Chrome vs. Firefox: where Firefox beats the Google browser

If you look at desktop computers, you will notice that there are three core Internet browsers left for those  systems. There are also forks of two of those browsers available that increase the number of programs that you can download and use, but in the end, it all comes down to those three browsers.

There is Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chromium. If you compare Firefox and Google Chrome -- the most popular Chromium-based browser, with each other, you will notice many similarities, but also differences.

You may have heard that Chrome is a lot faster than Firefox or more secure, and while there is some truth to that, I'd like to list areas in which Firefox is superior to Google Chrome.

Firefox is not superior in all areas, and I may publish a second part eventually that highlights where Chrome beats Firefox, if that is desired by the community.

Also, feel free to add anything on your mind to the comments.

1. Customization

customize-firefox

This one is the most obvious area. You can move most interface elements around in Firefox, and even though Mozilla has limited some customization options in recent versions, you can get back those if you install extensions.

If you are using Google Chrome, you cannot modify the browser interface at all. With modify, I mean move elements from one location to another, or add elements to the browser that are not there by default.

While you can display a bookmarks bar in Chrome, that is about it in terms of customizations.

In Firefox, you can not only move most buttons and menus around or add sidebar menus that you can customize further, you can also install extensions that add even more icons and options to Firefox.

Some examples? Extension that modify the font size of the interface, the width of tabs in the browser, or add favicons back to the address bar of the browser.

2. Themes

noia-theme

Themes too are better in Firefox. In Chrome, you get different color schemes and a different background image, that is it.

In Firefox, and I'm talking about complete themes here, you get total conversions. New icon designs, additional icons, new toolbars, a different layout, or even classic themes that restore how Firefox looked a couple of years ago.

3. Memory usage

browser memory usage

For a long time, Firefox was the browser that seemed to have an insatiable hunger for RAM. This was not only caused by the browser itself, but also by extensions that you ran in it.

While things have changed dramatically in the past two years, many users still think that Firefox is less memory efficient as Google Chrome.

We have compared the memory usage of Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera in the past and came to the conclusion that Chrome used more memory than all other browsers.

This can be attributed -- at least partially -- to how Chrome handles websites, as the browser opens them in individual processes. While that may improve stability and security, it still means that more memory is used by the browser.

4. Extensions

Extensions can do more in Firefox than they can in Chrome. While you will find many popular extensions for both browsers, Firefox extensions can for instance manipulate the browser chrome, while Chrome extensions cannot do so except for adding an icon to the address bar.

Chrome is still lacking when it comes to some extension types. There is no good download manager that comes close to DownThemAll for example, and unique extensions such as Automatic Save Folder that allows you to save to different folders based on file names or domains, or Tree Style Tab which changes how tabs are displayed in Firefox.

I'm no extension developer and could not really find a detailed comparison of what both extension APIs support and what they do not support.

Firefox is not superior in all regards though. All Chrome extensions do not require a restart of the browser upon installation for example, while only Jetpack Firefox extensions don't as well.

Plus, the Chrome Web Store is a nightmare to navigate.

5. Privacy

Google is an advertising company, as it makes the bulk of its revenue from its ads business. It is not clear how Google uses telemetry data that it gathers from Chrome. What we do know is that Mozilla has a very high standard when it comes to privacy, as outlined on the company website.

Firefox is also purely open source, while Google Chrome is based on the open source Chromium project plus additions that Google makes to it (that are not necessarily open source).

6. Tabbed Browsing

chrome blank tabs

Both browsers support tabbed browsing, but Google Chrome does not support tabbar scrolling. This means that tabs will be reduced in size the more websites you open in the browser at the same time.

This continues up to a point where you cannot identify the sites anymore that you have opened, as they all show up as blank tabs without visual identification.

While you can -- and should -- install extensions to go around the issue, Firefox beats Chrome in terms of tab management. Not only can you set minimum and maximum width for tabs in the browser, it also supports tab groups and scrolling.

7. An optional search bar

firefox-search-bar

Not everyone needs a secondary search bar in their browser, but if you want better control over your searches, or switch between different search engines regularly, you may find Firefox's implementation more useful in this regard.

