ⓘ Maxthon

                                     

ⓘ Maxthon

Maxthon is a freeware web browser developed by the company Maxthon Ltd., based in Beijing, China. It is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and as Maxthon Mobile for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 8. As of version 3, Maxthon supports two web browser engines: WebKit and Trident.

Maxthon won CNET WebWare 100 Awards in 2008 and 2009, and was #97 in PC World s list of the 100 Best Products of 2011.

                                     

1. Overview

Maxthon is a Chinese company known mainly for producing web browsers for Windows. It is headquartered in Beijing, with offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and San Francisco, US. Most of Maxthons engineers are based in the corporate headquarters in Beijing, which develops and maintains versions of the Maxthon browser for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

Maxthon has also created other products including a Chinese language news and information portal i.maxthon.cn, a Chinese language casual gaming portal and humor website, a Kid Safe’ web browser for Android and iOS, a free online account system named Maxthon Passport, and an English language news and information web portal i.maxthon.com.

                                     

2. Corporate history

In 1999, current CEO Ming Jie "Jeff" Chen Chinese: 陈明杰 ; pinyin: Chen Mingjie founded Hong Kong-based Mysoft International Limited to distribute the MyIE browser. In 2005, the firm received seed funding from venture capital firm WI Harper Group and Morten Lund, the first Skype investor, and Chen moved the company to Beijing. In 2006, Maxthon received further investment from the US-based venture capital firm Charles River Ventures.

On April 10, 2007, TechCrunch reported that Google had invested at least US$1 million in Maxthon; this was denied the following day by Chen. However, in an interview with the Chinese web portal Sina.com, Chen did not rule out future "cooperation" between the two businesses.

Maxthon won CNET WebWare 100 Awards in 2008 and 2009, and was #97 in PCWorld s list of the 100 Best Products of 2011.

Maxthon was one of the twelve browsers Microsoft presented in 2010 at BrowserChoice.eu, a website allowing users of Windows residing in the European Economic Area to choose which default web browser to use on their computer. In late 2010, Maxthon began releasing new compatibilities, including browsers for Android Mac, iPhone and iPad. As of August 2012, Maxthon is still in the first tier of browsers in BrowserChoice.eu after the removal of Apple Safari. The Maxthon Cloud Browser was released on December 10, 2012.

                                     

2.1. Corporate history Data privacy issues

In 2016, computer security researchers from Fidelis Cybersecurity and Exatel discovered the browser surreptitiously sending sensitive browsing and system data, such as ad blocker status, websites visited, searches conducted, and applications installed with their version numbers, to remote servers located in Beijing, China. According to Maxthon, the data is sent as part of the firms User Experience Improvement Program and it is "voluntary and totally anonymous." However, researchers found the data still being collected and sent to remote servers even after users explicitly opt out of the program. The researchers further found the data being sent over an unencrypted connection HTTP, leaving users vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. Fidelis Chief Security Officer, Justin Harvey, noted the data "contains almost everything you would want in conducting a reconnaissance operation to know exactly where to attack. Knowing the exact operating system and installed applications, and browsing habits it would be trivial to send a perfectly crafted spear phish to the victim or perhaps set up a watering hole attack on one of their most frequented websites." According to Maxthon CEO Jeff Chen, this was due to a bug that was fixed as soon as Maxthon was made aware of the issue. Chen also stated that "security and privacy are top priorities at Maxthon".



                                     

3.1. Software Development history

According to Maxthon International CEO Ming Jie "Jeff" Chen, Maxthon was based on MyIE, a popular modification created by Chinese programmer Changyou to customize Internet Explorer web browser. Changyou posted most of the source code for MyIE on his Bulletin board system before leaving the project in 2000. Chen then continued independently developing MyIE and in 2002 released a new version, MyIE2. Users around the world were quite active in contributing to MyIE2s development, adding many plug-ins, skins and assisting with debugging. MyIE2 was renamed Maxthon in 2003.

Maxthon 2 was introduced in July 2007, and Maxthon 3 was released in September 2010. Later that year, Maxthon began introducing browsers for portable devices. In December, Maxthon for Android was released. On July 7, 2012, Maxthon for Mac was released, with Maxthon for iPhone and iPad released in August 2012. On December 10, 2012, Maxthon Cloud Browser, also named Maxthon 4, was released.

