SRWare Iron

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SRWare Iron
Iron logo.png
SRWare Iron14.0.850.0.png
Iron 14.0.850.0 on Puppy Linux 5.2.8 Lucid Puppy showing the new tab page.
Developer(s) SRWare
Initial release 18 September 2008; 8 years ago (2008-09-18)[1]
Stable release
Windows

56.0.2950.1 (February 26, 2017; 3 months ago (2017-02-26)[2]) [±]

macOS

56.0.2950.0 (February 13, 2017; 4 months ago (2017-02-13)[3]) [±]

Linux
56.2950.0 (February 11, 2017; 4 months ago (2017-02-11)[4]) [±]
Development status Active
Operating system Windows 7 and later, OS X 10.9 and later, Linux, Android 4.1 and later
Engine Blink, V8
Size 47.9 MB (Windows), 45.1 (Android)
Type Web browser
License BSD license
Website www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron.php

SRWare Iron is a free web browser, and an implementation of Chromium by SRWare of Germany.[5] It primarily aims to eliminate usage tracking and other privacy-compromising functionality that the Google Chrome browser includes.[6] While Iron does not provide extra privacy compared to Chromium after proper settings are altered in the latter, it does implement some additional features that distinguish it from Google Chrome.[1][6]

Development history[edit]

Iron was first released as a beta version on 18 September 2008,[1] 16 days after Google Chrome's initial release.

On 26 May 2009 a Preview-Release (Pre-Alpha) of Iron came out for Linux.[7] And on 7 January 2010 a beta version for macOS was released.[8]

On 11 August 2010, Microsoft updated the BrowserChoice.eu website in order to include Iron as one of the possible choices.[9][10]

More recent versions of Iron have been released since then, which has gained the features of the underlying Chromium codebase, including Google Chrome theme support, a user agent switcher, an extension system, integrated Adblocker and improved Linux support.[1]

Differences from Chrome[edit]

The following Google Chrome features are not present in Iron:[11][12][13]

  • RLZ identifier, an encoded string sent together with all queries to Google.[14]
  • Google search access on startup for users with Google as default search.[14][15]
  • Google-hosted error pages when a server is not present.
  • Google Updater automatic installation.
  • DNS pre-fetching,[16] because it could potentially be used by spammers.[17][18][19]
  • Automatic address bar search suggestions.
  • Opt-in sending of both browser usage statistics and crash information to Google.
  • Google Native Client.[20]

Added features include:

  • An ad blocker.
  • A user agent switcher.
  • Opt-in blocking of other background communications, such as extension, GPU blacklist, and certificate revocation updates.[21]
  • Increased number of recent page thumbnails shown on the New Tab page.

Criticism[edit]

According to Lifehacker, Iron doesn't really offer much you can't get by configuring Google Chrome's privacy settings.[22] According to others, it is scamware or scareware,[23] since the developers bring up non-existent issues about Chrome to claim Iron solves it.[11]

Although SRWare has been claiming "Iron is free and OpenSource",[24] this wasn't true from at least version 6 on until mid 2015, as the links given by them for the source code were hosted in RapidShare and blocked by the uploader.[25][26][27] SRWare Iron "is entirely closed source and has been since at least version 6".[20] According to Lifehacker, as of October 2014 SRWare Iron was "supposedly open source but haven't released their source for years".[22] In 2015, SRWare resumed releasing what they claim is the source code for the browser, although not stating on their page what version the source code is from.[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d SRWare. "SRWare Iron - The Browser of the Future". srware.net. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "New Iron-Version: 56.0.2950.1 Stable for Windows". 2016-09-17. Retrieved 2016-10-16. 
  3. ^ "New Iron-Version: 56.0.2950.0 Stable for MacOS". 2017-02-13. Retrieved 2017-03-03. 
  4. ^ "New Iron-Version: 56.2950.0 Stable for Linux". 2016-10-01. Retrieved 2016-10-16. 
  5. ^ "SRWare Iron - The Browser of the Future". Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  6. ^ a b SRWare (n.d.). "SRWare Iron: The Browser of the future - Overview". Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "Iron Pre-Alpha for Linux Download". Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "New Iron-Version: 4.0.275 Beta for MacOS". Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  9. ^ Kai Schmerer (10 August 2010). "Microsoft aktualisiert Browser-Auswahlbox" (in German). ZDnet. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  10. ^ BrowserChoice.eu (n.d.). "Choose Your Browser". Archived from the original on 8 February 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  11. ^ a b SRWare. "SRWare Iron - The Browser of the Future". srware.net. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Privacy, unique IDs, and RLZ - Google Chrome". 
  13. ^ "Google Chrome Privacy Whitepaper". google.com. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  14. ^ a b "Google Chrome, Chromium, and Google". Retrieved 28 January 2010.  See Which Google Domain
  15. ^ "View of /trunk/src/chrome/browser/google/google_url_tracker.cc". Retrieved 15 November 2010.  Source code comment on line 31
  16. ^ "Chromium Blog: DNS Prefetching (or Pre-Resolving)". Chromium Blog. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  17. ^ Srinivas Krishnan, Fabian Monrose (2010). "DNS prefetching and its privacy implications: when good things go bad". USENIX. 
  18. ^ Mike Cardwell. "DNS Pre-fetch Exposure on Thunderbird and Webmail". Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  19. ^ SRWare. "SRWare Iron - Frequently Asked Questions". SRWare. Retrieved 2013-08-20. 
  20. ^ a b "The Private Life of Chromium Browsers". thesimplecomputer.info. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  21. ^ SRWare. "New Iron-Version: 13.0.800.1 Stable for Windows". srware.net. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  22. ^ a b Alan Henry. "The Best Privacy and Security-Focused Web Browsers". Lifehacker. Gawker Media. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  23. ^ SRWare Iron Browser – A Private Alternative To Chrome?
  24. ^ SRWare. "SRWare Iron download page". srware.net. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  25. ^ SRWare Iron source code - Part 1
  26. ^ SRWare Iron source code - Part 2
  27. ^ SRWare Iron source code - Part 3
  28. ^ SRWare. "SRWare Iron - The Browser of the Future". srware.net. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 

External links[edit]