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Bugabear's avatar

Is Firefox better than Chrome?

Asked by Bugabear (1707 points ) March 18th, 2010

Theres been a lot of debate over which is better. What does the collective think? The way I see it is:

-They’re both free and open source.

-They both have dragable tabs that can be turned into their own window. Chrome does it more smoothly.

-Both have private browsing modes.

-Both are can run off a USB drive.

-Both have isolated tabs.

-They both have themes and extensions. But Firefox has more.

-Chrome starts up faster but uses more RAM. Vice versa for Firefox.

-Chrome can load Javascript better.

-Chrome is supposed to run better when hampered with extensions then Firefox.

-Chrome reacts faster.

-Chrome can duplicate tabs. And kill them with the task manager.

-Firefox runs faster with more tabs open then Chrome.

-Firefox doesn’t secretly collect your data.

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46 Answers

HTDC's avatar

I don’t have both, so I can’t make a comparative judgement, but Firefox has never had any problems for me and I’d have it over Explorer any day.

rangerr's avatar

I prefer Chrome.
Firefox kept crashing on me.

iam2smart99037's avatar

I’m sure hardware makes a difference too, but Chrome is SMOKING fast on my Toshiba laptop. It just flies…no errors, no unexpected shutdowns, it’s basically flawless (for my PC)

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I’m already Google’s bitch in every other way than Firefox and my phone. Not having Chrome is my way of putting up a fight – however futile – from Google completely owning me.

DominicX's avatar

I prefer Firefox, but I have noticed sometimes that Firefox will not work with certain aspects of certain websites and Safari will. So sometimes I have to switch to Safari. Alas, there is still no browser that does everything I want. I will create it someday, just you wait. :)

The reason I don’t use Chrome is mostly because I have no reason to. I love Firefox and I’ve been using for a long time and I see no need to switch. Also, I love Firefox’s Download Helper add-on too much and I use it all the time. Additionally, Chrome won’t let me display Japanese with the Meiryo font and Firefox will.

iam2smart99037's avatar

- sees swirling Google symbol and goes into trance -

“must…buy…Droid phone…”

lillycoyote's avatar

I’ve never used Chrome, maybe I should. I used to love Firefox, but the latest versions of it, I don’t know, it seems slow and bloated and glitchy to me. Maybe I’m just imagining it. Safari seems to be a little faster but I really like having the option of all the Firefox add-ons. I have a mac, BTW. and like @papayalily , I am becoming more and more resistant to the “GOOGLE.” Oh my God! It’s alive!!!!

davidbetterman's avatar

I just reformatted my hard drive and loaded Vista in place of XP. I am on IE instead of Firefox. The last few versions of Firefox were lousy anyway.

IE seems kickin right now. No problems at all.

Sarcasm's avatar

I’d never hate on anyone for using Firefox (like I would for using Internet explorer), but personally I prefer Chrome more.
-Firefox had an issue of freezing up and crashing for me. Not only do I not have freezing issues with Chrome, but if I were to have the issue, I could individually kill that problematic tab, instead of having the whole program crash
-Transition for dragging tabs between windows is a lot smoother (with dual monitors, I constantly end up having 2 Chrome windows open, and I can never make up my mind regarding what tabs I want in which)
-The new tab page, with frequently used pages and bookmarks, is amazing. I’m sure there’s a way to get it on Firefox, but it just works nice straight out of the box for Chrome.
-Chrome has a much more streamlined interface. I always had to go in and tweak the interface with Firefox installs to un-bloat it. Chrome is perfectly slim.

murali418's avatar

we can’t say which is better as the chrome new version camed out with have the extensions features like the chrome. but before chrome i loved useing the firefox, but it latest version were crashing when we try open a multiple number of tabs in a window except that issues with firefox for the broswers were doing great now a days

noyesa's avatar

I like Chrome better. Firefox is good and I wouldn’t ever look down on anyone for using it. It’s sort of the de facto alternative browser, but as a web developer I much prefer Google Chrome.

Firefox has improved greatly in version 3, but WebKit is the most standards compliant rendering engine in the industry, paralleled only by Presto (Opera).

Apple released Drosera into WebKit a few versions back and it has been integrated into Google Chrome, making Chrome the best Windows browser to do JavaScript development with. Profiling, debugging, and inspecting JavaScript (and the DOM) is almost as straightforward and integrated as using a proper IDE like Visual Studio or Xcode. Virtually no other scripting languages enjoy that kind of love on any platform. On top of that, the V8 JavaScript engine is insanely fast, making Chrome the bleeding edge environment that people will be using to push the boundaries of what’s capable within a browser.

Firebug for Firefox is very good, but I prefer Drosera for JavaScripting, and Drosera also throws in a handful of really useful features for developing sites, aside from just JavaScript development.

