Firefox 5 vs Chrome 12

Note : It’s is a very old article comparing the two popular browser Firefox and Chrome. Lots of things have changed since and Now, I may not agree with my past self. :-) And, I recommend Mozilla Firefox,  for an open Web. It’s the browser that respects user’s privacy and freedom.

Mozilla Firefox vs 5.0 is the latest version released on 21th of this month. Google has also released (on 7th of this month) the newer version of Google Chrome i.e chrome vs 12.0 (beta version of chrome 13.0 is available but stable will be released later). Both of the browsers now uses rapid development cycle so we will get fresher version within next two to three months. In the end of this post, I’ve attached a poll for your opinion, so don’t forget to get your opinion counted, select the browser that you think is the best one.

As you know, Firefox and Chrome, both are free and open source web browsers. Google has developed chrome from another open source project – ‘chromium’ while Firefox has evolved from the earliest graphical web browser – Netscape Navigator. Both of the browsers are dominating the browser market, both are good and supports a number of features; despite of that, this post aims to compare some innovative features of both from different point of view such as – features, performance, stability, security, speed etc. After all, these are just my opinion, if you think something is wrong or you don’t except it, feel free to express it through comment(s).

Firefox 5.0 versus Chrome 12.0 – which is better ?

#1  Features :

Firefox 5 has arrived with lot of changes and features such as ‘Do not track’, which allows users to control – how their behavior and data are being tracked or used on the internet. Firefox 5.0 has focused on adding social and useful features (such as PDF Viewer, Sync etc,) related to common desktop users that was already available in its competitor web browsers such as Chrome. Features can be easily added by means of plugins – and Firefox has a number of useful plugins available free to use.

Important features of Firefox 5.0

  • Do not Track
  • social sharing options
  • pdf viewer
  • mp3 player
  • small home icon
  • colored search (engine) bars
  • improved sync feature
  • multiple account login

On the other hand Google chrome has also added a lot of new and exciting features in vs 12.0. It has already most of the features implemented, what Firefox got now, Google has continuously trying to add cutting edge – innovative features to chrome. eg HTML 5 performance/support, hardware accelerated 3D CSS (which allow developers to create better animation effects in the browser, e.g in browser based games) etc. Plugins are available but the number is very less and it’s not so useful as compare to Firefox, despite of having better plugin architecture than Firefox. Firefox Wins in this case.

Some important features include –

  • malicious file download protection
  • hardware accelerated 3D css support
  • improved screen reader support

#2  Performance :

Firefox performs well in Windows and Mac based OS but it sucks when it comes to Linux based operating system, After the major release of Firefox (I mean after version 4.0), we expected better performance on Linux distros such as Ubuntu or Fedora, but things got bad, surely it’s not better than before. If you will use any plugin, then the performance is extremely bad.

On the other hand, Google Chrome rocks on Linux based OS as well as on Windows and Mac. The performance is quite well as compared to Firefox, on Ubuntu or other Linux based operating system. Chrome Wins!

#3  Stability :

Firefox often hangs if a number of tabs is open (specially on GNU/Linux) wile Chrome is stable. So Google Chrome is far stable than Firefox. Chrome wins in this case.

#4  Security :

Both are secure but chrome had added some special features to protect users from downloading malwares or other infected files. Firefox seems better!

#5 Speed :

Firefox has improved speed a lot, because speed is the most dominant factor while choosing the browser for common purposes. Firefox supports HTTP pipelining which can improve the browsers speed a lot but it may cause instability, while chrome doesn’t support this. Google Chrome is fast from the beginning! Google chrome has added some advanced functionality such as Pre DNS fetching (The links pointed (from the current page) to other domain names are resolved before the user clicks on that link), Loading pages before the completion of URL in address bar etc, to improve the surfing speed. Chrome Wins!

  • http://zhoucaiqi.com caii

    I feel that Chrome is faster than Firefox.

    • http://www.sudobits.com rkjha

      Me too.

    • linux experi

      try any other webkit browser, that would be chrome – Google’s attitudes.

  • Eduardo

    Firefox for Web Development.
    Chrome for “Heavy Browsing”. That is watching heavy sites like youtube with tons of tabs and windows open.

    If you dont need to have lots of tabs open then use Firefox.

    • linux experi

      flash is always slow in chrome, so not for youtube, atleast for me.

  • mike

    i feel chrome is better than firefox .i use chrome to view websites in my home and use avant browser in my work. iuse the menu bar ,bookmark bar and status bar most frequently.they are easy to use ,fast and use less memory. i love it

  • http://www.chrome-apps.info Matias

    Just a little tip; Google hired Firefox’s CEO to work on the Chrome team. So, chrome is Firefox-inspired. I am Chrome all the way though.

