Remember way back when, back to yesteryear when the Mac ran on PowerPC chips, not Intel Inside, and the only decent Mac browser was not Microsoft’s Internet Explorer; it was Safari, which debuted in 2003.
Since then Mac users have entered what many of us at Mac360 describe as the Golden Age of Browsers; they’re everywhere, they’re mostly free, they’re fast, and render webpages mostly the same way. Yes, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox remain the top three and are used by about 95 percent of all Mac owners, but that doesn’t stop developers from trying to crack the market.
Lightning. Fast. Browser.
All of today’s modern Mac browser claim to be fast. All the ones I use and test are free. Safari, Chrome, Firefox are hard to beat, but some try. Beyond the standard bearers and also rans like SeaMonkey and Opera, there’s Vivaldi, Brave, Min, and many others. Here’s another one. It’s called Waterfox.
Look familiar? Waterfox is based upon Mozilla’s Firefox project so the heritage is good. Many of these second and third tier web browsers for Mac and Windows are based upon WebKit (Safari) or Chrome or Mozilla, and what they do to differentiate their wares from others is obvious.
First, developers strip out features which might not be popular or which may slow the browser down a bit, or, second, they add specific functionality which does not exist in the original. Waterfox, being based on Firefox, handles most Firefox plug-ins, though they need to be 64-bit.
The claim to fame here is speed. Browsing data doesn’t get collected, there’s no Adobe DRM, no data collection, and no built-in Google. From the developer:
Waterfox was started back in March 2011 by myself (Alex Kontos), a 16 year old student. I had a fascination for the web and wanted to help expand on the ideals of what Mozilla had for a free and open web. And so I decided to make Waterfox, a 64-Bit browser based on Mozilla’s free and open source platform.
Waterfox was one of the first widely distributed 64-Bit browsers on the web and quickly gained a loyal following. At a time Waterfox had one thing in mind: speed, but now Waterfox also attempts to be an ethical, user-oriented browser.
That means Waterfox, which runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux PCs, is an effort of love by someone who prefers security and privacy over feature creep. Is Waterfox a worthy browser? Yes. Try it. It’s fast, but honestly, most browsers are so fast at rendering webpages these days that it’s difficult to tell the difference. Along with speed and accurate webpage rendering, I want minimal features, but an option to use various extensions or plug-ins as I see fit. Waterfox does that and doesn’t let them phone home to Mozilla. It even uses the popular Ecosia website which plants trees, almost as many as Waterfox has downloads.