First, you can assign a different search engine to the address bar and search bar, so that you can always search two different sites at once.

While you can do so with keywords in Chrome as well (by assigning them in the manage search engines menu), the same can be done in Firefox.

8. Plug-ins

This is more of a future thing than something that affects the present. Google has announced that it will get rid of all plug-ins in 2014. With that it means plug-ins like Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader or Java, or NPAPI-plugins, but not PPAPI plugins used by Chrome's native Flash Player and PDF reader plugins.

While it is usually seen as a good thing that plug-ins will become a thing of the past, it may mean that Chrome users will run into issues in 2014 as they cannot use plug-ins such as Java anymore in the browser.

You can read more about the NPAPI deprecation here.

Closing Words

It all comes down to your needs, and what you use the browser for. Not all or not one of the points listed above may be interesting to you. If you do not want to customize your browser, then it is obviously not a negative that you cannot do so.

And if you have all the plug-ins you want in Chrome, then you couldn't care less about plug-ins that Firefox offers but Chrome does not.

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Responses to Chrome vs. Firefox: where Firefox beats the Google browser

  1. Alvin January 1, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

    Hi Martin. Great article as usual. The amount of work you put out is phenomenal. Well done.
    Just a private message to you, as I've seen it a number of times now and needed to comment, not because I'm nit-picky, but because I care what people think of your work. The phrase is, "couldn't care less," not "could care less."
    Refer:
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=I%20could%20care%20less
    and
    http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/could-care-less-versus-couldnt-care-less

    • Martin Brinkmann January 1, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

      Thanks, corrected and hopefully burned to mind ;)

      • Matt March 31, 2014 at 6:17 am #

        I'm sorry, I have to leave this here, from Mark Liberman:

        http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001182.html

        Excerpt:

        "However, I don't think there's much question at all about could care less, which has clearly become a well-accepted colloquial expression in contemporary American English. This conclusion can claim the sanction of the OED, which gives sense 4 of care as

        4. In negative and conditional construction: a. not to care passes from the notion of ‘not to trouble oneself’, to those of ‘not to mind, not to regard or pay any deference or attention, to pay no respect, be indifferent’.

        and then among the various subtypes listed (e.g. care a button or a fig) comes eventually to the specific phrase in question,

        (c) Colloq. phr. (I, etc.) couldn't care less: (I am, etc.) completely uninterested, utterly indifferent; freq. as phr. used attrib. Hence couldn't-care-less-ness."

  2. jimbo January 1, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    The Firefox bookmarks system is really quite powerfull - with adequate options and the capability of handling hundreds of thousands of history and bookmark items with (when bugs haven't crept in that is) remarkable speed - compared to Chrome.

  3. OLee January 1, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

    I have been a Firefox user from the beginning and I believe it's one of the best browsers out there. I am totally fed up with Windows and have switched to Linux. I'm currently using Linux Mint which is amazing! I didn't know an operating system could work so well. Switching from Windows to Linux was the best thing I've done in a long time!

    Anyway, I have been using Firefox on Ubuntu and Mint and Firefox runs better than it ever did on Windows. I have also been using the Chromium browser on Mint, which performs extremely well and also has flash installed.

    Martin, what is your take on Chromium and do you ever use Linux? Since Chromium is not modified by Google and turned into Chrome, and Google does not track you on Chromium, do you think Chromium is as secure as Firefox? I have to say that Chromium does work extremely well here on Linux Mint.

    Thank you for all your interesting articles and I look forward to many more.

    • Martin Brinkmann January 1, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

      Chromium is a good choice, but it is cutting edge all the time. It is like running Firefox Nightly, which may or may not appeal to users. If you do not mind running that version, then there is nothing wrong with Chromium.

      It eliminates many of the privacy concerns that Chrome has I'd say. The only issue you may face is that it does not auto-update automatically, at least not on Windows. There are tools for that though.

      I do not run Linux and have not tried it in a long time. The main reason that is keeping me is time.

      I might pick Linux Mint on the other hand if I find the time.

