Firefox is total nightmare product out of the box!

Firefox browser is a total nightmare product out of the box at this point. Here are few points:

  1. They have tons of telemetry which is on by default and that telemetry literally collects everything. Just have a look at their privacy policy for firefox.

  2. Mozilla Products (like pockets) implemented in the browser itself have one of the worst privacy policy ever written check it out here Even though many claim that it subjects only to pockets itself the integration of the product in browser itself and an accident click can make you a subject to this tracking .

  3. They keep Google Search Engine as default thanks to the massive amount of paycheck they get from google. Of course, this can be changed but out of box, this is a privacy nightmare.

  4. They implement default shortcuts from mostly privacy invasive companies and the sponsored shortcuts are also similar. On first start, the firefox will send a request to these sites to fetch favicon and there goes some information from your browser.

  5. They use google safe browsing for protecting users, again a product offered by google.

  6. Many people doesn’t use chromium engine and use firefox solely to fight google monopoly, not knowing that most of development is coming from google’s money and it’s just protecting google from legal actions from courts over monopoly. So In any case even if you don’t use chromium and choose mozilla, you are still helping Google INDIRECTLY.

  7. Most people in privacy community are also against censorship and mozilla have been rooting for more censorship on the internet This blogpost.

  8. It is less secure than other browsers on platform like android, making it a less of a recommendation for security minded folks.

Some not so privacy focused things

  1. Lots of users across different communities and forums have been reporting on firefox consuming more ram than Google Chrome and even Microsoft Edge.
  2. Mostly the Battery power has also been an issue with firefox lately.
  3. Most sites work little wonky and some don’t have firefox support at all.
  4. Performance and Speed were always slower than chromium based browsers.

At this point, I’m convinced that for newcomers to privacy browsers like Brave are much better. Forks like librewolf, mullvad browser and Tor Browser are just way better than firefox.

Recent Happenings on Firefox

  1. Mozilla is Laying off people and working on AI features to add in the firefox browser Check out this Article.
  2. Renaming Firefox Accounts to Mozilla Accounts Check this Article.

What are your thoughts on this situation?

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Gotta say you’ve mischaracterized that one. The link you provided has them asking social media sites to “Turn on by default the tools to amplify factual voices over disinformation.” That’s in reference to Facebook’s “news ecosystem quality” metric which they have only temporarily used in the past to promote reputable journalism over pseudojounalism. Asking Facebook to prioritize trustworthy sources over disinfo peddlers is hardly censorship.

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And? What other alternatives are there?

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It’s so funny to me that people complain about Firefox doing xyz thing then suggest the fucking cryptocurrency homophobe browser of all the browsers which has worse defaults with all the random bullshit you have to disable. And besides, no one here uses the defaults for basically anything anyway.

Edge has really good memory management, not sure why that’s surprising.

Gecko is the second-best browser engine when it comes to battery usage on ARM Macs, second only to Webkit. I would love to see an actual, empirical test for Windows and Linux, because I doubt firefox would be that much worse on not-macOS.

Currently, yeah FF is slower in many benchmarks, but it wasn’t always the case.

I think Mozilla is overhated, but that’s true of any company or project in this space that isn’t le epic apolitical darling like Brave, Calyx, Monero and so on. They’ve done a lot of work for DEI in FOSS, they’ve done a lot for privacy awareness, and MDN is really nice, but they still have things to improve.

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Most Firefox users are very loyal and most hate everything Google. So privacy issues are not really critical or even bad for them. Well, if Firefox for mobile will ever just work and would be able to show websites reliably I would think about switching back, desktop version as well. Maybe. Maintaining an insecure and worse performance engine does nothing good for anyone, now I just see them doing it only for that half a billion per year. Could it be true?

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Shit, I just put the wrong article link here. I’ll update it, once I find that article

And? What other alternatives are there?
@frostlike Well speaking of alternatives, there’s only chromium based browser and webkit based ones (safari or Epiphany). But you missed the point, people think that they are somehow defeating google by not using chromium, when it’s exactly serving what google wanted.

It’s so funny to me that people complain about Firefox doing xyz thing then suggest the fucking cryptocurrency homophobe browser of all the browsers which has worse defaults with all the random bullshit you have to disable. And besides, no one here uses the defaults for basically anything anyway.