The interface is much more minimalistic and much less cluttered than Firefox and is far more responsive. Firefox’s interface never really feels “native”, but slow an unresponsive like a heavy Java app. Chrome is lightning quick, and I’m not just talking about the JavaScript interpreter. The entire application screams.

ETpro's avatar

They both have their advantages. I keep both open all day long. I make my living designing Web sites. Firefox has a lot more toolbar pull-downs. With it, you can easily do lots of things that either take a month of searching to figure out in lean and spartan Chrome, or that simply can’t be done at all with Google’s browser. For me, as a Web developer, the Firebug add-on for Firefox is an indispensable tool. It drastically simplifies CSS coding and finding why things aren’t displaying the way you want them to. The Chrome rendering engine is also a bit of an odd-man out. It occasionally makes mince-meat of sites that Firefox and IE display just fine.

Chrome is great because it’s so lean. It loads in a flash whereas Firefox with all the add-ons I’ve hung on it takes some serious time to open up. I like the way Chrome handles tabbing and the personal landing page with your 8 favorite sites drag-able up to tabs. I could take the time to set Firefox up like that too, but why bother when I have it at hand in Chrome?

Nullo's avatar

Firefox has a Stop button, and Chrome doesn’t. When your connection is balky and you click the wrong link, you want to be able to stop the browser from loading.

Sarcasm's avatar

Yes, Chrome does have a stop button. The stop button is dynamic, for lack of a better word. When pages aren’t loading, its function is a “go” button (it’s the triangle on the right side of your URL bar). When pages are loading, it’s a stop button, and it’s the icon of an X.

And regardless, you can hit escape to stop loading.

Nullo's avatar

@Sarcasm
Thanks.
I’ve tried hitting ‘escape’, to no avail. But then, this computer has seen better days.

jerv's avatar

That depends. If all you need is a basic browser then Chrome is better since it’s smaller, lighter, and quicker to load. However, the extensions aren’t great and there aren’t as many of them so it’s really not good for much beyond the basics. Hell, it doesn’t even have “Print Preview”!

So merely based on the add-ons, Firefox wins out on functionality, and once it’s loaded it’s pretty quick, at least if you have enough RAM to make your PC worth using. And since FF is fast enough (the speed difference is barely perceptible unless you are anal to at least two decimal places) I have to side with the browser that actually does what I want/need it to do!

I <3 Firefox

RareDenver's avatar

I’ve got Firefox on the desktop and Chrome on my wife’s netbook. Chrome does appear to run super fast on the netbook and Firefox kept crashing on it. They both seem pretty good to me.

jerv's avatar

@RareDenver Odd. I ran Firefox on my netbook when it still ran WinXP, and I still run it there now that it’s gone to Ubuntu, and it ran/runs fast and never had a crash. Of course, it’s faster under Ubuntu, but isn’t everything?

Drawkward's avatar

Chrome lacks a stumbleupon toolbar, which irks me. I’m happy with my Firefox. I also take issue with using google for everything, Gmail, and my homepage, so I feel more comfortable diversifying.

Sarcasm's avatar

@Drawkward Fear not! There is a SU toolbar! here

Drawkward's avatar

@Sarcasm I’ve seen this before, actually. It’s not as detailed as the Firefox one.

noyesa's avatar

@Nullo Hit the back button.

downtide's avatar

I have tried both, but I use Firefox mainly. The main difference to me is the add-ons such as Adblock Plus. Chrome (as far as I know) has no way to block ads. Also I’m very leery of Google’s data-mining habits, and I avoid using any google products if at all possible.

noyesa's avatar

@downtide Chrome has an AdBlock plugin.

downtide's avatar

@noyesa that’s good to know. Thankyou.

jerv's avatar

Let me know when they add “Print Preview”.

noyesa's avatar

@Bugabear The only thing I can see that I don’t like about that comparison is some of the extensions they hold over Chrome. Firebug, for example, is completely moot since Chrome comes with the best out-of-the-box developer tools around, and some of the official Google extensions take it a step further. I think a lot of developers so strongly correlate Firebug with JavaScript development that rather than expecting the tools built in, they’re clamoring for Firebug for Chrome, even though all the tools already exist.

ETpro's avatar

@noyesa I agree Chrome’s built-in developer tools are great, but they don’t even begin to compare with the power of Firefox and Firebug together. Night and Day difference. I am a professional Web developer. I use both browsers, and when it comes to taming misbehaving CSS or poorly nested DIVs, I switch to Firefox instantly. Chrome is useless for the job.

noyesa's avatar

@ETpro What do you mean? I’ve never had a problem with Chrome’s CSS debugging capabilities. It has a visual DOM inspector, lets you peer through computed CSS values, breaks down styles by CSS rules, and shows a visual layout of the box model—just like Firebug. It also shows any expando/arbitrary attributes of the DOM object, as well as any events attached to the DOM node.

