DOS Web Browser


Oct 29, 1998
This may help some of you who only have access to limited computing resources, say Spoonslayer in Mississippi.

A pretty good DOS based web browser may be downloaded, free of charge to non-commercial users, from

It needs no other software to work with your modem.

We have used it at home for over six months now. We have it running on an 8MHz 286 PS/2 with 2 MB of RAM and a 32 MB Hard Disk Drive.

It works quite well as long as the graphics are turned off. Fortunately, this web site has been designed so that graphics are not required. Not all web sites are so friendly to browsing in text mode.

It is best to download larger pages and read them off-line to reduce your Internet charges. Also, purge the cache from time to time.

Other DOS web browsers that I evaluated have not worked well at all for us.

I am sure you forumites could find alternative uses for any monies not spent on computer equipment or software.
I've tried doslynx and found it very unstable, at least on the system I used. (Lynx for unix has no such problem.) Last I looked they were still calling it an alpha test version.... I've also tried nettamer and found as long as I didn't attempt to view images with it I had no problem -- it's a fine email and newsreader and okay as a web browser if you don't mind doing without images (few websites look like much with a text-based browser these days, but you can download images and look at them later with another program -- qpeg works well).

Opera is not dos-based but if your system can run Win3 it's worth looking into. It's supposed to run well on a 386 with 6meg ram. I tried it on a 486dx notebook with 8meg and found it somewhat unstable on that system, but it shows images and in some ways I like it better than netscape.

Doslynx and nettamer are freeware and opera and qpeg are shareware; any search engine should turn them up.

-Cougar Allen :{)
Thanks Cougar. I've tried Opera and loved it. Unforunately, it didn't seem to do enough for me to justify paying for it, so I got rid of it. has an excellent DOS browser. It’s tailored to the HP200LX family of
palmtops but it works well on any DOS machine.
Netamer and Lynx were two of the ones that I tried. I don't recall what the results were for these two. Many of them just would not start up on my system at home. I don't think that I tried qpeg. I could not get Opera for Win 3.1 to work on my home system either.

Arachne will hang on our machine when trying to display large graphics files because we are using it with 2 MB of RAM where they recomend 8MB. Otherwise, it has been operating on our home machine for the last six months with no sign of bugs. We turn off the automatic downloading and displaying of graphic images. We then download and display only the images that we are really interested in.

On the Arachne web site, they talk about getting the hardware to run their software, essentially, for free. Lots of companies are, as they say, throwing away older computers. They have done it at the last two places that I have worked. So, just ask around.

I am using Opera 3.5 ( at work on a much more up to date machine. I has really nice features that I use such as opening multiple multiple windows and cloning windows. It will open a transfer window when you start a download so you can go back to your original window and surf more as the download proceeds in parallel. It also takes up less memory and is faster than Netscape. I liked it enough to pay the licence fee. It wasn't much and I like supporting a bunch of guys who have a great product and are attempting to shake up complacent companies likes M*******t.

[This message has been edited by pso (edited 07 May 1999).]
Just to clarify ... qpeg is an image viewer, not a web browser. It's inexpensive shareware and I recommend it highly for dos systems and any system with a plain 'ol vga monitor; you can run it in a dos window. It's very fast and shows good pictures and has a good interface; it's easy to sort files with it, move them to different directories, etc., and you can write a short description for each file which makes it much easier to find the file you want. It can't edit pictures, but it runs noticeably faster than other image viewers even on fairly muscular hardware.

Netscape can open multiple windows and open a separate window for downloads, but cloning a window takes too many keystrokes -- that's one of the things I like about Opera; cloning a window is easy. It runs faster than Netscape and the interface is good but it crashed a little too often on that system. I have a new computer now; maybe I'll try it again.

I am very impressed with the idea of a web browser that'll run in 2meg and show images when desired -- I'm going to tell some friends with old computers about Arachne. Thanks for the tip!

It's easy to tell people to buy better hardware and it is cheap these days, but there are old notebooks and laptops and palmtops around that would be expensive or impossible to upgrade. Let's get some use out of them! Anything portable that can do word processing is NOT obsolete IMHO, and adding web browsing makes it really useful.

-Cougar Allen :{)