@pinkandwhite To be honest, brave has the least telemetry of any browser and on various adblocking sites block almost 99% trackers. I’m not promoting them for their crypto stuff, I hate that too but when it comes to best out of box defaults, brave is much much better than firefox. Also the reason no one uses defaults anyways is because the defaults are just trash implementations. Atleast brave, librewolf have somewhat decent. Also it’s funny that I also mentioned librewolf, mullvad browser and tor browser too but you only pointed out brave. Seems like a you hate a lot of them.

Most Firefox users are very loyal and most hate everything Google. So privacy issues are not really critical or even bad for them.

@keepitsimple I have to disagree, privacy issues are bad for them. The fact is that the telemetry of firefox and services they implement are itself really bad!

Well, if Firefox for mobile will ever just work and would be able to show websites reliably I would think about switching back, desktop version as well.

@keepitsimple Well firefox mobile was really bad years ago, but it has come long way but still isn’t nearly as good as chromium based browsers. The webpages load slowly, it’s security is still far inferior (no isolated processes), download center is just bad, UI is okay I think.

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Yes that was intentional, thanks for noticing.

On the one hand, defaults are meant to be for the lowest common denominator among users, but on the other, yes they suck because they’re for the lowest common denominator. And it seems like for Brave, that lcd is a cryptobro who’s paranoid about the NSA smelling their feet, for Firefox it’s linux nerds who aren’t quite too far off the deep end, and for Mullvad and Tor it’s for people who want anonymity online as much as possible.

Synthetic tests vs actual real world usage etc etc

Mozilla seems to be nominally progressive, which entails being against misinformation and limiting speech that chills other speech (i.e., not the freeze peach absolutist bs that seems to permeate so many of these spaces). So unless you have an article from Mozilla that says they specifically want to censor people who speak out against Mozilla, there’s no “Mozilla loves censorshit!!!1!1” smoking gun (unless you’re one of those aforementioned freeze peach absolutists)

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Google collects telemetry to utilise for their ad services. Google also hands data to websites that opt into their Topics API program, which contains your browsing history aggregated by default. Mozilla does not own an ad service such as DoubleClick and does not profit from advertising. This is the very first reason I can think of that you would benefit from using Firefox over Chrome.

Mozilla Products (like pockets) implemented in the browser itself have one of the worst privacy policy ever written check it out here Even though many claim that it subjects only to pockets itself the integration of the product in browser itself and an accident click can make you a subject to this tracking .

I implore you to read Google’s Privacy policy.

It is much more ambiguous and longer and far less readable to an average person. Granted the Pocket privacy notice is not that great either, but Pocket is not activated in Firefox even if you sign up with a Mozilla account.

They keep Google Search Engine as default thanks to the massive amount of paycheck they get from google. Of course, this can be changed but out of box, this is a privacy nightmare.

Fair enough, but this is a minor and easily solvable issue. Also at least on desktop, you can set it once and never change if if you copy the same profile everywhere/while changing computers etc.

They implement default shortcuts from mostly privacy invasive companies and the sponsored shortcuts are also similar. On first start, the firefox will send a request to these sites to fetch favicon and there goes some information from your browser.

Chrome has by default links to :

  • Google Maps (location history farming)
  • Gmail (which literally scans your whole inbox. Google say they don’t anymore but I’d take it with a grain of salt)
  • Youtube
  • Various Google services in a menu on the top right of the new tab.

It’s obvious which one is the worse offender if we are comparing based on New Tab pages.

They use google safe browsing for protecting users, again a product offered by google.

They actually do this in a private manner too. Read this article.

Many people doesn’t use chromium engine and use firefox solely to fight google monopoly, not knowing that most of development is coming from google’s money and it’s just protecting google from legal actions from courts over monopoly. So In any case even if you don’t use chromium and choose mozilla, you are still helping Google INDIRECTLY.

Chromium is still bottlenecked in use cases that are pretty important…such as functioning ad-blockers.

Most people in privacy community are also against censorship and mozilla have been rooting for more censorship on the internet This blogpost .

I think you were already corrected on this, but read the damn post and tell me how it advocates for censorship.

It is less secure than other browsers on platform like android, making it a less of a recommendation for security minded folks.

Security minded folks won’t just depend on their software to do all the work for them.

As for the non-privacy focussed things, there could be something said about it, but other than Blink for Chrome/ium, and WebKit for Safari, there is only Firefox’s Gecko that even works at least reliably. Other browser engines become really shittier at web compat and really fast.

Forks like librewolf, mullvad browser and Tor Browser are just way better than firefox.

…upstream updates still must come to Firefox first. From the previous privacy point, if I were a security professional I would need security updates ASAP. All these will have a delay.

