Torch (web browser)

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Torch
Developer(s)Torch Media Inc.
Initial releaseJune 18, 2012 (2012-06-18)
Final release
69.2.0.1713[1] Edit this on Wikidata / 30 September 2020; 2 years ago (30 September 2020)
BitTorrent client
LicenseFreeware, adware
Websitetorchbrowser.com

Torch was a Chromium-based web browser and Internet suite developed by the North Carolina–based Torch Media.[3] As of November 2022, downloads for Torch are no longer available, and upon clicking the download button, users are redirected to the Torch Search extension on the Chrome Web Store.

The browser handles common Internet-related tasks such as displaying websites, sharing websites via social networks, downloading torrents, accelerating downloads and grabbing online media, all directly from the browser.[4] Torch Browser is commercial freeware.[5]

Torch is based on the Chromium source code[6] and is compatible with all add-ons and extensions available in the Chrome store. On June 18, 2013, Torch announced that it had surpassed ten million active users.[7]

Torrent site The Pirate Bay has run paid endorsements for Torch on their website.[8]

Features

The built-in

BitTorrent client allows users to download torrent files.[9] Users can directly share sites, videos, audio and search results with their Facebook and Twitter accounts.[10]

On June 18, 2013, Torch announced a major release for Mac and Windows that included an integrated

download accelerator. The same release also introduced Torch Music, a free social music discovery service that organizes music videos available on YouTube in a user-friendly interface. Users can easily find and stream music videos, create playlists, and follow their Facebook friends’ musical choices. Torch Music is integrated directly into Torch Browser, which includes an embedded controller to control music from any browser tab.[7]

On July 1, 2013, Torch version 25.0.0.3712 was released. The release included the ability to download

On February 26, 2014, Torch version 29.0.0.6508 was released. The release included the ability to customize the look and feel of users' Facebook pages using pre-set themes. Users can customize these themes or create their own. A user's customized page is visible to him/herself and to anyone visiting the original user's page from another Torch browser if the original user allows it.[13]

On May 20, 2014, Torch version 33.0.0.6975 was released. The release updated the Chromium engine used by Torch and introduced an embedded player to stream torrents downloaded before the download is completed.

Reception

Reviews of Torch have evolved over time, as the browser continued to add features and functionality. Early versions of the browser have received mixed reviews, with some praising its interesting feature combination while others pointed to the lack of add-on support (an issue which has been resolved in newer versions).[9][6]

In October 2012, The Blog Herald said of Torch: "The Torch Web Browser is built on a lightweight framework that offers what appears to be decent security. If you like to browse the web while grabbing various files this might be the perfect browser for your arsenal of web applications. Overall I have been pleased with the Torch Browser and I only hope it continues to grow so more social sharing features can be experienced and more files can be grabbed."[9]

In reviewing Torch in December 2012,

Chrome, Torch Browser is easy enough to use and might just impress Internet Explorer users. Heavy downloaders might enjoy the torrent downloader and media player that come with it, too."[6]

PC Advisor, in an April 2013 review of the newest version, gave Torch 3.5/5 stars and praised it: "This is a great alternative browser that adds some interesting extras on top of the Chrome engine. It’s well worth trying out".[14]

In a March 2015 TechRadar review by Jamie Hinks, the publication called Torch 39 "an excellent alternative for anyone looking to a browser that breaks away from the norm".[15]

Criticism

Bundling of unwanted software

Torch Media receives payments from companies like Ask.com to bundle potentially unwanted programs with the browser. Users may be asked to install search toolbars or adware programs during installation. These bundled programs commonly do one or more of the following things:

  • Change the user's browser homepage to a page with ads
  • Change the user's default search engine
  • Prevent the user from changing their homepage and default search engine
  • Collect and upload data about the user's internet browsing behavior
  • Add toolbars to the user's browsers
  • Inject advertisements into websites that are visited by the user

While this practice is deemed controversial by some, users are given a chance to opt out of sponsored software and Torch claims to work fine without it.[16]

Torch makes contradictory claims about the software they bundle. Their online troubleshooter claims that "Torch does not install additional toolbars" while at the same time stating that "the Torch installer may include an optional Ask.com toolbar" on another page.[17]

References

  1. ^ "Torch Browser 69.2.0.1713". September 30, 2020. Retrieved September 9, 2023.
  2. ^ "Which Operating Systems support Torch?". torchbrowser.kayako.com. Archived from the original on July 8, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  3. ^ Riggall, Jonathan (August 1, 2012). "Torch Browser - Download". Torch.en.softonic.com. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
  4. ^ "Torch Browser 2.0.0.1705". Neowin.net. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
  5. ^ "Terms of Use". Torch Browser. April 12, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c "Torch Browser - CNET Download.com". Download.cnet.com. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
  7. ^ a b LARDINOIS, FREDERIC (June 18, 2013). "Torch Browser Passes 10 Million Monthly Active Users, Adds Download Accelerator, Updates Torch Music Service". TechCrunch.
  8. ^ "Pirate Bay advertising Torch browser. Should you download it? - gHacks Tech News". www.ghacks.net. February 25, 2013.
  9. ^ a b c "Torch Browser Delivers Social Media Sharing With A Healthy Dash Of Multimedia Control". The Blog Herald. October 5, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
  10. ^ "Torch Browser 2.0.0.1705 Download". TechSpot. November 12, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
  11. ^ "How to Download Instagram Videos - Torch Blog". Blog.torchbrowser.com. July 1, 2013. Archived from the original on July 8, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  12. ^ "Download Instagram videos | CNET TV | Video Product Reviews, CNET Podcasts, Tech Shows, Live CNET Video". Cnettv.cnet.com. September 19, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  13. ^ "How to Transform your Facebook in Just One Click - Torch Blog". Blog.torchbrowser.com. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  14. ^ "Torch Browser 23.4 review: an alternative web browser to Chrome, Firefox and IE". PC Advisor. March 12, 2013. Archived from the original on May 1, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  15. ^ Hinks, Jamie (March 30, 2015). "Best Browsers 2015: the top five candidates for your PC". TechRadar. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  16. ^ "Torch FAQ". Archived from the original on February 7, 2018. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  17. ^ "Torch Web Browser - Your All in One Internet Browser". Torch Browser. Archived from the original on August 9, 2020. Retrieved November 10, 2015.

External links