The Best Free Feed Readers for Windows, Mac and Linux
As I am probably not the only one to look for a feed reader I decided to share my list of those I think are the best ones.
Most people until 2013 used Google Reader for RSS (and Atom) feeds but then Google decided to shut it down.
I listed it here originally in my collection of the best free cross-platform feed readers along with alternatives. Now only the latter are left.
Cross-platform means these feed readers work on Windows, Mac and Linux.
The Web-based feed readers also work on mobile devices without the need for an app.
- The best standalone feed reader is open source software. It’s based on the Java programming language, that’s why it works on all operating systems.
- 3 of them are web based feed readers. It means they work in your browser like any website.
- 1 is an open source cross-platform mail client that can also be used for feeds.
Here is the actual list of tools. The standalone desktop program comes first:
- RSSOwl – Probably the most popular downloadable free open source RSS reader, nice clean interface, supports dozens of languages
- Feedly – Feedly, a modern web based feed reader with a magazine like display of your feeds. It adapts to your natural reading habits. Originally it required Google Reader, not anymore!
- The Old Reader – Clean and simple online tool for subscribing to your favorite feeds that is based on the early versions of Google Reader without the bloat that followed later.
- Netvibes – Netvibes is more a web based startpage than a stand alone feed reader but you can use it like one, you can share items too
- Thunderbird – The popular mail client by the Mozilla Foundation, the makers of Firefox, can also be used as a feed reader. Reading news like this saves time but can also be distracting.
Are newsreaders, feed readers, Atom and RSS readers the same? Yes and no. I prefer the term feed reader by now as they also support Atom feeds or RDF feeds. These are just other RSS-like formats.
There is an feed reader software called Feedreader. You do not want you to mix them up.
A feed reader is any tool that allows you to read feeds while Feedreader is just one brand.
I did not include Feedreader here as it only works on Windows and Linux while the online version didn’t work correctly here.