    Have you guys ever not found the app you wanted in the Chrome Web store? I’m just asking cause at http://www.chrome-apps.info you can request ANY app, and they will make it that very same day you request it. They also make custom icons for apps if you want them too. It’s all free.

    Just thought I’d let you Chrome users know. :-)

    • Mati8

      Chrome has been made only for collecting data by Google.
      Google could not do it by other web browsers because they offer easy cookie disabling (cookie files are one of the way of tracing You).
      When You install Chrome Google is giving You special number and from that time they will be tracing You (Chrome trace You in the different way that reading cookies files – even when You turn cookies off in Chrome they will trace You in different way).
      Remember – Google will  never earn anything from Chrome because advertisements are presented on web pages and not on the interface of Chrome – Chrome has been made by Google only for collecting data reason. It is against dignity of human beings to analyze them as the machines – than is why I do not use it. If You are beta male and treat Google as Your owner You can use – it is just a matter of good taste.

    • linux experi

      Google never hired a Firefox CEO to work on chrome team, anyways CEO work in management not working on code. Firefox soul is it’s community.

  • Pseudonym

    I am finding that chrome still has quirky behavior and performance issues that firefox does not.

  • John

    Chrome is not open source.

    • Anonymous

      yes it is. it’s based on Chromium which IS open sourced. please do your homework.

      • linux experi

        Open source in what regards, Only Google has its control over the source, which finally get compiled into Chrome distributions. I think there should be another term google source project.

  • Andreas Scherer

    Today I switched back from Google Chrome (12.0.742.112) to Mozilla Firefox (5.0) after GC started to have problems on the “first startup of the day”. IIRC, GC developed this misbehavior a few weeks ago at version 10 (?), and it has become worse ever since.

    • KF

      i have also noticed this with the recent version of Chrome.  the first page loaded on a new startup takes very long (too long) but everything after that is fine

  • http://death-metal7979.blogspot.com federico7979

    chrome is not open source but we have chromium and also a not well know web browser called iron. Iron is a really good web browser that is based on chromium with the chrome security bugs fixed.

    I prefer Firefox anyway.

  • tiktak

    As they said on the official page “Chromium is the open-source project behind Google Chrome”.
    So if you use chromium as I do, you are running an open source browser.

    After 7 years of using Firefox on Windows 2 years and on GNU/Linux Ubuntu for the rest (and Debian since 2011), I switched recently to Chromium/ Google Chrome.
    This article explains well the performance we have on Linux. It’s probably fine if you use it with no extension and one tab at a time, but how much times did it just crash because of a plugin on a page, or just too much tabs and windows open.
    Yes, I’m addicted to tabs and even multiple windows and even workspaces (Gnome powaa!) and this is very important to me that one tab doesn’t make the whole browser crash with data filled, video paused or whatever is important not to loose its state.
    Plus, it’s frickin’ fast!

    Early CSS3/HTML5 features support is also great, and even if you think “well, 99% of the sites you browse don’t use these features”, it shows how the team works great and is rapid to implement features, resolve bugs and cares for being ahead of everyone/everything else.

    However, even if Chrome is provided with Web Developer Tools, I prefer using Firebug, and this is one of the only reason I fire up Firefox (besides checking the website displays nicely on every browser, with IE giving me the most work, that is, I have to create one CSS file for each version of the browser!!!)
    The other reason is the “DownloadHelper” extension. I found something similar for Chrome but it only works for YouTube while DownloadHelper knows almost every video sharing website I browse and can even find the “.flv” (Flash video) files and others formats by itself.

    So, Firefox: Before you were almost alone with Internet Explorer (with little market share with Safari and Opera), but now, as a lot of people find it better, Chrome is taking users from both IE and FF, and if you don’t do something quickly Firefox will die.

    I really enjoy Mozilla Thunderbird tough. (At work I’m using a Ubuntu box Thunderbird on Microsoft Exchange server. A software called “Davmail” is able to make TB talk with MS solutions and it works great => sometimes better than Outlook that does it “native” !)

  • Ivaylo Petrov

    I tried firefox many times (on the major releases), but I kept coming back to chrome. I’m a simple user and the speed is the only factor I care about. FF is improving speed with the newer versions but still for heavy browsing on slower machines chrome just feels faster.

    • jim

      Odd everyone keeps talking about how fast Chrome is compared to FF. This test (on an earlier version I admit) demonstrated that FF was ~50% faster than Chrome!

