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Browser head-to-heads are funny because they rarely change any minds. You probably clicked into this article with a preset opinion on which of these two browsers you prefer — and that’s totally fine. I’m not here to convince you this way or that.

Instead, I just want to explore why people might prefer one over the other, and hopefully those reasons will shed some light on features and aspects that you may not have considered before. But if this comparison only reaffirms your current preference, that’s no problem either.

And if you have reservations about my own bias, I’ll put it out there: I actually prefer Opera to both of them. With that said, let’s drive right in.

If you’re interested in a more objective analysis, check out our full comparison of all major browsers in 2016 Which Browser Is Best? Edge vs. Chrome vs. Opera vs. Firefox Which Browser Is Best? Edge vs. Chrome vs. Opera vs. Firefox The browser you're using right now may not be the best one for you. The browser arena changes so frequently that your conclusions from comparisons made last year may be completely wrong this year. Read More . Using that in conjunction with this article will result in the most informed decision possible.

Why Users Love Firefox

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Firefox for many years. It was my first experience with tabbed browsing, which is what drew me away from Internet Explorer (back when it was called Firebird). I also love that Firefox stands behind its principles and tries out new ideas.

It’s far from perfect, of course, but there are many things to like about it.

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Tweakable Interface & Settings

One of the biggest draws of Firefox is that you can really customize your Web browsing experience — far more than you can customize any other browser, including Chrome. Customization is available on two levels: interface and settings.

browser-firefox-customize

In terms of interface: You can drag around address bars and buttons to rearrange them however you want, and it’s easy to hide the ones you don’t need. More than that, however, is the ability to install “Complete Themes” that can fully change the browser’s appearance — even to the point of emulating Chrome, Opera, Maxthon, or whatever else.

In terms of settings: You can freely access every single setting in Firefox through the about:config page (and all of the settings are easily searchable). Chrome has something similar with its chrome://flags page, but it’s not as advanced or as searchable, which can be a bit of a pain.

User-Friendly Features

One benefit to Firefox is that it has two useful features that Chrome can only get through extensions (and even then, the emulated functionality isn’t as clean or refined). These two features are Tab Groups and Reading Mode.

Tab Groups are a feature that Mozilla absolutely nailed, both in vision and execution. With them, you can arrange your tabs into different “sets” and you can freely switch between them whenever you want. Very nice for staying organized and fighting distractions.

browser-firefox-features

Tab Groups were removed as a built-in feature starting with Firefox 45 and split off into a separate extension that you can install.

Reading Mode removes everything from the page — including advertisements, sidebars, and images — so that you can focus solely on whatever post or article you’re reading. It also changes the text and background color to make it easier on your eyes.

Light on Resource Usage

Chrome has a nasty reputation for being a resource hog. It eats up RAM This is How Google is Fixing Chrome's Memory Problems and Discarding Tabs This is How Google is Fixing Chrome's Memory Problems and Discarding Tabs Google Chrome is just so slow and annoying. Right? Google is now rolling out major changes to the browser that fix memory problems and actively discards unused tabs. Read More it spikes in CPU usage 3 Quick Tips to Reduce Chrome's CPU Usage & Battery Drain 3 Quick Tips to Reduce Chrome's CPU Usage & Battery Drain Is Chrome using too much CPU and draining your battery? There may be a way for you to reduce its impact. Read More , and as a result, it kills battery life on portable devices 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Chrome on a MacBook 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Chrome on a MacBook Chrome is, for many people, the first thing installed on a new Macbook. It makes sense: in its early days Chrome gained a reputation for being lightweight and fast. Read More . To be fair, Firefox is no saint either when it comes to resource usage, but compared to Chrome it’s definitely more mindful and less greedy.

browser-firefox-resource

The downsides are that Firefox has slower startup times (because Chrome is constantly on in the background) and slower page loading speeds (because it doesn’t steal CPU cycles like Chrome).

One other resource-related point to note is that Firefox supports lazy tab loading, which means that when you open new tabs, they won’t start loading until you select them. This prevents your computer from bogging down when you open several tabs at once.

Privacy & Open Source

The Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit organization, which means they aren’t as profit-driven as Google. As a result, Firefox doesn’t care about collecting your personal data or studying your Web browsing habits. It respects your privacy and wants you to feel safe from prying eyes.

browser-firefox-privacy

On the other hand, Chrome is all about data collection. For a lot of people, this reason alone is enough to break up with the browser for good It's Time To Break Up With Google Chrome It's Time To Break Up With Google Chrome As a big fan of Google Chrome for a long time, I finally decided it was time for us to break up. It came down to overall performance, customization, and extensions. Read More  — and if that describes you, then Firefox is where you’ll want to end up.

Plus, of all the major browsers, Firefox is the only one committed to a philosophy of open source software What Is Open Source Software? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is Open Source Software? [MakeUseOf Explains] "Open source" is a term that’s thrown around a lot these days. You may know that certain things are open source, like Linux and Android, but do you know what it entails? What is open... Read More . The biggest advantage of this? Anyone can look at the code at any time so it’s less likely that there will be secret mischief going on.

Why Users Love Chrome

Chrome can be an enigma at times. There are many reasons to hate it — some of which were mentioned above — but it’s such a well-made browser that a lot of people actually feel trapped and forced to use it I Hate Google Chrome But I'm Trapped In It. Here's Why I Hate Google Chrome But I'm Trapped In It. Here's Why In the Chrome vs. Firefox war, I'm siding with the Google users. But I don't want to. Chrome is my browser of choice because it has features that I can't live without. Read More  because they can’t get what they need elsewhere.

Lots of Useful Extensions

The number one reason for Chrome’s continued popularity is the sheer number of extensions that are available for it — and it’s not just the quantity or quality of these extensions, but the fact that so many of them are exclusive to Chrome because developers can’t be bothered to maintain other versions.

browser-chrome-extensions

It’s overwhelming, to be honest. You’ve got dozens of essential extensions for everyone Google Gold: 15 Essential Chrome Extensions Google Gold: 15 Essential Chrome Extensions The standard Chrome experience can be made so much better with a handful of extensions. Read More handfuls of extensions for boosted productivity 25 Chrome Extensions to Make You More Productive 25 Chrome Extensions to Make You More Productive We hear so much about productivity. How do we become more productive? What can help us be extra productive? Which tools make us the most productive? Read More , and extensions that ease tab management Speed Up Tab Handling on Chrome with These 7 Extensions Speed Up Tab Handling on Chrome with These 7 Extensions Chrome’s built-in tab management features can help you manage tabs well, but extensions from the Chrome Web Store can do that job even better. Read More . And the scene isn’t slowing down, evidenced by these amazing extensions that just came out this year 12 New Chrome Extensions You'll Want in 2016 12 New Chrome Extensions You'll Want in 2016 Here are 12 new extensions that prove Chrome is the browser to stick with. You will definitely want to try these out. Read More .