      • Bobby Phoenix January 1, 2014 at 11:42 pm #

        I also run Chromium on Linux, but on the Ubuntu channel, and Chromium is available in the Software Center, so it actually gets updated regularly like regular Chrome. I switch between the three (Chrome, Chromium, and Firefox), and really only do so for a change. Each browser does what I want, so I kind of just want a change now and then. Maxthon is now in beta for Ubuntu, so I'm looking forward to that. I've used that when I was on Windows. That's the only thing I miss since switching to Linux.

  4. Karl Gephart January 1, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

    Of course, further customization is allowed through userChrome.css. Whether for work or entertainment, I would want my browser to be as flexible as possible, bending to my needs with personalized layouts to save me time. I don't understand why anyone would not want the most flexible browser, Firefox!

  5. Vux777 January 1, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

    Chrome is also very HDD/SSD dependent. Constantly read/write something.
    Don't know how FF behaves on that matter

  6. UltraHD January 1, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

    Hello,

    Well done!

    Martin try to have a better communication with social networks and implementing Twitter cards into your system and become a verified account on Twitter. (it is good for SEO... i saw the other days that you implement something regarding donation... that the search engines... - "Google" - is the "boss" and made some changes, and yes he completely changed his attitude in the past 18 months regarding spam and also I agree with you they affected a lot good sites when we talk about traffic...)

    Good luck!

  7. freaktechnik January 2, 2014 at 12:13 am #

    In my opinion Firefox's dev tools are way cleaner. the chrome develeoper tools feel a little bit overloaded. Also note, how adjustable Firefox's dev tools are to the user's whishes.
    While chrome has more different tools, firefox has some interesting ones, like the responsive resizing view, whitch lets you resize the size of the website frame. another interesting one is the option to highlight paint areas.

  8. FleischmannTV January 2, 2014 at 12:27 am #

    My recent observations concerning memory usage were: Chrome 31 and Firefox 26 around the same and Internet Explorer 11 x64 (enhanced protected mode) was way below them by half, on Windows 8.1 x64. Just as an observation: if you comment on memory usage please don't use findings from June 2012 (Chrome 22, IE9 and FF 16).

  9. Dwight Stegall January 2, 2014 at 2:05 am #

    Firefox will always be my default browser. But I use Chrome be cause it does two things better.

    1. Videos buffer less in Chrome.
    2. All of the text-to-speech addons for Firefox are pathetic. I use the SpeakIT! extension in Chrome to read highlighted text to me. I get bored half way down long pages and end up leaving. This gets me past that. It's male and female voices sound better than most of the humans I know. It uses Google's iSpeech Engine. They are adding other languages too. It has a voice input option that didn't work for me. Maybe later.

    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/speakit/pgeolalilifpodheeocdmbhehgnkkbak?hl=en-US

  10. Beachbouy January 2, 2014 at 2:59 am #

    "The phrase is, "couldn't care less," not "could care less.""

    Actually, either is appropriate. For anyone fluent in English, the intended meaning is easily conveyed. I could care less, but still not care a great deal. If I couldn't care less, then it would be completely unimportant. There is little difference between very little importance and complete unimportance.

    Not to belabor the point, but, it was a nit-pick. Either phrase conveys the idea, therefore, either phrase is completely acceptable.

    Good article! Although I keep Chrome up to date for occasional use, I have always believed in Firefox and it's mission. They will have to completely screw the browser up to lose me as a committed Firefox user.

    • Singularity January 2, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

      I suppose IT'S and ITS are also interchangeably "appropriate"
      (...I have always believed in Firefox and it's mission....)

    • Anonymous January 2, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

      “Could care less” is wrong.

      It’s on par with “for all intensive purposes,” “tow the line,” the criminal abuse of “literally” and other malapropisms. People write them, readers understand them, but that doesn’t make them any less wrong.

      That said, English isn’t Martin’s first language, and he does a remarkable job considering he has to translate all his thoughts from German.

      But it doesn’t do anyone any good perpetuating these language errors.

    • WandersFar January 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

      “Could care less” is wrong.

