Chrome vs. Firefox - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-10-13, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Chrome vs. Firefox

I've been using Firefox for probably 10+ years. My philosophy has always been to utilize the same software until there is an important-enough reason to change, because change comes with costs in time, learning curve, etc. This can be doubly important for my wife, who is less computer-literate.

I also use Safari for certain websites and I have the two browsers set up differently to go to certain websites for certain reasons.

Rogers may stop supporting Firefox (for certain applications), so I'm looking at changing from Firefox to Chrome as my main browser. I may keep FF on the computer, mostly unused.

I'm posting this in the Apple forum because I use a Mac Mini and a MacBook Pro, but I don't believe the platform matters much for browsers.

I'm looking for feedback from those who changed from FF to Chrome and what is good (or bad) about Chrome and what they miss about FF, if anything.

I assume that once downloaded Chrome will "pick up" the bookmarks from Firefox?

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-10-13, 02:40 PM
 
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Yes Chrome will import your bookmarks. I like that you can mute individual tabs in FF. Not sure if there is an addon for that in Chrome. I use Chrome probably 80% of the time FF 19% and others the remaining 1%

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-10-13, 06:31 PM
 
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At home I use Linux 95% of the time and Windows 5% of the time.

Firefox is great in that it's extremely customizable -- you can put parts on, take them off, and rearrange them how you want to. Chrome is very much a "what we give you is what you're going to have to deal with" browser; you can't move any buttons anywhere. Since I value UI intuitiveness a lot, this is a really important feature for me. There are plugins you can install on Chrome to make things a little more to your liking.

However, when it comes to browser performance, Chrome beats the pants off Firefox. It renders pages a lot more quickly; Firefox will occasionally get bogged down in the mud and use a lot of processor power to load something, especially Google apps such as Gmail and Drive. Unsurprisingly, Chrome does those very well.

In the end I think I'll stick with Firefox. I don't need super-fast performance from my browser, but when Firefox gets too frustrating, I'll flip over to Chrome.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-10-13, 07:27 PM
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I used to use Firefox until I discovered Chrome and LOVED it! But about a year ago I had to stop using Chrome (because I still run Vista SP2) so after trying a number of browsers I ended up with Pale Moon, a FF variant. It's pretty good (and IMO better than the alternatives) but my biggest gripe about it is how slow it is compared to Chrome. (I found the other browsers to be even slower.) As soon as I replace this machine (hopefully later this Fall), I will switch back to Chrome and never look back. It's that good, IMO.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-10-13, 09:05 PM
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I use both. FF is the main browser but Chrome is used for some sites that don't work well with FF. As far as usability and learning curve, there isn't a lot of difference between the two. I find switching back and forth to be not much of an issue. The main things I miss when using Chrome are a few add-ons that are available in FF but not Chrome and the richer set of options and customization for FF. On the other hand, Chrome has some extensions that are not available in FF. Chrome seems faster and is compatible with more sites. It's now the most popular browser, narrowly beating out IE in 2016 and way ahead of FF.

There is going to be a major change in FF with release 57 which is scheduled for Nov 15. With FF 57, multiprocessing will be supported and add-ons will be replaced by WebExtensions, which also support multiprocessing. That should improve performance and stability. Interface changes will make it look more like Chrome and a lot of add-ons could become incompatible.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-10-13, 11:38 PM
 
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I was using Chrome on El Capitan and I found that it had to be restarted every day or so because it ate up all the memory, even after the tabs were closed. Memory pressure would go into the yellow range on Activity Monitor and eventually the entire Macbook would slow down to nothing. I had to keep Activity Monitor running all the time to track the memory usage and know when to restart.

I switched to SeaMonkey (which is based on Firefox/Gecko) and it has been much better in terms of memory usage. I still need Chrome in order to use Chromecast and even SeaMonkey needs to restart after a week or so, but it is not as bad a Chrome. The interface takes some getting used to but I seem to have adapted. I don't do a lot of customization so that I can easily switch browsers as they improve without getting used to add-ons that might not keep up with new releases.

One other advantage is that SeaMonkey has integrated e-mail, so I can monitor my Rogers e-mail from within the single app, rather than also running Thunderbird. Don't know what will happen to this when Rogers gets Oauth2 implemented, but I can always set up an application password if needed.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-10-15, 02:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExDilbert View Post
There is going to be a major change in FF with release 57 which is scheduled for Nov 15. With FF 57, multiprocessing will be supported and add-ons will be replaced by WebExtensions, which also support multiprocessing. That should improve performance and stability. Interface changes will make it look more like Chrome and a lot of add-ons could become incompatible.
You have to wonder if FF is shooting themselves in the foot with this. I use FF because of the wide variety of add-ons available and the fact that Google doesn't need to know even more about my browsing history but if most of my add-ons will become incompatible...
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-10-15, 06:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by geode View Post
I switched to SeaMonkey
Glad someone else uses this, I have been using it cross platform for years, just love it.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-10-15, 02:38 PM
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I switched from using FF to Chrome shortly after Chrome got their addon system in place, and subsequently got a decent ad-blocker.

