I never gave up on Firefox. I always knew Google Chrome was sending back telemetry data or whatever and never looked back. Also with how many sites are "only working in Chrome" these days I still hold the claim that Chrome is working itself to being the next IE in terms of breaking the web for people using other browsers. I still hold respect for Chrome in other areas though.
Firefox was always complained about but honestly I never noticed any differences that mattered especially with how ad encrusted the web has become these days. In fact I could never enjoy Chrome the same way I enjoy Firefox it just behaves and feels the way I've grown to know and enjoy.
We have a major issue with websites poorly supporting mobile browsers and websites being cross-browser friendly overall. The web still feels a little immature in these respects.
I switched to Firefox as my primary browser a couple of months ago, and have been happy enough that I haven't looked back. It is significantly more smooth and performant than it was; the work on Quantum cannot be understated, and the minor fiasco with their extensions ecosystem, though painful, I feel was the right move. With that said, a few anecdotes keep jumping out at me:
- Pocket integration. Dive into about:config, turn it off, lather rinse repeat on every device and every fresh OS install. I have about a dozen.
- The default theme has two large "spacer" elements that shrink the address bar towards the center. These might not bother anyone else, but they drove me nuts; fortunately they can be removed with the customization menu.
- Bookmarks sync well (yay!) but don't always retain the same ordering on each device, which gets a bit confusing. I can work around this easily enough, but it's not quite as smooth as the same feature on Chrome.
Most of these issues are relatively minor, and fortunately Firefox still has a fantastically intelligent community, so any time I ran into an issue the solution was a quick search away. I think the value add in feeling like I'm in more control of my browser is well worth it, and I hope Mozilla continues moving in this direction. More competition is good!
Here's my favorite metaphor to explain Chrome and Firefox.
So, imagine you have two cars to chose from.
The first car, called Chrome, is really cool - it's quick, it's nice, it's reliable, it's comfortable. There's just one thing.
There's a guy on the back seat. He's always there. He writes down wherever you're going. When you go shopping, he makes a copy of the receipt. When you drive with someone, he listens to the conversation and makes notes. Which addresses are you visiting? And how long time do you stay there? And when you make a phone call, he listens and makes notes.
He then keeps this information forever, and sells it to various people and companies. They study you, like a bug, to see what makes you tick. So they know what you like and what you want, and what you're afraid of and where are you in life and so on. So they can manipulate you better into not just buying shit, maybe, but maybe to do more sinister stuff, like manipulate elections.
Of course, the Chrome car makers own some of the important roads, and they make them hard to use in other cars, because they want this dude watching you.
Then there's the Firefox car. It might not be as comfortable or as quick. I think it is, but different people have different experience. But either way, there's no dude making notes. In fact, when there are dudes making notes by the side of the road, the car tries to hide you and protect you!
Or you can use the Safari car, if you get the more expensive garage I guess, whatever.
Why the fuck would anyone use the Chrome car.
EDIT: and the long term Firefox car dfivers say things like "they change how the car looks, might as well go to SpyCar." or "there was some pressure on CEO of FireCar making company for political stuff, might as well switch to SpyCar." And my mind just goes blank?
And the dude on the backseat laughs and laughs as he profiles them so he can manipulate them.
As a non-front-end dev, I really don't get how the browser matters for any end-user. I've never liked Chrome much and have always stuck with Firefox, partly for it's philosophy, but also because it has all the things I've gotten used to.
Firefox also has many features that make the web usable for people who aren't born with perfect vision and hand coordination. The plus is that these extensions make the web faster.
When I use Firefox, I feel like the browser belongs to me. Chrome feels like an Apple version of websites, mostly dumbed down and hostile to changes.
I will say that Chrome is unmatched for front end work, but that's a horrible reason to tell the average end user Chrome is the best browser.
I tried Firefox on OS X but it maxes my CPU frequently, doing simple tasks like scrolling or loading small gifs on Reddit, slowing my system down significantly. I noticed my fans spinning much more frequently than Chrome. It appears to be linked to using scaled resolutions . Until this is fixed, Chrome is significantly faster for me, which is disappointing because I like everything else about FF.