      It’s on par with “for all intensive purposes,” “tow the line,” the criminal abuse of “literally” and other malapropisms. People write them, readers understand them, but that doesn’t make them any less wrong.

      That said, English isn’t Martin’s first language, and he does a remarkable job considering he has to translate all his thoughts from German.

      • Beachbouy January 2, 2014 at 11:32 pm #

        No. You're comparing apples and oranges. It is nothing like "intensive purposes."
        There is nothing wrong with Martin's use of the phrase, either way, if it adequately conveys what he's trying to say, and it does.

        "Could care less" is NOT wrong. He could care a lot less or a little less. In the context in which Martin was writing, it was a little less. "Couldn't care less" is the actual phrase, and more accurately conveys the meaning, if in fact he couldn't care less. But, either phrase *adequately* conveys the meaning of his sentence, and it is not at all uncommon to hear this phrase used in the English language.

        You are absolutely nit-picking when it is not all all necessary.

      • Martin Brinkmann January 3, 2014 at 8:18 am #

        Actually, most of the time when writing, my thoughts are in English automatically. It does not change the fact that it is not my native language, and that I sometimes have a hard time finding the right phrase or word.

    • WandersFar January 3, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

      Dude.

      You: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/could-care-less-versus-couldnt-care-less?page=all

      Are: http://incompetech.com/gallimaufry/care_less.html

      Wrong: http://www.alyssonfergison.com/couldnt-care-less-or-could-care-less/

      “Could care less” actually conveys the opposite of the intended meaning, that something is so inconsequential that you couldn’t care about it at all if you tried.

      By claiming that you *could* care less, you’re not communicating anything about your level of caring—you could care a little bit, or a whole lot, and still be able to care somewhat less. “Could care less” is a vacuous phrase—it could mean anything, and hence means nothing.

      The only thing it can’t convey is a notable lack of caring, which is precisely what the article is saying about committed Chrome users, for whom the presence or absence of certain plugins in Firefox would matter not at all.

      • Beachbouy January 4, 2014 at 1:58 am #

        No one EVER, EVER uses the phrase "could care less" for anything other than the slight misuse of the phrase to mean "couldn't care less." So, your point in meaningless.

        I repeat, I could care less, but not by much. Which is to say, I could hardly care less. Which is almost the same as saying, I couldn't care less.

        So, nit-pick if you must. You're talking semantics.

        Martin, you do an excellent job with your English. Don't let anyone's semantic nit-picking bother you. This isn't a blog about perfect English. This is a blog about computers, cell phones, software, technology, etc. It just so happens that some technology geeks are so geeky, they nit-pick over semantics, too. (Note the extra 'o' in too. That changes the meaning of 'to' to mean 'also.' I just thought I would warn you before the semantics police call you on it.) ;-)

  11. Caspy7 January 2, 2014 at 3:48 am #

    For those interested in having a look at Javascript speed comparisons http://www.arewefastyet.com/ displays benchmark results from Firefox Nightly, Chrome Canary and Safari - with multiple samples each day.

    On the Multiprocess memory front, if Bill McCloskey's assessment holds true - that a multiprocess Firefox will indeed only exceed single process by a small margin - the implication is that Chrome excessive memory use is not "the nature of the beast" but rather a result of poor memory management/utilization.
    http://billmccloskey.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/multiprocess-firefox/#mem

  12. Dante January 2, 2014 at 5:55 am #

    There is only one feature of Firefox over Chrome that I'm concerned with: Firefox does NOT report everything back to Google. And Firefox does not install a constantly on service like Google Update.

    • Mar January 2, 2014 at 7:17 am #

      It does called Firefox Maintenance

      • Dante January 2, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

        Unlike the omni-present Google Update service, I can and do turn off Firefox Maintenance.

  13. Dwight Stegall January 2, 2014 at 7:40 am #

    If use Tab Mix Plus addon in Firefox you don't have to put up with tab scrolling. You can set it up to put them on multi-rows. I use the default setting of 3 rows.