No other browser can beat Chrome’s extension landscape. In fact, other browsers are actually working on ways to install Chrome extensions so they can stop being so far behind. That’s when you know Chrome is winning.

Polished Interface & Performance

Firefox lets you customize your interface however you want, but maybe the reason why Chrome doesn’t let you fiddle with anything is because it’s so confident that it’s already as good as can be.

Indeed, when you compare the two browsers straight out of the box, it’s easy to come away with the opinion that Chrome is the more polished and refined of the two. It’s easier to pick up and more intuitive to use, plus it feels snappier.

If you don’t want to fiddle around with stuff, then Chrome is the way to go. This is also what makes Chrome a better choice for those who are less tech-literate — there are fewer ways to accidentally screw things up.

browser-chrome-interface

We mentioned before that Firefox uses fewer resources than Chrome does, but there’s a reason why Chrome sucks down your CPU and clogs up your RAM: all of that allows the browser to operate at tip-top speeds, which results in a smoother user experience.

As far as I’m concerned, neither one is objectively better. It’s a trade-off and only you can decide which side of the fence you want to fall on. Performance is important, but it isn’t everything.

Top-Notch Security

If you’re going to use Chrome, you should pretty much assume that Google is spying on your every move. Not that Google is actually spying on you, but with the amount of data being collected, you should relinquish any expectations of privacy.

That being said, the funny thing is that Chrome is a more secure browser than Firefox when it comes to issues of malware, phishing, and other kinds of Internet attacks. For example, Chrome has end-to-end encryption when syncing across devices while Firefox doesn’t.

browser-chrome-security

But more importantly, Chrome processes run in a sandbox, which means that these processes don’t have access to system-level files and information. If a website tries to run malicious code, it’s kept within the boundaries of the sandbox and won’t have lasting effects.

Cutting Edge of Web Development

One huge reason for Chrome’s lasting popularity is that it’s developed by Google. Since Google’s own developers are heavily involved in the evolution of the Web, Chrome naturally sits at the edge of cutting edge advancements.

For example, Chrome is quick to adopt new standards that look as if they’ll stick around for a while. One example is the push for WEBP Introducing Google's WebP, A Faster Web Alternative To JPEG [News] Introducing Google's WebP, A Faster Web Alternative To JPEG [News] Read More , a new image standard that’s gaining ground. Another example: when YouTube first debuted 60 FPS videos Get Fit With Microsoft Health, Windows Phone By The Numbers [Tech News Digest] Get Fit With Microsoft Health, Windows Phone By The Numbers [Tech News Digest] Also, wearables banned, YouTube goes 60fps, watch people making games on Twitch, and Mike Tyson plays Punch-Out! Read More , only Chrome could handle it.

browser-chrome-webdev

But Chrome also comes with a lot of awesome Web development tools, which is why it’s the browser of choice for most professional Web designers Want to Learn Web Design? 7 YouTube Channels to Get You Started Want to Learn Web Design? 7 YouTube Channels to Get You Started YouTube has thousands of videos and channels for web design beginners. Here we look at some of the best ones for getting started. Read More  and programmers. Firefox has Firebug, but Chrome’s DevTools blow it out of the water. These Chrome Web development extensions Build It: 11 Brilliant Chrome Extensions For Web Developers Build It: 11 Brilliant Chrome Extensions For Web Developers Chrome is great for web developers because of its pool of extensions. If you ever plan on designing or coding a website, here are some essential tools that you should install right away. Read More  are just icing on the cake.

Chrome vs. Firefox: It’s Your Choice

Nobody can decide for you. Anyone who says one browser is objectively better than the other is naive or dishonest. It really comes down to your computer, what kind of work you do in your browser, and what kind of principles you stand behind.

If you value online privacy, want to make personalized tweaks, and want to use as few resources as possible, then go with Firefox. If you need speed, security, and extensions that aren’t available elsewhere, then go with Chrome.

Between these two browsers, which one do you like better? Is there another browser that you prefer over these two? Share your thoughts with us down in the comments!

  1. Steve HH
    November 21, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Let's not forget the security system of a master password (Firefox), a big plus in my books.

  2. Phil N
    November 21, 2016 at 6:30 am

    I could see myself switching away from Firefox to Chrome for the tensions. but it would have to have tab grouping and lazy tabs. I can't fully use a browser without those.

    • Dario
      December 6, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      Chrome has lazy tabs and you have oneTab extension that is basically the tab grouping

  3. mconalty
    November 20, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Firefox always by choice for me!

  4. Rob
    November 16, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Privacy is most important to me so Firefox for sure. Plus more tabs, less resource hog - perfect for laptop use. Might not be as fast as chrome but not as noticeable as you think.

    And I disagree with Firefox being for the casual and Chrome being for the hardcore.

  5. Anirban Dutta
    November 16, 2016 at 6:01 am

    For Privacy, you should go for Firefox because it's have Tracking Protection on private window & when exit, this browser automatically delete browsing history, cookies, cache & Active Login [which is very important.]
    Also Firefox have good security, download protection, malicious & phishing website protection.
    Thanks.

  6. Charles Lips
    November 13, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    I am currently looking at going to a different browser than these two. I dislike the arrogance that where updates change settings people are used to and do not provide options to change them. It's the MS "we know what's best for you" mentality.
    Firefox became essentially unusable after it started blocking many websites I use because it felt they were not secure, without the option to turn off this safety feature. I went back to Chrome, got a bit irritated at the profile button and found they had just recently removed the option to get rid of it. Same mentality. For goodness sake. Put features in your browsers but do provide options, don't just decide for people.

  7. Mr Xiang
    October 14, 2016 at 5:30 am

    I have to call bullshit on Chrome having better dev tools and more extensions.

    I use both but prefer FIrefox becasue I like to roll with lots of tabs. (When people see my brower they freak out, I have a fast computer and reguarly have 20+ tabs lol)

    • Tally
      November 5, 2016 at 10:04 am

      I too use maybe a bit too many tabs. (last count was 1000+ tabs, my computer screams in pain)

      This many tabs is not even remotely useable in chrome. Not even close to it. Teensy targets with maybe a single letter in them, tabs that go offscreen, and generally unidentifiable tabs.
      Just use firefox or some form of plugin, because the default is utterly unusable with many tabs.

  8. Harald
    October 11, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Firefox is absolutely horrible now. I miss the old days when Mozilla actually knew what they were doing, because today they clearly do not. I switched to Opera and it's way better.

    • Mr. Hand
      November 7, 2016 at 2:53 am

      Yep, Firefox now consumes twice as much memory as Chrome, at least according to my task manager list of processes.

      • Dave
        November 8, 2016 at 12:26 am

        Firefox plugin container ramps up heaps of memory with fire fox, I've tried to disable the plug in container but can't. It's a pig using far too much memory. Firefox has been asked to fix this but have ignored requests to do so. Oolder versions did not have this issue!!!!

  9. RoyKuan
    October 4, 2016 at 6:20 am

    Firefox if your a student!

