We live in the golden age of browsers. Major browsers are fast and come with many user friendly options and extensions. Google’s Chrome is the most used browser. Apple’s Safari is a huge success with a billion users.
Is there a better browser experience? Is there a browser with better privacy and security options? Is there a browser that is cross platform and runs on just about every device? Yes. This one gets my seal of approval as the best browser on earth.
Fast And Private
Yes, my Mac, iPhone, and iPad still have Safari, but what I use more than any browser– Google’s Chrome got kicked off my devices because it abuses privacy and is easily attacked by malware– is Mozilla’s Firefox.
Yeah, that Firefox.
The Firefox that seems to have been around forever has been reborn in recent years to be faster (faster than Safari or Chrome), lightweight (uses less RAM and resources than Google Chrome), and private with built-in tracker protections.
Mozilla’s venerable browser will look familiar but it’s also a look that can be changed thanks to built-in customization options. For example, change the default search engine to something other than Google. I use StartPage, but DuckDuckGo is a good option, too.
Firefox lets you customize the Menubar so you can add or remove buttons you want or don’t need. As with Safari, there is a built-in one-tap or one-click Reader mode so you can read without distractions. The search box lets you search other locations– Amazon, Bing, Wikipedia, etc; without having to go to their websites first.
Safari has a great Read Later option but Firefox takes that up a notch with built-in Pocket which also runs on all other Apple devices.
One benefit to using Firefox is the option to stop ad trackers, including Facebook’s ubiquitous trackers which follow you after you leave Facebook. It’s the Facebook Container extension that does the deed. The built-in content block offers Standard, Strict, and even Custom options to prevent tracking.
Tabs and history can be synchronized to Firefox on other platforms so what you view on the Mac is available on other Macs and iPhone and iPad. Bookmarks can be synced between devices, too. One benefit that you have to experience to enjoy is Firefox’s speed. Because it blocks ads and trackers there is less to download (saves time and money) for each webpage, and you have an assurance that trackers are not gathering as much data.
So, what’s the caveat?
Firefox is free, faster than Chrome or Safari, and gives you more options to use. There is a caveat. Firefox is a bit different than Safari and Chrome so the look and feel take some time to get adjusted to. If you use Chrome instead of Safari, the experience is similar. Take to the time to browse the features and settings, import your bookmarks from Safari, and give Firefox a few days to become a habit.
Other than the above, why consider Firefox at all? After all, Safari is a very good browser.
Microsoft has thrown in the towel on both Internet Explorer and the newer and more capable Edge browser and has decided to embrace Chromium; the basis for Google’s Chrome. That leaves the world with fewer major choices. Chromium, Safari, and Firefox.
Choose wisely, my friends.