  14. yoav January 2, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    Just the other day I looked at it, and I was amazed to see how much memory Chrome is using, in dozens of different processes. I thought it was a fast, lean browser, but it isn't really.

  15. Nebulus January 2, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    IMO, Chrome has two fatal flaws:
    1. It is less configurable than Firefox.
    2. It is made by Google.

  16. BBB January 2, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    I tried to go away from Chrome a couple of times, but 3 things keep me with chrome.
    1. of all : the speed. this goes without further saying, FF is SLOOOOOOOOW.
    2. reopen closed tab, sorry just can't miss this one default option in tab management.
    3. we use jira and there are some damn good jira plug-ins on chrome that just don't exists on FF.

    • freaktechnik January 2, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

      Point two is false. You can reopen a closed tab in Firefox. Either through the history menu or by pressing Ctrl+Shift-T.

      • Bobby Phoenix January 2, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

        Actually you can just right click on the current tab, and select to open last tab just like Chrome.

      • Anonymous January 2, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

        The history menu is indeed an option but requires extra steps to be taken.
        And that makes it not a valid replacement.
        The shortcut is the thing to know.
        @Bobby Phoenix
        The right click option is/was not there the last time i've checked (last week)

  17. tedych January 2, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

    The Fx maintenance service has a clean meaning and goal. It can be uninstalled and could be check to not being installed in the first place. Chrome is much worse in that, it can't even be directed to different drive or folder during install! It installs by default somewhere outside Program Files folder. It messes up with system folders, etc.
    Yes, the biggest issue for me is Chrome's reporting back to Google, God knows what. No thanks. Our lives and time is stressed enough by privacy issues, not only electronic.
    Chrome Does use much more memory than FF, especially after the last (26) iteration of FF.
    About the tabs - with Tabmix Plus the tab management becomes unbeatable.
    I shudder at the horrible thought if I would have to switch from FF to anything else. And I'm not a blind fan of FF.

  18. Srap January 2, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    "First, you can assign a different search engine to the address bar and search bar, so that you can always search two different sites at once."
    This has been changed in Firefox 23 as per bug #738818, please update the article.

    Also, pure curiosity, does Chrome have something like this? https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/awesome-bar-find-your-bookmarks-history-and-tabs#w_changing-results-on-the-fly

    • Martin Brinkmann January 2, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

      No, it is still possible. you do need to install an extension for that, but it is still there.

      • Srap January 2, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

        Doesn't change the fact that it is no longer the case with the vanilla Firefox, and it needs an add-on to do it (what is not mentioned at all).

  19. Rocky January 2, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

    I too like Mozilla's open philosophy and Firefox in general. However FF can be very slow to open and for those above who are concerned about Google - don't forget how much of Mozilla's income comes from Google (search engine)

  20. Pramod January 2, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    Hi Martin !
    I love firefox not only because its fast but also due to huge number of plugins that it offers to the users.Nice review . Thanks for sharing :)

  21. Sukhen January 2, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    Chrome is clearly losing the battle steadily. Even a hard core Google fan like me today made my default to CyberFox primarily because of Chrome's resource hunger.

  22. Rick LeBlanc January 2, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

    I prefer Opera's bookmarking system for cleanliness & ease over all the others. Chrome is rather clunky in that aspect. And I do like Opera's speed in loading. Living in a rural area, we don't get the bandwidth that urban centres do.

  23. Sunday January 2, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    I have the privilege of using Firefox and Chrome, and I can confidently say that the former serves me better. The major issues I have with Chrome is that it is not tolerant to slow networks and it crashes more often than Firefox. On the flip side, Chrome is better in restoring data lost after crashing!
    The above comment was also left in kingged.com where this post was socially bookmarked for Internet marketers.
    Sunday - kingged.com contributor

    http://kingged.com/chrome-vs-firefox-where-firefox-beats-the-google-browser/

  24. Adam Methew January 3, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    Its depends on your usage personally or professionally. Because Firefox and Chrome both is good for personal usage but Firefox is best for professional usage. For example add ons, fast loading page etc.

