Chrome vs Firefox

chrome vs firefox

The browser market has been virtually set ablaze with Google diving in. Boasting a text link on the Google home page during the launch I am sure none of us could have missed that Google has launched a browser of their very own, Chrome. The main hype behind the browser is the speed, minimalist interface and features and the fact that it’s from Google of course. Until now, Firefox has been soaking the sun as the winner of the never-ending browser battle however the launch of Chrome even made Firefox a little nervous I’m pretty sure.

After I wrote the Opera vs Firefox post, which turned out to be very responsive I thought I’ll make a similar comparison with this Chrome vs Firefox post.

  • Interface

Google Chrome Screenshot

While you’d see the same layout and placement of the usual browser style on Chrome, I’d like to call it a more ‘fresh’ interface, the slanted corners for the tabs and the ‘add tab’ button makes it more accessible to add a new tab. Those are just two of the light touches in the interface which makes it more unique.

With the launch of Firefox 4, Firefox dives into the minimalistic layout and it can be safe to say they’ve learnt a thing or two about their interface from their competitor, Chrome. Looking at the browsers it’s hard to find a difference in terms of interface with the release of Chrome 10 and Firefox 4. Both browsers have an impressive array of themes to choose from. This would be a tie.

  • Memory Usage

Chrome separates each tab into separate processes for better security (more on that below) and you’d think as a first impression that’s got to result in more memory and recent memory tests prove that Firefox uses less memory. However, the memory usage depends on the other processes running in the application. I use several Firefox Addons thus Chrome appears to tie up less memory. If you use your browser for the standard surfing feature only Firefox would consume less memory, Chrome tends to become a bit of a memory hog with extensions installed. Every extensions is assigned a separate process in Chrome and each process consume a reasonable amount of memory.

  • Popularity

Popularity shows which browser is better right? Wrong. While Internet Explorer sucks it still holds the largest browser share. However in terms of popularity, Firefox is clearly the winner, and rightfully so, it’s been around much longer, won a Guinness record and has plenty of fans. Not to forget the browser share which pretty much says it all. Firefox easily wins this.

  • Browsing speed

This is one of the highlights of Chrome, without a doubt Chrome is the faster browser. It uses the Webkit layout engine (which is used by Safari as well) as opposed to Firefox which uses the Gecko engine. The Webkit engine is known to be faster, speed tests confirm this and while the differences maybe in milliseconds or just a couple of seconds, surfing the Internet is time consuming, and even the slightest difference in loading speed can save you quite a number of days, weeks or even months in your lifetime! The launch of Firefox 4 has brought things even tighter in terms of speed of browsing with Firefox’s rendering engine considerably faster than version 3.5, however Chrome still wins this very close battle.

  • Security

Both browsers offer complete security. While both browsers have had occasional security vulnerabilities thanks to the community these are instantly fixed. However Chrome treats each tab as a separate process, so if one tab contains a malicious website it can be ‘pwned’ without affecting the rest of the browser session thus making it inch ahead of Firefox in terms of security.

  • Site and OS Compatibility

Rendering seems to be great with both browsers, Firefox being my primary browser, I can safely say that compatibility with Firefox isn’t an issue. Chrome on the other hand, being a new browser might not be supported by a few sites which is the usual scenario when a new browser hits the market.  Chrome has quickly gained a reasonable market share thus most websites which did not support Chrome before, now supports Chrome as lack of support would cost a reasonable chunk of traffic (22% of Computer Realm traffic are from Chrome visitors).

  • Privacy

Perhaps the hardest factor to compare in a Chrome vs Firefox match up. Both browsers offer the usual privacy (the CTRL/CMD + Shift + Del) to clear any private data. With their incognito feature which lets you start a new ‘private’ session where no browsing or search history is recorded and cookies are deleted once the session is over. Both browsers also offer the private browsing feature as wel (known as ‘incognito’ in Chrome) thus in terms of privacy it’s pretty much a level playing field.

  • Plugins and Addons

Chrome recently (relatively) started supporting addons (or extensions as they like to call it) and their directory is growing rapidly, Firefox however has supported addons for a long time and has an impressive inventory of them which can really make your life easier when using the web. Plugins however (Java, Flash, etc.) are supported in both browsers. The winner here would be Firefox.

