The fastest version of Firefox yet is now live
| Updated Nov 14, 2017 at 6:00pm
Firefox today released its newest browser Firefox Quantum out of beta. The company claims it’s twice as fast as the original Firefox from six months ago.
Firefox Quantum has a sleek UI with the option to customize the toolbar. It also exceeds the performance of Google Chrome in a browser speed test battle.
The new browser also includes Pocket recommendations of what sites to browse on every new tab. Night Mode and other features are available as Firefox free add-ons.
The biggest selling point of Quantum versus Chrome is the smaller RAM usage — something Google has been repeatedly critiqued for over the years.
As you open more tabs in Quantum, it takes up less memory than opening up multiple tabs in Chrome.
On my Asus laptop with an Intel Core i5, it runs six processes for 20 open tabs, while Google Chrome runs 21 processes for 14 tabs. Note that after opening the 10th tab, Quantum begins to show a squiggly loading sign on new tabs.
Despite competing against Google in the browser space, Firefox does resort to using Google as the default search engine in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. For years, Firefox used Yahoo as a default, though it also offered Google and Bing as alternative selections.
Private browsing mode for Firefox Quantum looks just as good as regular browsing. A purple masked symbol on the right indicates what mode you’re in, and Firefox has tracking protection on by default.
Quantum was a project open to volunteers, with about 700 authors contributing to the code. It took a year for Firefox to complete the project. You can download the final version today for free from Mozilla for the web, Android, and iOS.