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In the Chrome vs. Firefox war Browser Wars: Firefox vs. Chrome vs. Opera, The Definitive Benchmark Browser Wars: Firefox vs. Chrome vs. Opera, The Definitive Benchmark If you could only choose one browser, which one would it be? Which is best: Firefox, Chrome or Opera? We'll show you. Read More , I’m siding with the Google users. But I don’t want to. Chrome isn’t my browser of choice because it’s necessarily the best; it’s because it has certain features that I can’t live without.

Chrome Is Fast, So Is Firefox, So Is Everything Else

firefox-over-chrome

Until last year, I used to switch between Chrome and Firefox every few months. Every time I switched, I found that the other browser was faster. But this joy lasted only for a short while.

I’m not sure about the technical reason why browsers slow down with repeated usage How To Keep Firefox From Getting Unbearably Slow How To Keep Firefox From Getting Unbearably Slow I don’t like Firefox. I think it is a monolithic, huge, heavy browser, and its XPI-based architecture feels slow and dated. Firefox is more flexible than other browsers like Chrome but it also gradually slows... Read More . But it’s not just extensions; I’ve had 15 extensions in Firefox, found it slow and switched to Chrome, then came back to the same Firefox with 15 extensions and found it faster. And that’s happened with a Chrome-Firefox-Chrome switch too.

The bottom line is this: When you switch to a new browser, it seems faster for a while and then it slows down with usage. You can almost count that as the norm now.

I don’t want to switch away from Chrome to Firefox because it’s faster, I want to switch away because Firefox is more customisable and it’s really easy to switch from Firefox to Chrome Switching From Chrome: How to Make Firefox Feel Like Home Switching From Chrome: How to Make Firefox Feel Like Home So, you have decided that Firefox is the better browser for you. Is there anything you can do to make Firefox less of a foreign environment? Yes! Read More . For example, I usually have at least 10 tabs open, often upwards of 30. In Chrome, those become tiny and unrecognisable. But on Firefox, I can get tabs on multiple lines and solve all my worries. Also, some of the new features in Firefox 35 are really cool Meet Firefox Hello Video Chat & Firefox Marketplace In The New Firefox 35 Meet Firefox Hello Video Chat & Firefox Marketplace In The New Firefox 35 Firefox 35 introduces a cross-platform video chat service called Firefox Hello, lets users beta-test the new Firefox Marketplace, and also bakes in social sharing on the web. Read More , like built-in video calling.

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Most of my computing happens in a browser, so getting to customise each aspect of the browser is important for me. But not important enough to overlook some things that are only available on Chrome.

The App That Traps Me In Chrome: WhatsApp Web

whatsapp-web-group-chat

Recently, after years of users demanding it, instant messaging app WhatsApp finally released a web version WhatsApp Web: Everything You Need To Know WhatsApp Web: Everything You Need To Know Along with supporting all mobile platforms, WhatsApp has now launched a web-based client, so you can finally use WhatsApp on your PC and sync with your phone. Read More . It’s brilliant, it just works, and it’s available only on Chrome or Chromium-based browsers.

While there are some slick alternatives to WhatsApp 4 Slick WhatsApp Alternatives that Guard Your Privacy 4 Slick WhatsApp Alternatives that Guard Your Privacy Facebook bought WhatsApp. Now that we're over the shock of that news, are you worried about your data privacy? Read More , it is a big part of my life. It’s the default chat app for my family, my friends, and several colleagues too. In India, a large population of smartphone users will simply send you a text on WhatsApp instead of SMS (since data charges are cheaper than the pay-per-text tariff plans in India).

The developers claim that the notification system of Chrome is superior to all other browsers and that’s integral to the WhatsApp experience. I’m not sure if that’s really the reason, but no matter what, it’s only on Chrome and so I’m sticking with it.

Update: WhatsApp is now also available on Firefox and Safari. Go check them out!

The Extension That Traps Me In Chrome: Chromecast

I-hate-chrome-but-i-am-trapped-in-it-here-is-why-google-cast-extension-for-chrome

More than any other reason, what makes me stay in Google Chrome is its compatibility with Chromecast. Chromecast is a fantastic device Google Chromecast Review and Giveaway Google Chromecast Review and Giveaway We're giving away a Google Chromecast, so read through our review, then join the competition to win! Read More , only made better once you install the Google Cast for Chrome extension to cast images from your computer to your TV.