                                     

3.2. Software Features

The current version of Maxthon, Maxthon 5, introduced these features:

  • UUMail: enhances the email experience by creating unlimited virtual email IDs to keep the real email address safe and filtering out spams to make sure the inbox stays clean and organized.
  • Maxnote: the original Favorites feature upgraded to Maxnote. Users can collect everything, read anywhere, and record anytime.
  • Passkeeper: help users remember all passwords securely and smartly. Synced users passwords to the Cloud and then accessed on all different platforms & allows people to add and edit" Accounts” and" Private Notes”. It also helps users to auto-generate random complicated passwords when registering on a website so theres no need to worry about passwords being cracked anymore.
                                     

4.1. Browser versions Version 1.x

Maxthon version 1, which continued version 0 of MyIE2, was an Internet Explorer shell that implemented a tabbed browser using the Trident web browser engine which Microsoft introduced with Internet Explorer 4. As such, version 1 was compatible with every version of Windows from Windows 95 to Windows 7. Development of version 1 stopped in 2010 with the so-called Maxthon Classic, version 1.6.7.35; earlier releases are available from Maxthon, and version 1.6.7.35, which fixed a bug in selecting the default search engine, is still available at other download sites.

There are many add-ons available for Maxthon Classic, and more are available through discussion forums. Specific threads may provide direct download links also. Some add-ons are build-specific, but in that case, a clear indication of compatibility can often be found.

Maxthon 1.3.1 brought cloud-based service for online syncing bookmarks favorites in 2005.



                                     

4.2. Browser versions Version 2.x

Maxthon Browser 2 is a multi-tab browser released in July 2007. A later modification in 2008 was the first browser on the market to offer cloud-based services for syncing bookmarks and history. Version 2.x also blocks malicious plug-ins to prevent pop-ups and floating ads, and supports a variety of plug-in tools and IE extensions. It also supports a wide variety of skins and is customizable. New features included:

  • URL Key: through settings center, set an URL Key and press a function key to open one or more URLs.
  • AD blocking: through the menu "Webpage Content Block," Ad Hunter can block pop-ups, ads and malicious web harassment. Supports customizable filters.
  • Maxthon Smart Accelerator: the built-in is intended to increase browsing speed; see icon at Maxthon status bar.
  • Plug-ins Extensions: plug-ins can be used or programmed and shared with other users
  • Multi Tab Manager: right-clicking on the Tab menu brings up a function intended to make browsing and other operations more efficient.
  • URL alias: through tab right click menu, users can assign a special-sticky name to a webpage, which can be entered in the address bar to open the corresponding webpage. Naming is possible through the right click tab menu.
  • Super Drag and Drop: users can drag and drop selected text for a web search in their default search engine, or a selected link or image to open in a new tab.
  • Web Toolbar: provides users with a set of commonly used small features. Among them, The Maxthon website aggregates many entertainment and social networking sites.
  • Feed reader: native Web syndication client.
  • Super agent: supports adoption of HTTP, HTTPS, Socks4, Socks4a, Socks5, and other internet connection proxies, and also supports proxy that require authentication. By setting the Advanced Proxy Rule, the browser can automatically switch to different proxy servers.
  • Mouse Gestures: right clicking and performing gestures with the mouse allows users to trigger customizable actions.
  • Autofill: automatically saves content entered into web forms and fills them automatically in the future.
  • External Tools: users can add commonly used i.e., possibly IE compatible only tools and software shortcuts to their browser. The software can be set to start up and shut down with the browser.
  • Screen Capture: users can arbitrarily snap a whole page, a region, a specified window and page content to the clipboard. Users can also configure the saving path and file format of the screenshot through setting options.
  • Undo list: after closing a webpage accidentally, the Undo button and Undo can restore it. All closed pages and browsing history are recorded in Undo list.
  • Online Favorites: registering as a Maxthon Passport member allows instant access to cloud syncing services like online favorites.
  • Skins: different skins available.
  • Maxthon Download: without having to call other download programs, using the browser’s built-in download can complete numbers of small download tasks. The download manager has several features.
  • Maxthon Passport: once the user signs in and registers for free membership, avatar remains in that space for future visits
  • Web Sniffer: Web sniffer can capture FLV media files from video sites, allowing for download and saving. Users can also customize the type of files to sniff for.


                                     

4.3. Browser versions Version 3.x

Maxthon 3 was released in the fall of 2010, after a beta period of 8 months. It has two layout engines: WebKit and Trident. New features included:

  • Multi Search: after selecting this, a user can input keywords in the address or search bar, and it shows what multiple search engines return for the query.
  • AD Hunter: removes advertisements with one click and automatically blocks pop-up windows.
  • Mouse Gesture: allows navigating through the web by moving a mouse in patterns that tell the browser to go back, forward, refresh, or hide.
  • Dual Display Engines: Maxthon uses the Ultra Mode, powered by the WebKit web browser engine, by default. It will switch automatically to Retro Mode, powered by the Trident engine, as needed to display older-style Web pages.
  • Maxthon Passport: once a user signs in and registers for free membership, avatar remains in that space for future visits.
  • Smart Address Bar: allows searching by typing keywords directly into address bar
  • Online Favorites: registering as a Maxthon Passport member allows instant access to cloud syncing services like online favorites.
  • Magic Fill: Maxthon securely saves names and passwords of visited websites, then fills in that information on return.
  • Super Drag & Drop: allows drag and drop to open new pages and images or perform a web search.
                                     

