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Do you know which is the latest web browser compatible with Windows 95 / 98? At the moment I have an Opera 10 working fine; it is very lightweight but very outdated.

I assume that software that works in Windows 95 will work in Windows 98.

  • 4
    Does the kind of browser matter? I'm sure the latest version of elinks can be ported to it... – forest Mar 13 '19 at 8:32
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    I'm reasonably sure I am running Firefox 2.0.0.20 on my W98 box (I'm 3000 miles away at the moment). It works fine for many retro-oriented sites. I regularly use it to hit AmiNet and then RS-232 the downloads to my Amiga. – Geo... Mar 13 '19 at 14:53
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    In case it wasn't obvious, surfing the web with an old browser and an old OS exposes you to roughly a gazillion 3000day exploits. A Bad Idea. Perhaps in a VM which you reset after each session. But to browse the web you do need to be networked which will require careful setup to protect other machines on your LAN. And you may become a spam or DDoS bot within a minute or two, bothering other people. – Peter - Reinstate Monica Mar 13 '19 at 18:50
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    @Peter, but on the other hand, how many exploits are there in the wild that can survive in a W98 environment? In practice, using uncommon environment (esp. OS and browser) by itself greatly reduces the risk. – Zeus Mar 14 '19 at 6:32
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    Opera up to v12 is what I use. Any version before adapting the new GUI should work. – Overmind Mar 14 '19 at 7:41
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That latest web browser I am able to find is K-Meleon 74 Windows 9x Edition. It was created in 2014, when the Pale Moon engine (Goanna) was backported for Windows 2000. It requires KernelEx (and the latest updates) and a rather beefy old machine to run.

You could also experiment with other later browser versions on top of KernelEx, as it adds NT support to Windows 98. If not, then you're stuck with the official latest versions, of which Opera 10 is probably the best.

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  • I see that K-Meleon by roytam1 has newer beta releasessuch as KM76.1.1-Goanna-20190309 (based in Goanna3). As I cannot find the requirements, I understand that they probably require a winXP. – Daniel Perez Mar 13 '19 at 15:20
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    @DanielPerez KernelEx does try to simulation Windows XP, if you tell it too. So it probably wouldn't hurt to try it. But you are correct that usually the limit is Windows 2000, as XP introduced a bunch of new stuff. – trlkly Mar 14 '19 at 15:24
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    Opera 11.64 is the last 'tested' version for kernelex it seems, though there seems to be workarounds for some versions of 12 - kernelex.sourceforge.net/wiki/Opera – dashnick Mar 14 '19 at 18:59
26

I have not tried any of these, not having a Windows 98 system, but a bit of research reveals:

  • Internet Explorer 6 SP1 was the last IE, in 2001.
  • Firefox 2 was the last Firefox in 2006.
  • Netscape 8 (2005) or Netscape 9 (2007) are available here.
  • Opera 10 (2009) seems to be the last available, here.
  • Safari and Chrome never supported Windows 98.

Browsers carried on supporting Windows XP for much longer, because it was a better platform for software development and testing.

This answer was written before the question was edited to add Windows 95. It's not safe to assume that anything which runs on '98 will run on '95; the reverse is more likely to be true.

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    Strictly speaking all of these are nearly unusable. Javascript is VERY difference now (I worked as a web dev dealing with IE6 compatibility issues). Almost no website will work using a browser that is more than 10 years old. – Nelson Mar 13 '19 at 6:19
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    @Nelson As someone who occasionally browses with javascript completely disabled, I can say this simply isn't true. Many major websites work fine, although others don't. Any my goodness, the web is much faster with no javascript. – xorsyst Mar 13 '19 at 14:25
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    @Zeus why is it foolish to not support older, less secure TLS and SSL versions? – Moo Mar 14 '19 at 7:11
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    @Zeus At a minimum, the user needs to be confident that the web site they are at is the one they think they are at, which means there needs to be a certificate on the web site that the user trusts and it needs to match the URL the user typed in. And the mechanism to verify the certificate needs to be as secure as possible. You need TLS and it needs to be a fairly modern version. – JeremyP Mar 14 '19 at 9:33
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    @Zeus First of all, 99% of users have no way to assess what level of security they want or need. From a websites perspective there's also frankly no sane reason why they'd lower their security standards just because some stubborn users refuse to upgrade their outdated systems. – Cubic Mar 14 '19 at 12:51
16

It very much depends on what you're trying to do - Lynx's latest release is from 2018, runs on Win95, and is very lightweight, but, you know, lacks graphics.
I also use Dillo on old machines when I just need Wikipedia. (Yeah, it does not have nice prebuilt Win binaries as far as I can tell.)
// would've like to comment, but I lack the reputation!

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  • Basic browsing functions are enough, in fact such small amount of RAM would not be able to render sophisticated and heavy weight pages. But having a browser under support is always better. – Daniel Perez Mar 13 '19 at 15:16
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    Some quick research in the graphical realm also yielded Netsurf and Links -- haven't tried either, yet. Neither mentions which Windows versions are supported & I don't have a VM at hand, but both support other really old OSs, so chances are good. And both seem to be actively developed. – kubi Mar 13 '19 at 18:46
9

You could run Web Rendering Proxy (screenshots) on a server, the browser would just be displaying pre-rendered images with imagemaps.

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  • If you are going this way, you can run VNC client and have a complete Linux desktop at your disposal. Though most likely you'll have problems with entering non-ASCII characters. – Radovan Garabík Mar 13 '19 at 19:00
6

IE6 was the last Internet Explorer on Windows98 SE and IE5.5 with high encryption pack for Windows95. These were important for Citrix, and quite a bit of software leveraged IE6 dll's, notably Ultra-Edit.

Seamonkey 1.1.19 - March 2010, a bit Retro. Not as recent as a better answer.

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