Not only does this make it easy to play Chromecast-compatible apps like YouTube or Plex, but the real benefit comes with casting a tab. So if you have Tweetdeck open in a tab, or even a video stream that doesn’t support Chromecast natively like ESPN, you can cast the full tab to your TV. It’s a seamless experience and works flawlessly.

Finally, you can even mirror your entire screen, not just the tab, serving the same purpose as a second monitor. It’s the easy way to make presentations 8 Creative Uses for Google's Chromecast 8 Creative Uses for Google's Chromecast We've come up with 8 unique uses for Google's Chromecast. Read on to find out just how you can make even more use of your Chromecast. Read More , among other things, and all without any wires.

The Feature That Traps Me In Chrome: Mute Tabs

This is one Chrome feature that Firefox can’t duplicate, and it’s a game-changer for me. I’m someone who always has at least 10 tabs open, if not more. And I’ll rapidly open links in new tabs while browsing. Without fail, some tab will start playing a video or some audio that is annoying and distracting.

In Chrome, I can see which tab is playing audio and quickly mute that tab specifically. In Firefox, not only is there no way to see which tab that is, but also no way to mute just that tab. The closest you can come is blocking sound on annoying Flash-based ads How To Mute Sound On Webpages With Embedded Audio Or Flash How To Mute Sound On Webpages With Embedded Audio Or Flash It happens to all of us. We love using browser tabs to open more and more links in the background and then go through them one by one. However it is really irritating when some... Read More .

I-hate-chrome-but-i-am-trapped-in-it-here-is-why-mute-tabs

By default, you can see the tab that is playing audio, but to get the ability to mute it, you need to enable it from the dev channel. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Copy and paste this into your Chrome’s URL bar and tap Enter: chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting
  2. Click “Enable” under “Enable tab audio muting UI control”
  3. Relaunch Chrome (i.e. shut it down and start it again, or click the Relaunch button that pops up at the bottom of the screen once you click Enable in step two)

Now you can click on the audio icon on any tab to mute it! There’s also an extension called MuteTab MuteTab: Lets You Easily Mute Annoying Ads [Chrome] MuteTab: Lets You Easily Mute Annoying Ads [Chrome] Read More , but the above method is far better.

Soon, you won’t know how you use a browser without it. It’s like missing jump lists when you switch away from Windows. It becomes such an integral part of your way of doing things that you take it for granted; and sorely miss it when it’s not available.

Are You Stuck In A Browser Or OS?

I’m sure I’m not the only one here who is using a browser they don’t want to. I know several people who even use an OS they don’t want to. It might be because of work requirements, it might be because of budget, or any other reason. Why are you stuck with technology you don’t want to use?

Image Credits: Hand reaching out Via Shutterstock

  1. me
    February 25, 2016 at 4:56 am

    Firefox about:config, I tweak it until it's ruining so fast that Chrome is a joke. Pift. Ad-block plus,Morning coffee, blacken (ever try to read an online article or blog and they sue that gray text this fixes it.)and many more add ons I can't d without. versus chromes extensions FILLED to the brim with mall-where. No thank you. And two your missing the obvious: When's the last time the c puter was scanned by an anti virus like avg pro? When's the last time Ccleaner was run on it to clean out the junk and fix the registry?

    Don't blame the work horse (your browser) when-it's being pushed past it's limit. (Clean out the computer,oh and give it a dusting with a can of air. You know... the hardware part of it ...)

  2. CJ
    February 23, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    The only thing that "trapped" me in Chrome was letting Chrome remember all my passwords. I figured it was nice to have all my passwords saved in my Google account. But I missed Firefox and Safari and just using different browsers when I wanted that freedom. So I eventually figured out how to export all my passwords from Chrome over to LastPass. Which is much better so I am using Safari & Firefox whenever I want to and have LastPass on both of them. I think that's a really bad idea to use the password manager on any browser... I just hate feeling tied down like that to a browser.

  3. parapa
    July 21, 2015 at 2:02 am

    There is probably one feature that is missing on Firefox, where Chromium shines.
    Its threaded tabs.

    Apart from that, Google indeed tracks and saves a LOT of information about the user.
    I can indirectly confirm, that for example for Google Accounts - it already saves:
    - Login name
    - Failed attempts
    - IP
    - Time
    - Geolocation on IP
    - Copy buffer or fact user used copy buffer(Ctrl+C, RMB-Copy)
    and saves them as some kind of fuzzy associative bundle, which it then labels on probability basis to the user.
    To prove this - register a new google account, but use: country different from your IP or copy-paste anything or pick birthday too fast or enter it incorrectly (31 of Februar) and so on. You will be forced into SMS check. Which means - google will bind your phone to your account, which is pretty fatal given the probability most phones run Google OS (which also has some Google account). I will not mention things Google collects from Google OS when phone is running.