4.4. Browser versions Maxthon Cloud Browser

Also named Maxthon Cloud, Maxthon 4 was released on December 10, 2012. At the same time it released Passport and its cloud features. Maxthon Passport allowed users to sign-in and register for free membership, and their avatar remains in that space for future visits. Registering also gives users access to cloud syncing services like online favorites. New features include:

  • New Session: users and gamers can simultaneously log into the same website with different accounts.
  • SkyNote: save and access text notes anywhere, and sync them across Windows and Android.
  • Google Safe Browsing: identifies websites and warns if they are not safe and not secure before visiting.
  • Reader Mode: adjusts font sizes and removes ads on articles for visibility, with a night mode option for low light.
  • Cloud Push: supports sending text, images, websites/links and tabs to Mac, Android and Windows operating systems.
  • Cloud Sync: Syncs account data Favorites, Settings and Magic Fill data to other devices.
  • Magic Fill: Maxthon securely saves names and passwords of visited websites, then fills in that information upon return.
  • Privacy mode: disables browsing history.
  • Source Sniffer: extract all photos, embedded videos and audio files from a web page and download them.
  • Cloud Share: supports sharing text, images, websites/links and files online.
  • Cloud Download: supports downloading files in various formats and uploading them to My Cloud for backup on any device.
  • Ad Hunter: removes advertisements with one click, and automatically blocks pop-up windows.
  • My Cloud Tabs: lets users remember previous sessions, by automatically syncing tabs to Android, iOS, or Windows devices.
  • Do Not Track: privacy from ad networks and beacons.
                                     

4.5. Browser versions MXNitro

On September 15, 2014, Maxthon released a beta version for a Windows web browser made for those with slow computers or internet connections. The browser fetched pages 3 times faster than other browsers. The browser had a clutter-free, intuitive look and feel designed expressly to make new users feel comfortable on first use. The browser never came out of beta.

                                     

4.6. Browser versions Version 5.x

Maxthon 5 also known as MX5 was released on October, 2016. In the 5.2.x versions, the core of the browser is updated to the Chromium 61 branch point which suggests that the core is using Blink, a fork of WebKit. Aside from a series of new added and improved features, Maxthon 5 also introduces a few major built in functions, such as Maxnote as "your collecting button for the web", Passkeeper as "your smart password manager", and UUMail as "the guardian of your inbox". Through this new version, Maxthon 5 is aiming to become an information assistant for users. New features included:

  • New Favorite Method: support dragging URL in a webpage to shortcut bar and make it favorite
  • Guest Mode: add guest mode
  • Passkeeper: help users remember all passwords securely and smartly. Synced users passwords to the Cloud and then accessed on all different platforms & allows people to add and edit" Accounts” and" Private Notes”. It also helps users to auto-generate random complicated passwords when registering on a website so theres no need to worry about passwords being cracked anymore.
  • Interception: add popup window interception prompt
  • Shortcut bar: add" add to this folder” for a folder in shortcut bar, support dragging to manage and organize entries, and support" delete” to recycle bin
  • Traffic Calculation: add upload traffic calculation in Infobox-menu
  • External Tool: support external tool
  • Maxnote: the original Favorites feature upgraded to Maxnote. Users can collect everything, read anywhere, and record anytime.
  • UUMail: enhances the email experience by creating unlimited virtual email IDs to keep the real email address safe and filtering out spams to make sure the inbox stays clean and organized.
  • Customization: support customization for proxy and core switch button, UEIP data feedback in setting-Privacy & Content, and auto-sync setting


                                     

4.7. Browser versions For Mac

In July 2012, Maxthon Cloud Browser for macOS was released. It allows Mac users with a Maxthon Passport account to keep all user data in sync across different devices and operating systems. New features include:

  • My Cloud Tabs: lets users remember previous sessions, by automatically syncing tabs to Android, iOS, or Windows devices.
  • Mouse Gesture: allows simple shape creation with the mouse, and trigger commands like Refresh, Close Tab, Page Top/Down and Previous/Next Tab.
  • Cloud Push: supports sending text, images, websites/links and tabs to Mac, Android and Windows operating systems.
  • Adobe Flash support pre-installed in software.
  • Do Not Track: privacy from ad networks and beacons.
  • Extension Center: company supported feature for finding browser extensions, compatible with Google Chrome extensions.
  • Cloud Download: supports downloading files in various formats and uploading them to My Cloud for backup on any device.
  • Super Drag and Drop: allows user to highlight a URL or webpage text, then drag and drop into the address bar to open a new page or execute a web search.
  • Full user data encryption for security.
  • Cloud Sync: allows syncing of bookmarks, favorites, and other content across Windows, Mac and Android devices.
  • Cloud Share: supports sharing text, images, websites/links and files with other people.