Mozilla is Laying off people and working on AI features to add in the firefox browser Check out this Article .

I hate AI but this bubble could potentially attract new users. You win some, you lose some.

Renaming Firefox Accounts to Mozilla Accounts Check this Article .

Eh? Literally nothing has changed. And I say this as a person with a Firefox account for syncing my stuff across devices. (Firefox Sync is also still the only legitimately good E2EE sync out there. Brave Sync issues are a myriad if you look at the Brave sub, so much that they once had to remove the Sync feature. Edge doesn’t have E2EE sync yet and Chrome has an optional E2EE sync that is NOT enabled by default.)

End of rant.

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No I understood your point, but maybe my point wasn’t clear so let me expand on it.

So what if Google is funding Firefox for selfish self-serving reasons? What other alternatives are there? Chromium is basically Google’s and Apple’s Webkit isn’t exactly privacy friendly. Which just leaves use with Firefox (flawed as it is) as an alternative if one doesn’t want to us the big corporation browsers.

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It is when its done by an algo who oftentimes has no clue on what it is doing. For instance, here in Portugal, Portuguese news sources get oftentimes submerged by Brazilian ones, with stuff that has zero to little relevance to Portuguese users

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There is Mozilla ads and they show it in browser. Advertise with Mozilla — Mozilla

Even though I myself use and recommend Firefox to people, I agree that it’s far from perfect, so I’ll just give my thoughts.

  1. They have tons of telemetry which is on by default and that telemetry literally collects everything. Just have a look at their privacy policy for firefox .

I’m not a fan of telemetry, and I wish it wasn’t included in Firefox at all, but an important distinction needs to be made here. Telemetry is not always evil. The telemetry in Firefox is:

  • Easy to disable
  • Very transparent (Through about:telemetry, you can see everything being sent)
  • Properly anonymized
  • Not sold or shared to 3rd parties or used for advertising/tracking (i.e. Google and Microsoft)

With that being said, I don’t think Firefox’s telemetry is a “nightmare” or as bad as some people act like it is. I still wish Mozilla didn’t include it (or at least not enable it by default), but personally I can live with it existing due to these factors.

  1. Mozilla Products (like pockets) implemented in the browser itself have one of the worst privacy policy ever written check it out here Even though many claim that it subjects only to pockets itself the integration of the product in browser itself and an accident click can make you a subject to this tracking .

Pocket should not be included, I agree. The good news is that like others have said here, Pocket doesn’t really become active unless you actively interact with it, and it’s easy to fully disable through about:config with extensions.pocket.enabled. I do wish though that this pref would at least be exposed through the UI, so that it’s easier for users to disable it completely.

  1. They keep Google Search Engine as default thanks to the massive amount of paycheck they get from google. Of course, this can be changed but out of box, this is a privacy nightmare.

It’s kind of a necessary evil right now unfortunately until Mozilla can better diversify revenue, but again, I agree, Google should not be the default search engine.

  1. They implement default shortcuts from mostly privacy invasive companies and the sponsored shortcuts are also similar. On first start, the firefox will send a request to these sites to fetch favicon and there goes some information from your browser.

There’s really not any sensitive info I’m aware of being leaked with favicon requests besides IP address. But again, I agree that these should probably not be present on Firefox.

  1. They use google safe browsing for protecting users, again a product offered by google.

Safe Browsing is legitimately useful and helpful at preventing malware and other garbage. But Firefox’s implementation imo isn’t ideal, so I will partially agree with you there. I wish that Mozilla would proxy the requests to Google like Brave and Safari do (if you agree, please vote on the idea here!), and I also wish that Firefox wouldn’t send metadata of your downloads to Google by default as well. (This can be toggled with browser.safebrowsing.downloads.remote.enabled, which forces downloads to be checked locally, but I wish this was at least exposed in the UI so its easier to disable). So yeah, I think Safe Browsing is important and should be kept in the browser, but Firefox’s implementation should be improved.

  1. Many people doesn’t use chromium engine and use firefox solely to fight google monopoly, not knowing that most of development is coming from google’s money and it’s just protecting google from legal actions from courts over monopoly. So In any case even if you don’t use chromium and choose mozilla, you are still helping Google INDIRECTLY.