  10. FirefoxFTW
    September 29, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    I have both and sometimes switch between Firefox and Chrome but overall I prefer Firefox
    cuz its a lot more stable, don't know why, with a regular usage in chrome (i mean a few tabs opened) its waaay more buggy and keeps stucking at me, and I much prefer Firefox because of the stability :)

    When I need something very fast i can use youtube for this, or i play a youtube on chrome while firefox is mainly used and things don't get stuck on my computer

    for fast internet freaks- Chrome will beat firefox
    for overall users that using 5 tabs + and prefer stability over speed, they will go firefox like me

    anyway, both are great :) just don't use the others

    • Joel Lee
      September 30, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      Weird! Firefox has usually been worse for me in terms of stability, though that really hasn't been much of an issue lately (say, over the past six months I guess). I think your generally right that Chrome is for power users and Firefox for casual users, but obviously there are exceptions. :P Thanks FirefoxFTW.

      • Jim Buyrle
        October 1, 2016 at 9:29 am

        I have used Firefox for years and the only irritation has been that new versions sometimes come with odd quirks that come across as change for the sake of change and no better reason. However, this latest version has tabs crashing all the time that have worked perfectly for years. As a result, I am using Chrome more and more and it's fast becoming my main browser. That's a real shame because I have always much preferred Firefox. I hope Firefox gets the message that this new version is causing far more problems than it has solved because it must be losing a lot of users.

  11. foo
    September 25, 2016 at 4:44 am

    i use both. google is fast but uses a ton of ram for tabs. so i like firefox more. it also uses a ton of ram but fewer. and does have better addons. and all those cool addons from google firefox does have too like umatrix and ublock.

    • Joel Lee
      September 29, 2016 at 12:59 am

      Is Firefox slow for you at all? Every time I go back and try it out again, it always feels a bit sluggish. Maybe it's just the animations, but either way it bugs me a bit.

  12. I-Hate-Google!!!
    September 13, 2016 at 12:56 am

    Chrome is a pile of sh--t, period. Still no print print preview and print scaling (shrink to fit page). Why??? The developers at Google are arrogant a-holes. Google consistently gives the finger to feature options and fixes to annoying bugs requested by users. It's getting hardly to totally avoid Good products and services but I try as hard as possible to find a alternative whenever possible.

    • Joel Lee
      September 14, 2016 at 3:46 am

      You make some valid points. Google definitely has a strict vision regarding what they want Chrome to be, and they don't seem to care much about user opinions or input. I guess a lot of people are fine with that, but it does make Chrome less desirable to me as well. Thanks for sharing! Which browser do you use instead?

  13. Aaron C.
    August 28, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    I don't understand mentioning Firebug anymore when comparing the Chrome devtools to Firefox's built in devtools. I've switched back and forth between the two for web development, and Firebug isn't necessary to compete with Chromes tools. Both offer similar quality of tools.

  14. Michael Knoll
    August 26, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Personally I prefer Chrome. For me the interface is more visually appealing and since I have enough resources to support it easily the RAM/CPU pressure isn't so big an issue. For me the privacy issues aren't a deal killer (though I understand why it would be for some users) and the added security provided by sandboxing is great. I have used Firefox and while I understand why people like it, it is not the browser for me. The extra performance Chrome gives me combined with a more appealing interface (for me at least) makes it the winner for my preferred browser. Like I said I have nothing against Firefox as a browser, it is just not for me.

    • Joel Lee
      September 30, 2016 at 6:46 pm

      Hey Michael, thanks for sharing. I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head. Chrome has a lot of winning features, and as long as you aren't bother by the privacy stuff, it can be quite appealing. Browsers are very much a "I just like this one better" game!

  15. John Doe
    August 25, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Firefox beats Chrome overall in my book and i would imagine it would on a wide range of computers especially because if you got 4GB of RAM or less (and i imagine many computers have 4GB (or less) still in use today) it's pretty safe to say Firefox is the overall better choice especially if you tend to leave your browser running a long time and you got plenty of tabs open which is where Firefox shines over Chrome which eats up RAM like crazy. with plenty of tabs open Firefox tends not to use more than 2GB tops in my experience (from what Task Manager says) where as if i did that with Chrome i am sure it would be well beyond that and i got a 8GB of RAM system to which that's more than enough for general use.

    even RAM aside... i just like the overall feel of Firefox (stays fairly consistent in performance after it's been running a long time with plenty of tabs open) which and seems to be smoother with extensions to.

    with that said... if someone just loads up their browser and browses a website briefly (or has minimal to no tabs) and closes the browser until their next use then Chrome is not bad assuming you got at least 4GB of RAM.

    p.s. i am actually using 'Pale Moon x64' (i have been using this for years now) but it's close enough to Firefox as i expect RAM use to be very similar between the two.

    • Joel Lee
      September 30, 2016 at 6:47 pm

      Hey John Doe, thanks for sharing. Sometimes it really just comes down to "This browser feels better to me" and all of the other stuff (performance, extensions, privacy, etc) is just there to help justify that feeling. Not that those things aren't important, but at the end of the day, we end up using the one we like best!

  16. John
    August 23, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I think Chrome because it pretty much controls the market share with browsers is going to be what many developers look at as the standard. I have found Firefox to be real flaky on some sites. It's improving but slowly, for example come September 2016 Firefox will get compatibility for HTML5 playback for streaming from Amazon. Something a lot of users were installing Chrome for some streaming services. But Firefox has simply shrank so fast for so long it barely stays above Safari in some stats. I think really those that stick with Firefox do so for the flexibility of extensions and probably some loyalty and concern over privacy issues with Chrome. But for the rest, Chrome seems to have the market control right now. Chromium is an interesting option but it really doesn't solve much compared to Firefox. It supports little in DRM streaming, no Flash player, and it seems Chromium projects are sort of dead compared to what Google is doing with it.

    • Joel Lee
      September 30, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      I think so too, John. Firefox paved the way many years ago with Firebug but ever since Chrome folded the webdev workflow right into the browser (and improved it in so many ways) I think it's pretty much the standard-maker now. Not to mention how much more power and influence Google has versus Firefox. Maybe too much power!

      • Arjun
        October 22, 2016 at 1:15 am

        Firebug? Is this really an article from 2016. Firebug hasn't been a thing you need in Firefox for the past 4 years. Firefox has far superior dev tools to Chrome and they are baked-in, just like Chrome. The only place Chrome's dev tools win is they have *slightly* better source map support.

  17. goddamnparkourinstructor
    August 21, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Chrome is just plain awful, there's no restore previous session, the history and recently closed tabs/windows features don't even work properly, and the user interface is all-around terrible.

    It is torture using that garbage. (The sandboxing is cool though)

    • Sam
      August 24, 2016 at 10:36 am

      Actually, you can set it to open your previous session, it's called "continue from where you left off" or something. (I'm not a huge Chrome fan, I don't really know which browser I prefer.)

    • Joel Lee
      September 30, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      I don't think I've run into any of those issues, Parkour, and I wish I could help but I can't. I know Chrome isn't perfect though, so I believe you. Have you tried Opera? What browser are you using right now?

