Is Firefox Quantum Better Than Google Chrome?

Any Chrome user will admit that their favorite browser is far from perfect. There is definitely an opportunity for the competition and that’s where Firefox Quantum comes in.

Google Chrome has been the undisputed king of web browsing for several years now. Depending on what stats you’re looking at, it’s suggested that Chrome boasts over 60% ownership of the web browser market. That’s pretty amazing when you consider it has competition from massive tech companies like Microsoft and Apple. However, any Chrome user will admit that their favorite browser is far from perfect. There is definitely an opportunity for the competition and that’s where Firefox Quantum comes in.

Firefox Quantum
via: Mozilla

What is Firefox Quantum?

This is the latest iteration of the Firefox browser from Mozilla. It aims to excel at many of the things we have always turned to Chrome for. Of course, when it comes to web browsing, most people are looking for speed.

One look at the Firefox download page tells you everything you need to know about where Mozilla is putting its marketing efforts. Scroll down the page and you see words like: “fast,” “powerful,” and “rapid fire performance.” Firefox Quantum claims to be two times faster than before. It also mentions being 30% lighter than Chrome which means Firefox won’t be hogging up all of your RAM. The end result is supposed to be a faster, smoother browsing experience.

Using Firefox Quantum

If you’re coming from Chrome and you have loaded your browser up with extensions and themes then the first time you open Firefox you will be greeted with a clean, minimalist design. It’s almost a little shocking and weird but in a good way. Mozilla has done a very good job of making Firefox look like how they want it to feel: fast and smooth.

There are a lot of great extensions for Firefox which should help make the transition easy for anyone who is thinking of making the switch. It was also nice to see some features baked right into Firefox Quantum, like easy screenshots,  VR gaming, tracking protection and Pocket which allows you to save pages for later viewing on any device.

The initial impression you will get is that everything is very intuitive. This isn’t like learning a new language or picking up a musical instrument. Finding essential extensions and customizing themes is quick and easy. In just a few moments you should feel right at home with Firefox Quantum.

Next, open up a few tabs and navigate to your favorite websites like Reddit and YouTube. New tabs open quickly, pages load fast, and scrolling is smooth. Switching between tabs feels just as smooth – as if you never changed tabs at all. Firefox Quantum definitely lives up to its word when it advertises itself as a fast and smooth browsing experience. Will the speed of Firefox make the hair on the back of your neck stand up? Probably not. However, you definitely get the sense that Firefox has a little extra kick when compared to its competitors like Google Chrome.

How Did They Make Firefox Faster?

When you’re talking about page loading times in the context of milliseconds then it can be hard to know if you’re actually experiencing faster speeds or if there is some mental trickery at play. As mentioned, the design of Firefox is very sleek which gives the appearance of a faster, cleaner, more modern web browser. But does that actually translate to faster speeds?

Behind the scenes, Mozilla has done a lot of work improving the way that Firefox utilizes the power of your computer. Namely, they have made their browser better at tapping into the extra cores in multi-core processors. This is the ultimate factor that may determine which devices actually see a major speed boost and which ones don’t.

Mozilla has essentially future-proofed Firefox Quantum in a sense. As multi-core processors become more and more common as well as more and more powerful their browser should perform better.

Should You Make The Switch?

It’s not a definite yes or no answer when it comes to switching from Chrome to Firefox Quantum. At the very least you should definitely give Firefox a try. There is a noticeable difference when switching and Firefox just feels like a more modern web browsing experience. However, it does lack the integration with Google services that Chrome is known for. That is the one major downside that may have some people refusing to make the jump.

With that said – maybe you don’t need Chrome as much as you think. Try Firefox and see if the speed bump is worth it. Worst case scenario is that you tried a free web browser for an afternoon and decided it wasn’t for you. Best case scenario? You’ve found a whole new way to enjoy the web.

Marisa Blair is a front-end web developer and graphic designer based in Toronto. When she's not writing for her blog xopixel.com, she's making design & tech videos for her YouTube channel.

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