It’s Time To Switch From Google Chrome

It’s Time To Switch From Google Chrome

Since its debut, Chrome has grown in popularity, though its once-stellar reputation has taken a bit of a hit as of late. Examples of Chrome-only sites are more and more common, reminiscent of the days when Microsoft’s Internet Explorer dominated the web browser market. It’s been shown to be a massive memory hog as well, slowing down machines as users create more and more tabs. And then there’s the impending removal of ad-blocking.

Google announced changes to its permission system last year, which remove the webRequest API’s ability to block a request before it’s loaded. For end users, this effectively cripples all non-compliant ad-blocker extensions on Chrome.

So what to do? My personal advice: Ditch Chrome and switch to its longtime competitor, Mozilla Firefox. It’s just as fast, if not faster, than Chrome, and integrates tools to boost your privacy online while making it easier to share and save everything you find on the web.

Here are some reasons to consider making the switch.

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It’s Just as Fast as Chrome

Both Firefox and Google Chrome are, at least in various benchmark tests, pretty equivalent. While Firefox, in tests performed by Mozilla, might outperform Google Chrome when loading webpages in private browsing mode, or use less RAM when dealing with multiple tabs, other independent tests show the browsers are often evenly matched when it comes to performance. At worst, you’ll be switching to a browser that’s just as fast.

At best, you’ll be using one requiring less RAM while being just as responsive.

You Can Still Sync Across Devices

Like Google’s syncing functionality that lets you see your browsing activity across all of your devices, Firefox’s own syncing functionality makes it easy to send that webpage on your desktop to the phone in your pocket by selecting the option in your URL bar. If you’re someone who uses multiple Google accounts on the same machine, you can easily do the same with Firefox’s own Multi-Account extension.

Firefox Blocks Trackers Out the Box

Need to stop a site from tracking you? Firefox automatically puts the kibosh on trackers hiding in a web page’s code, protecting your browsing data from being recorded by third parties looking to sell you targeted ads. It works in both regular and private browsing mode. That removal of invasive tracking code also means pages load faster compared to browsing in Chrome.

Firefox’s Integrated Features are Choice

There are a slew of useful features built right into the browser, mitigating the need to add a bunch of third-party extensions and apps. The read-later service Pocket is integrated into the browser, so you can save any page easily. Like taking screenshots? With Firefox Screenshots, it’s easier than ever to click a button and save partial or entire shots of a web page to your hard drive or your cloud-based screenshot repository.

As someone wary of third-party services that might contain malicious code, the fewer extensions I need to add to my browser, the better. Firefox’s integrated screenshot tool, easy access to saved Pocket articles, and automatic disabling of invisible browser activity trackers make it a more secure and user-friendly experience compared to Chrome.

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Some Extensions Work Across Browsers

In terms of extensions, Google might have Firefox beat, but the company’s adopting the WebExtensions API, making add-ons found in Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge compatible with Firefox after some minor modifications by developers.

Older Firefox extensions are now considered “legacy” extensions, but you can find potential alternatives by visiting your list of add-ons and selecting “Find a Replacement”. If there’s no alternative extension available at the time, you’ll simply see a page of featured extensions all compatible with the new version of Firefox.

This story has been updated since its original publication.


  • Is it just me, or does this article feel just a bit fan-boi-ish?
    (And before you ask, I use Firefox.)

  • Examples of Chrome-only sites are more and more commonI’ve never been a fan of Chrome, but I have to say, I’ve never come across one of these?

    • You won’t really find Chrome only sites, but sites that have more or better functionality compared to other browsers due to having additional or more complete features compared to other browsers.

      The gap between features is generally getting smaller from my knowledge, so it’s not much of a selling feature. Not to mention there are pollyfills for a lot of missing features where possible with the only downside being that the page size increases and browsers that require the pollyfills might have worse / poorer performance as a result.

      • Some software tests against Firefox and not others and may have quirks.

        We have since dropped that and I recently dropped Firefox from our SOE.