    On Youtube, it also saves basically everything you searched for, played, liked. This is seen in newly accessible "security" area, where one has an option to "pause" the spying (or datamining, which is still spying). I really doubt this pauses anything except displaying it on screen or affecting video suggestions.

    Regarding google primary service, google.com, it saves everything user has entered during the searches, also hash to user IP and time and it tries to use Flash LSO for permanent cookies. If user is not blocking google ads, then he is also tracked by this way. There is reverse googleads search.. "sameid"

    Yes, basically, if you use google, forget your privacy. And regarding WhatsUp, oh please! Guys why don't you use something as secure and cross-functional as Jitsi?

  4. Daniel Uroz
    July 8, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Has anyone tried Opera with the Download Chrome Extension?
    Opera browser with the extension of chrome win-win for me

  5. Jim Finn
    June 17, 2015 at 6:18 am

    The one extension that keeps me in Chrome is the Evernote Web Clipper. It is so much superior in Chrome compared to Firefox. If only for this I would switch in a heartbeat.

  6. brahmoone
    June 14, 2015 at 1:15 am

    Switching browsers back and forth? C'mon dude, get a life! The only things matter out of them is bookmark synchronization across devices.

    • parapa
      July 21, 2015 at 2:04 am

      Why would you be giving up your bookmarks? If you already do, why don't you use something established and brand-independent as delicious?

      • brahmoone
        July 21, 2015 at 11:59 am

        Well I'm using 5 different devices, 2 Macs, 1 iPhone, 1 iPad, and 1 Android. The only browser available on all of them is Chrome. Giving up my bookmarks is a good tradeoff between synchronization pain and personal data for marketing purposes. They're not that effective anyway, as they only made 2 successful clicks and purchases from my targeted ads, within 10 years.

        The only case when I'm firing up Firefox in my Mac is when I needed to use flashgot plugin.

        • Steffen Büßelmann
          September 30, 2015 at 11:50 am

          I'm using a addon that allows for bookmark synchronisation called Xmarks to synchronize my bookmarks between Firefox and Chrome.
          For the synchronization between the desktop and mobile plattform both offer man account managed service.

          But for general use I tend to open both browsers side-by-side most of the time

  7. notUsed
    May 13, 2015 at 6:54 am

    I was always more Firefox user than Chrome, which I have to check an occasional website from time to time. But recrecently i started to use Opera Beta, you should really give it a try.

  8. Donna
    May 11, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Yesterday, May 10, 2015, I had to download and install Google Chrome. I really don't like tabs. The writing on the tab is so small, I can barely see what is written there. I do not find Google Chrome to be any faster than Firefox; but, the reason I had to get it was that Netflix kept crashing when using Firefox. So, for the time being, Google Chrome is working with Netflix.

    Google Chrome Help is not very helpful when I'm looking for a solution to increase the font size on the tab. Or, if there is a way to make the tab longer, maybe that would help. I would also like links to open in a new window rather than a new tab. But, the settings just don't make it apparent on how I can change this.

    Both of my sons use Google Chrome on their computers; but, yesterday was the first time I've had to use it and I have to say that I don't like it and just don't understand why so many people do.

  9. Dennis
    April 28, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Seems like your reasons for not leaving Chrome are the same as mine for not leaving Firefox.

    My Firefox is extremely customized, both in features (add-ons) and interface. There are so many add-ons I use that just can't be done on Chrome because there isn't enough control for extension developers to get the same results on Chrome.

    One such add-on is "Roomy Bookmarks Toolbar". Basically what it does is allow my bookmarks on my toolbar/interface to collapse, only showing the bookmark's favicon (icon). However, when you hover over one of the bookmark icons, it expands to show you the actual text/label for that bookmark. This saves a TON of screen space when you want to have a lot of bookmarks easily accessible directly on the browser's interface but still have the option to show the bookmark's full label. It's the best of both worlds. Chrome does have a similar extension (don't remember what it is called) but it doesn't work anywhere near as good. Since you can't modify Chrome's interface (a HUGE issue for me) they have to render this functionality over the top of the webpage area, and it has compatibility issues with different websites and still doesn't work as nice.

    This is but one example, but there are many other add-ons with either no alternative, or extremely limited/poor alternatives for Chrome.