This is where I really disagree. I see the argument a lot that Google has leverage over Mozilla or some kind of control over them due to the search engine deal, but I really disagree. Firefox has had different default search engines in the past, and they likely will again in the future. Last year, there were even talks from Microsoft to get Bing as Firefox’s default engine. So my point is that Google doesn’t really have the leverage or control people act like here. If Google stops paying, someone else will. By default, Firefox even blocks Google Analytics tracking. That sure doesn’t sound like that’s helping Google to me. :woman_shrugging:

  1. Most people in privacy community are also against censorship and mozilla have been rooting for more censorship on the internet This blogpost .

Irrelevant to the browser itself, and like others have pointed out, was blown out of proportion anyways.

  1. It is less secure than other browsers on platform like android, making it a less of a recommendation for security minded folks.

100%, Mozilla needs to prioritize improving security.

At this point, I’m convinced that for newcomers to privacy browsers like Brave are much better. Forks like librewolf, mullvad browser and Tor Browser are just way better than firefox.

Recommending Brave is pretty odd, especially when it has nearly all of the same problems you have with Firefox. Brave has telemetry on by default, includes far worse bloat than Pocket like all their crypto nonsense, Google is still set to the default search engine on some platforms (Though this is moving to Brave Search which is good), it includes “top sites” and “sponsored images” on the start page as well, etc.

Librewolf has much better defaults than Firefox, but it has other issues like delayed updates and trusting another party. Really no point to it over just using Firefox with a user.js like Arkenfox.

Tor Browser and Mullvad Browser are both browsers that have very specific use cases and I don’t think they’re going to be a good replacement for most people who use and rely on Firefox anyways.

What are your thoughts on this situation?

Overall, I hope I’ve made it clear that I do have criticisms for Mozilla and Firefox, and I do hope they can work on some of these things. But the truth is, Mozilla has done a significant amount of work for privacy and the open web as a whole since their inception, and have gone well above and beyond others in most cases. Engine diversity is also important as well, and Firefox’s customization is just unparalleled to any browser out there. For those reasons, in spite of its issues, I personally use Firefox with Arkenfox and some other tweaks.

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Many people […] use firefox solely to fight google monopoly, not knowing that most of development is coming from google’s money and it’s just protecting google from legal actions from courts

This is a persistent but misinformed conspiracy theory that gets passed around the privacy community usually without any evidence, but it is ass-backwards.

If you follow the current anti-trust cases against Google, you’d see that Google’s policy of paying browser makers and smartphone makers for the default search slot to maintain search dominance not only isn’t a defense for Google, it is one of the major pieces of evidence prosecutors are using to show Google is acting anti-competitively.

So not only do Google’s many search deals not help their legal defense, they are actively harming their legal defense and helping prosecutors. The prosecution appears to be quite literally building their case against Google in large part on top of Google’s practice of paying browsers and OEMs to maintain its search dominance (Mozilla is a rounding error here btw, the largest search deals are with Apple and OEMs)

Further reading and sources:
In the news: one and two
Primary sources: relevant excerpts (one and two) from the prosecutors court brief, and the court brief in full (pdf, looong)

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DoubleClick is an ad service which any site can embed to have Google Ads on their site. Mozilla Ads is only paying for placements inside the browser.

One relies on serving very specific audiences and tracks you across sites that embed it. The other is local and not targetted.

They are not even the same.

That’s why I said that Mozilla doesn’t have an ad service like DoubleClick. They have ad placements, but in browser only.

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From my understanding, Firefox updates (and probably other stuff too like news, blogs etc.) are mainly done by unpaid volunteers. Hence, Firefox should and must incentivise such people and spearhead the opensource trend, to not only stay relevant, but to grow.

Instead, they are a self-proclaimed non-for profit, privacy focused company, but their actions couldn’t be more contradictory (e.g., doing a bunch of stuff for profit, often at the cost of privacy [adding Google]).

Furthermore, they are splurging this money on investing into, IMO, the most over glorified, useless garbage currently known to man: AI.

Hopefully, one day a powerhouse opensource community will make their own browser together, funded solely by donation.

Brave has a tacky aesthetic, tacky crypto advertisements and a tacky CEO. Even though it is great out of the box allegedly (which should be the goal of every program ever!), despite being so good, it is just tacky af.

You are conflating non profit with pro bono, they are not the same thing.

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Well you seriously compared firefox with google chrome (when they don’t themselves admit to collect), firefox on the other hand firefox says they care about privacy.

Google doesn’t need to admit it, their violations talk for themselves.

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I have a hard time recommending vanilla Firefox to even normal people. It’s just so damn bloated.

Anyway if you want a vanilla experience without the bloat and telemetry, I highly recommend Waterfox! Otherwise Mullvad Browser is amazing and very private.

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