  • I used Firefox for years and then switched over to chrome as was having some issues with Firefox until they were sorted out but stuck with chrome and been using it for last couple of years. I could go back to Firefox, still have it installed but become so used to chrome and how everything works so probably wont but might even just open it and see how i go.

    • Me too. I’m only considering the switch, after noticing that Chrome takes around 1GB RAM of my 8GB total, with a single gmail tab open. I have addons etc so these would be using some of that. But just seems excessive to me.

      • Gmail and Facebook are the two heaviest sites I’ve come across both in RAM and CPU usage. They are massive applications ran through a web browser.

  • I don’t understand the memory claim. Our department experiences the exact opposite. Firefox routinely caused us major failures due to its memory leaks, resulting in a shift to Chrome for improved performance.

    Is this supposed superiority in memory use just down to a power user installing too many add-ons or something?

    • I experienced the same thing! Chrome with all my extensions and tabs used about 3gb of RAM, FF on the other hand – once I installed the similar extensions – used upwards of 85% of my 8GB memory.

  • Stay away from FF if you are on a laptop or tablet – it is a much bigger battery drain than other browsers.

  • I literally made the switch from Chrome to FF mid-December, and I went head first. My work PC, home laptop, home PC and phone.

    Boy, what a mistake that was.

    The reason I made the jump was chrome was taking up a significant amount of RAM, little did I know that FF was going to be over 40% worse. It hogged up RAM like nothing else, ended up being a bit rough on the CPU too.

    Straight back to chrome. I was under the impression FF was supposed to be the better of the two in regards to performance?

      • Yeah, I’m using Firefox 57.0.3 64-bit. Takes up more memory than a late stage dementia patient.

        Since going back to Chrome the difference is astounding, >25% less memory usage in Chrome’s favour.

  • No thanks. Firefox is extremely clunky with pinch to zoom on touchscreen devices, no Chromecast support and no voice search support. I know we will never get Chromecast support in Firefox but not having voice search and a clunky terrible pinch to zoom doesn’t put it close to chrome. And to also discover that they dripped support for choice search was a major let down. Sorry but ill thanks. I’ll go opera way before Firefox because it has great pinch to zoom.

  • I’ve always found Chrome much faster than IE or Edge, haven’t used Firefox for a few years because Chrome has everything I need in a browser and works well with my Android phone.

  • I was doing some web design courses last year and as such had to test my pages on multiple browsers. Chrome made me think my code was busted just because it displays colours differently than the other browsers and that was really annoying.
    I guess this isn’t overly relevant but I felt like sharing.

    • Also on the not-really-relevant side, I was running a Windows N version (no media player, codecs, etc) and videos on most site would not work in any browser other than Chrome. Not sure how Chrome was able to bypass the limitations of my OS, but okay, sure.

      • Chrome ships proprietary codecs within the browser as well as some DRM playback support. If you switch to the open source Chromium instead then you won’t be able to playback.

        • Yeah, found that out the hard way by using other chromium-based browsers.
          I’m now off my insider builds and installed the current Media Pack, and now a lot of videos work again, but there’s still an occasional outlier that I need Chrome for.
          I’m getting a new computer soon with non-N Windows so it won’t be an issue for much longer, but it did teach me that Chrome has its own codecs rather than conforming to standards.

  • As long as Chrome doesn’t support decent side tabs, I’m sticking with FF. It’s also way faster than it used to be.

  • For the love of all that is good. Do not use Firefox! Have you learnt nothing in the last 2 months? Firefox has installed an extension on user browsers for the purpose of partner advertising without users concent. They also trialed collecting users data on behalf of an advertising agency that inexplicably the Mozilla foundation thought it was ok to fund to the tune of near 100K…..

    Mozilla’s management is evil. Until a purge has occured to not use much less recommend any of their services. Not saying Chrome is any better btw but…. at least we know what they’re doing / can do.

    If you want to recommend/use a privacy centric browser use Brave!

