Let us answer the age-old question “Is Firefox better than Chrome?”.
Web browsers give us a gateway to the world of the internet and when it comes to web browsers, there are mainly two contenders on the run, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. While Chrome has been the go-to browser for many, Mozilla Firefox wants you to think again.
In this blog, we will be setting up the all-time favorite Google Chrome against the challenger Mozilla Firefox for this face-off.
Table of Content
- Brief History
- Security and Privacy
- User Interface
- Speed and Performance
- The Final Verdict
Google Chrome is a web browser developed by Google publicly released on September 2, 2008, for the Windows operating system. It was developed using the source code from its existing project “Chromium”. It took Google more than a year to make its way to other OS platforms like macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, etc.
Google CEO at the time Eric Schmidt opposed an idea of an unconventional browser in the beginning. The co-founders of Google hired some of the developers of Mozilla Firefox to build a demo version of Chrome which caused a change in perspective for the Google CEO.
As of March of 2021, Chrome has a 66% browser market share for PC users, 43.33% for Mobile users which is as nearly as Safari Browser and occupies and at a total of 63.59% across all platforms.
Mozilla Firefox is also known as “Firefox Browser“, is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation in 2002 under the codename “Phoenix”. Firefox proved to be a worthy opponent to then-dominant Internet Explorer 6 as it had better speed performance, security, and add-ons.
The first three versions of Firefox came in 2004, 2006, and 2008 which took the market share for Firefox to about 30% among the internet users. Firefox saw its peak usage of 32.21% by the end of the year 2009.
As of March 2021, Mozilla Firefox has an 8.17% browser market share for PC users making it the third most popular browser with Safari coming in second place (10.27%). Mozilla Firefox occupies a total of 3.76% across all platforms.
Security and Privacy
Mozilla Firefox has an ETP (Enhanced Tracking Protection) feature in its security settings enabled by default. This feature automatically blocks abuses (around 2000 of them) like Social Media tracking from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn which is used for serving targeted ads based on the website that users visit. It is easier to check on trackers and cookies used on a website by clicking the shield-icon near the URL.
Mozilla Firefox’s Firefox Monitor is a great addition to the feature list. It automatically notifies its users of a password breach or outdated passwords.
“At Mozilla, we believe that privacy is fundamental to a healthy internet.”– Privacy Notice, Mozilla Firefox
Chrome on the other hand provides a safe browser to its user but in a questionable manner. It sends a “Do not track” signal as users browse the internet which is less secure than Firefox’s ETP.
Chrome has a reputation for collecting personal data like locations, search history, site visits in the name of improving services. Google’s parent company Alphabet, makes billions of dollars in online ad revenue every quarter. It has to get its data from somewhere, doesn’t it?. The collected data has been accused of being used for marketing purposes in recent times.
The Winner: Firefox
A web browser can have all the features in the world but if User Interface (UI) is terrible then nobody will use it. Both Chrome and Firefox have undergone massive changes in UI to keep up with the modern-day trends and as a result, have reached a new level for browser experience.
Mozilla Firefox is very elegant and clean in design. New users can adapt quickly to different features and functions it offers. Unlike competitor Chrome, Firefox has solved the problem of tab management perfectly. Users can easily manage multiple tasks simultaneously by grouping tabs which gives a hassle-free UI experience.
Firefox offers horizontal scrolling as well that helps a ton with navigation. The user can also opt to zoom out in such scenarios to view the entire site.
Google Chrome has many features similar to Mozilla Firefox but, the way Chrome is able to present its feature is next level compared to Firefox. Everything is managed in sections and is searchable.
The bookmarks system, settings manager, and developer tools in Chrome are just better. However, Firefox wins the extension management race.
Tab management in Chrome is below par when compared with Firefox by default. But there a few extensions (OneTab) that can make tab management in Chrome even better than Firefox.
The Winner: Google Chrome
Chrome’s catalog of extensions vastly outnumbers that of any browser with built-in integration services for Google services like Gmail, Google Docs etc.
Firefox although not as extensive as Chrome, also offers a wide variety of useful extensions through its huge number of contributors.
If you like working with tons of tabs then the Horizontal Scrolling feature may be what you are looking for. While Chrome shrinks down all the open tabs to a size where only its favicon is visible, Firefox offers horizontal scrolling on all open tabs to display full details.
Firefox also offers an in-browser screenshot tool which comes really handy when researching or studying whereas for Chrome you will need an extra extension to achieve the same feature.
When it comes to customizability, Firefox wins over Chrome hands down. Firefox allows its users to move around and arrange most of its UI components that fit their needs. Chrome on the other hand allows users to hide a few components but that is not much of flexibility.
The Winner: Firefox
Speed and Performance
Speed and Performance have to be one of the most compared stat between browsers. Even if the browser lacks extra features or extensions, having a blazing speed and performance would be enough for many.
Response time and data fetching are very fast in Firefox Browsers mostly for people who work on multiple tabs. Firefox is well equipped with heavy load handling as it is capable of RAM management by applying restrictions. For mobile devices, however, a Firefox browser is not recommended.
Chrome a.k.a RAM Hogger performs below par mainly because of its RAM consumption issues. It requires a huge amount of RAM while operating or while in the background and performs very badly on low-end devices whereas Firefox will work at a decent rate on low-end devices.
The Winner: Firefox
Both Firefox and Chrome are cross-platform meaning they are both available on the majority of Desktop operating systems (macOS, Linux, Windows) and mobile operating systems (iOS, Android).
While both allow its users to sync passwords, bookmarks, extensions, and settings across multiple devices on multiple platforms, The mighty Chrome lacks a key feature that Firefox provides which is the added security of a primary password. The primary password keeps all the logins and passwords saved by a user under additional security.
Chrome transfers all the open tabs to other devices automatically. Mozilla on the other hand has to do it manually. There are use cases where both are ideal like continue reading an article would be great if you are switching device with automatic tab opening and you do not want all your open tabs to open on another device if you are just switching devices.
The Winner: Firefox
The Final Verdict
It would be fair to say that both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are really neck to neck in most aspects of our comparisons. While Google has a thin edge over Firefox on utility based on the number of extensions, FIrefox makes up for it in other ways. In terms of Privacy, there is no doubt that Firefox is the king. Firefox has been heavily committed to preserving user’s online data and providing protection services.
The final winner: Firefox
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