Torch (browser)

Last updated
Torch
Torch Browser Logo.jpg
Developer(s) Torch Media Inc.
Initial releaseJune 18, 2012 (2012-06-18)
Stable release(s) [±]
65.0.0.1617 (February 25, 2019;7 months ago (2019-02-25) [1] ) [±]
Operating system Windows 7 and Windows 8 [2]
Platform IA-32
Size 82.3 MB
Available inEnglish, French, Spanish, Turkish, Italian, Portuguese, German
Type Web browser, BitTorrent client
License Freeware, adware
Website torchbrowser.com

Torch is a Chromium-based web browser and Internet suite developed by Torch Media. [3] The browser handles common Internet-related tasks such as displaying websites, sharing websites via social networks, downloading torrents, accelerating downloads and grabbing online media, all directly from the browser. [4] Torch Browser is commercial freeware. [5]

Chromium (web browser) Free and open-source cross-platform web browser

Chromium is a free and open-source web browser developed by Google. It is a fully functional browser on its own and supplies the vast majority of source code for the Google Chrome browser. The two browsers have always had some differences, as indicated by their names: chromium is the metal used to make chrome plating.

Web browser software application for retrieving, presenting and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web

A web browser is a software application for accessing information on the World Wide Web. When a user opens a particular website, the web browser retrieves the necessary content from a web server then displays the resulting web page on the user's device.

An Internet suite is an Internet-related software suite. Internet suites usually include a web browser, e-mail client, download manager, HTML editor, and an IRC client.

Contents

Torch is based on the Chromium source code [6] and is compatible with all add-ons and extensions available in the Chrome store. On June 18, 2013, Torch announced that it had surpassed 10 million active users. [7]

Torrent site The Pirate Bay has run paid endorsements for Torch on their website. [8]

The Pirate Bay Website providing torrent files and magnet links

The Pirate Bay is an online index of digital content of entertainment media and software. Founded in 2003 by Swedish think tank Piratbyrån, The Pirate Bay allows visitors to search, download, and contribute magnet links and torrent files, which facilitate peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing among users of the BitTorrent protocol.

Features

The built-in BitTorrent client allows users to download torrent files. [9] Users can directly share sites, videos, audio and search results with their Facebook and Twitter accounts. [10]

On June 18, 2013, Torch announced a major release for Mac and Windows that included an integrated download accelerator. The same release also introduced Torch Music, a free social music discovery service that organizes music videos available on YouTube in a user-friendly interface. Users can easily find and stream music videos, create playlists, and follow their Facebook friends’ musical choices. Torch Music is integrated directly into Torch Browser, which includes an embedded controller to control music from any browser tab. [7]

YouTube Video-sharing service owned by Google

YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. Three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim—created the service in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion; YouTube now operates as one of Google's subsidiaries.

Facebook Global online social networking service

Facebook, Inc. is an American online social media and social networking service company based in Menlo Park, California. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies along with Amazon, Apple, and Google.

On July 1, 2013, Torch version 25.0.0.3712 was released. The release included the ability to download Instagram and Vine videos in a single click. [11] Torch's ability to download Instagram videos was featured on CNET's Tekzilla Daily . [12]

Instagram Online photo-sharing and social networking service

Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook, Inc. It was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and launched in October 2010 exclusively on iOS. A version for Android devices was released a year and half later, in April 2012, followed by a feature-limited website interface in November 2012, and apps for Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 in April 2016 and October 2016 respectively. The app allows users to upload photos and videos to the service, which can be edited with various filters, and organized with tags and location information. An account's posts can be shared publicly or with pre-approved followers. Users can browse other users' content by tags and locations, and view trending content. Users can "like" photos, and follow other users to add their content to a feed.

CNET American media website about technology and consumer electronics

CNET, formerly Computer Network, is an American media website that publishes reviews, news, articles, blogs, podcasts and videos on technology and consumer electronics globally. Founded in 1994 by Halsey Minor and Shelby Bonnie, it was the flagship brand of CNET Networks and became a brand of CBS Interactive through CNET Networks' acquisition in 2008. CNET originally produced content for radio and television in addition to its website and now uses new media distribution methods through its Internet television network, CNET Video, and its podcast and blog networks.

Tekzilla was an American video podcast on the Revision3 network. It was hosted by Patrick Norton and Shannon Morse, with Roger Chang as a frequent guest host. For the first 14 episodes of Tekzilla, Patrick's co-host was Jessica Corbin, who made a guest appearance on episode 16 confirming she has left the show. In November 2013, Veronica Belmont left the show. She had been a host on Tekzilla since 2008. Shannon Morse became the new host. On November 25, 2014, Tekzilla aired for the final time. Starting in January 2015, Patrick Norton and Shannon Morse went on to create and host TekThing, funded by Patreon and recorded in the Hak5 studio.

