What do you prefer, performance or productivity?
Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are two of the most widely used internet browsers available.
There isn’t much difference between them when looking at a broader level. For example, both provide a clean user interface, add-on supports, and more such essential features.
However, as we go into technical details, they are a bit different on numerous factors.
Therefore, we created this guide to compare both browsers against each other for you to decide which one to use.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started.
Firefox Vs. Chrome: What is the necessity?
Chrome undoubtedly bangs the market share by a hefty amount. Most users prefer using it for their daily tasks. In reality, Firefox is way older than Chrome in the market. However, it is an underdog product that didn’t get as much credibility as it’s worth.
We are considering a few factors in this article: ease of use, productivity, privacy, security, and features. Comparing both products against each other would clear some air and help you decide the one best suitable for you.
Firefox Vs. Chrome: One on One Comparision
An internet browser requires numerous tools and features. Some examples include extensions, customizations, mobile features. A few minor convenience tools like reading mode and capture tool also plays a vital role. So, let’s see how good are our browsers in this arena.
Mozilla Firefox serves a vast number of add-ons for users. It lacks when compared to Chrome’s extensions. Still, you would find all the useful tools here.
The browser also comes with a few pretty good in-built features. One among them is the capture tool. It lets you take a full window screenshot or convert the webpage into an image regardless of the length. You can also choose a specific area from the window.
Another useful tool is the reader mode. It scraps all the irrelevant content from the page to provide a clean interface for reading. Backed by a lite PDF reader, Firefox proves to be ideal for online reading.
Firefox also lets you customize the browser as per your requirements. Most of the UI elements are movable, and you can place them at the desired positions.
When it comes to Smartphones, Firefox believes in a clean and light application. It hasn’t stuffed the app with some useless features. Instead, only a few ones that you can use daily. Some features to mention are an in-built QR scanner, night mode to spare your eyes from bright screen in the dark, and a desktop version to show a better page if a website has a poorly designed mobile version.
Like I said earlier, Chrome’s extension library is second to none.
Additionally, the browser is well integrated with other Google services like Gmail, Docs, and not to forget Google Translate. It is the most reliable automatic translation tool available at our disposal as of now. Thus, it creates a good browsing experience by translating a web page from almost any language.
The internet browser is easy to set up and allows you to create multiple profiles. It comes in handy if you use a family computer. Or, you can also create various profiles to keep your work and personal life separate. Chrome also has a basic PDF reader for convenience.
When it comes to customization, there isn’t much you can do. Therefore, you have to rely on a third-party extension to make any visual change in your browser.
Chrome’s mobile app does not include any quirky features other than to request a desktop version and to save a page for offline reading.
Overview of Features
Both browsers are similar when it comes to providing features. However, Chrome lacks a bit when it comes to customization. Firefox lets you tweak the user interface according to your choice.
To counter this problem, Chrome presents various extensions that can do much more than an in-built customization option. However, it can also raise a question of privacy; more on that later.
Firefox carries some useful features like the night mode, capture tool, and QR reader to make the browser more useful. It also lets you use various search engines in a click.
On the other hand, Chrome provides a better ecosystem with other Google products like Gmail, Docs, and Translate.
In short, feature-wise, Firefox leads in the game with a slight margin.
2. Ease of Use
Now, we will dive into the user experience side of both the browsers. The comparison includes tab management, navigation, user interface, and compatibility issue with any website.
This web browser comes with a simple and customizable interface. You would find every function where it is supposed to be. Moreover, you can also add and remove elements from the navigation bar as per your requirement.
Firefox makes it easier to navigate between the tabs. It uses the horizontal scrolling feature instead of continuing to minimize the tab. Therefore, you can peek at the tab name to know which website is open there. There is also a drop-down button that shows all the open tabs in a vertical list. You can pin, mute, and perform some other actions for each tab by right-clicking on it. Also, it let you send a window to another device if you are logged in on both.