  18. JamesD
    August 17, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Chrome is by far the best browser available today for the reasons given in the article. I can't imagine trying to surf without it.

    • goddamnparkourinstructor
      August 21, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      If I use chrome for more than a few minutes I'm ready to blow my brains out. Resource hog, horrible user interface, broken history & closed tabs, etc.

  19. Nancy
    August 6, 2016 at 12:56 am

    I was thinking about making the change because my daughter suggested it. I like firefox, but all too often it stops loading my brokerage account web page. The guy at Schwab said I would need to go in and clear the 'cookies'. I can do this but then I have to reverify several other pages that I use, e.g. the credit union bill pay, facebook, my fax provider....does anyone know if this is a problem with Chrome? Do I get better security for these financial sites with one over the other?

    • Jack
      August 12, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Just download CCleaner & set it to clear the temporary cache files for Chrome, Firefox, & Internet Explorer or other browsers you may be using.

      Uncheck cookies under each browser, if you particularly need them to save your login.

      Else, set the browser to remember your login, so you can clear the cookies.

      CCleaner can clear multiple cache locations much faster & easier than doing it manually.

  20. Inverge
    July 5, 2016 at 6:33 am

    I used Firefox for years. When I switched to Linux, Firefox was pre-installed and I continued to use it. I noticed it would become sluggish when I had many tabs open (which I almost always do), but the worst part of Firefox was that there would be times where I would lose all of those open tabs, and that is horrifying. Sometimes I could do the workaround with renaming the session file, but things didn't always work out. Performance is a big issue for Firefox, and the memory leaking could get ridiculous...I even used Firefox on Android, and swore for a long time i wouldn't go with Chrome. Then I ended up loading Chrome when I had too many tabs open in Firefox, and just wanted to look something up real quick. The performance was greatly noticed, and soon I realized that I was using Chrome more and more, and having less and less problems. The other issue I had with Firefox was the syncing tabs between devices: I have a laptop, desktop, high performance gaming computer( the only one that runs Windows), A Sony Android phone, and a Jide Remix(It's a 2 in 1 tablet/laptop that runs their desktop version of Android, it's pretty great). With Firefox I often found that tabs weren't available from certain devices and I'd have to "refresh", with Chrome this almost always happens instantly. But the real nail in Firefox's coffin is Chrome's ability to open it's "extensions" as seperate windows. Chrome brings applications to Linux, that I can't get anywhere else, and I really need them, for instance, Evernote(amazing app). Chrome helps me seamlessly integrate Android and Linux which should be a no brainer anyway, because they are both actually in fact Linux. I do miss things about FF, like the customization and supporting a great organization/company. I know Google is mining my data, but I'm using Android(which I also love very much) so it's un-avoidable, at least for me. I was a Firefox fanboy, but at the end of the day Chrome was the better product. Another important function of Chrome is that it supports up-to-date Adobe Flash on Linux, something Adobe dropped long ago, and would result in the older Flash plug-in's for Firefox saying "Your Flash is too old". Flash is dying, and it's about time, but it's there when I need it. I hope to see Firefox pull ahead of Chrome in the future, and I'm really excited about their new Servo engine, (which has apps in mind), but for now I'm gonna have to live with Chrome. :::shrugs:::: touche Google, touche. They're not the most powerful company in the world for no good reason.

    • Inverge
      July 5, 2016 at 6:37 am

      A side note, I find Chrome's design and technology to be pretty fascinating. The way it accesses the CPU/GPU, the sandboxing, and the multi-threaded concept from it's beginning.
      In reality, Chrome is almost like another operating system running on your system. Chrome OS and the browser are nearly one in the same, except Chrome OS is running on top of Gentoo Linux, directly.

      • Jack
        August 12, 2016 at 4:01 pm

        Both Chrome & Firefox are dropping Flash support in the upcoming years.

        HTML5 is already replacing it on many websites, such as YouTube.
        So, you can no longer justify 1 browser over another, just because of flash.

        Firefox also has sync built in, which can sync across multiple platforms.
        Don't know if you tried it, but works amazingly well.

        I agree that it is very annoying to lose tabs.
        Have had it happen in Firefox, Chrome, or any other browser.

        IE was the worst, but Firefox & Chrome are ok.
        Sometimes, you can bring closed tabs back via History.

  21. Bhaskar Mitra
    June 21, 2016 at 7:57 am

    I find in internet that Opera is fastest but difference of speed is not considerable,rather than Opera is not allowed in many websites to open properly,Mozilla Firefox and Chrome both good for me.For some period I realized better to use Mozilla than Chrome because that time my RAM was considerably low and among top 5 browsers i.e Explorer Chrome Mozilla, Opera and Safari, Mozilla was the only one which run smoothly.Later when I purchased new Laptop I found Chrome is very good all-rounder,with speed and features but in it's recent version i.e. Chrome stable 51 version I found too much of "Aw snap" and hanging,and a total day Chrome was unable to run you tube,before that it was perfect and that time Mozilla was too slow for me to use comfortably,but presently there is no choice for me but to shift to Mozilla again because I realize that no matter what only top 3 browsers are considered by every website and guess what Mozilla running speed is just okay for me.So choosing browser is your decision but decision might not be stable as the world is changing so their performance is changing with every updates.

    • Jack
      August 12, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      Chrome has better 3D & HTML5 support.
      Chrome also is fastest on low end machines, such as netbooks.
      Considerably faster, because Firefox 3D blocklist kills 3D dead on low end or unsupported machines, making 3D run at an average of 2 fps.

      Chrome can run on the same hardware at 60+ fps, or more than 30x faster.

      On modern machines, perhaps Firefox is better.
      Firefox has better CSS3 (accuracy rendering web pages) & is faster in V8 (browser speed).
      However, 3D still lags, even on modern machines.

      Chrome can usually best Firefox by 2x on modern hardware acceleration.

      Use Chrome for older devices & for 3D or HTML5 content, such as YouTube.
      Use Firefox when web page accuracy & raw speed is most important.

  22. Samir
    May 30, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    "Tab Groups are a feature that Mozilla absolutely nailed, both in vision and execution."

    I don't think they nailed it, but they were brave enough to try it!

    "I also love that Firefox stands behind its principles and tries out new ideas."

    Exactly! Also! Mozilla is always looking to make long term advances that matter for humanity and posterity. Such as standardization and open web! Google and its followers just look to earn a quick buck and it puts itself in the first position.

    "Chrome has a nasty reputation for being a resource hog. [...] To be fair, Firefox is no saint either when it comes to resource usage, but compared to Chrome it’s definitely more mindful and less greedy."

    I do have Chrome installed, but I hardly use it at all. But as a tab addict I would say that the term "resource hog" better suits Firefox. But that's only in my use case I guess, because I rarely have less than 50 tabs open at any given time. Chrome on the other hand may feel snappier or "trigger happy", but that's because it uses multiple processes. I would expect Chrome to become worse than Firefox if I were to shove 50+ tabs on its arse.