On February 26, 2014, Torch version 29.0.0.6508 was released. The release included the ability to customize the look and feel of users' Facebook pages using pre-set themes. Users can customize these themes or create their own. A user's customized page is visible to him/herself and to anyone visiting the original user's page from another Torch browser if the original user allows it. [13]

On May 20, 2014, Torch version 33.0.0.6975 was released. The release updated the Chromium engine used by Torch and introduced an embedded player to stream torrents downloaded before the download is completed.

Reception

Reviews of Torch have evolved over time, as the browser continued to add features and functionality. Early versions of the browser have received mixed reviews, with some praising its interesting feature combination while others pointed to the lack of add-on support (an issue which has been resolved in newer versions). [9] [6]

In October 2012, The Blog Herald said of Torch: "The Torch Web Browser is built on a lightweight framework that offers what appears to be decent security. If you like to browse the web while grabbing various files this might be the perfect browser for your arsenal of web applications. Overall I have been pleased with the Torch Browser and I only hope it continues to grow so more social sharing features can be experienced and more files can be grabbed." [9]

In reviewing Torch in December 2012, CNET said of Torch 2.0.0.1614: "An all-in-one Web browser is nothing to sneeze at, but Torch Browser isn't going to pry you away from Chrome or Firefox. While it has options that make sharing and social media a breeze, Torch Browser just isn't unique enough to win people's hearts. It lags in performance and its major features aren't worth making the switch...Torch Browser tries to carve out its niche by being an all-in-one Web browser... However, it doesn't do any of those things well enough to replace what you currently use. Once you get over the novelty, it becomes obvious that Torch Browser isn't that powerful as a Web portal. It's noticeably slower than other browsers and it doesn't have the same sort of add-on support. The layout is just a rip-off of the open-canvas setup of other, more popular browsers. None of this is to say that using it is all a bad experience. Torch Browser still runs circles around Internet Explorer and would be a major upgrade there... While not a threat to Firefox or Chrome, Torch Browser is easy enough to use and might just impress Internet Explorer users. Heavy downloaders might enjoy the torrent downloader and media player that come with it, too." [6]

PC Advisor , in an April 2013 review of the newest version, gave Torch 3.5/5 stars and praised it: "This is a great alternative browser that adds some interesting extras on top of the Chrome engine. It’s well worth trying out". [14]

In a March 2015 Techradar review by Jamie Hinks, the publication called Torch 39 "an excellent alternative for anyone looking to a browser that breaks away from the norm". [15]

Criticism

Bundling of unwanted software

Torch Media receives payments from companies like Ask.com to bundle potentially unwanted programs with the browser. Users may be asked to install search toolbars or adware programs during installation. These bundled programs commonly do one or more of the following things:

While this practice is deemed controversial by some, users are given a chance to opt out of sponsored software and Torch claims to work fine without it. [16]

Torch makes contradictory claims about the software they bundle. Their online troubleshooter claims that "Torch does not install additional toolbars" while at the same time stating that "the Torch installer may include an optional Ask.com toolbar" on another page. [17]

Related Research Articles

Firefox Free and open-source web browser by Mozilla

Mozilla Firefox, or simply Firefox, is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary, Mozilla Corporation. Firefox is officially available for Windows 7 or newer, macOS and Linux; its unofficial ports are available for various Unix and Unix-like operating systems including FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, illumos and Solaris Unix. Its sibling, Firefox for Android, is also available. Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine to render web pages, which implements current and anticipated web standards. In 2017, Firefox began incorporating new technology under the code name Quantum to promote parallelism and a more intuitive user interface. An additional version, Firefox for iOS, was released on November 12, 2015. Due to platform restrictions, it uses the WebKit layout engine instead of Gecko, as with all other iOS web browsers.

Avant Browser is a freeware web browser from a Chinese programmer named Anderson Che, which unites the Trident layout engine built into Windows with an interface intended to be more feature-rich, flexible and ergonomic than Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE). It runs on Windows 2000 and above, including Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11 are supported.

Browser wars competition

A browser war is competition for dominance in the usage share of web browsers. The "First Browser War" during the late 1990s pitted Microsoft's Internet Explorer against Netscape's Navigator. Browser wars continued with the decline of Internet Explorer's market share and the popularity of other browsers including Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera.

Google Toolbar is a web browser toolbar for Internet Explorer, developed by Google. It was first released in 2000 for Internet Explorer 5. Google Toolbar was also supported on Firefox from September 2005 to June 2011.

Comparison of web browsers Wikimedia list article

The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of web browsers.

Add-on is the Mozilla term for software modules that can be added to the Firefox web browser and related applications. There are three types: extensions, themes, and plug-ins. Mozilla hosts them on its official add-on website.

