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Firefox vs Chrome: Which web-browser reigns supreme?

Which browser is faster, has more features, and is safer to use?
March 13, 2023
Firefox stock photo 7
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

When it comes to browsing the internet, there’s no shortage of available tools at your disposal. While it’s undeniable that Chrome is the most widely used browser today, that doesn’t necessarily make it the best. The landscape for browsers has grown competitive, and Firefox has emerged as one of the top contenders by prioritizing privacy and performance. Depending on what you do online, the right browser can make a big difference in how you surf the web. In this VS., we will put Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome head-to-head to help you decide which browser is best for your needs.

Mozilla Firefox vs Google Chrome

Firefox and Chrome are both free to use and available on various devices and operating systems. However, there are a few key differences that set them apart. For starters, Firefox is one of the rare browsers that’s not based on Chromium (the project that powers Chrome and other similar browsers like Edge or Opera). Instead, Firefox runs on Mozilla’s Quantum browser engine, bringing a few advantages we’ll explore.

Generally, when people ask which browser is “better,” they are asking which browser is faster, has more features, and is safer to use. Which that in mind, let’s dig into the most important factors between each browser to see which one comes out on top.


When Chrome first launched in 2018, it was one of the fastest browsers for loading sites available. But since then, Mozilla has made improvements to catch up. By default, Firefox blocks third-party cookies and social trackers, both of which can seriously slow down your web surfing. Chrome doesn’t do any of that upon installation unless you dig through its settings. As a result, the fewer scripts running in the background, the snappier your experience using a website will be.

Firefox also automatically blocks crypto mining scripts, a relatively new type of data breach to be weary of. Some websites will allow malicious code to use your computer’s GPU and CPU to mine cryptocurrency – a hardware breach also known as crypto-jacking. Indirectly, this protective feature helps with your computer’s performance speed too. If your device gets hijacked by a crypto miner accessing your device, your applications will feel sluggish.

As for how Firefox and Chrome run on your computer, Chrome has a big tendency to hog your system resources, especially the RAM. For example, I tried having twelve open tabs on Firefox and Chrome. As you can see in the screenshot below, Chrome was eating up over a quarter of my CPU, using over twice the memory as Firefox, and consuming a more significant amount of disk space.

firefox vs chrome system resources
Adam Birney / Android Authority

By default, Firefox also launches in efficiency mode (indicated by that little green leaf), limiting the resources used by its processes. I didn’t notice a difference in speed between the two browsers unless I had a lot of tabs or windows open. And when I tested them using Browserbench’s speedometer, an application that simulates user actions and gauges the browsers response time, Firefox came out as the faster of the two averaging 43.6 runs/min (± 8.1) compared to Google’s 34.4 runs/min (± 6.5). So, if your system requirements can’t keep up or you are using an older computer, you’ll probably have a better experience with Firefox.


Regarding features, Firefox and Chrome offer many of the same utilities you’d expect, such as bookmark managers, search engine options, spell-checking, multiple user profiles, and more. But the most obvious advantage Chrome has over Firefox is its vast library of extensions and plug-ins. The Chrome web store has a catalog vastly outnumbering any other browser.

If you use other Google services like Gmail, they tend to run better on Chrome since Google uses its browser to test and develop its services. Additionally, Chromecast streaming only works with Chrome, which may be a dealbreaker if you’ve already invested in one of those devices.

However, there are a few notable features Firefox includes by default that Chrome doesn’t. Namely, it has an in-browser screenshot tool which, as a writer of many how-to guides, saves me an extra step in capturing the screen for sites. But my favorite feature Firefox has over Chrome is autoplay blocking.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t say I like it when I click on a website only to be bombarded with a promotional spiel for an ad that plays over the text I’m trying to read and follow as I scroll. Firefox stops them in their tracks by muting the audio by default, but you can also set it to pause the video. You’d have to download a third-party extension on Chrome to see the same result.

Firefox’s library of extensions might not be as large, but they still have many of the same popular ones, and I appreciate the preset tools available. Though, If you’re looking for quantity and a more comprehensive selection of browser add-ons, Chrome is the way to go.

As for the mobile apps, Firefox had traditionally placed the toolbar at the bottom of the screen, but you can now place it at the top in the customization menu. Both apps are clean and simple to navigate with similar settings options in the same place.  I found the New Tab page on Firefox to have a few more options, such as “Jump back in” links to your most recently visited webpage, and the ability to pin certain sites to the top.

Both apps are also compatible with Android 13‘s Themed icons so the Firefox and Chrome icons will match the theme of your phone’s wallpaper. Chrome also comes with a “lite mode” that limits how much data you use by scaling down images and removing unnecessary elements. Firefox doesn’t have a dedicated data-saving mode per se, but it does have a setting to disable images that serves much the same function.