    "The downsides are that Firefox has slower startup times."

    Sounds about right.

    "Because Chrome is constantly on in the background."

    Exactly! Chrome on your PC is essentially Google's back-end living inside your computer!

    "One other resource-related point to note is that Firefox supports lazy tab loading, which means that when you open new tabs, they won’t start loading until you select them. This prevents your computer from bogging down when you open several tabs at once."

    Not if I can help it! For I am a tab addict! Whenever I have more than about 50 tabs open, Firefox slowly but surely becomes sluggish. Firefox had problems with memory leakages in the past which were related to tab whoring. It caused many crashes for me. But for most part, I was able to recover my sessions after restarting it. It was around that time that Mozilla introduced lazy loading of tabs... I think. But they have sorted out most of these tab whoring problems since then. They have optimized it so it can take more beating.

    However, I want to point out that Firefox alone is not entirely responsible for the slowness of heavy tab lifting. Just look at the state the WWW is in right now and where it was only 10 years ago. If you visit a site today, you are not only connecting to one single IP address. Chances are that you will likely make over 30 IP connections! Nasty cookies are installed on your PC, tracking everywhere and everything, CDN this, API here and there, AdSense this and that, social this and that, yada, yada...

    Basically everyone is looking to bend you over through that one single program window in front of you, namely the web browser! Now they want us to replace the entire freedom of an operating system and desktop environment with a single program window. The web browser! Enter the Chrome OS! It's all about control of information. Personal information, business, government, and the list goes on...

    What's next? Google offers computing power as a service? And we all connect with a 100 USD dummy terminal? All our data, software, hardware, commands, instructions... never leaves Google at all! What a wonderful world that would be... or not! No need to own any device, you are constantly connected to... em... the matrix? Of course! Brilliant! Why would I want to own my own data? My own hardware? My own software? That's just silly! Why would I want to own my own soul? I might as well just sell it to Google!

    I don't know about everyone else, but I don't want to be part of this shitty world of "innovation". There is not a lot of true innovation to talk about here. If you can't innovate, replicate! That's their mantra. Flipping replicators is what they are. A lot of the things they "innovate" are stolen ideas from the open source and hacker community.

    Just the idea of having to maintain 30 IP conections and do 50 hops before I reach the site I want to be at... that shit sickens me. More often than not, this is the reason that Firefox can't cope with 50+ tabs open. If the WWW were simpler, more straight forward, less greedy and bloated with all kinds of shitty concepts, then Firefox or any other modern browser would be able to handle well over 300 tabs on a mid level desktop or laptop PC.

    This is not just about the tabs either! Think about the poor people who can't afford to upgrade or buy a new PC each flipping year! Unlike the general population of the developed western countries, who are not just hogging RAM but the natural resources of the physical world around us, including the resources of the poor countries.

    Resources are not limitless! Be it computer resources or natural resources of the world. They need to be conserved and used sparingly. This is also what Mozilla is about! It's about people, equality and well being of the world as much as it is about technology. The right to information for all human beings!

    That's tough to achieve when you force people to upgrade their computers each year, for one reason or another. Sometimes it's necessarily, but more often than not it is not well motivated by need, but purely for the sake of having "the latest" tech in your hand. Some people are so brain-dead... eheem... apple!... that they would upgrade their device to the latest model, even if it were only 2 minutes old! If you could only present a new model for them.

    The only reason you can't use a Windows NT based PC with a Pentium 3 to do heavy multi-tabbed web browsing is because someone decided that this system is too old to meet the new requirement. Not because it is technically impossible. If it weren't for

    Even with endless computing power! Why would you want to make ### IP connections to access just a single # IP address? Why would you default to, or desire to do the heavy load of helping billion dollar corporations serve up ads in your face on your flipping monitor? And track you all over the place, wherever you go next on the WWW? And help them connect to your computer so they can "sync" your files to their "cloud"? So on and so forth...

    Google didn't invent the wheel!
    Google didn't invent the Internet!
    Google didn't invent HTTP/HTTPS!
    Google didn't invent HTML/CSS/JS!
    Google didn't invent the WWW!
    Google didn't invent Linux!
    Google didn't invent Android!
    Google didn't invent the phone!
    Google didn't invent the web browser!
    Google didn't invent tabbed browsing!
    Google didn't invent plugins/addons/extensions!
    Google didn't invent bookmarks!
    Google didn't invent bookmark syncing!
    Google didn't invent browser dev tools!

    What Google and the other big corporations like it have done is they have used, connected and re-purposed these existing technologies and ideas, to suit their own agenda and at the expense of users' privacy.

    Some people just wave their hand and say that privacy is lost ages ago anyway. Privacy is not grated to you because you deserve it, you have to be prepared to fight for it when it is threatened. Just like you must defend your freedom of speech in a democratic society. If you don't care enough to fight for it, then you don't deserve it in the first place! In terms of browsers and computing, all it takes for you is to make a few mouse clicks to show where you stand. For me personally, it's a matter of principle.

    Don't get me wrong, I use Google products and services myself. I am grateful that Google came about when it did. They helped set a lot of things in motion again after almost coming to a stop. Google continues to be a driving force of the web in today's time and age. But it should not be our final destination, and Google alone should not be seen as some kind of guardian angel of the web and the only way to do business. Because we can do so much better!

    What started out as a bookmark collection is now a profit driven, billion dollar corporation. We need to keep that in the back of our heads. When it comes to privacy I don't trust anyone. But if I had the choice between Google and Mozilla I would choose Mozilla any time. Not only because of their non-profit nature and noble agenda, but because I can check their work on a low level to ensure that they don't do something nasty with their software. Unlike Google, which is semi-transparent about it.

    There is huge power in freedom, and freedom comes from having free and open access to information. In the software community, open source code is at the heart of that!

    "Chrome can be an enigma at times. There are many reasons to hate it — some of which were mentioned above — but it’s such a well-made browser that a lot of people actually feel trapped and forced to use it because they can’t get what they need elsewhere."

    The essential things that people "need" is clean water and food on their table! And a table!...

    Seriously?! Why is there a "need" of having access to a gazillion of extensions? This is another crazy phase of the new "innovations". The app craze! And extension craze! Why do you need 1000 apps to do 1000 tasks?! When 1 or 3 apps can do it all? It's a bad habit, it's a resource hogging addiction, and it's plainly stupefying people. Also, I would go all out and claim that it makes people lazy!

    Usually, when things are done by yourself, you get better quality results and you get the desired results more often than not. Have you ever left your car at a shop, only to pick it up two days later and find that they have done a shitty job? Perhaps they even ripped you off of good parts and installed some cheap shit? In my experience if you want to do something the right way, it is best to do it yourself if you have the time and the know-how. Either that or entrust the work only to a tried and tested workshop where you have a mechanic that you personally know and trust.