Since Google Chrome is the most widely used browser, many developers prefer to create their websites suitable for Chromium-based browsers. Therefore, you might occasionally run into a site that does not work well with Firefox.
On the contrary, if a website s older than the rise of Google, there is a fair chance that it would work better on Firefox.
Google Chrome’s user interface s responsive and well designed. It won’t confuse you with unnecessary elements on the window. Additionally, most browsers these days are Chromium-based, making it easier for users to understand the layout.
The tab management is also pretty good. You can mute, pin, or send a tab to another device. However, Chrome does not support horizontal scrolling features. That means it continues minimizing the tabs when you open multiple. The only way to identify a page is to look at the favicon, which is always present.
A unique feature called “search Google for image” comes in handy to look for a similar image on the internet. It also shows a possible related search term as a suggestion about the image. Visually similar images and other websites using the same image is also available in the search.
Another advantage Chrome provides the ease to open the same pages on various devices. If you are using the same account on multiple devices, all the tabs are accessible in a click. That means you don’t have to send them on any device specifically.
Overview of Ease of Use
Chrome and Firefox both presents easy to understand interface and clean design. Therefore, the winner would not be easy to determine.
On one side, Firefox has better management of tabs. Well, that doesn’t mean Chromes tab management is any weaker. Additionally, the ease of accessing any tab from any device gives an upper hand to Chrome.
The reverse image search feature adds up to another layer of better accessibility for Chrome. It is something Firefox can surely improve.
That said, Chrome gets a better score when talking about ease of use. Now, let’s move forward.
We usually use a web browser on our computer or mobile phone daily. Therefore, how much it is affecting our device is an essential factor. We will check for their resource consumption and processing speed. Data usage and any ways to limit them are also vital for better performance.
Firefox is among the fastest web browsers available in today’s market. Both the mobile and desktop versions are pretty good. However, the RAM consumption is high than the user expects. Still, the browser performs incredibly well by consuming minimal resources even under heavy load. That means you can open 20-30 tabs in one go, and your computer would not slow down.
There isn’t any provision for limiting the data usage. However, you can select disable loading images on the mobile version if you are on a limited internet plan.
Google Chrome is infamous for its high RAM usage, especially among desktop users. The speed and processing power is no doubt breathtaking. Still, you might encounter performance issues when working with heavy tabs.
The Chrome mobile app presents a lite mode for data saving if you use a limited plan. It can reduce your data usage by 20% on average.
Overview of performance
Both Chrome and Firefox have optimal speed compared to any other browser. Chrome shows better speed on the desktop, and the case is the same for Firefox when talking about the mobile application.
Both apps have provisions for limiting data usage. Still, Chrome works better in this field. In the end, it boils down to one factor that is the effect on your device. We observed that Firefox works much better on heavy load. Therefore, it surpasses Chrome in this comparison with a very slight margin.
Your online security is a big concern these days. Since most of your accounts need passwords and often upload critical information like credit card numbers and more through a web browser, it is vital to know if we are in safe hands. Therefore, we will look at some security features like pop-up blockers, ad-blocker, insecure connection warnings, and more similar tools. If they are available by default or depend on a third-party extension, it is a notable aspect.
Firefox comes with a powerful pop-up blocker. However, it lacks a good ad-blocker for no reason. You can easily overcome this issue by choosing from the variety of add-ons Firefox has to offer.
It uses Google’s safe browsing database to protect users from malicious content. The database contains a list of websites that can cause harm to your device. The browser has this setting enabled by default, which is a good thing in terms of security. However, it can cause some privacy issues. The browser also gets frequent automatic updates to protect you from any security issues.
Mozilla Firefox also warns you if you are on an insecure webpage, i.e., if it does not follow an HTTPS connection. However, the notification is minimal and easy to overlook since it has no text.
Firefox can also store your username and passwords if you allow it to. Therefore, you would not have to input the log in detail each time you open a website. However, the passwords are not fully protected unless you create a primary password to hide them. You would need to do it manually. Otherwise, anyone with physical access to your device can steal your passwords.
