Netscape Navigator Review

Remember the old days of Netscape decades ago? It’s probably the only browser that you would ever use back then. That was the era before Mozilla, IE, and Opera stepped in (alright, alright, and Flock and Maxthon and K-Meleon and other zillions of browsers out there!)

I was amused that there are people who still want to download and try Netscape again, but I’ve decided to give it a go. Surprise, surprise! Have a read on what I found out.

Netscape Navigator looks like…Firefox! The UI, the status bar, the look and feel, the menu, the options, the settings, basically almost everything! Netscape Navigator is actually based on the Gecko engine, hence the similarities. In fact, when you want to download Netscape Navigator, you’ll find on the download page that says: “Netscape Navigator is based on Mozilla Firefox”

There is an option to import your options, bookmarks, history and other data from Internet Explorer or Firefox so if you want to try out Netscape, it shouldn’t be much a hassle for you to migrate.

All my Firefox extensions work in Netscape, such as the FireFTP, FEBE, Download Statusbar, etc):

















Browsing Speed is as fast as Firefox, if not faster. It definitely is faster than Internet Explorer. I haven’t used Opera or other browsers, so I can’t compare it with the others. Of course with ADSL 2, Cable, T3, T1 connections nowadays, what does it matter to wait for a few more milliseconds? Sometimes I just can’t believe people are arguing which browser is the fastest, if the only difference it makes is only a second difference!

Memory usage…well opening up the same pages in Firefox and Netscape (with the same extensions installed) reveals that Netscape has a better memory usage than Firefox (of course, this is just a simple comparison and not a thorough investigation). Some people in the forums mention that Netscape doesn’t have the memory leak that Firefox has, but others said that since Netscape is using the same Gecko engine like Firefox, it does have the same problem. I guess you should just give it a try for yourself and see how it works on your system.

There is a also new feature called “Link Pad” which serves like a temporary bookmark in the browser. You can mark URL (hyperlinks) on a page to be saved to the Link Pad so that you can come back to it later. It’s like a “once-off” bookmark. If you close your browser, all your temporary links will still be there when you re-open it.

Link Pad on the Sidebar

Netscape Navigator also has a feature called “Mini browser” so you can browse another site on the left side of the browser and keep your current active site on the right side. I’m not sure how useful this feature is? You can just open up 2 browser windows at the same time, make them side by side on your monitor, and that will do the trick, won’t it?

Mini browser


What I don’t like about Netscape Navigator

  • No “New Tab” button on the toolbar (even when you try to customise it). Either use CTRL-T or Click on the File->New Tab menu to create new tabs.
  • Don’t like the startup flash (the ship’s steering wheel logo), but it can be turned off
  • I got a lot of “Unresponsive script” warning throughout my browsing experience. Not sure what caused this, I suspect that it’s either Flash or Javascript’s.

What I like about Netscape Navigator

  • It starts up faster, just like IE 7.0 (IMO, Firefox has the slowest startup time between the 2 browsers)
  • Browse as fast as Firefox, if not faster
  • Better memory usage? (may need to re-check after a period of browsing time)
  • Fix common mistakes when typing URL (typo)
  • It brings back old memories (Netscape Navigator 4.7 or what was it about a decade ago..)


Although Netscape Navigator doesn’t actually deliver something “wow” to the browser wars, I’d suggest you to give it a try yourself for a few days and see if you like it. If you are already using Firefox, then you won’t feel much different using Netscape in terms of user interface. However, some of the new features, speed improvement, and better memory usage are some things that you may want to think about.

Have a go at it if you like to try something new (like I do). I’ve been using this browser for a week now (I’m a Firefox user) and so far the browsing experience has been great (except for the unresponsive script warnings on a few occassions).

You can download Netscape Navigator from the official site.

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