It's odd to see Firefox being called a memory hog just a few years back. As far as I can tell, Chrome has used more memory pretty much always if you have multiple tabs open.
(Firefox may have been slower on slow hardware, but that has never been an issue for me.)
I kept with firefox through it all but started use Chrome for dev exclusively. The only reason I stuck with firefox was Tree Style Tabs.
While I'm delighted at their recent improvements, I still can't help but wonder if they are putting the ~500 million they get each year to good use.
There are still features in the browser that are quite lacking:
- history -> history viewer is still so ~basic~. most query constructs that could be run against the history db should be exposed through the UI. I also think it would be great if I could see the path I took to a url history(e.g. linked browsing)
- sync isn't done. I feel sync should also sync settings* from about:config & extension settings. I also would like to see the upper limit massively bumped up from the Mozilla sync service.
These may seem like big asks but Mozilla is taking in 1/2 billion a year 
* for those settings where it makes sense to sync.
I never left FF. It's been a great browser for me and I've never been tempted to leave. Recently though since the big update that rendered half the add-ons I came to rely on useless - I'm in limbo with no alternatives to them or half-hearted promises that the dev will get round to porting them "sometime".
Chrome has a lot of them as well as alternatives available and for me this is where I do consider jumping ship.
I completely understand FF wanting to change things up in the name of performance and modernising but I do feel they didn't really appreciate how important add-ons are to keeping people using it.
A lot of those add-ons are many years old but still had 1000s of users who suddenly were in the same situation as me.
But the witchunt and purge of Brendan Eich. For love of diversity and civility, can't use Firefox.
Try http://brave.com instead. They're actually developing a way to democratize ad revenue so that it is directed back straight to creators themselves. Innovative, hopeful solution for a salient long-term problem that everyone else seems to be throwing their hands in the air and shrugging over.
Recently I switched to Brave on mobile, and I am planning to switching to Brave on mine laptop.
I want privacy-first browser. Period.
I also was backing Mozilla foundation (small sums) for 5+ years in hopes they will focus on browsers. They did not. They are cutting deals with ad serving companies, they are spending resources on mobile os, they are spending resources on VR browser and I don't know what else.
Good luck to them, but I want fast and reliable privacy-first browser and they are not that right now. Brave is.
The performance boost with quantum was enough for me to go back. Chrome still seems snappier sometimes, but it's close enough.
One thing I do miss notably is Chrome's task manager. Being able to see which pages are spiking memory or CPU and kill or close them is super convenient if you've got dozens of tabs open and notice machine performance is becoming an issue. Is there anything like that out there for FF?
Author thinks Chrome is the best browser so whatever.
I've been using Firefox for the past 4 years and while the latest version is certainly the best thus far, even when Chrome performed "better" I'd still not use it for a myriad of reasons mostly revolving around the fact that everything Google does these days is crooked.
Author mentions the built in ad-blocker. Did you know Google also banned AdNauseum from the play store for no reason other than it is _too disruptive_ to the online advertising marketplace?
If I wasn't a professional web developer I wouldn't even have Chrome installed. Google can DIAF.
I have tried switching to the newer version of FF but have found that I just can't live without Chrome's built-in "Translate to English" feature. I realize that this probably isn't that important to most users, but for me it's something that I use almost daily. I checked briefly for FF plugins that offered the same functionality, but quickly got the sense that nothing was going to match the quality of Chrome's implementation, so I switched back to Chrome as my default browser.
Has anyone found a worthy replacement for Chrome's translation feature in FF?
> If I were committed to using only iPhones, iPads, and Macs for the rest of my tech life, I might still be on Safari. Its performance is great on both iOS and macOS... and it offers a choice of ad blockers among a reasonable selection of browser extensions.
> But I’m writing this in Firefox today for a very simple reason: cross-platform compatibility.... I need a browser that knows me as well on a Huawei smartphone or Lenovo ThinkPad as it understands me an on iPhone X.
Summary: Safari is actually great. Use Firefox if you use non-Apple devices.
The thing with the FF was it did not support U2F tokens in Linux correctly when I tried it few months ago. U2F requires some "U2F addon" that is incompatible with Quantum.
