It's far from a new browser (it was first mentioned back in 2017) but Iridium has become my go-to non-Firefox browser. This is important because I'm increasingly running into situations where I *have* to use a Chromium-based tools. It's unfortunate but necessary. At the same time, I don't really want to use a closed-source browser and I don't want to use something tied to Google services the way default Chromium is.
While I've been promoting Ungoogled Chromium for ages now, that appears to have been a foolish suggestion. I went to actually download the program recently I noticed that the Windows downloads are "unverified". With all the Chromium issues published last year, that's not a reassuring status.
"Iridium Browser" sounds like just one of the two dozen knock-off Chrome browsers but so far is looking like the next best thing. Appears to be open source, has some privacy tweaks, and there's a portable version.
COMPARISON TO OTHER BROWSERS
- Ungoogled Chromium had a few hoops to jump through to get the add-ons working but Iridium seems to have that sorted out of the box.
- Actually closes down unlike Edge, which just seems to linger in memory after closing the browser.
- In testing, idle CPU usage was low.
- Customization options were extremely limited. Folks who like the various tweaks in Firefox and Vivaldi are going to be disappointed.
- It likely won't be able to avoid walking away from Manifest v2 support, which is a bad tech decision by Google to nullify ad-blocking tools. Iridium is likely too small a project to handle that.
- No option to auto-dump everything at browser close, to be essentially always in Incognito mode.
- Runs 17 unique processes with only a few browser tabs open, which is unplesant but fairly standard for browsers.
I didn't run a thorough test but it does appear to have some portability enabled. Just make sure you use the included .LNK file or create a batch file with the same info:
"C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe" /c "START %cd%\iridium.exe --user-data-dir=%cd%\Profile"
Default search engine is Qwant, which I don't know anything about but was pleased to see puts us at the top of the results for portablefreeware.
- Not sure where the included PDF viewer came from (Google's PDF tool is closed source) but it seems to work fine.
- Appears to support all the crap Google tech like FLOC and "Enhanced Protection" but appears to have them all turned off by default.
Iridium Browser | A browser securing your privacy. That’s it.
Iridium Browser: A Browser for the Privacy Conscious - It's FOSS
Iridium Secure Browser Project · GitHub