    Chrome simply doesn't give enough control for extensions to compete with Firefox's add-ons and not being able to modify/customize Chrome's interface is a real problem and I hope they change their stance here.

    I consider myself a power user, and I just can not stand the trend browser interfaces are moving to (minimalistic). I understand it's good to minimize the space used by the browser so the webpage can take advantage of it, but it seems all the browsers want to do now is make a few unnecessarily large navigation buttons, and then shove all the options/bookmarks to another button that I feel like I have to constantly dig through to find what I'm looking for. I should be able to place features/options directly on my interface if I use them frequently, and things I either never or very rarely use can be thrown away to find in that "everything else" button.

    Just take a look at this screenshot:
    http://i.imgur.com/KEmiPmO.png

    Yeah, it may look a little old school and not as "pretty" as Firefox/Chrome's modern default interfaces, but take a moment to appreciate the amount of features that are just "one click away" while still using a relatively small amount of screen space. It's very clear where to navigate to find anything I need, assuming it's not directly visible already. Firefox's customization mode makes it child's play to add, remove, resize and place anything I want from the interface.

    • Mihir Patkar
      April 28, 2015 at 10:37 am

      I actually agree with you, with regard to Chrome's control of extensions compared to FF. It's just that I don't need that much control any more / have found ways around it. In fact, I completely get why you are going to stick to FF and not move; you're the Bizarro Mihir / I'm the Bizarro Dennis :D

      • Leeroy
        February 18, 2016 at 3:47 am

        You should give minimalism a second chance, let me explain. In the before times GUIs and websites displayed everything on a screen because navigating cost cycles/time. Now in the age of Google Instant and 60fps on mobile you can chunk UIs into more "screens", making the experience significantly better. You know the old adage about no-such-thing as multitasking - think about it... when you are looking for a bookmark you're doing just that, looking for 1 bookmark. It doesn't help to see everything on a giant board, it's better to type it in an omnibox.

        I use Chrome with the bookmarks bar hidden. I can find any bookmarklet from the omnibox. Adding bookmarks works with the star icon on the omnibox, or Ctrl+D.
        I can also spare the planet by loading one less page: youtube.com TAB cute kittens (I shudder when somebody shows me the YouTube home page, which I haven't seen since Bush was in office)

        Chrome also lets me use extensions but hide their buttons and right click menus. I can still invoke Stylebot with a keyboard shortcut even without the ugly button I would never click on.
        Extensions can exist in the omnibox too. Want to log in to Some Website? lp TAB somewebsi..BAM! Or even in a text selection with a modifier key held down: Voila! etymon elucidated!
        Too many tabs open and can't see the title? No problem, hit Shift + Esc and there they are in Chrome's Task Manager. Navigate with the arrow keys.

        I'm really not trying to be the sleaziest fanboy - I came here to see if I can switch because of privacy and customizability concerns. But I gotta give it to them - that is carefully thought out design. In this day and age it's not often that you see minimalist UI that doesn't sacrifice the power under the hood.

        And in the end, that is "the future". Good design out of the box is what you want. Who can afford to waste time maintaining Goldilocks configs just to get up and running? I'll switch to a Blink + uBlock + Greasemonkey + decent download UI browser in the Blink of an eye as soon as it becomes a choice.

        But corporations like Google, Microsoft and Apple don't have these kinds of interests at heart, letting the user shape the experience. They'd much prefer shaping the user. Which is why they'll/I'll get weeded out eventually. And that's when good design out of the box will matter most: in the new dawn of free software.

  10. CivilizedAndroid
    March 27, 2015 at 4:12 am

    I'm sorry, but as much I enjoyed the perks of Chrome...NO MORE! After doing some research, I found that Google has been tracking WAY TOO MUCH about my browsing habits. It's not that I have anything to hide, but I do not appreciate the invasive measures Google has established. If they provided full disclosure about their practices, I may be OKAY with that, but do it behind my back...well, that's not cool.

  11. chris
    March 10, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    By siding with google, here are things you apparently can live without: privacy, principle and a support for an open internet. Ask yourself, which side is more important.

  12. Sean Fitzgerald
    March 8, 2015 at 8:16 am

    I am stuck using chrome because I have a chromebook. It pisses me off because those damn commies at google removed NPAPI and now I can no longer do most of the things I enjoy on the internet. (ie playing games, watching videos, ect.)