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/28/google-chrome-10-vs-firefox-4-vs-internet-explorer-9_n_841320.html

      Personally I only loaded Chrome up to complete my web site test suite and discovered that someone besides IE has figured out how to print web pages!! Imagine my delight in having an alternative to M$ IE for print testing. Now if only FF could solve it’s nearly 10-year-old problems with printing (hint FF folks: ask Chrome what they’re doing!). Not that Chrome printing interface is anything to write home about. If we could just marry FF print interface to Chrome’s print engine … oh, gawd, wouldn’t that be wonderful.

  • Fred

    If Mozilla would make the effort to fix the SEVEN YEAR OLD font text bug in their Thunderbird email client, I might have stayed with Firefox. But they haven’t so now I use Chrome and I’d never go back.

    Byebye Mozilla.

    • Anonymous

      wait what? how does thunderbird affect your view of firefox?

    • linux experi

      what’s the font text bug, if it’s related to font rendering then mozilla can’t help because uses other lib for font rendering like cairo etc.

  • Rune Jensen

    I use Chrome as well. I can relate to the problems in FF. OK, they are not big, but all in all I don’t have them in Chromium (which is Open Sourced Chrome). So I use Chromium the most. Yes, Firefox is fast, but it’s true, some times it “hangs”. I use FF mainly for web development.

    I run Linux, and I can say even with version 14 of Chromium (unstable) I have no problems. It just works. I have read some where, that the reason Chrome/Chromium works so well on Linux is that it’s part of ChromiumOS which is itself built directly upon Linux. …Sounds reasonable.

  • jamie56

    can I just say firefox is a lot more stable for example I have chrome downloaded on a laptop and 2out of 3 time s when I start it up the it has a dead tab this has never happened for me in firefox (crashing at start)

  • nonW00t

    I like da Chrome, I really do, but it limits concurrent connections to 6 still, which is lame. It still manages to be faster, but that’s just a stupid limitation to keep on. And the Move Media Player (used for some xfinity.tv stuff) is still not supported in Chrome, so oh well. More Firefox for now..

  • Mr. X

    The more you use Chrome, the less you feel good about it. The only thing you can tell you again and again to keep using it is that Chrome Starts Fast. But that’s it, no more. For the whole browsing experience especially the feel of the interface and mouse click, it is like comparing Windows XP to Windows 7. Chrome is that XP. For those switchers, they should look at their machines first: am I using a low-end computer? It is just too sad that Linux has not been able to make more impact like Chrome has done.

  • ComputerUser140

    Speed: Google Chrome

    Extendability (Add-ons): Mozilla Firefox

    Security: While Firefox is good in this area (example: browser not being totally messed up by Spyware, at least in my experience), Google Chrome probably is not much different.

    Popularity: Mozilla Firefox (Google Chrome is catching up)

    Compatibility with Websites: Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome

    (When there is HTML code to load an image, Firefox 3.6 will automatically
    hide the image frame if there is no image located, but Google Chrome just shows
    the image frame, even though there is no image located).

    Best thing going for Mozilla Firefox: extendability

    Best thing going for Google Chrome: speed

    • linux experi

      So you should be arguing gecko vs webkit

  • Jas

    Well I am using Firefox for the 1st time on Ubuntu 11.04, I am new to Ubuntu/Linux, FF is much stable on ubuntu than on windows…it used to crash daily on Win7, it crashed only 3 times in the last 2 weeks on Ubuntu 11..that’s good!

    • jim

      Firefox added an AddOn manager a few versions back and it creates a lot of instability when one gets a lot of sessions / tabs open. Somewhere around 750MB Mem Usage / 1.5GB Peak Mem Usage (as per Windows Task Manager), the AddOn manager seems to run into serious trouble (my assumption based on mucho experience running Firefox). Firefox will start locking up for extended lengths of time (20 sec to 3 min or more) even though the CPU clock is not peaking. Eventually if you keep going, Firefox will crash. Sometimes it will get a report off, sometimes not. Sometimes it will restore your sessions / tabs, sometimes not. 

      Last week I was just surfing and with Firefox up to 2/3 of the aforementioned limits I decided to try Chrome (having installed it the day before for testing my web pages). 

      As mentioned above, Firefox usually crashed once it’s process spent much time around the 1.5GB peak memory usage point.Imagine my surprise after a couple of hours of surfing — with 7 or 8 Chrome sessions running, each with multiple tabs — to have a small window pop up telling me that Windows was assigning more memory space! I checked Windows Task Manager and Chrome had somehow talked Windoze into 8GB of swap space on the hard drive and was merrily chugging along on 4.6GB Mem Usage / 7.5GB Peak Mem Usage!!!! This is a 3.5GB physical RAM machine. I didn’t even know a browser could request more memory. It’s dang sure Firefox doesn’t know how!!