This is a no-go for me as I have numerous websites secured with Yubikey and without this the browser is just "YT/Facebook viewer"...
As soon as this changes, I might give it another chance.
EDIT: Oh, FFS I just tried to look it up again and found property "security.webauth.u2f" which seems to be false by default. After enabling it U2F works! Geez, why would you disable that id default -_-
Thanks but no thanks. I really tried to switch from Chrome multiple times, mostly because I find Chrome to take too much memory, the tracking, etc.
Every time there is some kind of update, either for speed, less data tracking, vpn, etc. I give it a try and always end up being disappointed, even on things that should be so obvious and simple, like scrolling. Even recent versions for FF on a brand new macbook pro, scrolling lags.
FF always has a great story that really makes me wanna switch, but I won't waste time for this one, sorry.
Firefox, on occasion, cannot play videos above 4fps until I restart it.
After running for awhile, Firefox slows my entire system down to the point there is a 250ms-500ms delay for every key press.
Despite all this I keep trying to make FF my primary browser, but wow it is hard.
I'm actually using Opera as my day to day, it has hotkeys that are just a little bit better than Chrome's, backspace still does what I'm used to it doing (going back a page) and the "jump to last tab" hotkey is super appreciated.
This article starts with the headline, "Because everyone using Chrome for everything is a bad idea" and it's right about the need for diversity in browsers. But that doesn't mean just Firefox or Chrome.
On the contrary, for technically inclined users it's time to consider giving up on Chrome, Firefox, Safari and all the other locked-down anti-user walled gardens that violate software freedoms. I know this is a niche belief system but among the types that read hackernews more care than average.
Firefox held out much longer than most but the pressure at Mozilla to make it 'safe' for grandma (only add-ons signed by Moz) and 'safe' for consuming commercial media (DRM black box, no exceptions for research) won in the end. It has become Chrome if only in target demographic and feature prioritization. Just switching from Chrome to modern Firefox won't create the browser diversity argued for in this article.
I regularly do, but there's always something that sends me back to Chrome. Currently it's the inability to see all of the permissions an extension requires without digging through its source:
Note the "Access your data on 5 other sites".
I'd love to, but its still very clunky in some cases. Some examples:
It decided to make its interface language not English. Now I cant set it back, the stuff recommended from the net does not work. this also underlines all the text I type in English.
Tab tearing is way better in Chrome.
Scrolling with a touch pad feels...odd. Its lagging a bit, somehow the physics are off.
Question on those using firefox as a daily driver on OS X. Comparisons batterywise to safari how much less battery life do you get in general with firefox now?
That is my #1 reason for sticking to safari for now. That and I need to find out what extensions I need again after the switch to the new extension model.
Switched to waterfox, and never looked back. Most of us won't go Chrome, because we'll still have a secure gecko-based browser that won't violate our privacy.
When Servo matures into something useable daily (it's almost there) we'll abandon firefox/gecko entirely.
Firefox Quantum is extremely fast and feels much faster than Chrome / Safari.
I encourage everyone to try it for a full 5 days M-F and see if you feel the same way!
I use both Firefox and Chrome and find that the most noticeable difference is the time to open a new tab. Chrome is always fast, but Firefox sometimes lags.
On the other hand, I find that when my fan is spinning up, it's usually because of tabs in Chrome.
It was my primary browser until the new version killed all my critical extensions
I've always preferred Firefox and rarely used Chrome, until a few months ago when FF started eating CPU so badly that I now use Chrome almost exclusively.
I have no idea what causes FF to use 100% CPU, but it happens consistently, every single time I use FF for any length of time. Browsing Twitter will do it, YouTube will do it, eventually something will do it. Maybe it has to do with video? I don't know, and I don't have the time or (probably) the knowledge to try to figure it out.
Until/unless Firefox fixes whatever bug is causing this, I'm forced to stick with Chrome (which just works, hour after hour, day after day).
I've been using firefox since 2004, and before that, sea monkey.
Why change a good thing?
I’ve been using Firefox as my primary browser now for approx. the last six months. I used to flip-flop between safari and chrome (chrome needed generally for work and Linux).
