In the last three years, I have built 100+ websites for my clients and helped promote them online. I have never seen any browser as good as Firefox [No. not even Googles Chrome] and I list out three very important reasons to choose Firefox as your default browser.
#1. Restart with Add-ons disabled
Perhaps the single best reason to choose Firefox is this. A bit of a backstory: I have gotten countless phone calls from my friends on how to disable spammy add-ons / bloatwares that get installed in their browser and wont go away.
You try disabling them, uninstalling them in the “Add-ons” or [extensions panel in Chrome] and they might still not go away. Sometimes nothing actually shows up in your add-ons page but still you see those crappy ads or bugs that gets installed in the home page. These spam softwares replace your Google search / home page to their own advertisement page. Real pain and no way to delete / disable them.
Firefox has this “Restart with add-ons disabled” option that solves all your bug troubles with the click of a button. Go to Help – select “Restart with add-ons disabled”. It simply resets firefox to its original state.
No, your super fast Google Chrome doesn’t have such an option. There are spammy bloatwares that won’t go away even after you reinstall Google Chrome. Why so? Because, Chromes developer terms and conditions are kinda flexible to third party developers who create “tracking applications”. They were given enough freedom to play around with Chrome. Certainly there are advantages here. But some shrewd Spammers use this loophole and install add-ons without our permission in the browser and most of the time there is no way to delete/disable them without expert help.
#2. Slow but Steady
There will be a lot of “speed comparison” articles floating on the web that proves Chrome is the fastest and mightiest browser out there. True, When you are a company as big as Google and have thousands and thousands of servers at your disposal, you have the luxury of creating the fastest browser on earth. Technically, we call this process as “caching”. A process where the browser keeps a compressed copy of the websites you recently visited or might visit often. This is done to improve the loading speed. Google keeps copies of websites in their server farms and loads them to you. Internet explorer does this by keeping a copy in temporary internet files folder. Chrome too keeps a local copy. Since it Googles servers additionally the load speeds are real good.
Firefox doesn’t do this. It doesn’t have the luxury of server farms. Everytime you type the address in your browser, firefox loads it from the websites server and thus one might see subtle reduction in loading speed in comparison with Chrome.
Here is the catch. This caching process of Chrome has a pitfall. Any new updates made on a website would take up to 4 or 5 hours to get updated in Google’s caching process and wont show up in your browser. Lets say, you visit the website of a local business and they had recently changed their contact number. Google Chrome won’t be able to display the latest contact numbers for 4 hours. Thats a lot.
Trust me, an additional “30 microseconds” delay in loading a website is nothing to be worried in comparison to seeing a wrong phone number on a website.
One might ask, “How come News websites are loading fast with latest data?”. Chrome handles news websites [Dynamic websites if you are a fan of jorgans] a bit differently. Websites with regularly updated content will be shown without much caching. Real trouble lies for websites that change their content once in 6 months or a year. Like an occasional phone number or an address update.
Firefox might be slow without those proprietary caching gimmicks.. But it always shows the latest content.
#3. Open source and Privacy
Firefox is built by a global community of open source developers. This is one of the longest running such organizations [Older than Wikipedia] that serves for the betterment of web by being free and open.
If you are a big fan of privacy then firefox is a good choice. Though there are some good benefits in allowing websites to track your browsing behavior, some of us just don’t like being tracked. Personally not my favourite; but this is how to to do that if you are interested: Go to “Preferences and select privacy tab”.
Well Chrome also has this feature. But buried deep inside the “Settings – Advanced settings – Privacy”. And they have a way with their words. Kinda hard to understand what sending a “Do not track request with your browsing traffic” actually means. Well played Google.
To download the latest version of firefox go here: www.firefox.com