  13. Brent
    March 4, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    I can't believe that no one has mentioned the multi-user feature of Chrome. And I can't believe after all this time Firefox hasn't matched the capability. I have multiple users open at any given time in Chrome, each logged in to its own Facebook and Google account, etc. This feature is essential to being able to log in to the same service as different users at the same time, like banks, etc. This allows my business and personal to be completely separate, with their own separate caches, extensions, bookmarks, etc.

  14. AshenWonderland
    March 4, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    As someone who used to be a diehard Chrome user, I understand your struggle. I've got a couple of programs that work as pretty good alternatives to some of the things (other than tab muting -- I miss that too).

    WhatsApp: https://davidgf.net/whatsapp/
    This is a Pidgin plugin I've found to work with the WhatsApp protocol. This separates it from your browser, which is always a plus to me in particular, as my computer isn't terribly powerful and I can't afford to have a browser running all the time.

    Chromecast: https://github.com/xat/castnow
    An excellent little command line chromecasting utility. Paired with youtube-dl ( https://rg3.github.io/youtube-dl/ ) and the -g flag for youtube-dl, it can play video from almost any site you'd want using the --tomp4 option, and can even handle youtube links on its own.
    Example: castnow --tomp4 $(youtube-dl -g )

    Castnow won't work in all situations (like with netflix, for example, unfortunately), but it can even work in a lot of situations the chromecast extension normally wouldn't.

    Just a couple of alternatives I personally use. I'm well aware they aren't for everybody, but they work for my personal purposes. I'm currently a Firefox Developer Edition user, although I use a lightweight browser called Luakit quite a bit too, just for the record.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 5, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      Thanks Ashen, this is quite helpful! Castnow seems especially interesting.

  15. Keith
    March 4, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    I'm sorta leaning in the direction of ditching Chrome because I feel like Google knows to much about me. But one and only one Extension stops me from switching. That is Mitro Login Manager. It just works and is easy to use unlike many other Password Managers I have tried.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 5, 2015 at 5:34 am

      Hmmm I had never heard of that one before, I'll check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Keith
      March 7, 2015 at 12:14 am

      Yeah, give it a try. I hope it works as well for you...

  16. megablue
    March 4, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Yes, other browsers are fast, but just to be fair, Chrome is still the fastest in most (if not all) aspects. However, what I hate is Chrome extensions uses A TON of memory.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 4, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      Agreed, Megablue. Memory leak is a big issue for me too, especially since I'm now using Chrome on a slightly older machine.

  17. Najib Dajani
    March 4, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Obviously, which browser you choose depends on how you use your browser.

    I do a lot of reading. The Firefox extension I cannot live without is NoSquint. It allows me to set independent page a font zoom levels and remembers them for each site I visit. Chrome has issues with this.

    Also, I do a lot of bulk downloading from pages. For that I rely on DownThemAll. From what I understand from the developer, Chrome does not allow the same level of functionality.

    It is amusing when you say that you open as many as 10 tabs and sometimes even 30. As I am writing this, I have 284 open tabs. I have an extension whose sole purpose is to display the number of open tabs.

    In the end, I use Firefox. Every time I give Chrome a try, I end up going back to Firefox. I just like it better.

    Performance is not an issue for me. All the browsers I have tried seem fast enough (high-end Core i7 CPU + 16GB RAM).

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 4, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      284 open tabs? NEW RECORD!

  18. A41202813GMAIL
    March 4, 2015 at 9:12 am

    You Can Restart CHROME With Just 1 Click Whatever You Are Doing.

    There Is A Command You Can Put On Your Bookmarks Bar, Or An Extension That Even Erases Your Cache Besides The Restart Action.

    ---

    Any Browser With A Small Extensions Library Is Of Little Use To Me.

    I Use 4 Browsers Because They All Have Features That I Need, On Occasion.

    I Dump My Main Browser In Favor Of Another When They Screw Backwards Compatibility With Old Extensions, And That Is Why I Have Dumped, Chronologically, IE8, FF4 And CHROME.

    My Main Browser Is OPERA15+, Now - Fortunately, Most CHROME Extensions Are Compatible With It - The Very Reason I Switched, Or I Would Still Be Using CHROME.

    Cheers.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 4, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      I try every new Opera, hoping this is the one that will make me stick, but I eventually end up back in Chrome. Good to know that you escaped! :D

    • Hildegerd
      March 5, 2015 at 8:32 am

      I use Opera as well, even loaded out chrome.

    • A41202813GMAIL
      March 5, 2015 at 8:57 am

      A Browser Is Like Any Other Tool - There Is Not One Tool That Does Everything Better - You Need To Choose The One Tool Who Is The Most Useful For The Task Ahead.