I’ve gernerally been extremely happy with it. The battery life is not as good as Safari, but it feels faster. I do run into issues with some extensions, specifically google Meet (I think that is being fixed?).
The biggest annoyance, and I didn’t look too deeply at how to fix this, is custom cert mgmt. The system certs appear not to be used (I think?) and for custom CAs, they must be associated both in the browser and on the OS (macOS and Ubuntu). I’ve also noticed some sites cause, or did cause, very large CPU usage, Travis-CI was one.
Anyway, I’m generally very happy, and am glad that I now have a primary browser experience that I enjoy across all platforms. (If Apple had a safari version on Linux, this might have been a bigger question, I think they would do well to release one)
I know I'm a lazy, spoiled brat, but can anyone describe their Android + Desktop experience in regards to password managers?
I use Chrome + LastPass, which has icons on desktop and autofill prompts on mobile. It's easy and integrated. The last thing I want to do is have to switch between apps, copy and paste each time I log into a web site.
Tried and gone back to Chrome. The thing is chrome is Rock solid and can not remember the last time even a tab crashed.
I started using firefox back in march of last year. It has gotten way better. There are few annoying bugs I found(like this, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mywhU2zu87c). I have not been able to replicate them consistently, So they are pending on bugzilla.
There are also some cases when websites like thepiratebay.org refuse to open, At first, I thought this might be some Mitm or DNS based block set by the ISP but then chrome opens it just fine, Don't know what happened there.. :/
There are also some lazy developers like the one at Mashape who most likely don't test their website on Firefox because if they did, They'd know there Login/Signup system is broken on firefox for the last 7 months!
Ignoring few third party related issues, It's pretty good and I use it on both Android, Linux and windows.
I have been using FF as my main browser for years. While most of the world moved to Chrome-I stuck around because Chrome's bookmark sync would rearrange every bookmark in a bookmark folder. This was years ago, but then I started getting concerned about Google's tracking and have stuck with FF since. (I gave Chrome a chance years later-same exact issue.)
During this time I kept running into reasons to keep FF besides the bookmarks:
- I have noticed Chrome isn't as speedy and responsive as it used to be.
- I found plugins that suspended unused tabs so I can have 40 open with minimum issue pre-FF Quantum and keeps memory usage down.
- There are other plugins that I couldn't find in Chrome's store, such as the SQLite browser. (Now I use DB Browser from the Arch repos.)
- Chrome's memory usage shot up over the years. It always used a lot of memory with all those processes to sandbox the tabs, but FF kept getting more features without so much bloating.
- I have seen a few sites that FF does not like, but I have also seen different sites that's didn't play well with Chrome too.
- Google's business is in ads and tracking-how long until they ban ublock origins?
However FF still has issues that were never solved or crept up:
- Website PDF printing on Linux is terrible-the websites look mangled while Chrome can take the same sites and print out a decent PDF copy.
- Chrome is usually first to have features that could be the future of the web. Subtitles for HTML5 video-webvtt. WebAssembly, I had to use Chrome to use FF's own webassembly tools because I didn't use Nightly.
- Chrome's PDF reader works better than FF's open source JS one.
- Pocket... back when it first announced I wondered why...? an organization committed to open source and open standards used a closed source service backend and if I remember at the time, a proprietary connection. It was the first time I considered going back to Chrome. I have an instapaper JS booklet that will save any page I am on to instapaper; does the same thing without an annoying little icon in my toolbar.
- Mr Robot... why......? This is the Orwellian worry I had that Google would do with Chrome. Never affected me, but did piss me off.
The Pocket and the Mr Robot were real issues to me that made me consider finding another alternative.
I want to use Firefox for everything. Unfortunately my company relies a lot on Google Hangouts and Meet for video calls. Google has implemented both in a way that seems to be incompatible with Firefox (I know that the non corporate version of Hangouts works with Firefox since a few months ago).
I'd love to try Firefox but I can't switch until the extensions I use fully support it. To give just one example, Checker Plus for Gmail can't keep Firefox running in the background unlike in Chrome... which makes it far less useful.