Flock (web browser) Discontinued web browser integrating social networking and Web 2.0 features

Flock is a discontinued web browser that specialized in providing social networking and Web 2.0 facilities built into its user interface. Earlier versions of Flock used the Gecko HTML rendering engine by Mozilla. Version 2.6.2, released on January 27, 2011, was the last version based on Mozilla Firefox. Starting with version 3, Flock was based on Chromium and so used the WebKit rendering engine. Flock was available as a free download, and supported Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and, at one time, Linux as well.

Browser hijacking is a form of unwanted software that modifies a web browser's settings without a user's permission, to inject unwanted advertising into the user's browser. A browser hijacker may replace the existing home page, error page, or search engine with its own. These are generally used to force hits to a particular website, increasing its advertising revenue.

A browser extension is a small software module for customizing a web browser. Browsers typically allow a variety of extensions, including user interface modifications, ad blocking, and cookie management.

A browser toolbar is a toolbar that resides within a browser's window. All major web browsers provide support to browser toolbar development as a way to extend the browser's GUI and functionality. Browser toolbars are considered to be a particular kind of browser extensions that present a toolbar. Browser toolbars are specific to each browser, which means that a toolbar working on a browser does not work on another one. All browser toolbars must be installed in the corresponding browser before they can be used, and require updates when new versions are released.

Google Chrome Web browser developed by Google

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Comodo Dragon

Comodo Dragon is a freeware web browser. It is based on Chromium and is produced by Comodo Group. Sporting a similar interface to Google Chrome, Dragon does not implement Chrome's user tracking and some other potentially privacy-compromising features, substituting them for its own user tracking implementations, and provides additional security measures, such as indicating the authenticity and relative strength of a website's Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.

Google's Chrome for Android is an edition of Google Chrome released for the Android system. On February 7, 2012, Google launched Google Chrome Beta for Android 4.0 devices, for selected countries. The first stable version of the browser was released on June 27, 2012. Chrome 18.0.1026.311, released on September 26, 2012, was the first version of Chrome for Android to support Intel x86 based mobile devices.

Comodo IceDragon IceDragon

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Blink is a browser engine used in the Google Chrome browser and many other projects. It is developed as part of the Chromium project with contributions from Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Opera Software ASA, Adobe Systems, Intel, IBM, Samsung, and others. It was first announced in April 2013.

Cốc Cốc Web browser

Cốc Cốc browser is a freeware web browser focused on the Vietnamese market, developed by Vietnamese company Cốc Cốc and based on Chromium open source code, which is the same platform used by Google Chrome, Opera, and Comodo Dragon. Cốc Cốc is available for the Windows, Windows Phone and macOS operating systems and supports both English and Vietnamese. Cốc Cốc also has a search engine called Cốc Cốc Search Engine

Citrio Web browser

Citrio is a free web browser developed by Catalina Group Ltd. and distributed by Epom Ad Server. Citrio is available for Windows and Mac OS X. Citrio has a download manager that includes Bittorrent support, a video downloader, a media player and a proxy switcher. Citrio is based on the open source Chromium web browser project, which makes it compatible with all extensions, apps and themes from Chrome Web Store.

References

  1. "Torch Browser 65.0.0.1617". UpdateStar. Torch Media Inc. February 25, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  2. "Which Operating Systems support Torch?". torchbrowser.kayako.com. Archived from the original on 2018-07-08. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  3. Riggall, Jonathan (2012-08-01). "Torch Browser - Download". Torch.en.softonic.com. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  4. "Torch Browser 2.0.0.1705". Neowin.net. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  5. "Terms of Use". Torch Browser. 2012-04-12. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  6. 1 2 3 "Torch Browser - CNET Download.com". Download.cnet.com. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  7. 1 2 LARDINOIS, FREDERIC. "Torch Browser Passes 10 Million Monthly Active Users, Adds Download Accelerator, Updates Torch Music Service". TechCrunch.
  8. , Pirate Bay advertising Torch browser
  9. 1 2 3 "Torch Browser Delivers Social Media Sharing With A Healthy Dash Of Multimedia Control". The Blog Herald. 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  10. "Torch Browser 2.0.0.1705 Download". TechSpot. 2012-11-12. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  11. "How to Download Instagram Videos - Torch Blog". Blog.torchbrowser.com. 2013-07-01. Archived from the original on 2013-07-08. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
  12. "Download Instagram videos | CNET TV | Video Product Reviews, CNET Podcasts, Tech Shows, Live CNET Video". Cnettv.cnet.com. 2012-09-19. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
  13. "How to Transform your Facebook in Just One Click - Torch Blog". Blog.torchbrowser.com. Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
  14. "Torch Browser 23.4 review: an alternative web browser to Chrome, Firefox and IE". PC Advisor. 2013-03-12. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  15. Hinks, Jamie (30 March 2015). "Best Browsers 2015: the top five candidates for your PC". Techradar. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  16. , Torch FAQ
  17. "Torch Web Browser - Your All in One Internet Browser". Torch Browser. Retrieved 2015-11-10.