By Alex Walker Test nine browsers for free

By Alex Walker

Ever lay awake at night wondering what your latest web masterpiece looked like in Konqueror 3.5.5 on Ubuntu Edgy? I think we all have. Lie awake no more. optionsAlthough Web-based Browser testing services are nothing new — Browsercam has provided a paid service for years and sites like Dan Vine’s iCapture Safari testbed have done a wonderful job filling the gaps — may just be the most comprehensive free service I’ve seen.

Still in alpha release and termed a “technology preview”, currently provides full-length (i.e. not just the viewport) renderings of nine browsers across three OSs, including such family favorites as Safari 2.0 on Mac, MSIE 7.0 on Windows and Opera on Ubuntu Linux. optionsAlthough it’s not clear whether this service will become a paid subscription service, it’s certainly free, robust and very useful at the moment.

Apparently Digg ground it to a halt a little while ago, so feel free to test it out but perhaps don’t tick
all the browser boxes unless you really need to.


    Yeah, I’ve been using BrowserShots for a few months now, and it’s undergone some interesting changes in that time. You used to have to get in line for days at a time. Now, if the service can’t get you done in a few hours, they kick you out and let you try again.

  • gumbystation

    I was that jerk that posted it on He loved the attention and that he had a queue of over 2 days. It is an amazing service for those that want a quick bit of help. And for $5, you get put at the front of the line.

  • I was that jerk that posted it on He loved the attention and that he had a queue of over 2 days. It is an amazing service for those that want a quick bit of help. And for $5, you get put at the front of the line.

    Hehehe,.. we always destroy the things we love… ;)

    Unfortunately it’s so tempting for most people to just type ‘’ into the box, just to see what happens, and all browsers are ticked by default.

    It’s very good though. I didn’t pay and started getting results back in minutes. IE7 seems to currently crop off at the view port, but other than that it’s very solid for an alpha.

  • birnam

    I’ve used Browsershots off and on for the last year or so. It’s a great system, but it’s always seemed very slow (I never paid for a line-jump), and the only browser I really need to test for is Safari. So instead of Browsershots, I use BrowsrCamp. It’s much faster. They even have a subscription server where you can “rent” a mac through VNC in order to actually interact with your page in real-time. I haven’t used the paid-service yet, but it’s nice to know it’s there.

  • malikyte

    I was using BrowserShots back in my last college’s first year. That was over 3 years ago. It’s a great service and he’s still tweaking and playing around with it all. I’m surprised (yet overjoyed) it’s still free.

  • sun

    It should be mentioned that wants to build up a browser-shooting community. Everyone who’s got a unused PC can turn it into a BrowserShot factory, helping to serve more different browsers on any platform.

    See for a current list of so called “ShotFactories”.

    Read the FAQ on to help out!

  • Jeremy

    For IE7 and IE6 I found another free alternative to browsershots, which seems to be quite fast: IE Web Renderer


    hmm.. just tested my website on Browsershots, but i got different “live” results on IE and Firefox.. can i ask others if did they find this service reliable?

    I also jotted down a list of other cross-browser testing tools at (please moderators remove this line if it’s again your policies, thank you).


  • charlie arehart

    The link in the last comment fails. This works.

  • tryin_to_learn appears to be offline. Anyone know what happened and whether it’s temporary or permanent? Anyone know of any other good alternatives? I did find this link for IE testing – anyone have any feedback on this one?

  • Kelvin

    Personally, I’m not really into Browsershots because it’s buggy and slow. For those who are using it recently, you might be able to get what I mean. Sometime you might see a window overlapping your shots, and most of the time it takes hour to load the screen shots, or it never appear.
    According to my experience, by ticking just a few boxes doesn’t seem to solve the problem. See my browser shots, take note the time it takes to generate that 4 screen shots.

    Overall, it’s not too bad as a free service.

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