You often hear the question about the best browser. In this article I will take a closer look at the two most popular - Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
Of course, there are other browsers as well. Unfortunately, Microsoft's Internet Explorer is still frequently used. Unfortunately, the outdated browser causes problems for us developers day after day because it ignores individual display commands partout. Microsoft then developed a new browser from scratch: the Microsoft Edge. But unfortunately it can't keep up with Chrome or Firefox either. But help is at hand: Microsoft is rebuilding the browser on a Chromium engine.
In contrast, good alternatives to Firefox and Chrome are Opera and Vivaldi.
But now for the actual comparison.
Compare Chrome Firefox
When I ask our developers which browser they prefer, the answer immediately comes: «CHROME» – but is it really better? To say it in the words of the hip-hop band «Fettes Brot»: «yes and no».
I think the first thing that matters is speed. There is nothing more tedious than long loading times. But which one is faster? To put it in a nutshell – Chrome has the edge here. And yet there's a «but»: If you open several tabs at the same time, older computers with low RAM may experience Chrome giving up the ghost.
The speeds can be measured in browser tests such as SunSpider, Acid3, V8 and Octane. Although Firefox performs very well here, Chrome is still a bit faster.
Both browsers offer an extensive add-ons database (Chrome means «extensions»), with which you can extend your browser functions. With Chrome you can download them from the «Chrome Web Store». Compared to the download area of Firefox, the «Chrome Web Store» is more clearly arranged.
With both browsers, however, it is worth taking a look at the extensions – both can be adapted to personal needs and offer many useful tools, such as a spell checker for all text entries in the browser.
In the last few years/months Firefox was able to significantly increase the standard range of functions. This means that many functions that can only be downloaded from Chrome via extensions are integrated as standard in Firefox. With «Firefox Pocket», for example, you can save websites for offline use. This allows you to open the page later without an Internet connection.
Personally, privacy is very important to me. Especially at this point the differences between the two browsers are significant and Chrome is a loser. However, this is also to be expected, since Google earns billions with collected data. Nevertheless, both browsers are interested in your personal data, but Firefox does not make money with it.
In general, most of the extensions mentioned in the previous section are provided at the expense of privacy and paid for with your data.
Firefox is the only browser developed by a non-profit organization. So I like Firefox's Protection from Activity Tracking feature. This stops hidden trackers of advertisements directly. I think Firefox is definitely one of the safest browsers.
Phishing and malware protection are now on board with all browsers, and additional add-ons extend the protection.
As far as protection against hacking attacks is concerned, Chrome is ahead again – Google invests a lot in this.
Synchronization refers to the ability to synchronize data from different end devices with each other. Due to portable browser versions, for example, tabs can be synchronized between computers and smartphones. In this case, both browsers are available in the same way.
With Firefox, an open page can be opened directly on a connected device of your choice using the «Send to device» function.
With Google Chrome, another app does the matching. Unfortunately, you will also need a Google account for synchronization. And already we are again with the topic privacy – because also here we must throw data into the throat of the data octopus «Google».
If you value the protection of your personal data and want to protect yourself as best as possible against hack attacks, you should always keep your browser up to date. That means update, update and update again. This is the only way you can be sure that your data and your device are protected.
Firefox is clearly in the lead here: updates are rolled out every 7 to 14 days, where Chrome with its 42-day rhythm is a bit behind. Updates are loaded automatically with both browsers – so you can sit back and relax.
Even for private users, a look at the developer tools can't hurt. This way you can find out what your browser loads and saves. You can also read out information stored for the «extremely useful» (ironic) DSGVO.
The «Audits» are recommended for Chrome. This allows you to check any website for speed, development standards, SEO and more. You will also receive optimization suggestions.
With Firefox, you have a classic and protected browser with which you can surf the web in a stable and secure way. It can also be flexibly adapted to your needs.
Chrome is a rocket: fast, slim, but with a loss of privacy.
In the end, you can't do anything wrong, no matter which browser you prefer. Both are among the best, and are therefore rightly the most widely used. The differences described are so minimal that it's a matter of taste which one you choose.
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