With the release of any new web browser comes a bevy of claims that it’s the latest and greatest thing to hit the market. With the release of Firefox Quantum, Mozilla hopes to capture a portion of the market that it lost to Google as Google Chrome became the browser of choice for much of the web. Does it deliver on its promises?
Mozilla has made claims that Firefox Quantum is much faster than Chrome – loading some pages up to 2x as fast. That’s a pretty big claim for a browser from a company that has previously suffered from a good amount of bloat – a problem that held it back from performing as well as the competition. With the release of Firefox Quantum, however, Mozilla seems to have arrived at a browser that improves upon past mistakes and offers a browser that is a true competitor to Chrome.
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But the question remains, is it truly faster than Google Chrome? That’s not exactly an easy question to answer. The truth is, both browsers perform admirably in a number of tests – including synthetic speed tests and real-world page loading tests.
While Firefox Quantum is definitely an improvement over the previous browser and manages to keep up with Chrome, it doesn’t exactly exceed it in very many areas.
When it comes to fast browsers, the first name that comes to mind is often Google Chrome. While Firefox was king for many years when it came to fast and responsive browsers, Google managed to provide a streamlined experience that outperformed the competition in many ways – causing more and more people to switch to their browser and making it one of the most popular options for browsing the web to this day.
Although Firefox Quantum has been getting a number of great reviews, the fact remains that Chrome is the king of internet browsers and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. Even if Quantum manages to provide a slightly faster experience, it will likely take more than that in order to take down Chrome from its position of power.
While some people will, indeed, move to another browser if it’s marginally faster, there are a large number of users that stick to what they’re comfortable with. This is also partly the reason why so many people continue to use default browsers rather than switching to one that may suit them better – a combination of resistance to change and an unwillingness to take a small risk and try something new.
Add to that the fact that Google has thousands of extensions that many people rely on to enhance their web browsing experience, and it’s easy to see how it may be difficult to convince people to make the switch from Google Chrome to Firefox Quantum.
While it’s easy for Mozilla to claim that Firefox Quantum outperforms Google Chrome, the real knowledge of which browser is better comes with actual testing. A number of outlets from around the web have tested the browsers both in real-world testing as well as synthetic speed tests.
After looking at a number of speed tests, the results are honestly pretty mixed. However, in the majority of tests, Google Chrome just manages to edge out Firefox Quantum when it comes to performance.
That’s not to say that Firefox Quantum isn’t a capable alternative, however. There were a number of areas in which Quantum did, indeed, outclass Chrome. One of the biggest things to keep in mind, however, is that Google has an established user base that, as mentioned above, often relies on things such as extensions from the Chrome store. At this current point in time, we don’t feel that it’s worth the switch unless you’re looking for something novel and cool, as Google Chrome basically performs exactly the same or a little better while still maintaining a more robust support.
One thing that many reviewers noted is that Firefox Quantum does perform better when there are a large number of tabs open, but that doesn’t become readily apparent until you have more than 30 tabs open – a number that isn’t often reached by the majority of users. With that said, if you do find yourself with a ton of tabs open, you will see a slightly snappier response from Mozilla’s new browser.
Speed tests are well and good, but what does Firefox Quantum offer that Google Chrome doesn’t? In truth, there isn’t too much separating this browser from its competitor. While the primary concern of any browser is to literally browse the web, there are a number of advantages that Google Chrome has over Firefox Quantum when it comes to features on their browser.
Outside of the numerous extensions that Google Chrome offers that have yet to be ported over in a reliable way to Firefox, there are also a number of customization features that allow you to adjust your experience on a per-website basis. For example, you could add in functionality like permanently muting autoplaying video ads that should make your browsing a little bit more of an enjoyable experience. More and more sites are starting to rely on these tactics to draw in users, but for many, they’re an annoyance, and having the ability to cut them off before they start is a big plus.
At the most basic level, these browsers function almost exactly the same. However, the revamp with Firefox Quantum hasn’t managed to offer much that we haven’t already seen with Google Chrome.
While the primary concern of most users is the speed of their browser and the compatibility with extensions, there’s something to be said for a browser that looks as good as it performs. While Chrome has a clean and minimalistic aesthetic, it has largely been the same sort of browser since its initial release. We’ve seen new features added and more speed improvements, but the design has stayed pretty much the same. While there’s something to be said for not fixing something that isn’t broken, it’s true that Chrome is due for a bit of a refresh in order to make it feel just as high-end and new when compared to Firefox Quantum
Firefox Quantum offers something new for those who are a little bored of the Google Chrome aesthetic. Their “Photon” interface, while not a significant departure from the design of a traditional web browser. Certainly feels clean and modern and may be an alternative for those looking to upgrade their look and experience something a little fresher. With how neck and neck these browsers are in a number of areas, the decision to side with one or the other may come down to decisions like design and how they present themselves to the user.
This is a matter of personal preference rather than one being “better” than the other, but with Google dragging their feet from a design perspective it may certainly tip the scales in Mozilla’s favor.
Verdict: Which Browser Comes Out On Top?
With the release of any new browser, there’s a good amount of hype regarding whether or not it will shake up the status quo and provide web users with a more fluid and responsive experience. Microsoft attempted to reinvent their browser with the release of Edge, but despite being a massive improvement over internet explorer it didn’t manage to capture the attention of a market that remains enamored with Chrome. Mozilla certainly has a better reputation when it comes to browsers, so it’s possible that more people will give Quantum a try. The question on everyone’s mind, however, is if it’s worth the switch?
Frankly, there’s not a whole lot of difference between the performance of the two browsers. Quantum marks a massive improvement for Firefox, but it likely won’t blow you away if you’re not impressed with Chrome.
At the end of the day, feel free to give Firefox Quantum a try and see if you like the performance better. If you’re comfortable with Google Chrome, however, you’re probably best suited sticking with what you know best.