  25. Ken Saunders January 3, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

    "It all comes down to your needs, and what you use the browser for"
    I'm a Firefox user, but I've still found that Firefox out of the box (clean install) is a better browser, and if you do the out of the box side by side comparison, you also have to compare Mozilla and their motivates for developing a browser and Google's (which you did touch on), and Mozilla blows Google away.

    Oh, the Mozilla gets cash from Google type comment from someone is crap.
    If it wasn't Google, it would be someone else. Most people use Google for search and that's one of the reasons why it is the default search provider in the U.S. in Firefox.
    If Google wasn't #1, there's be another default provider.
    Microsoft could easily match or beat Google's offer to be default and Mozilla would except if Bing were #1.

    Dwight Stegall
    "Videos buffer less in Chrome."
    I don't use Chrome so I wouldn't know that, but video buffering in Firefox does stink. There are some add-on's that help with this, but sites and pages that have videos should be using the preload (replaced autobuffer) attribute.
    If there's a video on a page, especially a single one, there's a chance that it will be viewed so why not load it.

    BBB
    " of all : the speed. this goes without further saying, FF is SLOOOOOOOOW"
    I have never found this to be the case in any version of Firefox and I've been using it since 1.0.
    Sites are slow, Firefox isn't. You can always reduce the amount of necessary crap loaded by sites, but not always.
    My default Firefox profile is heavily customized and tweaked and I currently have 67 add-ons enabled on a system with only 4GB of RAM and Firefox is very fast and always responsive. I do have an excellent Internet connection and speed, so perhaps that's the difference for some.

    • Ken Saunders January 3, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

      "If Google wasn't #1, there's be another default provider"
      *there would

      "would except if Bing were #1."
      *accept

      "reduce the amount of necessary crap loaded by sites, but not always."
      *unnecessary

      Geez, I need a proofreader.
      I guess this is what happens when I'm passionate about something. :|

      • Ken Saunders January 3, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

        "If Google wasn't #1, there's be another default provider"
        *there would

        "would except if Bing were #1."
        *accept

        "reduce the amount of necessary crap loaded by sites, but not always."
        *unnecessary

        Geez, I need a proofreader

    • BBB January 3, 2014 at 10:49 pm #

      Just starting FF takes ages.
      And i'm one who frequently closes and opens the whoel browser or new windows and on my admidded slow work PC it is painfully clear that FF takes one minute (56-73 sec to be exact) to start, and that is only the window to appear, not even my homepage.
      Chrome is almost intantley there. and i don't have that much addons installed to explain the slow loading (max5), i have more addons installed in chrome.

  26. Ken Saunders January 3, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

    Martin got the point across and in the correct context regardless of the grammar.
    His English writing skills are better than many Americans that I know, myself included.

    What's unfortunate is that he is notified and has to read/review every off-topic comment that comes in (including this one), instead of spending time trying out and testing products, sites, and services, in addition to news, eating diner, showering, etc.

    The polite and considerate thing to do is to email the author when you see typos or other errors instead of calling them out publicly to try and show others that you are more intelligent than they are.

  27. DonGateley January 4, 2014 at 7:47 am #

    What firmly joins me at the hip to Firefox is the Session Manager extension. I use it extensively and found during my short sojourn with Chrome that I just couldn't live without it. I asked its implementer to consider a Chrome version. He looked into it and said the Chrome plugin API just wasn't up to the task.

    Relative to memory usage, I use Memory Fox and UnloadTab extensions and they really minimize it. Recent versions of FF may have obviated the need for them, however. I haven't tested to find out.

  28. Richie January 7, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    'Could care less' and 'couldn't care less' are not the same. The second meaning its so uninteresting my care level can get no lower as I'm all done worrying or thinking about it : I am unable to care any less.. Not that I'm unwilling to. I could care less simply means I could think about it but I'm simply not interested or bothered. They are not in any shape or form the same thing.

  29. RNiK January 8, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    About "Extensions" even popular ones like AdBlock are different between the two browser. For example AdBlock is way more efficient and powerful in its Firefox version.

