Iron is a web browser that is based on the Chromium source code, the same code that powers the Google Chrome web browser.
The main difference between Iron and Google Chrome is that the developers of Iron have removed code from the browser to improve user privacy by removing privacy-compromising functionality from the web browser.
This includes things like the unique client ID, error reporting, Google-hosted error pages, Google Search, DNS prefetching, search suggestions, or Google Updater which is a program that is automatically started with Windows.
Iron basically follows the same development cycle as the Google Chrome web browser but with a delay added to the process. Usually, Google releases first, and Iron follows then afterwards with the same version.
The Iron development team has released the Iron 4 release candidate two days ago which is as usually available as a portable version and installer for the Windows operating system.
Update: The Iron browser has been updated alongside Google Chrome since this review. You can download the latest version of the browser from the official project website.
Most notable changes in Iron 4 are similar to that of the Google Chrome web browser. This includes support for the extension system, bookmark synchronization and better Windows 7 support.
The extension system seems to be pretty stable and most extensions seem to install and work just fine.
Some extensions on the other hand, like the Stumbleupon extension, seem to install fine but fail to work afterwards, something that is very likely to be fixed in upcoming versions of Iron.
The developers have also mentioned that Linux and Mac version of Iron 4 RC will be offered soon on the official website. Windows users can download Iron 4 Release Candidate right now from the developer's website.
Update: SRWare Iron, just like Chromium and Google Chrome, has improved a lot ever since version 4.0 of the browser was released. You can download the latest version of the program from the official website. The latest version, at the time of writing, is Iron 55 for all supported operating systems.
Iron is still like Google Chrome in many regards, only that the developers of the browser are still stripping out features of Chrome that they consider privacy-relevant.
Most features that get stripped out can either be disabled manually in Google Chrome, or, and that is another option, when using Chromium, the open source part of Google Chrome.
Users who don't want to use Chrome because of privacy concerns may want to use Chromium instead of Iron browser. While that requires some manual adjusting of certain preferences to improve privacy, it should not be all too hard to do so considering that you can adjust most under chrome://settings.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.