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Deepnet Explorer review: Deepnet Explorer

Deepnet Explorer

Dan Costa
3 min read

Deepnet Explorer 1.4


Deepnet Explorer

The Good

Built-in P2P client; tabbed pages in interface; antiphishing protection; familiar interface buttons.

The Bad

Relatively weak P2P performance; no phone support.

The Bottom Line

Deepnet Explorer may not have the institutional support of Internet Explorer, but it offers more built-in features than Microsoft provides.

It has been a long time since Microsoft Internet Explorer had this much competition: Firefox, Opera 8, the beta of Netscape 8, and now Deepnet Explorer. Technically, Deepnet Explorer uses the same browser engine as Internet Explorer, so it is hard to call it a true competitor. Unlike its staid progenitor, however, Deepnet Explorer offers several built-in innovations that most Web surfers want, including better security features, an integrated P2P engine, an RSS newsreader, and a few cool interface tweaks such as tabbed Web page browsing. Seamless compatibility and a host of new features could make this the browser of choice for Net hipsters. However, those wanting to bolster their Internet security should opt for non-IE-based browsers such as Firefox, Opera, or even Netscape. Installing Deepnet Explorer takes only a few minutes. During setup, the browser automatically imported our cookies, settings, and favorites from Internet Explorer. The integrated search window enabled us to search multiple engines, including Google, XSPN, Yahoo Search, and MSN Search. Overall, the Deepnet interface is very similar to Internet Explorer's, with the biggest difference being the ability to open multiple tabbed Web pages within the browser. Tabbed browsing is already a popular feature within Firefox, Opera, and Netscape.

Deepnet Explorer offers the tabbed-browsing feature that Microsoft forgot.

In addition, you can configure Deepnet Explorer so that it displays multiple start pages. For example, whenever you start the browser, your personal home page, corporate intranet, and portal, such as Yahoo, will all be opened instantly and at your disposal.

You also get the broad compatibility with Deepnet that you're used to with IE. Because Deepnet Explorer is based on Internet Explorer, we were able to conduct online banking at heavily secured banking sites and open, multimedia-rich sites with no problems.

Deepnet Explorer aims to replace Internet Explorer's hodgepodge of third-party applications with built-in features that include advanced security, P2P file sharing, an RSS newsreader, and an encrypted form filler that automatically populates Web forms with your personal data.

Deepnet Explorer's built-in RSS reader makes it easy to skim the morning's headlines.

With its built-in antiphishing technology, Deepnet Explorer also provides better security features than Microsoft Internet Explorer. A phishing-alarm dialog box will inform you whenever a Web site pretends to be one you would ordinarily trust with your passwords or credit card number. The technology works both by using a blacklist of known phishing sites and by analyzing the URL in the address bar.

Deepnet Explorer stops pop-up ad windows by default, though you can still view blocked windows by holding down the Shift key. The blocking software also stops those floater ads that move around your screen when you try to close them. In a departure from Internet Explorer, which makes you dig deep into its setting options, Deepnet Explorer's content filter is available from a drop-down menu on the toolbar, allowing you to block pages that have video, ActiveX Controls, scripts, or Java applets with a click of your mouse. We prefer Deepnet Explorer's ease of use.

The browser includes other innovative, albeit less useful, tools. For example, Mouse Gestures lets you use the mouse to control your browser. Right-click and move the mouse to the left, and you will go back a page; right-click and move to the right, and you will move forward a page. This is neat, but most users will find it just as fast to navigate the old-fashioned way.

Not everyone will want or use Deepnet Explorer's built-in P2P client.

Deepnet Explorer's P2P client uses the popular Gnutella network, allowing you to search a variety of file types, including audio, video, images, documents, or applications hosted on other people's machines. The browser also allows you to disable the P2P client if you choose not to support file trading in any way. Gnutella has millions of users worldwide, yet we were disappointed that we could connect to only four local nodes. Still, the Gnutella network offers a wide variety of files, and by building P2P directly into the browser, Deepnet Explorer may lure more users to experiment with file sharing. Die-hard file traders, however, will probably still want to use a more dedicated P2P client such as Groove.

Deepnet Technologies offers an online FAQ, customer-staffed online forums, and e-mail technical support. There is no phone support, but we got an answer to our e-mail request within four hours.


Deepnet Explorer

Score Breakdown

Setup 7Features 8Support 6