      2 Examples:

      A - OPERA15+ Does Not Have The Awesome Automatic Translations That CHROME Can Provide - Because Of It, I Have To Return To CHROME From Time To Time,

      B - That Piano Experiment Thing ( Referred In That Recent Article Here From DP ) Only Works With CHROME.

      ...

      If They Had An Option, For Power Users To Continue To Use Extensions Outside The CHROME Web Store, I Would Not Have Had The Urge To Find New Pastures - Fortunately, OPERA15+ Still Allows It ( How Long ? - Your Guess Is As Good As Mine ).

      Cheers.

  19. Bogdan
    March 4, 2015 at 5:18 am

    I'm a long time Firefox user. The only thing that I use Chrome for is YouTube.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 4, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Why is that? YouTube is fine on FF too.

  20. Kelsey Tidwell
    March 3, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    I would definitely buy a Firefox laptop primarily because of tab memory usage issues. I really have no problems with Chrome other than the constant memory creep. I upgraded my Chromebook to 4GB shortly after purchasing (Acer C710), and my normal tab load of about ten to twenty tabs will sometimes push the limit, depending on multimedia content. I've thought of going to 8GB, but I really believe that sooner rather than later I'll be seeing this deja vu all over again.
    That just shouldn't be happening in this day and age of "intelligent" software, considering all of the sophisticated tricks these browsers pull off in other areas. Memory management is that tough?
    That's my biggest...and really only insurmountable...beef with Chrome. Since leaving satellite TV and going with Netflix, receiving local channels for free with a digital antenna, I live in Chromecast, so I'd have to come up with a workaround for that. If I were using Firefox I'd still be using all of the Google apps because they work well for me, so that's not a reason NOT to change.
    Yeah, I'd switch to Firefox because most of the time it's slicker to use for me than Chrome. But like you in the beginning, I'd do as I've always done and flip back and forth.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 4, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Sigh, Chromecast and Google services really got us hooked, didn't they? :D

  21. Kelsey Tidwell
    March 3, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Mihir, I'm stuck with Chrome because there isn't a "Firefoxbook" yet. If my Chromebook hadn't been such an overwhelmingly great experience for me, this wouldn't be an issue.
    I do keep a fully updated version of Firefox on all my computers all of the time, even though I never use it because like you I prefer an all-inclusive solution...just in case I stumble into Best Buy and there's a Mozilla kiosk.
    By the way, your well-earned Dragonmouth medal is on the way...

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Haha thanks Kelsey!

      You make a good point about the Chromebook. Would your opinion change if there was a similar Firefox OS with accompanying hardware, instead of what they're doing with mobile right now?

  22. Jeff
    March 3, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I'm stuck with Chrome because nothing that I have seen automatically translates web pages better. I am an english speaker living in Germany and supporting people across europe. Chrome's built-in Google Translate makes my job so much easier.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      Great point, Jeff! Great point. I wish I had thought of that while writing this piece, but you're absolutely right. I mean, there is Google Translator for FF and other such tools, but it's nothing like just a direction translation like what Chrome does. It's a problem I used to encounter often when I browsed foreign-language websites more regularly. Thanks for this reminder!

  23. Dan Price
    March 3, 2015 at 2:49 am

    Muting tabs?! I did not know that was in the dev channel. I'd always wondered why Chrome didn't offer something that natively, turns out they did all along. Amazing.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 4:04 am

      Hahaha welcome to the wonders of Chrome!

  24. jamieg
    March 3, 2015 at 2:40 am

    Why do I work with 1000+ people, average age of 32, in Austin Texas, and dont know a single person using WhatsApp? That's what I want to know! Are we too old?

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 4:07 am

      I think it might be a regional thing, Jamieg. WhatsApp is incredibly popular in India, maybe it just never took off in US?

    • Ted Joy
      March 3, 2015 at 5:02 am

      Jamieg. I doubt if you're too old. I'm 70 and have been using it for a year. When you're here in the U.S. it does the best job of getting stuff through to folks who live overseas. I've got Army friends and family all around the world and it works like a dream with them.

  25. Abhi
    March 3, 2015 at 1:51 am

    I'm trapped in Chrome/Slimjet (a chromium based browser) because AFAIK no other desktop browser has G.lux like extension that tones down white glare in web pages. And night mode isn't done properly in any browser.

