Friday, September 11, 2015

Is It Time To Break Up With Google Chrome?


The age-old story of which is the best browser continues to come up as updated versions with fancier features are released. Everywhere you look it seems that users have a completely different opinion. So, maybe it really does come down to personal preference.
As a big fan of Google Chrome for a long time, I finally decided it was time for us to break up. It did not take intensive speed tests or privacy concerns, even though these should weigh into your browser choice. It came down to overallperformance, customization, and extensions.
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Performance Compared

Chrome first became an issue when pulling my computer out of a locked mode. You are in the office, you have to leave for a meeting, and you lock your computer for security. After an hour, you come back, shake your mouse to turn the display back on, and unlock it.
Unfortunately, if Chrome was left open it would take almost ten minutes to recover my computer where it was left by simply locking it. So, my first breakup with Chrome took place at the office with my work computer. Remembering to close Chrome before every lock mode became too painful, and honestly you should not have to worry about that, so it was bye-bye Chrome in the office.
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Continuing to use Chrome at home for a while, I began noticing trouble there as well. So, I decided to run a few quick checks. But, as far as memory consumption while having the exact same websites open, Chrome was actually a clear winner.
Firefox appears to be a memory hog, at least for me, as you can see below. That being said, the breakup with Chrome was still inevitable.
FFChromeTaskManager
Next, of course, must come a speed test when you talk about performance. Comparing it to Firefox, both running 14 extensions, Chrome took seven seconds to open, load, and be ready to go. Firefox with the same amount and most of the same extension types running took only five seconds to load.
This is not a big difference; however, the point is that Firefox loaded faster than Chrome. In addition, it seems that the more extensions running in Chrome, the more sluggish it behaves. Just to note, the speed for opening Internet Explorercould not even compare to Chrome or Firefox, coming in at over ten seconds.
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Also tested for speed was opening a new tab to Google.com. Firefox opened the website and had it ready to use in 1.6 seconds whereas Chrome took 2.6 seconds to do the same thing.

Browser Customization

Customization is a basic feature that many people take advantage of, and should, when it comes to their browser. Being able to personalize your browsing experience with toolbars that are organized and buttons that are conveniently placed can make a big difference when you work with the Web.
For the basic feature of customization, Chrome cannot come close to the options available and intuitive setup in Firefox.
FFCustomizeToolbars
Firefox provides one of the easiest ways to customize your tools. You can rearrange your buttons, add those you need, remove those you do not, insert more toolbars, change the button sizes, and even have text displayed if you like. It is a simple, flexible feature of Firefox that Chrome severely lacks.

Extensions and Tools

Finally come the extensions. Those wonderful little snippets you install to be more productive and make tasks more efficient. Unfortunately, when it comes to the amount of extensions available, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari cannot touch what Firefox and Chrome have to offer in their Web stores.
And for me, just comparing Firefox to Chrome, Firefox is the favorite.
FFExtensionsManager
The Add-Ons store in Firefox compared to the Web Store in Chrome just provides a better experience overall. Both stores offer categories, but the Firefox store allows you to sort your results making it much simpler to find what you want. You can also save items you find to a collection, browse other collections for something new, and see the complete version history of the extension.
FFExtensionsStore
When it comes to specific extensions, Personas Plus, which is available in Firefox, allows you to really personalize your browser theme. Chrome offers themes as well, but with such a small amount of space at the top of the window, the theme is barely visible. Firefox on the other hand, has a wider portion at the top to display your theme of choice.
Another favorite Firefox extension is ColorfulTabs. This one is very handy when you spend a lot of time working on the Web. Its best feature is the ability to create presets for domains to always use a certain color, making them easy to spot at a glance when you are switching quickly between tabs.
FFColorfulTabsPresetOptions
There are plenty of other terrific extensions available in Firefox and since the store is much easier to navigate, finding them is more efficient than in the Chrome store. Additionally, the news that Chrome extensions can be accessible in Firefox really just seals the deal if you do have some Chrome favorites.

Are You Considering a Breakup Too?

Are you thinking about ending your relationship with Chrome as well? The transition to another browser can go much smoother than you think, but there are also various methods for integrating Chrome and Firefox specifically if you are still trying to decide.
Signing into your browser of choice means that you can easily sync your data so that it is available across your devices. So, if you do not already have an account, setting one up will make life easier for using your browser on other devices and platforms.
OperaSignInSafety
You can also import your Chrome bookmarks into another browser with a few simple button clicks. For example, in Firefox just select the Import Data from Another Browser option inside your bookmark manager and choose Chrome.
Opera also offers this feature right from the main menu. Under More Tools, just select Import Bookmarks and Settings to pick Chrome.
FFImportBookmarksFromChrome

A Culmination of Events

As you can see, there was no single event that ended my relationship with Chrome. Rather, it was a series of events that culminated over time to end the love affair. Sure, from time to time I will probably pop open Chrome to see if it has improved. But in the end, we must part ways as friends and simply stay that way moving forward as my heart now belongs to Firefox.
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What are your thoughts on Chrome?

Are you still a big fan of Google Chrome and would not part with it for anything? Or, if you have made the transition to another browser, share with us which one and what made you switch.
The browser wars will no doubt continue for many years to come, and soon Microsoft Edge will enter the mix of popular opinions as it becomes more widely used. Share your thoughts on your favorite browser and what makes it so; you might just help someone else out there who is still trying to decide.
Image Credit: RonstikVitalezDonskarpoBrt via Shutterstock.com  Source: www.makeusof.com

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