      • linux experi

        swapping of memory (linux) or paging of memory (windows) is actually Dependant on OS, which depends on process idling. May be there’s some adddon or something in those tabs(some javascript) that’s taking up cpu cycles. In linux you can configure swapping sub system to lots of extent.

  • Raynorjoann93

    now I’m confused? Can I have firefox & Chrome ?

    • ComputerUser101

      Sure! You can use both Firefox and Chrome. It really depends on what you need/want.

    • linux experi

      why not IE :)

  • Pikeboss79

    “#4  Security :Both are secure but chrome had added some special features to protect users from downloading malwares or other infected files. Firefox seems better!”You make a valid point that Chrome has special features for malware protection, but then state that ‘Firefox seems better!’ without explaining why?  What does Firefox has that seems better?  Ad block?

    • Anonymous

      i ditched chrome simply BECAUSE it’s ad-block sucked for me. So…maybe…

      • jim

        AdBlock Plus seems to work equally well on FF and Chrome so that difference may be moot now.

    • Xk458

      If your a Power-user you would know what he means, he didn’t give the exact details about it because you would think that he’s just destroying the image of Google Chrome & the Company behind it. But if your just a Standard user never mind it

      • Synthesis

        The reason chrome is more stable is because it launches a process for every webpage it has open, so the load is spread more evenly. It’s actually more secure too, due to the fact that it’s harder to hijack other sessions the user might have open. Chrome also integrates html5 and javascript into it’s addon system (actually, it composes it’s addon system) so that more developers can create interactive apps while providing the user with the piece of mind that comes with better security. You can’t just say: “Firefox is better, but since you’re a power user you wouldn’t know any better”. The only reason Firefox has any edge at all is because of all the addons it has had released for it. Even still, Chrome is catching up in terms of the quantity of addons and support for them as well.

        From the standpoint of a programmer and power user, I can say that Chrome definitely wins. It used to be kind of crappy, but at this stage in the game it has matured and proven to be a very competitive browser. It even has built in support for web designers (which I sometimes use, but not often) so that they can debug and test different layouts as well as take sneak peaks at the code of other sites. 

        Here’s a breakdown:
        -Speed: +1 for Chrome.
        -Reliability: +1 for Chrome (if an addon or page breaks, it won’t break your whole browsing session).
        -Productivity: +1 for Chrome (awesome built in web tools, and the speed decreases down time).
        -Addon Support: +1 for Chrome since most addons are made in HTML5 and won’t become dated in the near future. Firefox breaks most of it’s addons after every major release due to the fact that it’s addon system is directly integrated into the browser and due to the tendency of Mozilla to change up the addon language syntax.
        -Front End Documentation and Help: I’m going to call it a tie here. +0 for both.
        -Open Source Availability: +1 for Firefox, simply due to the volume of official and unofficial source documentation out there. 
        -Design: +1 for Chrome due to it’s simple interface that cuts out unnecessary clutter.
        -Advanced Functionality: +1 to the Firefox due to it having a better proxy interface and more customization options for things like scrolling style. 
        -Security: +1 for Chrome because it uses html5 for addon creation and because it separates different sessions. InPrivate browsing works better on Chrome as well.

        3:1 on my list. Firefox’s “Advanced Functionality” is only marginally better than Chromes. Chrome has the exact same proxy support, but it’s interface is lacking and so Firefox wins in this category. They can both manage and view website certificates so they tie at this part. Both can stop javascript execution and Chrome has the ability to block ads through 3rd party extensions (some of which are very well made).

        • linux experi

          +1 for backdoor

        • linux experi

          In short “Google is about corporate & firefox is about a community that evolved the WEB”

          you are a Google fan boy, right?

          “The reason chrome is more stable is because it launches a process for
          every webpage it has open, so the load is spread more evenly”

          Multiple processes hardly balances the load, you know what you’re talking about. infact multiple processes increases load on System, Chrome is fast because of its small code base. Firefox is bulky in this regard by hey firefox wasn’t mean to be a just browser in first place. Firefox was actually meant to be part of mozilla web suite.

          “Chrome also integrates html5 and javascript into it’s addon system
          (actually, it composes it’s addon system) so that more developers can
          create interactive apps while providing the user with the piece of mind
          that comes with better security”

          I don’t know about html5 support in firefox addon but JavaScript code is supported in firefox starting with very first addon system, chrome addon system in laughable, you don’t need to explicitly create a addon support for browser for what chrome provides, you can simply inject custom JavaScript into each page requested, that’s it Google chrome addon system, you need similar thing, try Geasemonkey addon for firefox, this single addon is still 1000 times better than chrome’s addon system. Google addon system s**ks because of it’s limited capability, I don’t think any true developer will  appreciate chrome’s addon system.

