Waterfox Browser cuts ties with System 1 to celebrate independence

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 4, 2023

When the creator of the Waterfox web browser Alex Kontos announced that his web browser had been sold to System1, part of the community eyed the deal suspiciously. System1, which also acquired the Startpage search engine in 2019, was an advertising company first and foremost after all. Its goal was to make advertising better and safer, and the company had a prior relationship with the Waterfox project.

On July 3, 2023, Kontos announced on the official Waterfox blog that the browser has turned to its independent roots again.

Kontos, who remained lead developer of the Waterfox browser after the System1 deal, remains in charge of the independent project. He mentions that the change allows him and the community to "shape the browser's future direction".

System1 must have had some say in the development of the browser after it made the acquisition, based on that statement. Kontos reiterates that the development focus remains on privacy, customization options and performance. Upcoming versions of the Waterfox browser will have online security and also the digital autonomy  of users as a priority.

waterfox browser

He writes: "s we embark on this new chapter, Waterfox’s dedication to privacy, customisation, and performance remains. I am committed to delivering a browser that prioritises your online security and respects your digital autonomy. With this change, I have the opportunity to accelerate development, introduce new features, and focus on the user experience".

Kontos plans to focus on improvements in Waterfox that " enhance privacy, boost performance, and expand customisation options" according to the announcement.

New versions of the G5 version of Waterfox were released regularly, but the changelogs on the project's GitHub website don't reveal much about the changes that went into any of the releases. The browser's own changelog offers more information, which users may access here.

Kontos does not reveal additional information about the change in the blog post or specifics about the deal with System1. The newfound independence could act as a catalysator, Kontos certainly makes it sound that way. Users who migrated to a different browser after the deal with System1 in 2020 might come back or take another look at the browser at the very least.

Now You: have you used Waterfox recently?

Waterfox Browser cuts ties with System 1 to celebrate independence
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Waterfox Browser cuts ties with System 1 to celebrate independence
The Waterfox web browser is independent according to its founder and lead developer Alex Kontos.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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