It’s 2008 and I had been using Mozilla Firefox for two years after my painful but inevitable break with Internet Explorer. But, out of academic and professional necessity, I had to switch to Google Chrome.
For the most part it worked for me. It had features that Firefox didn’t have at the time, like the ability to sync and access tabs from other devices or save all my bookmarks under one profile that I could transfer to other PCs. .
Then over the years, Google became more invasive. Like many other big companies, it started tracking and compiling data and creating detailed profiles that it could sell to marketing companies. Lucrative business for them, but a nail in the coffin for internet privacy.
The other highlight is the fact that Chrome‘s market share absolutely exploded during this time. Back in 2008 when I first made the switch, Google and Mozilla weren’t too far apart, but now, thanks to most other browsers using some form of Chromium to power them, the gap might as well to be an ocean.
But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. I finally switched back to Mozilla Firefox in 2019 and found it to be an amazing browser that had all the features of Chrome and more.
The browser doesn’t track you, which makes using AdBlock really useful
Google Chrome has a range of AdBlock extensions that keep your data out of the reach of marketing companies looking to compile detailed profiles from your browsing history. However, the Chrome browser itself does the same and there is no access restriction. There is also talk of Google breaking these AdBlock extensions in 2023 with a massive update, which is terrifying to say the least.
However, Mozilla has none of these issues. The browser doesn’t track you in the slightest and even has built-in cookie protection and offers cheap VPN services. So you can add AdBlock or uBlock Origins or any other extension you prefer, knowing that Firefox won’t violate your privacy.
There are tons of extensions to protect your internet privacy
While Google Chrome has a good selection of extensions, Mozilla Firefox has so much more than that and a considerable amount is devoted to blocking the wide range of internet trackers used by most sites. And unlike Chrome, Firefox is extremely anti-tracking to the point that outside forces (whether at work or school) are unable to install extensions and tracking programs into the browser.
Here are a few Firefox extensions in particular that are, in my humble opinion, vital for the best possible browsing experience:
- uBlock Origin – Adblock but better and uses less CPU
- Facebook container – prevents Facebook from tracking you across sites
- Google container – prevents Google from tracking you across sites
- Multi-account container – prevents websites from interacting with each other and tracking you by placing them in a separate container
- Disconnect – prevents third-party sites from tracking you
- Privacy – falsifies tracking data and sends it to tracking companies
- privacy badger – learns to block invisible trackers
- HTTPS Everywhere – automatically enables HTTPS encryption
- DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials – full protection of your browser privacy
Not only are all of these things helpful in keeping all of your data safe and private, but it really makes you think about how much of your online experience is recorded at any given time.
You can save profiles and transfer bookmarks, as well as sync tabs
One of the features I needed when I switched to Chrome was the ability to sync and open the same tabs on different devices, a feature that later proved indispensable throughout college and especially when I started writing professionally as a video game journalist. And being able to back up all my bookmarks was key to not losing access to them in the event of a PC crash, ironically what happened when my laptop crashed and I lost all my Mozilla Firefox bookmarks.
But now Firefox has it all, and it’s incredibly simple to use. The browser itself saves your bookmarks and settings under one profile, which you can transfer to multiple PCs and even the mobile version of the browser. From here, you can sync tabs between all your devices and open them wherever you want. You can even send tabs directly from one device to another, allowing you to open them instantly without having to dig first. And all bookmarks are saved under your profile, giving you full access to them on any device once you log in.
It’s not a CPU hog like Chrome
A huge complaint, even among Google Chrome’s most loyal users, is that the browser eats through your CPU like a Snorlax at a buffet. While this is a problem for any PC, having a browser that constantly consumes almost half of your processing power is especially a problem for laptops or other devices with very little RAM.
This is why Mozilla Firefox is such a breath of fresh air, as it uses much less of your CPU while still providing a fast browsing experience. So feel free to open as many tabs as you want in Firefox, your device will hardly feel the effects.