    • Mike
      March 3, 2015 at 2:48 am

      Abhi, Check out f.lux It's a great auto screen dimmer

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 4:06 am

      Yeah, Flux is pretty awesome, but it's only on full OSes right now, not as browser extensions: https://justgetflux.com/

    • Abhi
      March 3, 2015 at 10:29 am

      Thanks Mike. I've heard about f.lux. It automatically adjusts system wide brightness depending on what time of the day it is. It isn't exactly what I'm looking for.

  26. Paul R
    March 3, 2015 at 1:37 am

    For those who use Chrome for one or two specific functions, there is always Chrome's nice ability to pin that tab as an app, to Windows' start menu or taskbar. Then, you can use Firefox to your heart's content, and when you want to use What's App or whatever, click on that link and away you go in Chrome.

    That won't help out everyone, but a few who would like to go back to Firefox, might find it useful.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 4:03 am

      True, Paul. For me, since I live in one browser most of the time, I like to have them as tabs, so pinning it as an app doesn't work. But your tip might help others, I appreciate that!

  27. blackouthart
    March 2, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    Definitely. If Linux distros could play all the games Windows can, I'd probably switch in a heartbeat. For security reasons, and because I've heard it's much more lightweight. What's mainly deterring me is the fact that all the environments around me are based on Windows + Firefox/Chrome. Also, because, no offense guys, but Linux elitists are seriously whack. I've seen so many of them jump down a poor Windows novice's throat. (Watch as one of them miraculously appears in this conversation to defend themselves.)
    I'm not trapped in Chrome either; I definitely think Firefox is a good alternative and since becoming all tinfoil-hat about my browsing privacy I've considered it. I've added almost every privacy extension possible to Chrome, though. I just like its aesthetic over Firefox - the tabs look and feel clunky to me, and I just feel like Chrome's faster.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 4:01 am

      Hahaha you're right about the Linux flagbearers there, but let's not go off-topic.

      Have you tried the new FF 35? I too found FF a bit clunky and "outdated" in a way, compared to Chrome, but the new version changed my mind.

  28. thedress
    March 2, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    I am stuck with YouTube.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 3:59 am

      That's actually a great example. You're totally right, the more I think about it, the more I am too. Vimeo just doesn't cut it.

  29. dragonmouth
    March 2, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    I'm not "trapped" in FF but I stick with it out of habit. I've been using it since its Phoenix days. Even if Chrome was better, I would not use it because of intrusiveness of Google.

    I am, however, trapped in GMail. Like you with Chrome, I hate GMail but have not been able to find a replacement. I am also "trapped" in Linux. I can't go back to Windows, even if I wanted to, because I managed to forget most of it since I used it last. I can't/won't switch to OS/X because the price of entry is too high.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 3:58 am

      You hate Gmail?! You are my mortal enemy now, dragonmouth. TO ARMS!

      But seriously, I get what you're saying. I'm the same with Windows, I'm utterly trapped in it. Gmail is something I choose to be trapped in. In a way, it's also the same thing with Android. I don't think it's perfect, I wish iOS was better and cheaper.

    • dragonmouth
      March 3, 2015 at 11:50 am

      "You hate Gmail?! You are my mortal enemy now, dragonmouth. TO ARMS!"
      OK. I don't "hate" it. But I'd rather be using something else. There are functionality features that I had with AT&T WorldMail back in the last millennium that are still lacking in GMail. It's not a question of being perfect, it's a question of being something more than just adequate. And I'm not comparing GMail to enterprise products such as Exchange. IMO, Google's update/upgrade efforts go towards appearance and gimmicks rather than functionality. But we're not here to discuss GMail per se.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      Ha, I got a tempered down answer from dragonmouth! Where's my medal?

    • dragonmouth
      March 3, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      Don't dislocate your shoulder patting yourself on the back. :-) :-) :-)

  30. Doctor0710
    March 2, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    I found Firefox is way faster if you use a portable version of it with cache completely disabled.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 3:55 am

      Hmmm I haven't tried that, but it kinda makes sense. Thanks for the tip, Doctor0710!

  31. Cody
    March 2, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    I would switch to Safari ... but you can't pin tabs like you can in Safari. I always keep a couple of music players pinned.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 3:55 am

      I dunno, I've tried Safari several times, and it just seems like a poor man's Chrome to me. My colleague Justin Pot is a big fan, maybe I'll read his articles and try it again. But eeuugh, reading...

