Firefox vs Chrome: Which is Better in 2022?

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Google Chrome accounts for roughly 64% of browser usage on all devices, while Mozilla Firefox has captured just 3.4% of users. So, how, if even, is Firefox better than Chrome?

We’ve taken a look at both of the browsers and how they hold up in a range of categories as of 2022. This includes user experience, notable features, privacy and security, device compatibility, and performance.

Quick Comparison:

Google Chrome at a Glance

As you’ll see, Google Chrome has a lot going for it. Endless browser extensions (including VPN Chrome extensions), user-friendly apps, and stackable services make it a go-to for many users. But it’s not bulletproof. Here are the main pros and cons to consider before setting Chrome as your default browser.

pros

  • Over 200,000 extensions to choose from
  • Great integration with Google products
  • Constant updates
  • Quick browsing speeds

cons

  • Handing data over to Google is a privacy concern
  • High RAM usage

Use a Chrome VPN to secure your devices while browsing the web.

Mozilla Firefox at a Glance

In comparison, Mozilla Firefox is something of a unicorn when it comes to web browsers. It doesn’t have nearly the same number of users as Chrome, but offers almost equal value in the eyes of some. Firefox provides reliable privacy and security measures checked by open-source software, as well as a friendly user experience and Firefox VPN addon. Here’s what else separates Firefox from Chrome.

pros

  • The optimal choice for privacy
  • Quick download speeds
  • Open-source
  • Integrated security features

cons

  • Fewer extensions
  • Slightly slower than Chrome
  • Less compatibility

Protect your privacy and anonymity while browsing with a Firefox VPN.

User Experience: Tie 

Chrome has been around since 2008, while Firefox was competing with Internet Explorer back in 2004. In other words, both browsers have been around for a while, and offer a refined user experience as of 2022. 

Your overall experience is likely to differ depending on exactly what you want from the browser. For example, if you’re hoping for integration with other Google services, there’s a clear frontrunner in the form of Chrome. 

Google is customizable thanks to endless Chrome browser extensions, and that’s without accounting for Gmail, Google Drive, Google Translate, YouTube, and everything else included within their expansive ecosystem. It’s a collection of services that can’t be matched.

Various services owned and offered by Google
Various services owned and offered by Google

There is a tradeoff, insofar as whenever you use them, you’ll be handing over more data to Google. This is especially true if you’re signed in, and you’ll be prompted to do so frequently.

As a lightweight option, Mozilla Firefox is arguably better if you’re planning to leave multiple tabs open, and it’s a winner if you’re more interested in privacy features, including blocking trackers and cookies. 

Are you tempted by the ease of use seen with Chrome, or would you prefer enhanced privacy features? It’s worth considering and will have an impact on the overall user experience.

Features: Chrome Wins  

Google Chrome offers a host of additional features such as spell-checking and auto-filling forms, although the majority can also be found as standard with Firefox. 

However, Chrome benefits from a massive library of third-party extensions which can be used to customize the overall experience, vastly exceeding the number offered with the Mozilla browser. (Google Chrome has over 176,600 extensions, offering a mix of themes and features.)

Once again, integration with services like Gmail and Google Docs is a major bonus if you’re constantly switching tabs, and is likely to be more beneficial for the average user.

That’s not to say that Firefox doesn’t have its own range of add-ons, including personalized recommendations for extensions and themes. Think ad-blockers or antivirus software as an example.  

Firefox pop-up

Many of Firefox’s notable features are built-in, including a screen capture tool, and a reading mode which shows only important text on a web page. However, their 2021 roundup notes that only one-third of Firefox users have actually installed an add-on, indicating that the majority are happy with using the browser as is. 

If you’re choosing between Firefox or Chrome and you’re most interested in additional features, the Google browser is a clear winner. 

Privacy & Security: Firefox Wins

Firefox would be my pick from an online privacy perspective, especially as it blocks various trackers and offers an array of additional anonymity features as standard. 

Chrome is safe in the sense that the browser is unlikely to be hacked, but it’s not an ideal choice in terms of privacy. After all, Google already scoops up an absurd amount of data about the average user. Does it make sense to hand them even more via Chrome?

Take the following graphic, showing how Chrome is lacking when compared to almost every semi-popular browser on the market.  

Firefox security and privacy features
https://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/browsers/compare/

It should go without saying, but just in case; Google isn’t the best option if you’re interested in either privacy or anonymity

As you’ll see in the image above, Brave is also a viable option if you’re more interested in a private web browser.

Device Compatibility: Chrome Wins 

The majority of devices and sites are compatible with both browsers, although you’re going to have a better time with Chrome

After all, it’s used to access the internet over 60% of the time, so it makes sense to ensure that a site or service works properly when using the Google browser.

That’s not to say that Firefox isn’t compatible with most sites and devices, just that if a service is made for a specific browser, it’s going to be the one with the most market share. 

An example would be the many virtual private network services I’ve reviewed over the past few years for AlwaysVPN. If they have a browser version, there’s a 99% chance that it’ll be designed for Chrome, first and foremost. 

However, Firefox is often included, such as with CyberGhost VPN

Google Chrome extension for CyberGhost

Once again, the sheer size and scale of Google comes into play, as the majority of sites and services are forced to factor in for Chrome during the design phase.  

Performance: Tie

Chrome is known for being RAM intensive, which could have an impact on performance when compared to the lightweight setup seen with Firefox. 

An example would be Chrome prerendering, which will gradually be applied to the most likely navigation destination, aiming to improve load times at the expense of memory. 

Then there are browser extensions, which will also have an impact on memory if they have to interact with web page content. Think of an ad-blocker, or any of the extensions you may currently use. 

While Mozilla also offers Firefox browser extensions, it’s less intensive, so it should lead to improved performance across multiple tabs.  

As of 2022, you’ll be able to access the internet using either browser without much lag, as long as you’re using a reasonably modern device. There might be a slight difference in speeds, but it was impossible to tell with the naked eye.

If you’re using multiple tabs, we’d probably stick with Firefox, although you’re unlikely to go wrong with either option. 

Firefox vs Chrome: Final Verdict

Google Chrome is undoubtedly a capable browser; statistically, you’re more than likely to be reading this after using it to access the internet in the first place. However, the association with Google can be a double-edged sword, as they scoop up your data while offering admittedly great services. 

Mozilla Firefox is a solid alternative browser, but it’s not as widely used as Chrome, and that does lead to some limitations when all is said and done. 

One of the issues with Firefox is that many of us have used it in the past, or tried it before switching over to Chrome years ago. This is reflected in dwindling user numbers, and it’s slowly being overtaken by the likes of Edge, as well as Safari on mobile devices

It’s still worth testing out Firefox in 2022, especially if privacy is first and foremost on your agenda. However, if you’re willing to buy into the Google ecosystem, it’s hardly a competition at all. 

At worst, you could try using both browsers; Google for their associated apps, and Firefox for everything else. Here’s a final breakdown of each browser’s pros and cons to help you make a final selection.

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