2018 might go down in internet history as the Year of the Browser. Despite growing app usage– especially for iPhone and iPad users– browsers have made a comeback in recent years. All the major browsers are fast, secure, render website pages about the same, have many usable extensions, and many privacy options. If it’s not the Year of the Browser then we’re still well within the Golden Age of Browsers.
Since most of Apple’s customers prefer Safari first, Chrome second, why Firefox?
Firefox is the fastest and most flexible browser for Mac users. No other browser is as fast, and even Google does not have as many third party extensions. Firefox uses less RAM and CPU than Chrome. Tracking prevention is built in. Open 10 or 20 or 100 tabs with ease. Firefox imports all your bookmarks, autofills, passwords, and preferences from Chrome (just bookmarks from Safari).
Firefox has a private browsing mode which blocks online trackers and forgets your browsing history when you stop. Many advertisers have hidden trackers that follow you from website to website. Firefox stops those. Pocket is built in so you can save important web pages. The toolbar is customizable, themes let you change the look and feel, and Firefox lets you sync your personal information to Firefox on other devices.
That makes Firefox the best browser for Mac users.
What about Firefox on iPhone and iPad? Still the best because all the tracking nonsense is stopped as default. Firefox syncs data from other devices but as with all iOS browsers, doesn’t allow extensions.
Still, Firefox iOS comes with the private browsing mode, easy access shortcuts to Wikipedia, Amazon, Twitter, and other sites. Yes, it’s fast, but about the same as Safari.
Browsers are an acquired taste. If you’ve only used Safari, Chrome might seem odd and out of place. Firefox will have a similar feel so it requires some usage to become acquainted with the differences. But if you’re interested in speed, cross-device and cross-platform sync, and an improved privacy mode, you won’t find Safari or Chrome to be as good.
One more thing.
Firefox Focus on iPhone and iPad. This is a stripped down, highly secure, very fast version of Firefox for iOS. Think no ads and no tracking. Controls are minimal and Firefox Focus has an Erase button that erases your browsing history with a tap.
There is no reason this cannot be the Year of the Browser and the Golden Age of Browsers all at the same time. Test out my assertions. Try Firefox wherever. Compare the points above rather than mere familiarity.
For now, Firefox is the best browser.