Was it Brave? Or, Opera? Or, Vivaldi? Nope cubed. The browser I began to use exclusively– as a test to see if the adage ‘nothing improves without change’ truly works everywhere– is Firefox. Yes, that Firefox browser. The one from Mozilla that is leaving other browser platforms in the dust of performance improvements.
What I’m looking for is what most of us want from a browser. Speed, features, privacy, security. Don’t look for those in Google’s Chrome which is based on the Google inspired Chromium project which is also the basis for Brave, Opera, Vivaldi, and now Microsoft Edge.
There are three major browser platforms from which to choose, and Chromium has the most look-a-likes. Safari is based on WebKit. Mozilla kinda sorta mostly rolls its own with Firefox.
Why switch from whatever you’re using now to Firefox?
First, speed. No browser is faster. Try it yourself. Second, privacy. None of the major browsers have the same built-in default settings for privacy and security. Firefox has Preferences which have a control panel for Privacy & Security with options to block some trackers, all trackers, and with choices for what to block.
For convenience, Firefox can import bookmarks from Safari, and then sync them between Firefox running on other devices. Change or add a bookmark on the Mac and it shows up on iPhone or iPad. The list of Permissions and options is extensive including Location, Camera, Microphone, Notifications, and default settings to block websites that want to play videos with sound, popups, and it even warns when a website tries to install an add-on extension.
Speaking of extensions, Firefox was the originator of useful extensions for the masses, and you’ll find more tools than Safari; most are free and all are easy to install with a couple of clicks.
So, what’s the big deal about Firefox vs. Safari and Chrome? Dumping Chrome should be a no brainer. Google has become fat and rich by taking user information that it uses for advertising. Apple claims that Safari is a private browser but continues to use Google as the default search engine thanks to annual payments of pure profit from… insert the drum roll here... Google.
Since most of the other third party browsers are based upon the same engine as Google’s Chrome– Chromium– that leaves Firefox as the only valid choice.
As of this week the latest Firefox is notably faster at downloading pages than the previous version which was also the fastest browsers I have ever used, so it comes highly recommended. Yes, it may take some getting used to, but if speed, extension tools, privacy, and security are worthy considerations, there is only one choice.