Google is the new Microsoft. Every time I click on a link on Gmail mobile app, it asks me, by default, to install Chrome instead using the default browser. Even though there is a “don’t ask again” checkbox, it always asks again next time.
It's a pity Mozilla is pushing for a dumbed down version of its core principles, if I were them I'd:
- drop the whole cartoonish nonsense, childish errors such as "Hmm. We’re having trouble finding that site." should be swapped back to something more useful (or at least give me an HTTP error to look up on top of that stupid cartoon)
- quit pushing for pocket and other proprietary nonsense
- stop messing with user data to please tv series marketing teams
- stop babysitting the user with paternalizing "you've been using the computer too long" health-conscious snippets
Give me back the browser for nerds I need to get stuff done, make me fall back in love with FF.
(full disclosure: posted from FF)
Since Firefox permanently broke Pentadactyl, I've been wanting to switch to Qutebrowser, but Qutebrowser doesn't yet have NoScript or RequestPolicy functionality, so I'm stuck with Firefox for now.
Have been on Firefox for 5 or so months now, whenever they first released the beta version of Quantum.
It's been fine, really can't fault it. I don't really think about it to be quite honest, it just works.
Wow! He actually recommended to use the browser password manager... Yes, I use FF and have since it came. I did try Chrome a couple of times but it was just a resource hog and ugly. With FF I could get it to look as I wanted and the extensions worked better.
So I agree with his decision but not his arguments or recommendations. They are just crap. The best way to protect your passwords is via a password manager that is not in plane text. Like Pass or Keepass. Pass is my fav as it is extremely portable.
I kicked the tyres on the new Quantum'd Firefox. Oddly I found that the GPU utilisation on my MacBook Pro is significantly higher than Chrome, even higher than Safari. Playing a YouTube video would make the MBP's fans spin significantly faster than normal which meant it' wasn't overly usable. The numbers were roughly 750 Mhz Firefox, 550 Mhz Chrome and 450 Mhz with Safari.
Not sure if it's an option I've got configured, I'd love to find out what was causing this though!
Funny how every 6 months there’s an article saying that. Truth is with Mac OSX, only Safari and Chromium are RAM efficient. Not blaming Firefox tho.
Firefox is fairly unusable performance wise with google maps and surprisingly facebook. Those are two huge apps that I feel like are table stakes for a web browser. Facebook is even more surprising, since it isn't an amazing webgl program rendering a complicated map view, it isn't created by a direct competitor and at facebook's size, making something work better for %1 of users is a big gain.
I finally uninstalled Chrome from all my setups today. I have chromium for occasional testing left, but it is Quantum on desktop and Fennec on phone now.
Best things I've loved since I switched:
- Cookie AutoDelete, keeps a whitelist of domains and deletes the rest, which works nicely with:
- Multi-Account Containers: Create multiple cookiejars
- Decentraleyes: Caches JS files from CDN servers for faster loads.
I have done - and it's awesome on Windows / Fedora. But it's so janky and slow on Android, this is on a Pixel 2 XL. What is so wrong with the Android version?
For the record i've tried to move across for ad-blocking which Chrome doesn't provide, and I do need the account sync. Firefox is just as janky without any plugins on Android.
The article is riddled with what's wrong about proprietary (nonfree, user-subjugating) software. Paragraph 2 is almost entirely made up of these problems:
"the best web browser" -- has no meaning without clearly identifying the criteria by which one considers anything best, worst, or any rating in between.
"If a friend were to ask me what the best web browser is, I’d answer “Chrome” in a heartbeat, so don’t mistake this as a screed against Google’s browser." -- because any deep criticism of a nonfree browser, or a nonfree browser from a spying organization would, by default, be a "screed"? No respect for freedom of speech here, and that's no way to treat your friends. This line and much of the essay comes off as a way to validate the idea that we need not consider anyone who looks out for their own software freedom, the software freedom of their friends and other computer users in general, or their (very much related) privacy interests. The allowable limits of debate are set: technocratic functionality (such as the effectiveness of an ad-blocker, vague notions of competition and "unhealthy growth" without mention of software freedom are considered right and proper to get into. Please restrict any discussion to such proprietor-affirming ideas. Anything outside these boundaries is "a screed against Google's browser".
