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SRWare Iron is a Chromium-based web browser developed by the German company SRWare.[6] It primarily aims to eliminate usage tracking and other privacy-compromising functionality that the Google Chrome browser includes.[7] 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][7]

SRWare Iron
Iron logo.png
Iron 73.0.3800.0 on Windows
Iron 73.0.3800.0 on Windows
Developer(s)SRWare
Initial release18 September 2008; 10 years ago (2008-09-18)[1]
Stable release(s) [±]
Windows75.0.3900.0 / July 29, 2019; 50 days ago (2019-07-29)[2]
macOS75.0.3900.0 / July 31, 2019; 48 days ago (2019-07-31)[3]
Linux75.0.3900.0 / August 3, 2019; 45 days ago (2019-08-03)[4]
Android74.0.3850.0 / May 10, 2019; 4 months ago (2019-05-10)[5]
EngineBlink, V8
Operating systemWindows 7 and later, OS X 10.9 and later, Linux, Android 4.1 and later
Size47.9 MB (Windows), 45.1 (Android)
TypeWeb browser
Websitewww.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron.php

Development historyEdit

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.[8] And on 7 January 2010 a beta version for macOS was released.[9]

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

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 ChromeEdit

The following Google Chrome features are not present in Iron:[12][13][14]

  • RLZ identifier, an encoded string sent together with all queries to Google.[15]
  • Google search access on startup for users with Google as default search.[15][16]
  • Google-hosted error pages when a server is not present.
  • Google Updater automatic installation.
  • DNS pre-fetching,[17] because it could potentially be used by spammers.[18][19][20]
  • Automatic address bar search suggestions.
  • Opt-in sending of both browser usage statistics and crash information to Google.
  • Google Native Client.[21]

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.[22]
  • Increased number of recent page thumbnails shown on the New Tab page.

CriticismEdit

According to Lifehacker, Iron offers little that is not available by simply configuring Google Chrome's privacy settings.[23] According to others, it is scamware or scareware,[24] since the developers bring up non-existent issues about Chrome to claim Iron solves it.[12]

Although SRWare has been claiming "Iron is free and OpenSource",[25] 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.[26][27][28] SRWare Iron "is entirely closed source and has been since at least version 6".[21] According to Lifehacker, as of October 2014 SRWare Iron was "supposedly open source but haven't released their source for years".[23] 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.[29]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d SRWare. "SRWare Iron - The Browser of the Future". srware.net. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  2. ^ "New Iron-Version: 75.0.3900.0 Stable for Windows". SRWare. 29 July 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  3. ^ "New Iron-Version: 75.0.3900.0 Stable for Mac". SRWare. 31 July 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  4. ^ "New Iron-Version: 75.0.3900.0 Stable for Linux". SRWare. 3 August 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  5. ^ "New Iron-Version: 74.0.3850.0 Stable for Android". SRWare. 3 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  6. ^ "SRWare Iron - The Browser of the Future". Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  7. ^ a b SRWare (n.d.). "SRWare Iron: The Browser of the future - Overview". Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  8. ^ "Iron Pre-Alpha for Linux Download". Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  9. ^ "New Iron-Version: 4.0.275 Beta for MacOS". Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  10. ^ Kai Schmerer (10 August 2010). "Microsoft aktualisiert Browser-Auswahlbox" (in German). ZDnet. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
  11. ^ BrowserChoice.eu (n.d.). "Choose Your Browser". Archived from the original on 8 February 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  12. ^ a b SRWare. "SRWare Iron - The Browser of the Future". srware.net. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Privacy, unique IDs, and RLZ - Google Chrome".
  14. ^ "Google Chrome Privacy Whitepaper". google.com. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  15. ^ a b "Google Chrome, Chromium, and Google". Retrieved 28 January 2010. See Which Google Domain
  16. ^ "View of /trunk/src/chrome/browser/google/google_url_tracker.cc". Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help) Source code comment on line 31
  17. ^ "Chromium Blog: DNS Prefetching (or Pre-Resolving)". Chromium Blog. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  18. ^ Srinivas Krishnan, Fabian Monrose (2010). "DNS prefetching and its privacy implications: when good things go bad". USENIX.
  19. ^ Mike Cardwell. "DNS Pre-fetch Exposure on Thunderbird and Webmail". Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  20. ^ SRWare. "SRWare Iron - Frequently Asked Questions". SRWare. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  21. ^ a b "The Private Life of Chromium Browsers". thesimplecomputer.info. Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  22. ^ SRWare. "New Iron-Version: 13.0.800.1 Stable for Windows". srware.net. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  23. ^ a b Alan Henry. "The Best Privacy and Security-Focused Web Browsers". Lifehacker. Gawker Media. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  24. ^ "SRWare Iron Browser – A Private Alternative To Chrome?". Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  25. ^ SRWare. "SRWare Iron download page". srware.net. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  26. ^ "SRWare Iron source code - Part 1". Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  27. ^ "SRWare Iron source code - Part 2". Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  28. ^ "SRWare Iron source code - Part 3". Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  29. ^ SRWare. "SRWare Iron - The Browser of the Future". srware.net. Retrieved 21 July 2015.

External linksEdit