While I still use FF, it's mostly for compatibility testing.

That said, I think recent developments are very encouraging. They're making the right changes, such as replacing their existing/broken addon system, and developing new browser features using Rust. While there will be an awkward transition period coming up here, these changes needed to happen sooner or later. Security is important, and performance is important. Firefox hasn't done very well on either front until very recently.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-10-15, 03:36 PM
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I always had the impression that FF was at least as secure as Chrome. Despite Google's claims about Chrome being more secure, it has been found to have a number of serious vulnerabilities. Both browsers get patched quickly when vulnerabilities are found so it's pretty much a tie in that respect.

The main issues I've had with FF recently are performance and compatibility. I frequently have issues with scripts and add-ons causing slowdowns and freezes. It also has issues with very large web pages. Compatibility issues seem to come from two sources. One is that FF is deprecating unsupported and insecure protocols such as Adobe Flash. That's a good thing but some companies, like Rogers, are far too slow to follow suit. The other is that some companies see Chrome, Edge and IE support as more important because they have about 75% of the browser market and growing while FF's share is slowly shrinking. I see that as a marketing and shifting demographic issue as much as a quality issue.

Another issue for OTT and VOD services is video streaming and encryption technology. Google's Chrome currently appears to be the leader in that so it makes sense for video services to make Chrome support a priority. In contrast, open source projects like FF tend to get locked out of proprietary protocols and encryption technologies. If it weren't for the adoption of HTML5, FF would be even worse off.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-10-15, 06:47 PM
 
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I always used Firefox as well, but started to find it really, really cumbersome. It just seemed slow no matter what I tried to correct it. And it often crashed. I wasn't crazy about Chrome because it had a number of tracking features that, as far as I knew, couldn't be disabled. That's what I heard at any rate. What I started using that I'm very happy with is Pale Moon. Which is Firefox-light. So it's fundamentally like Firefox, but it loads fast, it works fast. The downside is that it's not as flexible with extensions. Meaning there aren't as many. For instance, I used Hoxx on Firefox and the only VPN add-on with Pale Moon is an older version of anonymoX, which isn't close to as good. But I solve this by keeping Firefox still and using it for certain things only.

If you just need a few extensions, like ad blockers for instance, and you prefer the Firefox interface BUT you're tired of Firefox's pickiness, I'd definitely recommend Pale Moon.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-10-16, 12:10 AM
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Chrome had its problems when I first was testing out different browsers, however as soon as they made a stable 64 BIT version of Chrome, I hopped on right away. There is absolutely no excuse to have a 64 BIT operating system, and still have the default browser as a 32 bit code, *cough* Internet Explorer *cough* Even tough I know how to tweak windows registry to make IE 64 launch on default, plus all the plugins were not readily available in 64 bit mode when IE transitioned or if they were you would have to have both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of addons when using IE such as Both versions of Java, Both versions of Flash, Both versions of Shockwave, etc, it was so rediculous, I am so glad Google made their plugins work seemlessly for me. Now im an avid Google Chrome user.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-10-16, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExDilbert
I always had the impression that FF was at least as secure as Chrome.
The reason why FF was less secure than Chrome was primarily because of their shared memory architecture, and the lack of partitioning between the browser and FF addons.

Mozilla can be reactive and pull addons once they become aware of security issues, but that's just being reactive. Chrome is more proactive, they split each cookie domain into different processes. It's much more difficult to use a discovered security vulnerability to attack the host operating system in Chrome. Exiting the sandbox in Chrome (and Edge) is more difficult, by design.

So, it's not about one browser having perfect code, it's about how well security vulnerabilities can be contained, and how much trust needs to be placed in addon creators when you add said addon to your browser.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-10-16, 02:43 PM
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It looks like FF is adopting this new architecture in the next release. That's probably why all existing add-ons and extensions will become incompatible.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-10-17, 01:19 AM
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I decided to try out the FF57 beta. It's a bit different but not radically so. It kept all my settings and interface customizations which helped. A lot of extensions have been ported over so it's not a total loss in that regard.

Interestingly, going to rogersondemand.com brought up the page for the "new and improved Rogers Anyplace TV." Didn't try it out but a previous link from browsing history did provide the former "unimproved" interface. Why do these companies have to spin every change as better, even when they know it not? Maybe Rogers will support the new FF57 but if it doesn't have PVR management then count me out.
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