Is Firefox faster than Chrome_ Privacy and Performance - Side by Side Comparison

Chrome and Firefox are still the world’s two most popular browsers, and they both have excellent speeds and features. That said, each browser has unique attributes that may make it better for you, depending on your needs.

In this guide, we compare Firefox and Chrome side-by-side to determine which browser is faster and whether we recommend Firefox or Chrome for the highest levels of privacy. Keep reading to learn about each browser’s strengths, features, and advantages.

Firefox VS Chrome features

Both of these browsers are excellent when it comes to security and privacy features. Although the debate on which browser is better has been going on for many years, both offer decent privacy and security benefits.

Firefox’s main privacy features

firefox private browsing
Credit: Mozilla Firefox

Firefox is known for providing native privacy tools such as Enhanced Tracking Protection, which blocks many third-party tracking cookies by default, and Private Browsing mode, which helps to keep browsing history confidential.

Firefox also offers features like Firefox Monitor, which lets you know if your email is involved in a data breach, and Firefox Lockwise, which helps you manage your passwords right inside the browser.

The Firefox browser also supports extensions that can further enhance your privacy. This can allow you to add ad blockers, script blockers, proxies, VPNs, and other useful tools to your Firefox browser.

Chrome’s main privacy features

Chrome Incognito Mode

Chrome has several built-in privacy features that help to keep you safe when you browse.  Incognito Mode lets you browse the internet without saving your browsing history, cookies, site data, or form inputs on your device. This is the easiest way to clear all browser-associated trackers each session.

Chrome provides security features like Safe Browsing, which helps to warn you about dangerous websites or downloads. Chrome users also get secure integrated password management with breach alerts, which can help you manage your accounts safely from within your browser.

Like Firefox, Chrome supports many third-party extensions that can be added to the browser via the Chrome Web Store. This makes adding additional privacy and security tools easy, such as ad blockers, proxies, VPN services, and script blockers.

Firefox vs Chrome: Which offers better performance?

One way to compare the performance of these two popular browsers is to check which browser uses more RAM. Using more Random Access Memory (RAM) will slow your computer, so by comparing this performance benchmark, you can get an idea of which browser offers faster performance on your computer.

The important thing to remember is that many factors can affect the performance you receive from your browser. Unless you perform the same tasks simultaneously, it may be hard to check how much RAM each browser uses.

That said, Chrome has a reputation for being resource-intensive, and many users have noticed that having multiple tabs and windows open in Chrome causes a larger spike in memory use compared to Firefox.

Overall, we recommend against considering other people’s results and circumstances and would instead recommend checking how each browser performs on your own device.

To do this, launch both browsers and ask them to perform a similar number of tasks (open the same number of tabs and use the same websites such as YouTube, Netflix, eBay, a news website, and a few other sites you use regularly.

Now use your Task Manager to check how much RAM each browser is using:

Task Manager CPU usage Firefox vs Chrome

As you can see, each of my browsers performed similarly when performing the same browsing tasks.

My results revealed that Chrome was using up a little more memory. However, it is vital to note that these numbers fluctuate constantly, and it depends on what each browser is doing on a second-by-second basis.

We recommend checking whether there is a larger discrepancy on your machine. Some devices may perform better with one browser due to the specific hardware of that device. Doing the test yourself will give you a transparent understanding of which browser performs better.

Firefox vs Chrome: Browsing Speed

Chrome and Firefox are popular with consumers due to their fast browsing speeds. On the whole, most internet users are happy with the performance they receive from either of these browsers. Still, some people can’t help wondering:

Which of these two popular browsers is faster?

Regarding raw browsing speeds, Google Chrome has maintained a reputation for being faster for many years. The Chrome browser offers superb performance due to its efficient handling of JavaScript using its V8 engine. As a result, most people prefer Chrome when they want the fastest browsing speeds and page load times possible.

However, it is worth noting that Firefox isn’t far behind. Mozilla is constantly working on improving its browser to make it faster. Since the introduction of its Quantum engine in 2017, there is no doubt that Firefox is a browser that can compete with the big dogs.