User Interface

Both Firefox and Chrome have a relatively simple user interface that’s easy to navigate. Chrome is slightly more minimalistic, making it a tad easier for those who aren’t as tech-savvy. That being said, there is more freedom with Firefox, meaning you can customize the browser to look completely unique. Sure, you can download a theme to change Chrome’s skin, but Firefox allows you to do that and more. You can move and arrange most UI elements to suit your needs and hide the one’s you never use. You can even try your hand at Firefox Color, an add-on feature that allows you to create your own theme from scratch.

chrome and firefox split screen
Adam Birney / Android Authority

If you’re the kind of person who has tons of tabs open all the time, then you may have a preference for how each browser displays them. Firefox features a horizontal scroll on all your open tabs, which can help reduce crowding. Google Chrome prefers to shrink them down smaller and smaller, so just the favicon is visible. While this keeps everything in sight, it can become a problem when multiple tabs open from the same website since they will all look the same.

In either case, each browser has a vertical dropdown menu that can help with tab navigation. You can also mute tabs, pin tabs, or send them to other connected devices from there. Both browsers will have pop-up messages explaining each feature when you first download and open the browser, making it easy to learn where everything is and what you can do.

pocket firefox
Adam Birney / Android Authority

By default, Firefox integrates Pocket into its design, a browser extension that allows you to save things of interest and uses that data to recommend more. My experience with Pocket was kind of like having Pinterest for the internet, where you can create a board that’s a collage of articles, tweets, videos, recipes, or what have you. You can’t really save and collect things in the same way with Chrome other than creating bookmarks, but Google will recommend articles based on your browsing interest.

Security and Privacy

Mozilla, the non-profit behind Firefox, puts its money where its mouth is regarding privacy. We have already mentioned a few of the automatic blockers Firefox employs to improve confidentiality and browser performance, but there are more. For starters, Firefox blocks digital fingerprints, a type of tracking that can happen over months, collecting data on your device’s hardware and software. It also has an integrated feature called Firefox Monitor that automatically notifies you if your password has been breached.

But just because Firefox is more secure, it doesn’t mean that Chrome isn’t. If you’ve used Chrome, you’ve probably encountered the big red warning when trying to access certain websites. That’s thanks to Google Safe Browsing, which prevents proceeding to dangerous sites or downloading dangerous files.

Both browsers also include a thing called “sandboxing,” which separates the processes of the browser, so something like a harmful website doesn’t infect other parts of your device. And compared to Chrome’s Incognito mode, Firefox also has a Private Browsing mode that automatically deletes your browsing information, such as history and cookies, similarly leaving no trace after you finish your session.

firefox and chrome private browsers
Adam Birney / Android Authority

While Chrome is a perfectly safe web browser, its privacy record is questionable. Google collects a disturbingly large amount of user data, including location, search history, and site visits. Google says it does all this to improve its services — like helping you find a sweater or a coffee shop similar to the one you previously bought or visited. However, there’s a good argument to make that Google is actually gathering all this data for its own marketing purposes. It’s no coincidence that Google runs the world’s largest advertising network, after all. Because Mozilla is a non-profit company, they don’t have the same financial incentive to collect user data.


Part of Chrome’s appeal is the seamless integration of Google’s ecosystem. For instance, syncing open tabs across devices is done automatically, making it convenient when you want to do something like continue reading an article you didn’t finish earlier. You can share open tabs between devices on Firefox too. Still, the process is done manually, which perhaps isn’t as convenient but does give you more control over what shows up where.

Chrome and Firefox both support multiple user profiles and allow you to sync things like passwords, bookmarks, and browsing history across all your devices. Firefox, however, has the added security of a primary password that keeps all the saved logins and passwords under an additional set of locks and keys.

Firefox vs Chrome: Which one is right for you?

Chrome and Firefox are two of the most popular web browsers, and for good reason. Firefox offers better performance due to its automatic blocking of third-party cookies and social trackers. It also runs lighter on your system resources, which can help speed up the loading times of websites. Chrome does have the edge in terms of utility, offering a vast library of extensions and add-on features, but Firefox does have a few built-in that are useful. As for the user interface, both browsers are relatively easy to navigate, but Firefox offers more customization options, allowing users to create their own themes and arrange UI elements to suit their needs.

While both browsers are reasonably secure regarding privacy, Firefox is the clear winner in protecting your digital ID and data. Google, on the other hand, may keep your information from hackers but not from itself. I’d recommend trying both browsers to see which one you like best for practical purposes. You can use Firefox for those moments when privacy matters and Chrome for when you need to access the Google ecosystem. Yet, with the growing number of data breaches, Firefox may be the right choice in the long run for those of us who value protecting our privacy online.

Who do you think wins our Firefox vs Chrome comparison? Let us know in the comments below! You can also check out more options in our list of the best Android browsers.


Depending on how many tabs you have open, Chrome generally uses 1.5GB to 2GB of RAM, whereas Firefox averages around 1GB of RAM or less.

While both browsers are secure, Firefox does a better job at protecting your privacy by blocking third-party tracking cookies, social trackers, and crypto mining scripts by default.

One potential disadvantage of Firefox is that it has a smaller library of extensions and add-ons than Google Chrome and doesn’t integrate with the Google ecosystem, as well.

Firefox doesn’t collect nearly as much of your data as Chrome. Mozilla details its data collection practices in its privacy policy, and Firefox’s built-in privacy features give users the ability to opt out of data collection.