Firefox Quantum Review: Is it time to make the switch?

<!– CUSTOM Firefox Quantum Review: Is it time to make the switch?

Perhaps the better question is: Is it time to switch back to Firefox?

One of our staff members takes the plunge and uses Firefox Quantum for a month to see what all the fuss is about.

If you’ve never used Firefox before, or you jumped ship to another browser in the last few years, then Firefox Quantum is well worth downloading and installing. It’s fast, privacy oriented, endlessly customisable, easy to use, easy on the battery, and in many respects is better than its main competitor, Chrome.  It’s also packed with well thought out and helpful features.

Firefox Quantum: Better than Chome? We think so

Chrome may have just lost its sparkle

Google’s Chrome may be the world’s most popular web browser, but it might be time to admit that just because Chrome is the biggest browser out there, doesn’t mean it’s the best, anymore.

It may be hard to believe now, but anyone who can remember the web back in 2010 will remember that Mozilla’s Firefox was a pretty big player. Back then, it alone held sway over a third of the market, which considering the giants it was competing against, such as Microsoft, Yahoo, and of course Google, wasn’t bad going.

Chrome is not the only option out there, google it and see!

These days, Chrome can seem almost unavoidable, especially if you use an Android device. But that doesn’t mean you have to use it. There are a host of alternative browsers from Opera, Safari, Maxthon, and of course Mozilla’s Firefox.

There are many reasons why you should consider making the switch to Firefox.

For a start the Mozilla Foundation, the company behind the browser is, in their own words, “a non-profit organization that promotes openness, innovation and participation on the Internet.” That statement, if nothing else, should make anyone who uses Firefox feel better about themselves.

It’s also worth pointing out that considering the recent scandals and increasing awareness around the use of people’s data and privacy, such as the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica debacle of earlier this year, that Mozilla have been shouting about user control of their data since back in 2014.

Privacy? Mozilla have been having that conversation for years before it hit the headlines

Privacy built in

In 2014, Mozilla announced that it was majorly concerned about the way people were so easily giving up personal data to the ‘Web’ announcing that “fighting for data privacy — making sure people know who has access to their data, where it goes or could go, and that they have a choice in all of it — is part of Mozilla’s DNA.”

Practically four years later in 2018, Mozilla’s warnings of yesteryear are perhaps more prescient than ever before. Firefox has had a whole load of rules and limits in place for a long time, restricting what itself and others can infer from user data, and they take great pains to balance privacy against commercial interest. Plus they are not the personal data gathering monopolistic entity that is Google.

Don’t be evil?

You may know that one of Google’s big mantras used to be ‘Don’t be evil,’ but as we reported last month, that little line has recently quietly disappeared from their Code of Conduct. I’m just saying.

All that’s great, but I thought this article was all about why I should be thinking about switching to Firefox? It is. I’ve just taken my time getting there, but thanks for reading this far all the same. We appreciate it. So, why Firefox?

Speed. Firefox is fast and easy on the battery

Firstly, Firefox, or Firefox Quantum as the new version first released back in November, 2017, is known, is fast, faster in fact than any other browser currently available. For laptop users it’s also important to note that it doesn’t permanently damage your battery every time you use it. In fact, one of the shining lights of Firefox Quantum is that it really looks after your battery life, especially in real life conditions. Now, OK, Microsoft’s Edge has the best battery performance of all the browsers, but that’s Edge, and it’s not very good, despite what Microsoft insist on telling us.

As a browser, Firefox has taken some really good moves in the last year or so. The latest edition has finally made good on a whole lot of potential Mozilla have been striving for in the last year or so. Firefox is now a cutting edge way to surf the web.

Chrome and Firefox come from the same stable

Not many people know that both Chrome and Firefox are built using the same source code as each other, known as Chromium. But Mozilla have essentially re-built their browser from the ground up.

Firefox now has one of the cleanest and up-to-date takes on what a web-browser should be. It’s also a ridiculously easy browser to download and install.

Firefox’s recent changes aren’t just skin deep either. There’s an awful lot of impressive work that’s gone on behind the scenes and beneath the skin. For a start, Firefox has been built to take full advantage of today’s multi-core processors in a way that none of the other browsers out there, Chrome included. This means that Firefox is faster when working with multiple open tabs, and it’s surprising just how much crisper, cleaner and faster Firefox is than other browsers.

Firefox may just be another web browser, but it could also be the best

The Filehippo website as seen from Firefox. It looks good.

Crucially for most users, none of the complex working going on beneath the surface are all that important. Firefox is the same multifaceted and ever capable browser it always has been, just refreshingly better.

Perhaps the standout feature of the new Firefox is the screenshot tool (right-click in the context menu), which can capture an entire web page without the need to scroll up and down. It can also just capture a section if you’d rather. The screenshot is then uploaded to Mozilla’s servers and is stored there for 14 days for you to share or download.

But what about all my Chrome extensions and add-ons?

Don’t worry, you can keep them. Don’t forget, Chrome and Firefox are built on the same engine, which means that virtually all the Chrome extensions work just as well on Firefox. The same also goes for anyone using Opera extensions. Hurrah!

There are a host of extensions and the ability to customise user extensions is impressive to say the least. The changes aren’t just limited to the desktop PC version either. The updated Firefox Mobile app is also just as fast and lets you move effortlessly between devices.

In fact, after having used Firefox almost exclusively for the last month or so, I’m seriously considering moving away from even my own current favoured and excellent browser, Opera, permanently.

Firefox’s ability to integrate with mobile, is one of the most seamless and best efforts from any browser available. There’s a mobile version for every major platform so keeping everything in sync is easy.   

Firefox is not the Mig-31

Clint Eastwood has nothing to do Mozilla, as far as we know…

As an aside, there is no relation between the Firefox browser and Clint Eastwood movie of the same name from 1982. The movie was one of those eighties movies about US-Soviet tensions, and the theft of a prototype Russian stealth plane. It’s a tense and often moving movie set at the height of the Cold War. The last 20 minutes are somewhat silly, but still a good watch.

So what do we think of Firefox?

Firefox is a really good browser that looks good, is easy to use, and a definite and worthy contender to Chrome, and one that is making waves in 2018. It’s Hipster in a way that was cool before Hipster wasn’t cool.

It’s also free and you can download and install directly from us here at What have you got to lose?

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