Both Google and Mozilla are constantly working on releasing new improvements and updates designed to further boost browsing speeds.

We think the difference between these two browsers is hard for the average user to discern. However, if you want the fastest browsing experience possible, many people still argue that Chrome has the edge.

Firefox vs Chrome: Security and privacy

When it comes to privacy features, Firefox seems to have the edge. Many users express concern that Google may be using its browser to perform additional tracking and profiling on users (a point that seems fair due to the company’s business model). Firefox also trumps Chrome when it comes to built-in privacy features.

FireFox’s built-in Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) blocks trackers by default. This includes native blocking for cookies, fingerprints, third-party website scripts, and crypto-mining scripts. Trackers allow web giants and ad companies to monitor what you do online.  Blocking tracking scripts can lead to faster page load times because fewer resources must be loaded from third-party sites.

Firefox lets you block social media trackers from services like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can opt to customize the tracker-blocking settings within the Firefox browser depending on your needs. To find this customization head to Settings > Privacy and Security and choose from Standard, Strict, or Custom.

Some customization of tracker blocking settings is also possible within Chrome. This includes deleting existing cookies, blocking cookies, and setting preferences for certain websites.

Firefox privacy settings

The Firefox settings menu also lets you turn on features that ask Firefox to tell websites not to share or sell your data and a “Do Not Track” request that helps to prevent websites from following you around the web. A Cookie-deleting feature can also be toggled on that will delete stored cookies at the end of each session.

FireFox Web Site Privacy Preferences

Although the native privacy features in Firefox are excellent, it is worth remembering that Chrome allows you to install any third-party extensions. These extensions can provide the same protection as ETP.

This means that anybody using Chrome can block trackers and third-party scripts themselves. Of course, you need to know which extensions to install, making Chrome slightly less privacy-friendly than Firefox.

Does Google track users via Chrome browser?

It is important to remember that Google’s main source of revenue is its advertising business, Google Ads. Despite introducing its Privacy Sandbox initiative (which aims to replace traditional cookies with alternatives like the Topics API), many privacy advocates agree that Google will likely continue to find ways to track users via its search engine and Chrome browser while making it harder for other third parties to do so.

In fact, many experts believe that the new Privacy Sandbox introduces new ways for Chrome to track users, using methods other than cookies which could be considered just as invasive as those that it claims to prevent.

With this in mind, it seems wise to remain level-headed about the fact that Chrome belongs to Google and is likely to bolster its marketing strategies as much as possible.

Is Firefox private?

Yes. The developer behind Firefox, Mozilla, is a non-profit company known to put user privacy at the forefront of its browser development. This is why Firefox incorporates many privacy settings and features (that you must add to Chrome using third-party extensions).

Firefox and Mozilla do not have a reputation for harvesting user data, and the browser was conceived as a privacy browser that allows consumers to escape the overreaching tracking carried out by Google.

Moreover, when you use Firefox, your browsing history will not be harvested. Mozilla will never use your browsing history for advertising purposes (either itself or by selling your data to third parties).

What is a Do Not Track request?

A Do Not Track (DNT) request is a privacy preference you can set in your Firefox browser or by using a third-party extension for Chrome. A DNT request sends a message to each website you visit to tell them that you don’t want your browsing activities to be tracked for third-party profiling purposes such as advertising.

When you enable Do Not Track in your browser (or by using a third-party extension that automatically sends the request), your browser sends a DNT request to every website you visit. This includes embedded third-party service providers and affiliates involved with the pages you visit.

Although DNT offers internet users a way to ask websites not to track them, it’s important to note that compliance isn’t mandatory. Unfortunately, websites and advertisers aren’t legally required to honor your DNT requests. For this reason, many websites and advertising companies ignore these requests.

This limits the effectiveness of DNT requests and is one of the main reasons why we recommend taking your privacy into your own hands using reliable script-blocking extensions and a VPN that hides your IP address from the websites you visit.

Ultimately, nothing is as effective as third-party tracker-blocking extensions and a VPN for preventing websites from tracking you. This is why we have provided additional information on the best trackers to use below.

