much slower than Chrome on C Drive. USB always slower?

10:31 AM  
Blogger Georgi said...

Hi John,

did you really run the USB-version from an USB-drive/stick? Try running it from you C drive, of course USB-sticks are slower than "natural" built-in drives ;-)

4:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iron is epic. Fully compatible with Chrome plugins, I personally use Iron, sometimes IE! IRON FTW!

6:38 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home