  30. jravenger4 January 9, 2014 at 4:09 am #

    One thing that I'm using on Firefox which Chrome doesn't have?"Tab Groups" or called "Panorama"(Excellent thing to use especially when you need to watch video then hide it to watch later..haha). Just don't know why Mozilla is not emphasizing this excellent feature. For those who don't know,just press Ctrl + Shft + E, or you can select the Down icon on the top right side below the window Close(X) button.

  31. pjdkrunkt January 9, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    Here's a biggy:

    AdBlock in Firefox actually uses an API in Firefox that blocks traffic from webpages, individual files, or entire domains. Chrome's version of AdBlock can only hide the appearance of ads which have been loaded. This had two major implications: AdBlock in Firefox actually reduces bandwidth, and AdBlock in Firefox can actually effectively be used to block trackers, including Google's.

  32. p3t3r January 14, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    Instead of G-Chrome i use Iron, which is the pure engine without the modifications made by Google. So i don't have to worry about privacy-issues.

    Mostly i use Firefox, but there are some exceptions. Some videostreams run better under chrome, but there's one big difference regarding the cache-management:
    While the content of the video lands as one big file in the FF-Cache, the video appears under chrome in many small fragments, so i can't save them.

    ...just my 2 cents ;-)

  33. oby odtu January 16, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    what's that complete theme you post in no.2?

  34. Zoran February 14, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

    Is it true that mozilla planing to serve ads in browser? If it is true that will be a big time crash for her, i would still chose chrome or opera any time...

    http://geekperspective.net/mozilla-plans-to-run-ads-in-its-browser/

    • Christian Sonne March 11, 2014 at 9:37 am #

      Not as such. The new tab page is currently empty for new users, which isn't very useful. The idea with sponsored tiles is that while that space is empty (that is, until you use the browser enough to populate those tiles), it will be prefilled partly with links that are relevant to Mozilla, and partly with clearly marked sponsored tiles that are relevant to your region.

      Unlike ads, they will not be targeted to you based on browsing history, nor will they leak privacy related information to the sponsor. They will also not take up space that would have been used for content, as they only appear when there is no content to display.

      In short, they are more like default history (just like it currently ships with default search engines), and it will slowly go away as the user builds up their actual history.

  35. Kevin February 17, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    Although Firefox can be frustrating at times they are minimal to those I find in Chrome.
    I have tried chrome and hope that each version is an improvement on the previous one. The opposite seems to be the norm. Features disappear as more and more push to Google everything is deployed.
    I may not be a big plug in user but the ones I do use work great in Firefox where the equivalent in Chrome are flaky.
    I strongly prefer Firefox's approach to privacy and security and that I can configure it to my hearts content.
    Even when I do have problems with a page I use a plug in that loads that page in whatever browser I choose.
    I was a loyal Opera user for many moons but they lost their way, particularly with compatibility.
    It may be slower but I will stick to Firefox for the time being until something better, if ever, comes along.

  36. Brad C. February 19, 2014 at 12:39 am #

    Martin, thank you for the article, which I feel is desperately needed!

    I'm so tired of hearing from those that refuse to see the big picture, telling me that Google Chrome is better than Firefox simply because they've read about how (or have seen) a benchmark that showed Chrome as being faster.

    The fallacy in this is that usually the increase in speed they are seeing in the benchmark is some meaningless percentage that the average to advanced user will never EVER notice in every day use of the browser -- not to mention, those benchmarks where Chrome prevailed, are most likely those that were written with the Chrome engine in mind!

    Regardless, you briefly alluded to the MAIN reasons why I choose Firefox over Chrome and two of those reasons deal with efficiency.

    One, tab Groups is something that Firefox gets very right that I have yet seen done correctly in Chrome, or even in any of the Chrome extensions out there. Firefox is simply more efficient in this regard, especially for power users looking to easily and efficiently manage multiple tabs.

    Second, is that when starting/restoring from a previous session of several opened tabs, Firefox is the clear winner! Most users may not even realize, but when starting a saved session, Firefox will only load the tab being viewed by the user - the active tab. Google Chrome on the other hand loads all tabs simultaneously! Restore a session in each browser with several tabs saved on pages pertaining to Youtube videos and this benefit of Firefox will truly become completely evident!