    Another thing is doing things manually! When things are heavily automated, it makes the whole process appear as supernatural. Where things just happen "automagically"! Magic is the only way to describe it. Unless you start digging, and you start doing things manually. That's when you discover computing! That's the fun of computing. That's how most of my generation learned to program. By discovery and by the pure pleasure of making the dumb thing do what we wanted, not what offered to us by its original designer.

    If we continue this trend of automating things, and abstracting away things, there might come a time where people will no longer know what a computer is. Perhaps even fear them! Like the bloody Daleks! People need to be educated about technology in order to understand it, make use of it, and innovate. I'm not pointing at the geeks and nerds but the general population. That's why computing is taught as a subject in elementary schools in many western countries these days, but far from all of them, and far from all countries of the world.

    Did I mention that automation has this tendency to fail and flip things up?... yeah... another reason to do things more manually.

    "The number one reason for Chrome’s continued popularity is the sheer number of extensions that are available for it — and it’s not just the quantity or quality of these extensions, but the fact that so many of them are exclusive to Chrome because developers can’t be bothered to maintain other versions."

    Developers can't be bothered? Lazy bastards! :P

    "No other browser can beat Chrome’s extension landscape. In fact, other browsers are actually working on ways to install Chrome extensions so they can stop being so far behind. That’s when you know Chrome is winning."

    No, that's when you know that something is fundamentally flipped up! Now... if we had a common standard for these things... But of course we don't want to piss off mighty Google. It's doable! It's not like we are bridging two operating systems! But someone needs to take the lead and initiative. If anyone, Mozilla might be doing it. It's more likely that they would do it than the protecting angel of the web (Google).

    "Firefox lets you customize your interface however you want, but maybe the reason why Chrome doesn’t let you fiddle with anything is because it’s so confident that it’s already as good as can be."

    No, it's because Google feels more in control that way, in control of the "unified though".

    "Indeed, when you compare the two browsers straight out of the box, it’s easy to come away with the opinion that Chrome is the more polished and refined of the two. It’s easier to pick up and more intuitive to use, plus it feels snappier."

    It may feel snappier short term, but that will change long term if you continue to use the same session for several days and you bombard it with new tabs.

    "If you don’t want to fiddle around with stuff, then Chrome is the way to go. This is also what makes Chrome a better choice for those who are less tech-literate — there are fewer ways to accidentally screw things up."

    Yet, these tech-illiterates are allowed to dive and install extensions from a huge library, which is not considered "fiddling" and cannot screw things up. What these tech-illiterates folks need is education! Not a collection of well thought-out, good-for-your-mental-health browser extensions! Abstracting things away from them to supposedly make their life easier will not help make their life easier in the long run. But what company cares about their users use of their product in the long run? They only care about the short run and quick buck.

    "We mentioned before that Firefox uses fewer resources than Chrome does, but there’s a reason why Chrome sucks down your CPU and clogs up your RAM: all of that allows the browser to operate at tip-top speeds, which results in a smoother user experience."

    Which is only reaffirming the false image of Chrome as a quick browser that just works automagically. Most of those tech-illiterates are dumb enough to swallow any lie if you wrap it up well.

    "It’s a trade-off and only you can decide which side of the fence you want to fall on. Performance is important, but it isn’t everything."

    You can't contrast performance against privacy. They are not the same coin. we should not need to contrast these two at all, as they are both important. If anything, we should compare performance against performance, and privacy against privacy. More or less so of course with these two browsers. In terms of performance I think they are fairly equivalent. It depends a bit on usage scenario which one will win. But in terms of privacy Firefox wins big time!

    "If you’re going to use Chrome, you should pretty much assume that Google is spying on your every move. Not that Google is actually spying on you, but with the amount of data being collected, you should relinquish any expectations of privacy."

    Yes, but why should you? Should not privacy be your top priority?

    "That being said, the funny thing is that Chrome is a more secure browser than Firefox when it comes to issues of malware, phishing, and other kinds of Internet attacks. For example, Chrome has end-to-end encryption when syncing across devices while Firefox doesn’t."

    Yet, all sorts of malware is regularly discovered in its extensions library. Firefox does too encrypt your data, and it does it better than Google because they do it locally.

    "But more importantly, Chrome processes run in a sandbox, which means that these processes don’t have access to system-level files and information. If a website tries to run malicious code, it’s kept within the boundaries of the sandbox and won’t have lasting effects."

    Which adds another abstraction layer! With you taking performance penalties! It's one of the reasons Firefox is generally a better performer in real time use cases, because it doesn't make you look childish playing in a sandbox. The number one risk factor in any system is the user! If you allow someone to side-load a malicious "extension" to your Chrome browser it can break out of the sandbox or walk past around it entirely. That extension might as well come from the official Chrome extensions library itself. Perhaps one of those extensions that fell through the safety net of Google corp.

    The best solution to all these problems is education! Educate the computer users! Empower them with knowledge and options to do things as they see fit, not as Google feels is appropriate. Instead of taking users for being idiots, baby sitting them and having them only fiddle in the sandbox because that's the safest thing to put babies in on playground. By giving them proper education and training, I'm sure many of them would flee away from Chrome.

    "One huge reason for Chrome’s lasting popularity is that it’s developed by Google."

    Oh yes! That's the certificate of quality! :P

    "Since Google’s own developers are heavily involved in the evolution of the Web, Chrome naturally sits at the edge of cutting edge advancements."

    Hah! Google's own developers are heavily involved in the evolution of the Web! As if they are doing charity work!!! They are paid by their mothership to position their products and services at the very edge! Naturally? As if it is something that just happens out of the blue sky! As a coincidental side effect! Wake up! It's all intentional and part of the grand plan of world domination.

    "For example, Chrome is quick to adopt new standards that look as if they’ll stick around for a while. One example is the push for WEBP, a new image standard that’s gaining ground."

    Oh they will stick alright! As long as 95% of developers continue to look towards Google for guidance as some kind of master chef of the web. Then come the users who complain how Firefox is not having all their desired features, because just like the devs, they are enslaves by Google's "new standards".

    "Another example: when YouTube first debuted 60 FPS videos, only Chrome could handle it."

    Hah! Only Chrome could handle it! That's hardly a surprise.

    "But Chrome also comes with a lot of awesome Web development tools, which is why it’s the browser of choice for most professional Web designers and programmers. Firefox has Firebug, but Chrome’s DevTools blow it out of the water. These Chrome Web development extensions are just icing on the cake."

    Replace "most professional Web designers and programmers" with "most of Google's own developers" or "most professional Google slaves". Blew it out of the water? Hardly! At what level is that true? Even if it was true, it doesn't make it right. Firefox was first! Firebug extension in fact.

    What's Google's contribution? They only copied the idea to re-position their own Chrome browser so that idiots can endorse it some more so that they can collect more user data. Instead, developers should put their endorsement where it belongs and focus their energy on making Firebug and Firefox better! Give back to the community that made Firebug and dev tools possible! Instead of being the disloyal bastards and abandoning ship as soon as Google produces a better version of their product.