FWIW, I do mostly scripting/programming duties, and Firebug offers nothing over Chrome in that department, and Firefox’s JavaScript engine tends to be more finicky than Chrome’s, although Firefox has gotten much better as of late.

Another important debugger tool, in my opinion, is the source code itself. I have learned so much about how scripting languages and JavaScript works by being able to quickly view the V8 source code. No offense to any Firefox developers out there, but the engine is old and the code is a mess. V8 goes deep into the depths of C++ obfuscation but if you’re a relatively seasoned C++ programmer it’s pretty easy to work with.

Bugabear's avatar

Hey since you guys know how the Chrome dev tools work I dont suppose you could point me in the right direction. I’m trying to learn JavaScript and I cant seem to ge tit to work. Learning to use those Dev tools would be a big help.

noyesa's avatar

Chrome has an interactive prompt where you can enter JavaScript commands, they are evaluated, and the results are returned. It’s in the developer tools box in the menu. You can press CTRL + Shift + J (⌥⌘J on Mac, but honestly just use Safari, it’s the same debugger) An interactive shell is one of the best ways to learn a programming language. Best of all, this isn’t a “generic” environment—all of the DOM elements in the page you were viewing when you opened the prompt are available for you to manipulate in real time. This is a great way to prototype code. I prototype live code all the time, since JavaScript will let me replace a prototype function without disrupting the entire ecosystem, and the change trickles into all objects in the environment. No saving files and refreshing the browser, I know if there were any syntax errors instantly and it’s very easy to debug once you’re in the environment.

It also has a lot of excellent IDE features, like breakpoints, watch statements, profiling, stack tracing, scope variables, and even lets you look into closures. Chrome is a JavaScript developer’s dream. I’ve mostly moved on to back-end programming in Java, Python, and Ruby, but I’m usually very excited to put my JavaScript boots back on simply because Chrome makes it so much fun to work with. Firebug ain’t bad either. =)

Bugabear's avatar

@noyesa Thanks. I dont suppose you have a glossary of the debug terms do you? And the computers I’m work on already have Chrome installed. And both Chrome and Safari are webKit so there isnt any difference except Chrome runs faster, has Bookmark syncing, themes and extensions.

jerv's avatar

@Bugabear…and Safari is a version behind Chrome ;)

noyesa's avatar

@Bugabear These are common debugging tools you’ll find in almost any modern IDE (Visual Studio, Xcode, NetBeans, etc) and there is plenty written elsewhere about all of them, better than I could write it.

Bugabear's avatar

@noyesa Thanks. Lurve.

gnsagar27's avatar

If you are concern more about security then use firefox.If you are conscious about speed use Google chrome.

Bugabear's avatar

Ha. Firebug now actually works on Chrome but it’s missing a few key features :(. And the security on Chrome is slightly better.

And sorry @jerv there isnt a print preview button.

gnsagar27's avatar

On what basis are you saying that security is ‘slightly’
better than firefox?

Bugabear's avatar

@gnsagar27 Chrome isolates each tab slightly better than Firefox. Maybe a little more than slightly.

gnsagar27's avatar

I am not getting you.What do you mean by ‘isolates’?
Firefox can do much better job than chrome does for online security,like private browsing,online fraud protection,encryption,proxy settings,etc.
Chrome has these features but they don’t seem to work well as compared to firefox man!!

Bugabear's avatar

@gnsagar27 ??? Chrome has all those. Those kinds of things are standard in a browser. And isolate means each tab is a separate process, so if something happens it one tab it wont affect the others. This unfortunately comes at the expense of RAM.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Chrome#Security
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefox#Security

jerv's avatar

@Bugabear That is why I like having at least 2GB on an XP box and have 3GB on my laptop. I run into far fewer memory issues than most people I know ;)

Bugabear's avatar

@jerv Exactly. I’ve got 4 gigs so I should be good for a while.

dreamwolf's avatar

I’m running a MacBookPro on 8GB. Chrome seems much smoother. But Firefox has wayyyyy more plug-ins. Hell, Mark Zuckerberg was using Mozilla when creating Facebook. It very much has open source fanatics working for it so there’s always something new for it.

jerv's avatar

Open Source is better than commercial software for exactly that reason. It is also why Linux is better than Windows in many ways. For instance, Microsoft may take a few days to release a security patch whereas with Linux, odds are that at least 37 people have already submitted and distributed patches within a couple of hours.

Let us not forget that Chrome is designed to be a simple, lean browser whereas Firefox is designed to be a highly customizable one with lots of options that many people don’t want/need but many others myself included do. Thus, comparing the two is difficult as they actually serve different purposes. Sometimes you need a hammer, sometimes you need a screwdriver; use the right tool for what you need to do.

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