  32. likefunbutnot
    March 2, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    I spend the vast majority of my time in a highly customized Firefox environment. I'm not actually trapped and I'm fully capable of using multiple browsers. Firefox-derived browsers win for me because of the privacy and security tools available to it and because its process model winds up being significantly healthier for my computing resources (I usually keep dozens of open tabs).

    If there were a single extension I'd credit for keeping me on Firefox, it would probably be Noscript. Chrome doesn't have the ability to provide the same toolset for javascript control that Firefox does.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 3:54 am

      Gotta admit, I love NoScript. It's another one of the reasons I want to go back to FF.

    • KMFDM_Kid2000
      March 4, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      Chrome does have NotScripts https://code.google.com/p/notscripts/ Which in my opinion, has a nicer interface than NoScript. It was taken down from the Chrome Store a while back, but that link there should be good. It's not very user friendly to set up, but it is very user friendly to actually use.

    • Chris
      March 6, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      I bounce back and forth myself but there is a NoScript alternative for Chrome called HTTP Switchboard. You can do JavaScript blocking and also subscribe it to EasyList for ad blocking. It has other features to control cookies, css, images, user agent spoof, 3rd party referer, and some others.

  33. Swaminathan Venkatesh
    March 2, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    @Mihir: Let me give you one less excuse. As of last week, Whatsapp web is available for Chrome, Firefox & Opera.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 3:53 am

      WOOHOO! Thanks for the update, Swaminathan :) One down, two to go...

  34. Carlos
    March 2, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    I hate Windows but I'm stuck with it because of my work (apps which doesn't work on other platforms). So it means the most probable reason that my next computer will be a windows one (meh).

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 3:53 am

      Sorry to hear that, Carlos! Maybe Windows 10 can finally turn things around?

  35. Ted Joy
    March 2, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    I agree with Michel about the privacy matter but there's some other stuff as well.
    First, about your reasons for using Chrome.
    WhatsApp -- since I have it on my phone and I just about always have my phone by my side, having it on my desktop is no big deal. Mattr of fact -- though I haven't tried it -- I suspect being interrupted by texts while working could get to be a real pain in the neck.
    Chromecast -- one word: Roku. It's a better, more versatile device than Chromecast and will mirror just about anything that has either Android or Windows 8 and above.
    Musical tabs -- that's never been a problem for me.
    Some things I like better about FF, especially since I'm a semi-retired journalist who's always working on some writing project or other.
    SpeedDial -- I know, I know. Chrome has it too. But the FVD Suite for FF seems more versatile and able to carry heavier loads/
    SimilarSites -- nifty little add-on for ferreting out stuff on the Web.
    FF's search bar -- very simple to add new search engines to and to keep them all neatly organized -- an absolute essential in my line of work.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 3:52 am

      WhatsApp Web just updated and is now on Firefox! I'll look into your suggestion of the Roku instead of Chromecast. I may just get rid of these chains yet!

    • Jena
      March 5, 2015 at 7:53 am

      In Chrome you don't even need to add new search engines - I can just start typing youtube and after few letters hit Tab then type my query and it will search the query directly on youtube. And it works on gazillions of pages, you only need to visit them once for the search to work. And this solution fits me much more - when I'm about to search I'm about to type - not about to click a tiny icon just to change search engine. In chrome I can both change the engine and search just by typing. And I know some browsers like Midori let you do it similarly by adding keywords like yy (youtube) or dd (duckduckgo) infront of your queries but I don't like it too much - you have to memorize these shortcuts and there is only a limited number of them. With chrome I can search through even the most obscure websites that Midori never heard of.

      Peace :)

  36. Michel
    March 2, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Good article and I can relate. Yet, I did choose for Firefox in the end because I think it's a pretty decent browser. I prefer the Mozilla freedom philosophy and made a conscious descision to limit Google's knowledge about me. Google will continue to dangle candy in front of me but I am not willing to pay the price for it. I can Chromecast and whatsapp from my Android. And if I couldn't I can always use Chome, for just that and no more.

    Michel

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 3, 2015 at 3:49 am

      Fair enough. I tried the "just use Chrome for the things I miss in FF", but I like to have one browser handling all my stuff.

    • Brian Barnes
      March 4, 2015 at 12:08 pm

      As a student, Blackboard, the online education board, used to only work in Chrome, and I am a Firefox diehard. Lucky for me the scales tipped, and the school's version seems to only work in Firefox. I don't find much that I am begging for that can't be found in an obscure plugin somewhere or a third party app. I used to load both on startup but I just now realized that I don't even have Chrome on my taskbar anymore. Guess I just didn't miss it much.

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