How to enable Do Not Track (DNT) in Google Chrome:

  1. Open your Chrome browser
  2. Launch the settings menu by clicking the three-dot menu icon in the upper-right corner of your screen and click Settings.
  3. Scroll down the Settings menu to Privacy and Security.
  4. Click on Cookies and other site data”
  5. Toggle the switch next to Send a ‘Do Not Track’ request with your browsing traffic.
  6. Confirm the changes if prompted.

How to enable Do Not Track (DNT) in Firefox:

  1. Open your Firefox browser
  2. Click the hamburger menu in the top right (three lines) and click Settings.
  3. Click Privacy and Security on the right.
  4. Scroll down to the Do Not Track setting and turn it on.

Which browser is more popular, Chrome or Firefox?

According to the latest statistics from StatCounter, Chrome is by far the most popular browser. Google Chrome accounts for 65.42% of the browser market share worldwide. Firefox is a distant fourth, accounting for just 2.95% of browser use worldwide. Safari (18.04%) and Microsoft Edge (5.25%) are in second and third.

Browser market share

Can I browse privately using Firefox and Chrome?

Both Chrome and Firefox include a private browsing mode designed to clear your cookies at the end of each session. Private browsing also prevents your history from accumulating inside your browser. This allows you to begin a private browsing session that will create no persistent records on your machine.

In Chrome, Incognito mode ensures that the contents of your browsing history are not stored locally. However, it is crucial to remember that this private browsing mode only prevents the local storage of your browsing history. It does not prevent Google, local networks, Internet Service Providers, or government agencies from being able to track your web visits. You will need to use a VPN to prevent this kind of tracking.

In Firefox, the private browsing mode prevents your browser from accumulating browsing history details. As with Chrome, this feature cannot prevent local networks, ISPs, and government agencies from tracking your web visits. If you want to stop these third parties from detecting your DNS requests and domain visits, you should encrypt your internet connection using a VPN.

Which is easier to use?

Both Firefox and Chrome are very easy to navigate and use. In fact, both these browsers have an almost identical user experience meaning it is easy to move from one to the other. This is probably because Firefox was designed to behave and look just like Chrome.

We found both of these browsers to be user-friendly and easy to navigate. Each browser allows the creation of multiple user profiles, enabling you to share your device with family and friends while keeping your online activities, settings, tabs, and saved passwords separately.

That said, the fact that you don’t need to install extensions to start getting additional privacy can help make Firefox easier for beginners.

On the other hand, we recommend installing privacy extensions, ad blockers, and tracker blockers regardless of which browser you prefer. This is because we trust the best third-party extensions to block as many trackers as possible!

What are the best privacy extensions to add to Chrome and Firefox?

If you want to get the best experience and highest privacy levels while using Chrome or Firefox, we recommend installing the following extensions:

  1. Privacy Badger: This privacy extension was developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It is a superb extension available for Chrome and Firefox that will block third-party trackers and scripts.
  2. uBlock Origin: This extension is known for its effectiveness and high customization options, uBlock Origin is one of the most powerful tracker-blocking extensions available. It allows you to block an extensive array of scripts, enhancing both privacy and browsing speed.
  3. Adblock Plus: This is a highly reliable ad blocker that will make your experience online much smoother. Using Adblock Plus not only stops you from being served ads on the websites and pages you visit but also helps to improve page load times. It’s available for both browsers and is easy to set up.
  4. No Script: Available for both Chrome and Firefox, NoScript lets you take control over what scripts run on your browser. It blocks unwanted third-party scripts, increasing your protection against intrusive ads and potential security threats.

Besides these extensions, we also recommend using a VPN for Chrome or a VPN for Firefox. The best VPNs encrypt your internet connection to prevent all websites and services from tracking your IP address. This makes it very hard for websites to know where you are, particularly when combined with private browsing mode and the extensions listed above.


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Some VPNs even provide a proxy extension for Chrome and Firefox. This allows you to switch your IP address right inside of your browser. Just bear in mind that the VPN extension provided by most VPNs is a proxy that will not provide the same level of protection as the full VPN client.

For this reason, we recommend connecting to the VPN using the primary app to get the highest level of privacy available.