Browzar: IE in disguise

Friday, 1 September 2006 at 19:13 2 comments


I was gonna post this yesterday, after i found Browzar on the Scobleizer blog. But i was unsure whether it was in fact as great as it is being made out to be. Now other blogs and even BBC News website have spoke about it to, so i’m gonna add my piece.

OK, so first fatal error is that its a shell that fits on IE. So all all the problems and holes in IE come with it. Hmm, not doing well to swing me from my beloved Firefox. Bad start.
Second is they tell you it helps keep what you do on the internet to yourself, cover your tracks and ensure privacy on the internet. Isn’t true, as the police and work IT departments can still find out exactly what you’ve been upto. So, wana use it at work? What’s the point, your know better off. Browzar say in their stories bit that people sharing computers have found evidence of the last persons web history. Surely, with the vast majority of computers today being sold with Windows XP, most people have separate usernames? And if they are so goddamn worried about their privacy they shouldn’t be using a shared computer!

Ajaz Ahmed, the man behind Browzar, is quoted on the BBC News website as talking about other browsers ‘fiddily’ features to clear private data:

“Often, people don’t know how to turn these features off… Often I don’t know how to turn them off.”

Hmm, i’m sure he means on. But anyway, this is so untrue. At least for Firefox:

To set what you want to get rid of, go Tools > Options > Privacy. Then click the settings button at the bottom right. Got it? Not so hard so far! Pretty straight forward, check the boxes of what you want to be cleared. If you want to do what Browzar does and delete all private data when you finish your session, check the ‘Clear private data when closing Firefox’. Now everytime you exit Firefox all that data is deleted automatically. Want Firefox to check if you want it deleted, incase you change your mind? Easy, check the ‘Ask before clearing private data’ box. Decided you want to change whats deleted each time? Go back to settings and check and uncheck the relevant boxes. “What if i only want delete something once every-so-often, or even during my session?” i hear you say. Easy, go Tools > Options > Privacy. Click the tab of whatever you want to delete and click the ‘Clear…’ button. Done. Or, if you want to delete everything you have checked in the settings option at any point when Firefox is open, just hold Ctrl+Shift+Delete simultaneously. Or choose Tools > Clear private data. Oh my god i cannot believe how easy it is, im shocking myself.

So, as it stands, what does Browzar have? TOTAL privacy where you need it (e.g. at work, in an internet cafe)? Nope. Safety whilst surfing? Not whilst its got anything to do with IE. Making clearing private data a possible, rather than an impossible task? If holding three buttons simultaneously is too difficult, maybe your not safe to be online.

So you liked the idea when you heard it, but not so sure now? Nothings perfect, but the closest thing we can get to it at the moment is the almighty Firefox. Wana make Firefox better, try these extensions:

  • Google Toolbar – Google and Firefox are like the hottest couple on the worldwide web. If ever China and the US made a baby, it would look like this.
  • McAfee SiteAdvisor – Helps you make wise choices on the web. See previous post.

If you want to download Firefox with Google Toolbar included, click here.


Entry filed under: Technology.

News and Views from Mr. Michael Stipe New Look New York *UPDATED*

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jonathan  |  Sunday, 3 September 2006 at 12:43

    Our posts on Browzar are quite similar. Perhaps that’s because they are correct! Many people are saying the same things (and also pointing out that it uses a pay-per-click search engine as the homepage, which can’t be changed). I couldn’t belive how much the BBC had changed their article, presumably after readers contacted them to complain about the inflated claims. It seems the BBC were duped by the developers. This leaves the former quite red-faced. See here:

  • 2. It's A Free World, Baby  |  Sunday, 3 September 2006 at 16:34

    Fair enough.


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