    If Google were serious about contributing to open source community they would not just make use of it, they would make a bigger effort in giving back to the community, including Firefox project and Mozilla.

    "Chrome vs. Firefox: It’s Your Choice Nobody can decide for you."

    Hardly so! It's a matter of imposed wills! With their financial muscles, Google can make you do dog tricks without you ever realizing it.

    "It really comes down to your computer, what kind of work you do in your browser"

    Which is why freedom is more important than sheer numbers like market-share figures and adaptation rate, or number of available extensions. What difference does it make if you have one trillion extensions if they are used in a locked down environment?

    "If you value online privacy, want to make personalized tweaks, and want to use as few resources as possible, then go with Firefox. If you need speed, security, and extensions that aren’t available elsewhere, then go with Chrome."

    What it really comes down to is this! Do you want freedom? Are you prepared to fight for it? Everything else is a function or a bi-product of this simple principle. It might take you a lot of time and the will of many to produce something equates to a product produced by a billion dollar company and an army of full time engineers. But in the end you will make it.

    • Russell
      October 27, 2016 at 5:21 pm

      Now that's a comment; twice as long as the the article! But very well thought out and explained point-by-point. Thanks for info. Oh, by the way, I use Firefox most of the time.

  23. A41202813GMAIL ..
    May 26, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Sorry,

    FF Has An Extension That Allows CHROME Extensions, From The CHROME WEB STORE, To Install Into FF.

    The New FF Extension Is Called "CHROME STORE FOXIFIED".

    ---

    A - Can You, Please, Do Some Research ?

    B - Can You, Please, Write An Article About It ?

    Thank You.

  24. liuche
    May 25, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    "For example, Chrome has end-to-end encryption when syncing across devices while Firefox doesn’t."

    I don't think that's true. I'd assume that Chrome stores history/bookmarks unencrypted on Google servers, whereas Firefox encrypts these items locally, so they are still encrypted on the server.

  25. CJ
    May 18, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    I use Chrome for the game Slither.io and that's about it. The gameplay is jerky in Firefox for some reason.

  26. Robyn
    May 5, 2016 at 2:02 am

    And yes, Firefox does have the best interface on the planet with Chrome being second. Opera needs to improve their interface and set it where the themes show up at the top of the page instead of behind the page. However, it's still an awesome browser and I'm grateful for the top 3. They seem to be the safest and most trustworthy.

  27. Robyn
    May 5, 2016 at 2:00 am

    I really do love Firefox. I just wish it were light weight and didn't crash all the time. For now I only use Chrome and Opera. I tried UC Browser but had to get rid of it after learning there was some kind of "Opera" impersonation redirect scam going on.

    • Joel Lee
      May 13, 2016 at 8:42 pm

      I feel your pain. Firefox seems so good on paper but has some problems with execution, namely its performance. Ugh! Thanks for sharing, Robyn.

  28. Daniel Descheneaux
    April 29, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    If you're contrasting browsers, "Lots of Useful Extensions" is a fundamental, original Firefox feature, not something only Chrome does. That's fairly misleading.

    "Polished interface" - um, what? Chrome looks like a gray, barren piece of recycled paper, every feature is hidden four menus deep, with no easy access to advanced feature whatsoever - pretty much the opposite of good UI.

    "Hiding everything" is not intuitive, either - I have no idea how you reached *that* conclusion. It's the Apple philosophy, and they're wrong too : fewer choices does not make things more easy, just less powerful.

    Chrome works, but I don't love it. I run a few dumb web apps in it, period. I've used Firefox since version 0.9 - it's sure had its ups and downs, but it's the browser I surf in, keep my insane collection of bookmarks in, install cool add-ons in, and recommend when asked.

  29. ringhalg
    April 19, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    I run only two websites in Opera and just two websites in Chrome most of the time, the rest of the internet is done in Firefox. I find Microsoft Edge is extremely fast, but the lack of extensions keeps me from using it.

    The enormous scope of extensions available in Firefox and the ability to customize nearly every part of the browser is the reason I choose Firefox.

    • Joel Lee
      April 23, 2016 at 10:38 pm

      Cool, thanks for sharing. Will you be switching to Edge as your main browser once it gets extensions? Assuming it can load extensions from other browsers, it sounds like that would be the best of all worlds. :P

      • ringhalg
        April 24, 2016 at 7:26 am

        Unfortunately, there's no "best of both worlds", because if you install a lot of extensions, the browser slows down. We'll have to see if Edge has the same issue. Some browsers also add features that people don't use like Hello and Pocket, which slows down the browser and creates clutter right from the start. At least there is a way to disable those features.

  30. Joshua Graham
    April 17, 2016 at 5:50 am

    Fire fox sucks, I get popup ads on ever page using the browser. I've had popups come just on Google home page. Chrome is an awesome browser, but it has incompatibility issues with windows 7,8 and 10.

    • Green
      April 19, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      Er...last time I checked chrome didn't had any compatibility issues with windows 7,8 & 10 and it still doesn't have it.

      • Romrot
        April 19, 2016 at 7:54 pm

        Look up "chrome won't launch" it's an issue that's persisted since 2010 on Windows machines.

    • Joel Lee
      April 23, 2016 at 10:28 pm

      Hi Joshua. Sorry to hear that! I've never had that problem so it sounds a bit weird to me. Have you run a malware scan recently?

  31. A41202813GMAIL ..
    April 16, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I Use 6 Browsers.

    I Use FF Mainly When The 4 CHROME Clones Entirely Block Sites With HTTPS Issues.

    OPERA15+ Is My Main Browser, Though.

    Cheers.

    • Joel Lee
      April 23, 2016 at 10:29 pm

      Six browsers! I thought I was pretty good juggling three, but six is downright impressive. :)

      • A41202813GMAIL ..
        April 23, 2016 at 11:36 pm

        To Be Honest I Do Not Use IE8 Much, And YANDEX And BAIDU Are CHROME Backups.

        A - OPERA15+ Has Recent Issues With Pages Using RESOURCES.INFOLINKS.COM, So I Use CHROME For Those,

        B - I Use CHROME Mainly For TV Streaming,

        C - I Use FF Mainly For MUSIC Streaming.

        Thank You For Responding.

  32. nicemong
    April 15, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    I'm loving Opera 37. It has the most responsive UI.

    • Jack
      April 15, 2016 at 11:31 pm

      Are u still going to love it when the Chinese own it?

      • fcd76218
        April 16, 2016 at 2:04 pm

        Chinese, Google, what's the difference? Everybody spies on the users.

      • Sean
        April 17, 2016 at 8:03 am

        Im not chinese but i do admit China is not at 10 years ago anymore and most of their products in IT would be better than you have it home right now except for TV.

    • Joel Lee
      April 23, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      @nicemong: Yeah, Opera is quite nice!

      @Sean: You're right, China today isn't perfect, but it doesn't deserve the same reputation that it had a decade ago. But I guess people will have trouble trusting them regardless, which is legitimate.

