RSSGuard did not make the best desktop RSS feed reader for Windows listing because I did not even know it existed back then. It would have made the list as it offers great functionality.
The program is a cross-platform application which means that it is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS. The Windows version is portable which means that you can run it right after you have unpacked the archive on your system.
The program interface looks clean with feed sources displayed on the left side in a sidebar and the selected feed displayed on the right. Here you find that it is split in half with the upper half displaying article titles and the lower half the currently selected article.
While there are not any options to switch to another layout (aside from displaying feeds in newspaper mode), it is possible to hide elements that you don't need using the View menu or shortcuts.
The toolbar displayed on top can be customized though. You can add or remove actions such as updating feeds, restarting the program or marking feeds as read so that only actions that you are interested in are displayed on it in the end.
Feeds can be imported via OPML files but also individually. The program supports authentication and what is interesting, individual update intervals for feeds. Instead of having to update all feeds automatically you could decrease the interval for sites that are updated more often than others to reduce the impact on the system when feeds get updated.
While you can launch articles in an external browser, it does not seem possible to make this the default action unless I overlooked that.
Before you start using the program extensively you may want to open the settings it provides at least once. Here you can modify several interesting defaults.
It is for instance possible to switch to an in-memory database which speeds things up, especially if you work with a large amount of messages. The downside is that it will use more RAM on your system and that data may be lost when the app crashes.
I found it to be very stable though and while RAM usage did increase, it should not be a problem on most systems.
Here you find other options as well, for instance to add or remove icons from the main toolbar, switch the default icon set or change the language from English to another supported language.
As is the case with most desktop feed readers, it does not support synchronization.
RSSGuard is a great program that does not have to hide behind other excellent feed readers such as QuiteRSS. It is reasonably fast even with a large amount of feeds added to it. The one thing that I'm not fond of is that you cannot seem to disable the use of the internal browser.
All in all though, this gets my recommendation.
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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.