It is downloadable free of charge from the Mac App Store.



                                     

4.8. Browser versions For Android

Maxthon Mobile for Android, a version for Android phones, was first released in 2010, followed in 2011 by a version optimized for 10 inch tablets. New features in 2012 included:

  • Reader Mode: adjusts font sizes and removes ads on articles for visibility, with a night mode option for low light
  • Full screen browsing
  • Cloud Download: supports downloading files in various formats and uploading them to My Cloud for backup on any device.
  • Read-Ahead: preloads pages automatically.
  • Cloud Tabs: lets users remember previous sessions, by automatically syncing tabs to Android, iOS, or Windows devices.
  • Cloud Share: supports sharing text, images, websites/links and files online
  • App Center: function to find and group web apps and content.
  • Super Gesture allows the use of gestures to create, close, switch, and restore tabs.
  • Sync Bookmarks/Favorites: sync bookmarks across Windows, iOS, and Mac devices.
  • Cloud Push: supports sending text, images, websites/links and tabs to Mac, Android and Windows operating systems.
                                     

4.9. Browser versions For iOS

Maxthon Mobile for iOS was launched in July 2012, for iPhone, iPad, and iOS universal. Maxthon Cloud Browser for iOS saves and syncs key settings, content and features for users across multiple platforms and other devices. Mouse gestures can control the opening and switching between tabs. New features include:

  • Privacy Protection: allows browsing without tracking
  • New User Interface: full-screen browsing mode.
  • Sync Bookmarks/Favorites: works across Windows, Mac and iOS devices.
  • Cloud Tabs: lets users remember previous sessions, by automatically syncing tabs to Android, iOS, or Windows devices.
  • Reader Mode: adjusts font sizes and removes ads on articles for visibility, with a "night mode" option for low light
  • Brightness Control: adjust screen brightness within the browser.
  • Cloud Share: supports sharing text, images, websites/links and files online
  • Cloud Download: supports downloading files in various formats and uploading them to My Cloud for backup on any device.
  • Portrait Orientation Lock: supports switching the screen orientation in Maxthon Browser.
  • Cloud Push: supports sending text, images, websites/links and tabs to Mac, Android and Windows operating systems.
                                     

4.10. Browser versions For Windows Phone

Maxthon Mobile for Windows Phone was launched in October 2013. The features that were included in this version were:

  • Favorites optimized for mobile touch screens
  • Ease of use with patent-pending implementation of tabs
  • Cloud services with multi-device support
  • Pop-up address bar
  • Live tiles in Quick Access
                                     
  • January 2019. Maxthon Browser Mac App Store. Retrieved 2018 - 08 - 27. Maxthon Cloud Web Browser App Store. Retrieved 2019 - 12 - 16. Maxthon Browser Windows
  • Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2015. Maxthon 3.0 Released Will Using Two Rendering Engines Be A Good Idea? The LockerGnome
  • GreenBrowser is similar to Maxthon and closely related to the MyIE browser. Some addons and plugins designed for Maxthon will also work with GreenBrowser
  • for Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Opera, Brave and the Maxthon Cloud Browser. In February 2012, Fernandez was banned from Facebook, although
  • Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, and initially Safari but later Maxthon representing the four major rendering engines Trident, Gecko, Blink
  • New Zealand lawyer and academic Graeme Maxton, Scottish - born author and economist Other: Clan Maxton, a Scottish clan Laurinburg - Maxton Airport Maxthon
  • Apple Safari and all web browsers that are built based on these, such as Maxthon Once these browsers start a download, IDA takes over. It can also take
  • shells AOL Explorer Avant Browser GreenBrowser Internet Explorer Lunascape Maxthon MSN Explorer NeoPlanet Netcaptor Netscape 8 Sleipnir UltraBrowser WebbIE
  • Explorer, Opera, Mozilla Firefox, Flock, Google Chrome, Netscape, Mozilla, Maxthon NetCaptor, Avant browsers. Can download entire web and FTP sites Can download
  • Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Netscape, Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox, Maxthon and SeaMonkey. It can download a sequence of files and it can download
  • alliance announced its cooperation with two new members - Netcraft and Maxthon who will help the alliance to process and verify various phishing reports
  • Deepnet Explorer discontinued GreenBrowser discontinued IE Tab Lunascape Maxthon formerly MyIE2 MenuBox MSN Explorer NeoPlanet discontinued NetCaptor
  • on the stable versions. History of bookmarks favorites sync: 2005 - Maxthon 1.3 2006 - Google Browser Sync extension for Firefox 2007 - Opera 2007