Let’s say that perhaps Firefox peaked too early, soon overshadowed both by Google’s Chrome and Apple’s rapidly improving Safari. As deep as we are into the Golden Age of Browsers, it’s nice to see a new revolution come along to shake things up.
Firefox has always been my backup to the backup browser. First Safari, then Chrome, then Firefox, then everything else ranging from Opera to Vivaldi to Brave and a few others. I might even have a download of iCab somewhere. Here’s what has happened in the new browser revolution.
Firefox is good enough to replace Safari. That’s no mean feat. Even Chrome didn’t do that and it’s the most popular browser on earth. What makes Firefox so good these days?
Take a look.
See? A boring browser. Tabs on top, URL search bar, navigation arrows, bookmarks, home button, various and sundry extensions. So, what’s the big deal about a revolution?
What makes this Firefox so good starts with what you cannot see. Speed. Good Golly Molly. Firefox is fast. Webpages seem to snap to the screen. Compare it yourself. The speed increase is notable and visible when compared to Safari or Chrome.
Check out the Privacy and Security option. There is a setting for Firefox Will Never Remember History. I love that. Site Data has a setting where nothing from a website gets stored. That is the start of more privacy and it gets better.
Tracking Protection has options to Always block online trackers that collect personal data from across multiple websites. There are individual settings for camera, microphone, an notifications. The Security setting blocks dangerous and deceptive content. Think phishing and malware. The Private Browsing mode is like having a robust ad blocker and tracker blocker extension only it’s built in.
Wait. There’s more. And it gets better. Firefox can import settings and bookmarks from Safari and Chrome. A Firefox account lets you sync information between Firefox on other devices– including the newly revamped and faster Firefox on iPhone and iPad. Firefox uses less RAM than Chrome. It updates automatically and has a wider array of extensions than Safari. The news capture service Pocket is built in, too (would love to have Instapaper).
One new feature I love is hidden, too. Tabs. I open lots of tabs in Safari and sometimes in Chrome because Safari chokes after a few dozen. Firefox doesn’t choke with dozens of open tabs, each with multiple webpages.
They say necessity is the mother of invention. So, what did Mozilla need that spawned the new breed of Firefox? Survival. In an age where all browsers are pretty good and free, getting a browser to stand out among the crowd of heavyweights is a challenge. Firefox is faster, more secure, has just the right blend of useful features, and plenty of privacy options built-in that you don’t see in Safari or Chrome.
Alright, it’s a modest revolution, but sufficient to get me to make a change.