Chrome vs. Firefox: Why Firefox Is Still The Go-To Browser
The Chrome vs Firefox debate has raged on for years, and deservedly so. Google launched Chrome in 2008 with the intention of changing how people viewed browser technology. It was faster than Internet Explorer, had a cleaner UI, and didn’t take up as much screen space. They were heads above every other browser for years, but have things changed since then?
The privacy of your online data is critical – sensitive info like your passwords and internet history are up for grabs. Digital privacy isn’t one of Chrome’s top priorities, while Firefox has an abundance of privacy tools. But privacy doesn’t equal popularity.
Firefox is often overlooked despite its superior security features and a plethora of Firefox add-ons. So, what is it everyone loves about Chrome? Why is it still the most popular browser and is this one of those situations where most people have it wrong and don’t know it yet? Let’s find out.
Why Is Chrome More Popular Than Firefox?
Ironically, although Firefox is better for your online privacy, most people are still installing Chrome onto their devices. If you’re doing the same, no need to worry — you’re not alone.
Look at the table below and you’ll notice Chrome holds a significant lead over the other available internet browsers regarding the number of users.
|Browser||Percentage of Global Desktop Browser Market Share
(According to Statista May, 2023)
Google Chrome seems to be slightly faster with a huge archive of extensions and add-ons, but Firefox is much more private and secure. Chrome also features a more straightforward UI, which makes it easier to use in general.
Firefox rarely runs into compatibility issues, but it’s a possibility. The majority of internet pages are optimized specifically for Chrome — after all, Google is a giant in the technology industry.
Thankfully, Firefox is still better than Internet Explorer and Opera. Even though Firefox was in the browser game for six years before Chrome showed up, it could not compete with Chrome’s appeal. Naturally, it’s hard to win against a massive corporation like Google, especially when you’re a nonprofit..
Safari is the second most popular browser choice and is the only other one holding over 6% of the total market share. Apple is also a technological giant, and every iOS or MacOS device is using Safari as the main browser by default, which might be the reason behind its high ranking.
Is Chrome Worse for Your Privacy Than Firefox?
|Security/Privacy Feature||Mozilla Firefox||Google Chrome|
|Private Browsing Mode||✅||✅|
|Automatically blocks third-party tracking cookies
|Automatically blocks hidden crypto-mining scripts
|Automatically blocks social trackers on any platform
|DNS over HTTPS (DoH)
Firefox is better than Chrome for privacy. After all, Google Ads is one of the most popular online advertising methods, so it’d be silly to assume they weren’t using Chrome to track your shopping habits and other activity online. Think of how easily Google can sell you stuff after they’ve learned everything about you!
Firefox is open-source, non-profit and ideal if you prefer a dedication to privacy from your internet browser. Even one of the more recent updates to Firefox introduced ETP (Enhanced Tracking Protection), which is enabled by default. ETP blocks over 2,000 known social trackers from platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
Firefox and Chrome both include DoH (DNS over HTTPS), but Firefox has it enabled by default if you’re in the US or Canada. Even better, Mozzila is currently working on enabling DoH by default across all countries. If you’re on Chrome, it isn’t enabled by default, and you’ll have to configure your settings to turn it on. It’s features like this which show exactly why Firefox is miles ahead in terms of privacy.
Mozilla also implemented a Firefox adblock feature, which is one of the more effective Firefox features – and something Google Chrome will soon remove. Apparently, Google may get rid of dynamic filtering altogether, which is the system Adblock extensions rely on to steer you clear of pesky pop-ups.
Mozilla even introduced Firefox Monitor which automatically notifies you whenever your password has been breached (or could use an update). Firefox can automatically block auto-play videos on sites. It also automatically blocks third-party cookies and trackers from gathering information surrounding your online habits!
Just like Chrome’s Incognito mode, Firefox offers Private Browsing, which is really useful when you’re on someone else’s device or using a computer available to other people..
Much like PIA’s strict No Logs policy, Firefox’s Private Browsing automatically deletes any history or cookies stored the second you’ve closed your session. Aside from its Enhanced Tracking Protection, Mozzila is working on a feature that completely blocks digital fingerprinting, which is another process used by websites to track your behavior and browsing history.
If a website attempts to extract your personal info, Firefox warns you with a message in your address bar. You can click on the shield icon located close by and adjust your Firefox protection settings — this lets you block cross-site cookie tracking, crypto-miners, digital fingerprinting, and more.
Is Google Chrome a Ploy to Track My Info?
Not at all. Google Chrome is still a reliable and secure browser, with plenty of useful security features. Both Firefox and Chrome use a process called sandboxing for viruses and malware, which isolates the processes of your browser to avoid infecting other parts of your device.
HTTPs Everywhere is guaranteed with both Chrome and Firefox, which automatically detects and makes it difficult to access unencrypted websites..
The reality is both browsers are trying to provide a safe experience online, but Chrome has a poor track record in the privacy department. Chrome collects a ridiculous amount of personal info on every user, including stuff like your location, search history, and visited websites — and they share it, too. That’s why, when you head over to Facebook after searching for something on Chrome, you’ll no doubt see personalized ads relating to your search.
Chrome doesn’t try to hide how much data it collects. Google simply says it’s a way to improve their services, but it seems to me like they’re farming massive amounts of data for marketing and other purposes. You may be somewhat protected from hackers with Chrome, but it seems as if you’re going to be tracked in one way or another.
Chrome vs Firefox Showdown: Performance, Battery Drain, and Useful Utility Features
It’s tough to argue with the performance of Chrome. It’s a well-optimized browser, so it’s somewhat faster compared to Firefox, and it has a larger library of add-ons/extensions. It’s not something you’d notice easily, though.
