Similarities & Differences Between Firefox & Other Browsers

As of February 2014, Firefox is the second-most popular Web browser behind Internet Explorer, with approximately 18 percent market share.
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Firefox, a popular Web browser with over half a billion users, provides users with useful features including add-on support, tabbed browsing and a low memory footprint. When you choose between Firefox and other popular Internet browsers, look at the differences to see which best suits your browsing habits and supports third-party add-ons you find useful.

1 Tabbed Browsing

Tabbed browsing is a standard feature on all modern browsers. When you use tabbed browsing, you don't open another Web browser window to load an additional page. Instead, you do it all from the same window. The amount of tabs your computer can handle at once depends on several factors, such as the amount of add-ons you use with the browser, the memory of your computer, and the memory footprint of the browser you use. Firefox generally uses less memory compared to other modern browsers.

2 Add-Ons

Both Firefox and Chrome have a large collection of add-ons created by the community and the browser developers. These add-ons perform functions such as blocking ads, facilitating downloads and integrating software functions such as Evernote's Web clipper into your browser experience. Internet Explorer enjoys extensive integration with the Windows operating system, but it does not have access to the extendability offered by third-party add-ons that Chrome and Firefox feature.

3 Processes

If you open your task manager when you run Google's Chrome browser, you'll see a process for each tab and extension that Chrome opens. Firefox uses two processes total, one for the browser and one for add-ons. This means Firefox's memory footprint is lower, and that it also performs better on systems that have limited processing power. The disadvantage to Firefox's method is the possibility that one malfunctioning tab can crash the entire browser; Chrome's method of using multiple processes means a malfunctioning tab can be shut down without affecting other browser activity.

4 Updates

Firefox receives frequent minor and major updates to close security loopholes, add additional features, and continue shrinking its memory footprint. You can set the browser to update automatically, or you can choose to confirm updates manually. Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari receive less frequent updates than Firefox. If you prefer an Internet browser that stays on the leading edge of Web technologies, Firefox's frequent updates pushes it in the lead in this category.

Tiffany Garden has been a freelance writer since 2002, working in the commercial copywriting field. She has been published in a number of technical and gaming magazines, as well as on numerous websites. She also runs her own websites on a number of subjects, runs a handcrafted jewelry business and is a CompTIA A+ Certified computer technician.