          Chrome is secure b********t, i guess google is spreading this rumors, I have authored program regarding this for my personal benefits. Don’t argue over this.

          “From the standpoint of a programmer and power user, I can say that
          Chrome definitely wins. It used to be kind of crappy, but at this stage
          in the game it has matured and proven to be a very competitive browser.

          Seriously what kind of programmer, have you looked chrome’s source, it’s utter crap.

          “It even has built in support for web designers (which I sometimes use,
          but not often) so that they can debug and test different layouts as well
          as take sneak peaks at the code of other sites. ”

          So do firefox, basic debug support is there as well, but if you need full blown debugging support (like you have never seen before) try firebug addon, this’ll blow your mind apart.

          “Reliability: +1 for Chrome (if an addon or page breaks, it won’t break your whole browsing session).”

          chrome hangs, crashes more than firefox atleast on my linux box.

          “-Addon Support: +1 for Chrome since most addons are made in HTML5 and
          won’t become dated in the near future. Firefox breaks most of it’s
          addons after every major release due to the fact that it’s addon system
          is directly integrated into the browser and due to the tendency of
          Mozilla to change up the addon language syntax.”

          Man you hate change, admit it. If there is a design flaw, you don’t keep repeating that for compatibility sake, that like following microsoft policy. You are windows user right?.

           “-Design: +1 for Chrome due to it’s simple interface that cuts out unnecessary clutter.”

          there’s hardly any difference with ui, other than that big blue bar.

          “3:1 on my list. Firefox’s “Advanced Functionality” is only marginally better than Chromes”

          I guess you mean the option in menu, apart from that firefox come with a complete system within a system, the beauty of that system is that the ui of the complete browser is a addon itself.

          “Both can stop javascript execution and Chrome has the ability to block
          ads through 3rd party extensions (some of which are very well made)”

          JavaScript execution (V8 JavaScript engine) of chrome is better but then google paid researchers well for that.

          For me chrome is bloat, spyware, backdoor for Google so is Google android.  if you are taken by rendering/speed capabilities why not try another webkit based browser, that would give you a real peace of mind.

  • http://www.asifism.com Commie B

    FF5 still does not support MP3 playback! That’s just ridiculous. As pioneers of HTML5, they are actually letting it down!!

    • ComputerUser101

      What I would like to see is a web browser that supports online streaming of every audio/video file known to exist, without having to use flash. That would be cool!

      • http://www.asifism.com Commie B

        Eventually, as HTML5 adoption levels increase, I think we will see that.

        • jim

          Actually, we may see fewer formats supported. Some experts (eg, Google) already discuss the demise of H.264 in favor of the new HTML5 Ogg video format. Another rumor about the lack of Flash support on the iPad series centers about Apple / Adobe collusion on a new Flash-replacement format (which Adobe recently started making public announcements about). As the big players get more and more control over the standards — don’t kid yourselves — they will re-direct in favor of their favs. I’m reminded of the billions of graphic images that Corel sold a decade or so ago (including 256,000 to me) that were all encoded in a proprietary Corel file format. When I made the transition from Windows 3 to NT, I contacted Corel and they pretended they never heard of the format. I offered to fax a copy of the Corel cover page and then they responded that they never promised that they would support any such format from version to version of Windows. I learned my lesson well. I’ve never bought another Corel product. But web surfers will have no choice. Whatever their browser of choice supports is what they will see. Nothing more.

          • linux experi

            not exactly, the problem is big influential corporates like google and microsoft are pushing sub standard in web for their interest. Google is pushing for webm “i guess I am correct” format for video playback in HTML5 standards. H.264 is way better than Ogg for its compression and things. Ogg is nice but H.264 is already a mobile standard.

        • linux experi

          No you can see that ever, HTML5 will be based on open standards, many codec are proprietary, there would be licensing issues, so forget that! Meanwhile you can still play anything in firefox, but then how many will actually provide you with media in these formats. Anyways Google the mean, is pushing for some low quality standards for web in HTML5, watch out. 

    • linux experi

      MP3 support on open source project like firefox can never be provided because of license issues with MP3 and because of morals of open-source philosophy in first place, similarly HTML5 can never support MP3 (I don’t know the ground reality yet). I guess HTML5 would support oog theora for audio playback. Media playback is firefox’s duty in first place. Get some codecs, some plugins, then you can play whatever you want.