    The way that Chrome handles or rather ignores this main feature is mind-boggling! Why Google fails to address this feature in their browser still and instead allows it to go missing is beyond me. Once again, while there are a couple of Chrome extensions out there that are workarounds, none of them perform on par with Firefox's default way of handling this problem.

    Finally the biggest reason for me sticking with Firefox over Chrome is something you did go into detail regarding and that is PRIVACY! It is crystal clear that Google is scraping your data and using that data to make money without you truly knowing exactly how or what data is being shared or with whom!

    I'd rather support a company that is dead-set against this practice, thank you very much! However, to each their own.

  37. Eli March 10, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    I'll write this here and also wrote it on Reddit (here: http://www.reddit.com/r/browsers/comments/201jvf/chrome_vs_firefox_where_firefox_beats_the_google/ )

    Firefox beats Chrome where it's irrelevant:

    1. Customization - nobody but 0.1% of the population cares about customization

    2. Themes - see 1.

    3. Memory usage - are we in 1999 where we care about every kilobyte of memory used? Didn't think so, nobody cares

    4. Extensions - Really? Chrome webstore is a nightmare to navigate? Okay.. debatable at best. Might I remind you about the native extensions that chrome supports? Or the fact that you can easily translate Chrome extensions to Android apps? - Bullshit point, it's debatable at best, it's not a "win" for firefox in any case

    5. Open Source - they mentioned Chromium themselves - if anybody did care about privacy, they would just use chromium, but I think the masses have spoken, and they give a rats ass about their privacy, so again, nobody cares

    6. Seriously? They didn't even give a counter point - managing tabs is aweful since 1993 when windows 3.11 was the shit. Yea, so what are they offering? using specially designed extensions that ARE BAKED IN inside firefox and are available FREELY on chrome as a counter point? Again, nobody really cares, and again, this is a moot point

    7. Wow, Secondary search bar... Can I just say "Secondary" again? Secondary. and again: Secondary. Nice, a secondary search bar. Interesting. Did anyone care? Maybe your parents that type "google.com" into the search bar, enter "Facebook.com" into the input box that shows up in the middle of the screen - yea, they might enjoy the secondary search bar. Oh wait, they don't care. Nobody does.

    8. Plugins - Wow, so what are they saying? That plugins are *good*? Bullshit. Let me spell it for you: Plugins are B U L L S H I T in the age of HTML5 - The web is an OPEN PLATFORM, and those who chose to pursue 2-decades-old-technology to deliver their crappy content to me, guess what? I will not be using their services. So they are basically touting plugins as a backwards compatibility tool? Oh great, nobody cares.

    So, where does Firefox beats Google? Nobody cares.

    ----

    Let me just be very clear here: I love Firefox and the Mozilla Foundation - I think they are doing an exceptionally important job, and I love their product - as a spectator.

    But when it comes to actually using a browser, my choice in the past 4 years is always Chrome. Why? It just works. It's fast. Easy. Stupid when you want, extremely powerful when you need it.

    Firefox is irrelevant nowadays, not because we have Chrome, but because they are trying to run after Chrome and do things "Better". Better is great, but Good enough is best. And Google's Chrome is by far Good Enough, and I'm a web developer.

    Firefox needs to stop trying to be "better". It needs to reinvent the browser, not to pickup the slack after Chrome. As long as Firefox is running behind chrome and just trying to catch up, and let'f face it, they can't because google has bazlillions of dollars to pour into Chrome, and Firefox is a product of a non-profit organization that think 10-15 times before it spends a dime, as long as Firefox is playing catch-up, it will always be second best to Chrome.

    Firefox needs to reinvent the internet as it did in versions 1 and 2. Nothing less will do.

    • Metal March 26, 2014 at 3:13 am #

      2 words: Bottom tabs.

  38. glenn March 25, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    I think firefox is overtaking google in terms of performance and interface.Sadly I am a google fan but have started using firefox too and realized that it is consuming less resources than chrome.Check it for yourself friends instead of making defensive comments supporting your own browser.

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