Yandex Browser

Yandex Browser

24.1.5.736
Cezar Renta
Reviewed by Cezar Renta
Updated on Apr 04, 2024

Yandex Browse is as a freeware web browser developed by the Russian technology corporation Yandex. The engine at its core is the Blink web browser engine, based on the reputable Chromium open-source project. This technical backbone allows Yandex Browser to provide its users a robust and speedy browsing experience.

Technical Overview

Yandex Browser is not just about browsing; it's about browsing fast. The browser enables websites and videos to load quickly, even when the internet connection is less than ideal. This is particularly noticeable when streaming movies or TV shows, where Yandex Browser minimizes buffering time, making the viewing experience enjoyable. Part of the reason behind this high-speed performance is Opera Software's Turbo technology, which the browser employs to expedite web browsing on slow connections. This is a godsend for users with slow internet connections as it significantly reduces the waiting time for pages to load.

Platform Availability

The accessibility of Yandex Browser across various platforms increases its appeal to a broad spectrum of users. Whether you are on a Windows, macOS, or Linux-powered computer, or prefer browsing on your Android or iOS device, Yandex Browser has got you covered. This cross-platform availability ensures that you can enjoy a consistent browsing experience irrespective of your device.

Popularity and Usage

In its homeland, Russia, the Yandex Browser enjoys a favorable position as the second most popular desktop web browser, with a market share of 21.5%. On the mobile front, it stands third in popularity. However, its popularity takes a dip in other regions; for instance, in Ukraine, it's the fourth most popular browser with a market share of 4.45%. Globally, it trails behind some of the more established browsers like Internet Explorer, which holds a market share of 0.64%.

Main Features

Yandex Browser stands out with several unique features:

  • A distinctive "new tab" screen adorned with a Windows 8-style interface and specialized widgets for popular services like Gmail, where the widget displays the number of unread messages.
  • An integrated keyboard layout switcher in the omnibox which simplifies the transition between different keyboard layouts. For instance, if a user often accesses gmail.com and starts typing "пьф" ("gma" with a Russian keyboard layout) and presses Enter, they are directed to gmail.com instead of a search page for "пьф".
  • On Android, Yandex Browser extends the ability to install Chrome extensions on a mobile browser, a feature that isn't common among other browsers.
  • It also supports browser extensions from the Opera add-ons website, broadening the customization and functionality available to the user.

These features, among others, contribute to a user-friendly browsing environment that caters to the individual preferences and needs of the user.

Security

When it comes to ensuring the user's security, Yandex Browser employs a two-pronged approach. It checks the security of webpages with the Yandex security system and scrutinizes downloaded files with Kaspersky Anti-Virus. The Protect Active Security technology further fortifies the browser's defense mechanism by scanning files and websites for viruses, blocking fraudulent webpages, and keeping online payments safe from theft.

Moreover, Yandex Browser pioneered DNSCrypt technology, which encrypts Domain Name System (DNS) traffic, safeguarding the user from threats like the DNSChanger trojan, tracking by Internet providers, or hackers. This feature, however, needs to be enabled in the browser settings.

On the Wi-Fi front, the Yandex Browser takes the security up a notch. When connecting to open Wi-Fi networks or access points employing weak WEP defense, the browser encrypts the data to and from a Yandex server, which acts as a conduit between the browser and the HTTP sites.

Privacy, however, is a concern with Yandex Browser. According to Douglas J. Leith, a computer science professor at Trinity College, the browser sends a hashed hardware identifier and every letter typed in the address bar to Yandex, alongside every URL the user visits.

Performance

Performance is a benchmark of Yandex Browser. Its promise of "browsing in the fast lane" isn't just a catchy tagline but a reality. The browser loads downloads, videos, images, and websites at impressive speeds, a feature attributed to its foundation in the Chromium format. The browser's ability to quickly load files, even on slow connections, sets it apart from many competitors. This feature is further augmented by Opera Software's Turbo technology, which kicks in to speed up web browsing on slow connections, ensuring users don't have to endure frustratingly slow loading times.

Voice Search Feature

Voice search is another gem in Yandex Browser's feature set. It offers a quick and safe browsing experience complemented by voice search functionality. This is particularly handy when using the browser on mobile, enabling users to initiate searches or navigate web pages hands-free. Voice search integration enhances the browser's accessibility and simplifies browsing, making it a more interactive and user-friendly experience.

User Interface

Yandex Browser presents a revamped interface that is simple, fast, and efficient, following a user-centric design. The interface is not cluttered, and the design aesthetics are modern and intuitive, making the navigation easy even for the less tech-savvy individuals. For instance, the unique "new tab" screen is a feature that's loved by its users and proves Yandex Browser's commitment to providing a user-friendly interface. It departs from the generic design of many browsers, offering a fresh, interactive platform from which users can access popular services quickly.

During my time with Yandex Browser, I was particularly impressed with the speed at which web pages loaded, even on a sluggish internet connection. I also tested the voice search feature and it worked pretty well on my Android device. 

User Feedback

The reception of Yandex Browser is a mixed bag. While it gets praise for its speed and for the unique features like the "new tab" screen and voice search, there are concerns over privacy, especially regarding the data sent to Yandex servers. Some users appreciate the built-in security measures like Kaspersky Anti-Virus integration and DNSCrypt technology, while others are wary of the privacy implications.

Alternative Software

When considering alternative software to Yandex Browser, a few names pop up both in the freeware and paid categories:

  1. Google Chrome: A highly popular browser known for its speed, extension support, and tight integration with other Google services.
  2. Mozilla Firefox: Renowned for its customization options and open-source nature, which appeals to privacy-conscious users.
  3. Opera: Offers a range of features like free VPN and ad-blocker, alongside a unique sidebar for quick access to bookmarks, history, and other features.

Here’s a comparative table outlining the key features of these browsers against Yandex Browser:

Feature Yandex Browser Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Opera
Base Engine Blink Blink Gecko Blink
Extension Support Yes (Chrome, Opera) Yes Yes Yes
Built-in VPN No No No Yes
Ad-blocker No Yes  Yes (with add-on) Yes
Cross-Platform Availability Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS

Overall, Yandex is a very good browser that continues to evolve and serve its users well. While not extremely popular in the West due to its regional implications, it's still a good browser with a large userbase.

Download Details

  • License:
    Freeware
  • Platform:
    Windows
  • Publisher:
  • File size:
    171.00 Mb
  • Updated:
    Apr 04, 2024
  • User Rating:
    4.3 / 5 (3 votes)
  • Editors' Review:
    Not yet reviewed
  • Downloads:
    5,857
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