  • I find it’s Windows that really slows the machine down, since getting a chromebook things have been much better.

  • I never stopped using Firefox for my desktop browsing, it’s always been my browser of choice. The only times I really pull up Chrome is when:

    a) I need an entire webpage translated
    b) A site has been coded poorly so it doesn’t display/work properly in Firefox

  • My experience is currently the complete opposite to the claims of this article . I had used FF for many years but when all the issues came to a head about 2-3 years ago I installed chrome , I only used chrome when issues stalled the use of FF for a while , then went full time Chrome and deleted FF . A little while ago I downloaded the new FF and put on the same add ons as I use in chrome browsing , any time I compare the 2 on the same web page , chrome is a clear winner in the speed stakes .

  • When i can get all my plugins for firefox ill change. But most arent working or are shit versions.

  • I’ll stick with FF for two things Chrome won’t give easily me:

    Youtube downloading
    vertical tabs

    And it’s fast enough for me these days.

  • Its been over 3 months since this article was posted last (reposted today april 27), i still prefer Chrome dev tools (even over FF developer edition), and FF still doesn’t have an equivalent of Task manager, so i can’t see what tabs are the memory hogs in FF and kill the big ones to get memory back quickly.

    With me constantly pushing over 50 tabs open (due to lots of research and my lazying in tab management, ill have tabs from last week still open about issues i’ve long since resolved)

    As far as i can tell, memory wise they seem about equal.

    • I don’t see a big difference between the two performance or memory wise either. Both chew up a lot of ram and similar CPU when you have a lot of stuff going on. The only negative I have for FF is that it absolutely 100% will crash my video driver on certain websites whereas Vivaldi/chrome is fine. I’m not honestly sure who to blame, since it could be Microsoft, Nvidia or Firefox or maybe crappy site coding on Humblebundle.

      I prefer the look/feel of FF though so I use it most of the time and only use Vivaldi for Humble or shits n giggles.

  • Most pages took 10 to 30 seconds to load on my phone with Firefox, when I tried it back in December because they promised that their Firefox Quantum would be fast. Many were very simple pages that took only 1 second to load in Chrome. Judging from the feedback on Google Play Store then, I was hardly the only one with that problem either. After two weeks, I couldn’t stand it any more and went back to Chrome.

  • I switched to Chrome about 2-3 years ago because when I tested Safari, FF and Chrome; Chrome was the only one to block ads on youtube. I haven’t tried the ad blocking since but I’m comfortable with Chrome and even though I have Safari and FF installed; I hardly ever use them.

  • If LH can repost the article ill post an update with my experience.

    I tried going to FF, had it was ok, but it its dev tools just don’t compare yet. Especially now i’m a Android guy (after 7.5 years with iPhone), the remote debugging is awesome between chrome and android.

    I gave up on trying to like FF, mainly due to lack of identifying what tabs are eating up all the ram and dev tools, otherwise i didnt really notice much difference at all.

  • The article is far too simplistic. People use their browsers in different ways, and there are lots of factors that affect performance. Not to mention relying on browser extensions that are not portable to other browsers.

    I have reduced my Chrome memory hogging by better tab management, and better extension management. Some extensions remain disabled until I need them, others are enabled all the time. Same thing with open tabs. The ones I keep open all the time are pinned, and the others saved to OneTab. The OneTab tab is also pinned, so I always have ready access to the most important ones.

    I also have Tabs Outliner to keep large quantities of tabs organised in folders and sub-folders.

    Having said this, I also use FF occasionally, Vivaldi (based on Chrome and uses some Chrome extensions), and Edge rarely.

  • I look forward to seeing this 6month old post again in 2 weeks at the current increasing rate your trying to ram FF at us (it was reposted twice this month).

    Give it up, FF while better then IE and Edge, still isn’t as good as chrome.

    • Contrary to what they might think, so many reposts in a short time makes me doubt the article’s objectivity – it’s certainly starting to look like there’s an agenda here. It’s been posted three times in the last 65 days, barely over two months.

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