IE cannot be removed...The fact is its a shell for Windows Explorer.IE can be removed. It takes some effort to do it but it can be done.
If it is only a shell for Windows Explorer, you could easily remove it. Its not. Its integerated into Windows, but its not an explorer shell. Shells are easily changed.
I don't have the latest version of Maxthon so I can't say how good this feature is, but they added an encrypted remote file access to it.
go give Maxthon a try http://www.maxthon.com/