On my computer, the one thing I use the most is my browser. It is hands down the most important application on my system. Over the years I have tried several other browsers. Ultimately, I always come back to Mozilla’s Firefox. In my view, no other browser offers any features or usability differences significant enough to become my favorite full-time browser.
Every browser has it’s better points and weaker points. Years ago, it used to be about which browser was the fastest, but then computers and our internet services got so fast the minuscule speed differences between browsers became relatively unimportant. Speed differences now, to the average user, are imperceptible. It takes a special benchmark program to detect the hundredths of a second speed advantage one browser would have over another.
Next, it was about memory usage, then RAM became fairly inexpensive and all browsers improved their memory management and performance. That, too, has become pretty much a non-issue.
Now days, I think it’s more about the browser’s user interface. And, once again, I find Firefox to be the all ’round preferred choice. It is relatively uncomplicated and easy to navigate. Most of all, Firefox is highly customizable. For example, there are literally hundreds of Themes (skins) with which I can give Firefox the look I want. When I get tired of looking at a theme, it is easy to change to a new one.
What may be the single biggest strength of Firefox is the vast assortment of browser extensions/add-ons available to customize the browser in so many ways. Extensions can change the feel of the browser, make it easier to use, easier to manage your privacy, add new functionality or change it’s native features to work in a way that suits your own needs or preferences, and so much more.
There is a Firefox extension for just about anything you want to do with your browser, and some you didn’t even know you wanted until you discover them. There are extensions for productivity, entertainment, security, you name it. No other browser has the vast number of extensions available to enhance and improve the browsing experience. That may change on some distant date in the future. But, for now, Firefox is the hands down winner in that category.
Additionally, Mozilla is a non-profit foundation with a mission to protect the Web as a public resource and empower its users. That mission is very different from Google or Microsoft who, more likely than not, would wish to control the Internet and how we use it. I have no reason to believe I can trust either Microsoft or Google with my privacy or personal data. I much prefer the privacy options within the Firefox browser and the related extensions.
Mozilla’s Firefox browser is not shoved in our faces by ultra rich mega-tech corporations like Google and Microsoft. Both of these companies have the huge advantage of conveniently bundling their browsers in their respective operating systems, ubiquitous in computers, cell phones and tablets around the world. Firefox is therefore compelled to be a better browser so that we have reason to seek it out and install it on our devices, on our own initiative. That makes Firefox the underdog. I’m a sucker for the underdog.
I’m also a sucker for a great browser. I’ve tried some of the many specialty browsers that, while based on the same engine as the major browsers, specialize in things like 64-bit code, video rendering speed, legacy interfaces, etc. So far, I’ve seen nothing in other browsers that compels me to switch from what I believe to be the best browser on the planet, for the largest number of people.
As far as I know, there is nothing really wrong with Chrome, except that it has Google written all over it. If you’re not concerned about Google’s questionable data collection practices, that may not be an issue for you. There is much to argued on that issue. If there is nothing really wrong with Chrome, there is nothing really right with Internet Explorer. The beleaguered Mircosoft browser is so hopeless, even Microsoft has finally abandoned it. As for their new browser, Edge, it is bare and unrefined, which may actually appeal to some. But, it, too, is a Microsoft tool for collecting your browsing and Web search interests, just as Chome is a tool for Google’s data collection endeavors.
Firefox is my number one “must have” on any new computer. I even use the Android app on my Moto X mobile phone.
There is no such thing as the perfect browser and there probably never will be. Until then, there’s Mozilla Firefox. In my view, no computer is complete without it.