  33. Frank J
    April 15, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    For some reason Chrome won't reinstall on my Win 7x64 but I honestly haven't persued the issue.
    My browsers, all of which have certain strengths, in my preferred order.
    Firefox- I've fine tuned it and personalized it so much
    Palemoonx64- see the above review
    Opera- fast, better for streaming
    Maxthon Nitro-super fast, used to quick check email, search
    Comodo Ice Dragon- private, quick
    Maxthon- Explorer base but way better
    Slimbrowser and Slimjetx64 from FlashPeak- just for a change, quick
    Avant- seldom used
    Lunascape- haven't opened in awhile

  34. likefun butnot
    April 15, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    I choose Palemoon, a Firefox-derived browser developed independently by a small team.
    It offered a 64 bit version on Windows years before Mozilla got around to it, and it also never transitioned to Firefox's god-awful Australis itouch-friendly nterface. At this point, it has its own user agent and uses a different CLSID, so it is a distinct product, but it reads Firefox profiles and can install almost all Firefox addons.

    The major things I don't like about Firefox right now are that it keeps changing default behaviors for already configured Firefox installtions (you didn't REALLY want to use anything other than Yahoo as your default search, right?), keeps moving around or flat-out removing features such as the Addon toolbar, keeps screwing with the look of the new tab page and now it's in the process of becoming as much like Chrome as it possibly can, even down to dropping its long and extraordinarily flexible addon programming interfaces in favor of a Chrome-style one.

    What's wrong with that? Well, Firefox addons have access to more of its internal functions, so it's much easier to make a tool that fundamentally changes the browser. This is incredibly useful for privacy and security controls, but it can also help in other ways, such as batch downloading tools. There's a down side to that as well, which is that a rogue addon can be a lot more destructive in Firefox, but the in my experience, Mozilla has done a much better job than Google of ensuring that addons aren't malicious.

    What's wrong with Chromium/Chrome? Resource usage is a huge problem. It's a problem on everything that runs Chrome. I hope you either don't like tabs or don't like having RAM for other things, because Chrome will use crap-tons of it. Right now I have 87 tabs open in Palemoon and 9 in Chrome. Palemoon shows it's using 1.5GB RAM. Chrome, with a tenth the number of open tabs, is using 2.4GB according to its internal memory manager. And that leads me to something else.

    Chrome is a quasi-operating system. It duplicates a lot of functionality that it doesn't need to because Google builds the safe stuff into ChromeOS as every other damned version of Chrome. This can be mildly problematic for people trying to learn a new desktop operating system because some things don't work the same way in Chrome, such as printing, as in the rest of the OS. It's a consistency issue, but it bugs me.

    Third thing: Chrome leads users by the nose into creating and signing in to a Google account, all the better to track them with. There are some mild benefits to that, like bookmark syncing, but it's also a huge privacy concern since it's very difficult to fully control all the different places Google tracks its users. Signing in to its browser just makes that all the easier. The sign in issue can be particularly obnoxious when someone else sits down at your computer and mistakenly signs in to the browser instead of just their individual Google account. Turns out, if you didn't sign in first, your profile will be polluted with their stuff. Whoops.

    That's not an issue for Chromium (i.e. the open-source project from which Chrome is derived), but hardly anyone uses Chromium.

    As an IT-related aside, Chrome is also a huge PITA to manage if you're prevented from using Google Apps for Organizations. If you have desktop Chrome deployments, there are tools and templates for controlling some things, but other things are only exposed through the Apps administrative console on the web. Depending on how your organization works, this can be a huge hassle. Or at least it is in mine.

    Chrome has a serious problem with bad addons. A story I've seen play out over and over is that someone will make a successful addon and dozens of copycat versions that purport to do the same thing will show up in its Web Store. Chrome also has a problem with addon authors selling their code to a third party that uses the channel of the installed user base of that addon to deliver malware. This has happened repeatedly in the last several years. Chrome's Web Store is actually a big source of problems and Google doesn't do nearly enough to address the matter.

    Chrome doesn't support Java. And in a lot of ways, that's a feature and not a problem, but it's a problem for me. I'm an IT guy. I need Java in the browser for some things. I have users who need Java in a browser for some things. Oracle is supposed to be working on updated software to work in contemporary browsers, but right now I really hate having to tell people there's nothing I can do to make their Java thing work in the browser they want to use.
    Chrome's addons are also inadequate

    Speaking of addons, Chrome's addon APIs are a lot more restrictive, and so are Google's addon policies. Noscript, one of my favorite tools for Firefox, is a shadow of itself on Chrome. It just can't do everything I want it to. I don't like having those controls taken away from me. It's a lot harder to customize Chrome to my liking after spending so long with Mozilla-derived browsers where I can probably find something to do exactly what I want.

    At this point, I'd rather browse the web with IE11 than with Chrome. It seems to be the browser with the biggest malware target painted on its back these days and I find that its drawbacks outweigh its benefits.

    • Joel Lee
      April 23, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      Wow!! That's a massive write-up, thanks so much for sharing your expertise. There's a lot in there that I had forgotten or simply didn't know. Most of it I agree with, too. Ultimately, your comment does capture what seems to be this year's trend, which is that people are starting to move away from Chrome. It'll be interesting to see where we end up at this time next year!

  35. Jaiba
    April 15, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Opera is the best Chromium based browser. All the benefits of Chrome with a better interface and exclusive sidebar extensions and services like Opera Turbo.

    • Joel Lee
      April 23, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      That's exactly how I feel, summed up. :)

  36. fcd76218
    April 15, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Preferring Opera to Chrome is like preferring Linux Mint to Ubuntu. With the exception of some cosmetics, the two are basically the same.

    "Chrome processes run in a sandbox, which means that these processes don’t have access to system-level files and information."
    You're speaking from a Windows point of view. FF running under Linux is just as as sand-boxed. In Linux NO program running in user space can crash the system.

    "Why Users Love Chrome"
    Because it's from GOOGLE! Considering all the other Google products people use, what's one more?

    • Joel Lee
      April 23, 2016 at 10:35 pm

      Ha, pretty good analogy I guess. Then again, a lot of people do love and prefer Linux Mint! So maybe we'll see a similar big shift from Chrome to Opera over the next year? Probably not, lol.

      And yeah, definitely was speaking from a Windows POV. :)

  37. Karl K
    April 15, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    I'm with you -- I've used Opera for many, many years and prefer it to ALL other browsers, including the new "Edge" of Win10. Sync'ing across different devices is fantastic and easily implemented.

    Go Opera!

    • Joel Lee
      April 23, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      Go Opera, indeed. :D Thanks Karl!

  38. bartoj
    April 15, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Vivaldi may well give you the best of both. Chrome's blink engine with a more customisable interface than FF.

    • Joel Lee
      April 23, 2016 at 10:37 pm

      Vivaldi is pretty good! I've been trying it out lately and I really do like it. My only issue with it so far is that it has some performance problems, so I'm not ready to make it my main browser yet. But good to mention it, thanks bartoj!

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