"I still see it [Google Chrome] as the most fully-featured and trouble-free option for exploring the web." -- so this further reinforces the above: privacy is not a feature and the loss of privacy (where Google decides how much privacy to grant each user) is not to be considered a "trouble".
Nonfree browsers are unethical and problematic for the same reasons which apply to all other nonfree software: we need and deserve to control our own computers. This doesn't just apply to those who write software, but to all computer users. Therefore we all need the freedom to run, inspect, share, and modify published computer software (software freedom). Users who can't or won't learn to program can either choose to learn or get someone they trust to vet and improve software on their behalf. More technically-capable users can help everyone out by vetting and improving published software for their own sake. They can help their community by sharing their improvements under licenses that respect our software freedom. These are deeper more thoroughgoing reasons to reject nonfree software and run only software that respects your software freedom.
The only issue for me regarding Firefox is when I'm on a Mac laptop not connected to power. It is still eating far too much battery compared to Chrome – Safari is no contest. This may be related to the unhealthy number of tabs I keep open.
Other then that, it feels great and is improving.
I mean...Firefox is completely rewritten from the ground up in Rust, a language invented by Mozilla because they rock and they're absolutely killing it. Given that it's the browser with the latest full bore rewrite, shouldn't we expect it to be the coolest atm?
I didn't actually notice that Firefox had become uncool. What is it about Chrome that people like better? They seem basically indistinguishable to me, so I use the one that isn't from Google.
Attempting another switch thanks to this post. Installed on desktop and all mobile devices, settings imported from Chrome, everything set up with Firefox Sync... we'll see how it goes.
I’d love to switch to safari, only thing holding me back are the chrome dev tools (which I really like). Is there any alternative for this on safari?
I never left!
There was a noticeable gap between the two browsers for several years. Not anymore.
The plugins to put my tabs on the side panel also kept me in the fold.
2 things chrome still has above ff for me:
- NO bar above the tabs - I CAN double-click to select independent word in url
Too bad firebug was discontinued.
re: "The thing that woke me up to my over-reliance on Chrome was when Google implemented an ad blocker directly into the browser."
So what ever happened to that anyway? Has anyone noticed any ad blocking?
Ever since the Mr. Robot Looking Glass add-on marketing disaster I have decided to give Mozilla a few more years to get their shit together with Firefox. Something is seriously wrong at a company if something like that can happen.
> If a friend were to ask me what the best web browser is, I’d answer “Chrome” in a heartbeat
It was always Firefox for me.
Never left. :D All the recent developments are very welcome, and help keep FF relevant and useful to me.
But some videoa won't be played.
Also the scrolling on Android ia rather sluggish
this is what I see every time I try to switch to FF on my daily driver
- increased hard drive thrashing
- using more memory for less tabs and less addons
I can use chrome all day, open hundreds of tabs, with 6 addons and the system is stable. But after 5min FF is using just as much ram and slowing down my system.
I will use FF more when it can compete with Chrome. Not because some stupid article told me it's time to give it a chance again.
People want you to switch to FF because they are in love with it. I'll love it when the performance can at least match Chrome.
ALSO - the FF addon process takes weeks for approval, which is pathetic. Chrome addons approved in 1 hr.
I don’t think so.
It’s time to try spinoffs/mods of major browsers, especially those with enhanced privacy. I use two of them and I’m very happy with my approach. I uninstalled FF which came with the OS, use Chrome with some picky work apps, one privacy-enhanced mod for personal browsing and another for work with non-picky work apps.
I have been using Firefox since it was called Firebird. Off late one of the reasons, adoption isn't climbing is because Firefox is not included as one of the supported let alone allowed pieces of software in corporate companies. At my last company, security guys went as far as to classify Firefox a risk. They instructed Desktop Support to remotely uninstall Firefox off users machines. Most people I support would rather use the same software at home that they use at work. I admire what Mozilla is trying to achieve and have always promoted it to people asking me for IT software to use.
Edit: It wasn't my decision to classify Firefox as a security risk. Just stating that in corporate organizations I have worked using Firefox is not encouraged at all.