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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Is Firefox 3.5 Fast Enough?

Since the entry of Google Chrome, I've been shifting between it and Firefox for my main browser. As an oDesk freelance writer, I get to browse lots of websites every day. Thus, the performance of my main browser is important to me. If it becomes too slow, it affects my production - and my mood.

Due to my past experiences with Firefox and Chrome, I developed two clear reasons why I would choose one over the other:

If I wanted blazing fast speed, I used Chrome but if I wanted features, I used Firefox.

Thus, if all I wanted to do was browse, then Chrome it was. However, if I wanted to know certain metrics of each page I visited, e.g. its Alexa rating, PR, traffic trend, etc., then I had to use Firefox.

I always thought I had to contend with this arrangement for a long time. As it turned out, the Firefox developers had other things in mind.

Last week, a friend of mine asked me to visit his photography website. Wanting to get it over and done with, I used Chrome. Surprisingly, it didn't load right away. Out of curiosity, I tried loading it on Firefox and wonder of wonders, it loaded much much faster. After telling him about it, my friend told me Firefox had already made great improvements, including on its speed, since version 3.5.

So early this week, I upgraded to the latest version (3.5.4) installed my most used plugins and gave it a test run. I immediately noticed the substantial improvement, particularly in the speed department. After a quick comparison with Chrome, where I loaded various websites on both, I noticed there wasn't a significant speed difference between the two - even with those plugins installed (I always believed plugins tended to slow Firefox down).

Therefore, even if a more thorough test would show Chrome as faster, I wouldn't think twice in choosing Firefox over it. For as long as Chrome isn't noticeably faster, Firefox's new speed combined with its pluginsgive me reason enough to keep it as my main browser.

1 comment:

ManOverBoard.com said...

I agree I use Chrome for speed, but the more I use it the more it develops bugs I do not enjoy. I will upgrade to the new FireFox also to see if I can get rid of Chrome altogether and stick with just Firefox. Thanks for the heads up