Chrome has all the features we discussed for Firefox. Additionally, they are even better in many aspects.
Chrome has a built-in pop-up blocker. You can also benefit from the plethora of ad-blockers available for free on the Chrome web store. If you are confused, here are some of the best ad-blockers for Chrome.
Chrome also uses Google’s database of malicious content to protect you from unwanted threats.
In contrast to Firefox, Chrome’s warning about the insecure connection is easily visible. Therefore, it does a better job for your protection. The browser also gets frequent updates, i.e., every few days. You don’t have to install it manually.
Chrome’s password manager is also better than that of Firefox. It protects your passwords from anyone having physical access to your device by asking the device password.
Overview of Security
Eventually, Chrome does a much better job of providing secure usage for users.
It shows a better warning to protect you from malicious sites. Also, it does a better job of hiding your passwords when compared to Firefox.
Other than that, both browsers rank the same in security features. However, you have the upper hand with Chrome due to multiple third-party extensions are available. So, Chrome is a clear winner when it comes to security.
In this last section of this comparison, we will talk about both the browsers’ privacy features. We will consider these companies’ history in the field, any built-in feature, and reliability to keep us safe.
Firefox also presents excellent tracking protection control. You are independent to choose which trackers to block like miners, finger printers, cookies, and trackers as per your desire.
Firefox even launched a campaign in 2014 to aware users about online privacy. It is stated in Mozilla’s DNA that they would always work for the consumers. Users should know and control how much of the information they want to share and with whom.
Google generates most of its revenue through ads. These ads are customized using user data, browsing behavior, likes and dislikes, and much more that Google hardly discloses. Therefore, it is a no brainer to conclude that Chrome uses our data to feed Google with information.
Privacy is the weakest aspect of Chrome that drags it behind any other browser. Another weak point about Chrome’s way of working includes the lack of proper cookie management. It allows almost all the cookies from the other websites. However, you can manually disable third-party cookies that might track your data in a browsing session.
Google was also involved in various data collection scams. For example, the infamous PRISM program Backed by NSA. A whistleblower leaked the information about this secret program in 2013. It states that the NSA has direct access to some famous company’s servers. That means they can tap into personal information such as photos, emails, voice chats, and much more.
On the brighter side, the browser has pretty good tracking protection. You can choose to disable third-party cookies and add websites to a block list if desired.
Overview of Privacy
There is no real competition here when it comes to privacy. Any browser is better than Chrome in this aspect. In contrast, Firefox actively promotes the privacy of its users.
Both browsers are useful in protecting you from third-party trackers. Still, Firefox provides a more flexible approach. Neither of the browsers has an in-built VPN service. However, you can solve this problem by opting for third-party extensions. Here is a list of the best VPN for Chrome.
Considering all privacy factors, Firefox leads this section with flying colors.
Both Chrome and Firefox proves to be healthy competitors. We saw that Chrome performs better when it comes to ease of use and security. The same applies to Firefox in the case of features and performance comparison.
However, it becomes apparent after the privacy round that Firefox leads the browser war by a significant margin. Google’s business model is based on data collection and usage. Therefore, you can never be sure that they protect your privacy, regardless of what Google says.
Therefore, the conclusion is Firefox is a better browser than Chrome on a broader view. Now, your choice depends on your requirements from a browser.
When is Chrome Better than Firefox?
Firefox might be the best and more reliable alternative to Chrome. Still, Chrome’s market share is much more significant than that of Firefox. Here is a lesson in there. It means either most people do not care about privacy as much to give up on the functionalities. Or, they don’t know about it at all.
That said, here is a list of functions that stand out for Chrome.
- The Chromecast streaming service only works with Chrome.
- Web developers might find it easier to work on Chrome.
- Chrome focuses much more on simplicity so that even new users can start their online journey quickly.
- Google services create a desirable ecosystem on Chrome.
- Since most users prefer Chrome, almost all of the websites work best with it.