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Alerts: RSS Feed

Feed Readers

There are four main types of RSS feed readers.

1. Desktop-based

  • For these, you download and install a program on your computer. You will probably get the most features and tools to manage your RSS feeds with this type of reader. Depending on the reader, you might only be able to read your RSS feeds from the computer you have the software installed on, but many readers now have an option  to sync with Google Reader and/or between computers. Some readers also allow you to download your feeds and read them off-line.

2. Web-based

  • No downloads needed for web-based readers. You just set up an account. You might not have as many features as a desktop-based reader, but you can read your feeds from any computer with Internet access. Some might have banner ads.

3. Browser-based

  • No account or downloads needed. Use your Internet browser (Firefox, IE, etc.) to manage your RSS feeds. You will only be able to read your RSS feeds from one computer. There are not as many ways to manage and organize your feeds with this option.

4. Email-based

  • If you have an email program like Outlook or Thunderbird, you can use your email client as an RSS reader. From there, you can move, save, and delete the feed items like normal emails. (Please note that MU's student email can't be used an an RSS reader. A RSS folder may be included in Outlook Web Access, but is non functional.)

The list below includes some top readers, but a more comprehensive list can be accessed on the RSS Compendium website, the RSS Toolbox website, or via a Google search.

Go to the RSS Tricks tab to learn RSS tricks like turning RSS into email alerts, turning emails into RSS feeds, creating an RSS feed for a website that doesn't have one, and creating an RSS on a Google search.

Desktop-based Readers




  • free version with ads
  • aprx. $20 pro version: more features
  • Windows
  • Can sync with Google Reader

screenshot of FeedDemon



  • free
  • Windows
  • powerful and clean interface; features

screenshot of Feedreader


Omea Reader

Omea Pro


  • both reader and pro are free
  • Windows
  • pro version comes with an email client, and can read Word, Excel Acrobat, and pictures; more features

Omea screenshot

RSS Bandit


  • free
  • Windows
  • Can sync with Google Reader; Facebook integration;  more features
Screenshot of RSS Bandit



  • free
  • Windows/Mac OS X/Linux
  • multi-lingual
  • Can sync with Google Reader; more features
screenshot of RSSOwl



  • free
  • Mac
  • With a free account, can sync between computers and iPad and iPhone; more features
Screenshot of Shrook

Web-based Readers


widget-based view; customizable views; mobile interface; can add widgets for social media sites like Facebook

Screenshot of bloglines website

My Syndicaat


mobile interface; after 60 days, you are limited to 5 channels each combining up to 5 feeds; nice filtering options

Screenshot of My Syndicaat website

My Yahoo

a personalized Yahoo homepage with the ability to add RSS widgets; more information



screenshot of My Yahoo

Browser-based Readers



use Firefox add-ons to customize your RSS experience


screenshot of Firefox

Google Chrome


download this

then this


screenshot of Google Chrome

Internet Explorer



Screenshot of Internet Explorer




new items treated as an email message, so they can be emailed, labeled, etc.

Screenshot of Opera Browser




Screenshot of Safari Browser