Firefox integrates user profiles quite well, which you can sync up on any device. It’s a great way to free up system resources and improve device performance — as you don’t have to use your RAM to store everything.
I ran both browsers through benchmark testing websites to help me figure out which one is better for my desktop. Speedometer measures in runs per minute, while JetStream2 combines some of the most advanced web apps around and compiles a score based on how the browser does.
|Speedometer||173 (runs per minute)||264 (runs per minute)|
As you can see from the test results, Chrome is slightly more optimized (and faster) than Firefox. Firefox is still very quick, but like most browsers, it can suffer in situations calling for a lot of RAM usage.
If you’re playing browser-based games or need dozens of tabs open at once, finding the right “fit” is crucial. Although Chrome is slightly better optimized for performance than Firefox, most of you reading this are no doubt more concerned about browser privacy. And that’s where Mozilla pulls through.
Your actual device plays a role in how fast each browser is, so it isn’t exactly cut and dry. One machine may perform better than another, regardless of the browser used. For example, my computer has an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, 16GB DDR3 RAM, and GeForce GTX 780 Ti – but a more powerful computer will offer better results.
A colleague of mine did the same test using a Ryzen 7 7700x, 32GB DDR5 RAM, and Radeon RX 6750 XT. As expected, showed significantly faster results for each browser. The Speedometer test clocked in at ~240 runs per minute with Firefox, and 399 runs per minute with Chrome on this hardware.
|Browser||Tabs Opened||RAM Usage|
|Mozilla Firefox||10||824.8 MB|
If you’re looking for a browser capable of keeping up with your intense internet usage, Firefox may not be your best bet. Optimizing your battery life can be important for smartphones and mobile devices, especially older ones. Browser tabs use your CPU and RAM, and some browsers require more of these resources than others.
Smartphones or tablets traditionally use ARM architecture, which is entirely different compared to computers. As such, both browser apps for mobile devices are engineered accordingly; so don’t think the stats from the test above are 100% true in this situation as well.
Useful Utility Features
There are a ton of Firefox and Chrome features, so let’s go through the most useful ones in this section. Utility features are often enabled by default or included with browser installation.
Not to be confused with add-ons or extensions, which are a different set of tools altogether. They don’t come built-in with Chrome or Firefox and are typically developed by third parties.
|Automatic fill (forms)
|Search engine options
|Text to speech
|Reverse image search
Firefox and Chrome both come with an abundance of built-in features, and only some
are exclusive to each browser. Thankfully, all of them can improve your browsing experience in one way or another.
Reader mode removes unnecessary clutter and lets you focus on the content itself. Extra buttons, ads, background pictures, and even videos can be removed entirely. What’s more, you can customize the layout and theme to suit your needs best, and the text-to-speech feature helps the visually impaired enjoy browsing the web with ease.
Firefox Sync is a key component of Mozilla’s browser, as it lets you access bookmarks, saved passwords, and already-opened tabs on any device. Data encryption is included with Sync, and all of your personal data is stored on Mozilla’s incredibly secure servers. It also has an in-browser screenshot tool that makes it easy to snap photos of web pages — I’ve used this quite a bit and it’s very neat.
Google made sure to include a reverse image search feature and translator tool, both of which aren’t available on Firefox. Those are cool and all, but have no impact on your digital privacy, so if anonymity is your top priority, Firefox has better features compared to Chrome.
Both browsers have a solid amount of features to boost your privacy, but nothing beats a reliable VPN app. You can download PIA’s Firefox extension VPN or VPN for Chrome extension and stay more private online regardless of which browser you use. PIA encrypts your browser traffic to help you boost your privacy and stay away from unwanted ads, trackers, and other online threats.
Proof In The Pudding: Firefox Still Reigns Supreme
Small differences like automatic DNS over HTTPS, built-in ad and cookie blocking, and protection against digital fingerprinting are what makes Firefox so great. Sure, Chrome may be slightly faster and has a great UI, but I’d take privacy over unnoticeable performance any day..
As a nonprofit, Mozilla enjoys the full benefits of open-source and has continued to build upon it by including new features developed by members of the extended Firefox community. Firefox is a great way to enjoy more privacy on the web, and just have a more private and convenient experience all-around.
Get PIA VPN and pair the natural privacy of Firefox with uncrackable data encryption. Keep your personal info and activity secure in just a few clicks, regardless of what you’re doing online.
No, both Firefox and Google Chrome offer most of the same security features, like HTTPS Everywhere and private browsing, but Firefox is more private in general. It offers additional features like automatic DNS over HTTPs and cookie blocking.
If you want more reliable protection for your browser, your best bet is to use a VPN. Private Internet Access gives you awesome security, like military-grade encryption and an advanced Kill Switch, as well as access to servers across 84 countries.
Many people prefer Firefox because it’s a more private experience. When you browse the web with Chrome, it’s almost as if you’re giving trackers permission to follow you around the internet.
If privacy is a top priority for you, chances are you’ll opt for Firefox instead of Chrome as well. Go the extra mile and add PIA’s VPN encryption onto Firefox for foolproof security and a more secure browsing experience.
It can vary from one device to another, and it also depends on what you’re doing in-browser. Both options are quick, but Chrome is slightly faster as many websites are optimized for Chrome specifically.
Firefox has more organic privacy than most other browsers. It comes with additional privacy features Chrome doesn’t have, like ad, tracking, and malware blockers. You don’t even have to adjust the settings; you can simply open up Private Browsing while connected to a VPN and you’re good to go.
Download PIA VPN and browse with Firefox for unmatched privacy online.
Yes! PIA protects your data with uncrackable data encryption and advanced security protocols, like split tunneling and traffic obfuscation.
Increase your privacy on any browser, as PIA is compatible with both Chrome and Firefox. You can download the PIA’s Chrome extension or Firefox extension.
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