Overall

Like I said, Chrome vs Firefox turned out to be a close battle, With the launch of Firefox 4, Firefox may inch ahead of Chrome in terms of overall features however Chrome would be highly recommended if you are a ‘light’ surfer who looks for speed and simplicity over features, addons, etc. Chrome will be cooking up new features in upcoming releases as well.

It’s hard to predict how things will change with the browser battle, for now I’m happy with my Firefox though. What’s your choice?

About the author

Luke

is a Software Developer and the main writer behind Computer Realm.

30comments
jlbraaten - June 26, 2009

I love both. Firefox is great for add-ons when it’s business time while Chrome is great for casual browsing.
.-= jlbraaten´s last blog ..Choosing Content for a Usable Website =-.

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Online TV - June 27, 2009

I have tried both and I liked more firefox than chrome. I really hate Chrome’s interface but I like it’s speed.

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Condos Florida - July 1, 2009

Hard to beat firefox in browser race for chrome. firefox updated version always provide new and tremendous features compare to Chrome and great add-ons facility is bonus…..

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Attitude tees - July 3, 2009

At the moment, Chrome is reading my outdated IE bookmarks, and wish to make it read my Firefox bookmarks, how do I go about doing this?
.-= Attitude tees´s last blog ..T- shirts- most comfortable outfit =-.

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    Luqmaan - July 3, 2009

    Goto the bookmark manager in firefox and export the bookmarks as HTML, open chrome and import them via the bookmark manager, and you are synced!

    Reply
ebook store - July 3, 2009

I have use all except lynx. My favorite ones would have to be Fire fox and Safari. The reason being is that they are safer and have all the things you need. Right know I use Fire fox because of what it does.
.-= ebook store´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

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used tires - July 4, 2009

I do agree that IE sucks… anyways I like Chrome for it’s simplicity, and speed, but I will personally continue to use Firefox as long as it has it’s addons, and wide range of customability, that Google Chrome does not currently have.

Till then,

Jean

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Attitude tees - July 17, 2009

i am using mozilla firefox.i love it personally for the wide range of add ons available.i did not use google’s chrome until now.any ideas about chrome.

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babyboy - February 8, 2010

quit using line throughs in each paragrah, you sound stupid when you use them. if they weren’t meant to be read, don’t write them in the first place.

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    Luqmaan - February 8, 2010

    The strike through text indicate that the post was updated, the strike-throughed text is what used to exist in that spot, in the post it helps show how the software have been updated.

    Reply
Daerwain - March 17, 2010

Actually – on compatability with websites and addons – chrome has added capability to use addons – one of the best addons I found was an addon that creates an Internet Explorer tab, which is compatible with almost all websites. So Chrome is winning there too 😀

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willgame4food - August 20, 2010

i must point out that site compatibility isn’t a problem as you say it is, seeing as how there are (very ‘light weight’, i might add) addons to fix this very thing, such as to open a page that is set up to only work with IE(god i hate those) perfectly by opening it in a way that reads it as IE would(while also making the site ‘think’ its IE that is being used)
Furthermore, while both OS and site compat. are both compats., they should be separate sections as they are entirely different things.

with that said, it must also be stated that chrome DOES have addons(extensions), some of which are actually very useful and not currently existent (or in some cases, possible) for FF. Thats not to say FF doesnt have some chrome cant(i.e. i still go back to FF to download web videos because, seeing as Google owns Youtube, they won’t allow such addons)

I have no idea when the last update to this was, but it seems at least half a year out of date and in great need of revision in order to give good perspective on the current standings of each browser.

These issues aside, this is a well written article, though it has an occasionally biased feel to it, that for the most part fairly represented the standings of both browsers at the time of its last update. Personally, while i still love and use FF quite often, as i have been using it for years, Ever since Google made some major overhauls to Chrome, i have been using it much more primarily and often find my experiences with it are beating those with FF.

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    Luqmaan - September 21, 2010

    thanks for the feedback, i agree it needs a revision, you can expect an update in a few days.

    Reply
Cornell Corbisiero - January 11, 2011

Hey! I simply saw another message in another blog that regarded like this. How do you know all this stuff? That’s one cool post.

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