Firefox vs Brave, a usability question

Long time Arkenfox user here. I love Firefox and have been using it for decades. However, the browsers has tons of issues compared to brave. So I am now wondering if I should use Brave as my main browser, I previously was using both browsers. Firefox as my personal browser which I log in to Youtube and Github and use privacy respecting sites and services like or libreddit… And Brave, which for some reason I actually use more than Firefox, just because of site compatibility, grouptab and speed. Chromium grouptab is god sent when it comes to finding info and managing tabs which there is no way to achieve this in Firefox

So here is the thing, looking back, I basically use Firefox with Arkenfox as my primary browsers to look at privacy respecting sites and Brave which is inferior in fingerprint resistant for everything else, I also use Brave a lot more than Firefox. Under Fedora Linux, I find both of these browser are no where near perfect.

Firefox is just the best browser on Linux, arguably, hardware acceleration, gestures and my css theme which I have worked on for so long and Arkenfox. But it doesn’t have grouptab so my workflow takes a hard hit. Moreover, under Arkenfox which doesn’t let you type words then hit enter to search with your “default search engine”, makes it even harder to do any kind of info searching. I would have to navigate and choose a search engine every time under “this time, search with” I am not tech savy enough to know how to edit the user,js file to revert search behavior back to the way it is before and I have reached help which no one seems to know neither lol. I also find Firefox without Arkenfox unsuable, there is no container which adds more weakness to the already weaker site isolation. The strict mode tracking protection is inferior to brave. You have to manually edit the about:config to enhance it which Arkenfox does.

Now switching to Brave. Uncustomizable chromium, inferior compared to Arkenfox, my gestures don’t work besides scrolling, hardware acceleration is hit or miss. It even got UI issues because of 11px font under Linux, but it is “familiar”. My grouptab is back, Brave is fast and site compatibility. Grouptab is important to me because I open a lot of tabs, with Brave I can navigate through them easily. With Firefox, can only open 10 tabs max including 2 pinned before the UI get squished

So Firefox is a dying browser because partly Mozilla failed to keep up and Brave is a crypto browser that focus more on that that aspect than anything else

And now it makes me wonder. Firstly, I previously use my Firefox to access good sites and Brave for the bad ones, even though it is inferior to Arkenfox. Secondly, which browser should I daily drive now? I can’t really decide Firefox is dying browser which issues growing by the day, sites don’t work with it, it it slow or slower. I use a browser for speed or at least to access sites. I fear the Firefox situation only get worse. So let just embrace Chromium right? simple solution. But no, Brave, besides the UI issues with grouptab under all OSes, has bad Linux compatibility like most chrome-based browsers. How come MS Edge is the only good chrome browser on Linux?

This post is probably me saying how can I love Firefox back, if only there is grouptab similar to safari in Firefox and I know how to revert the old searching behavior

Again, as a reminder for people if you dont want Firefox support to die, keep using it.

If a site is broken, maybe complain to the site maintainer?

On the flip side, it is now starting to have the benefit of security through obscurity as malware will target you less because supporting malware on Firefox is just bothersome :sweat_smile:

There is plenty of Firefox extensions to manage group tabs

You could always use something like:

I’ve also been looking at Sidekick recently, which is a newer Chromium-based browser available on Linux, but I haven’t dug too deep into it yet.

Sorry but I refuse to use another extensions to add more fingerprint

I refuse to use extensions to extend basic function of a browser. Besides, you need a good css to go with extension for tab management which I have found none. There used to be but it is now unmaintained

In terms of Usability, I do search for a way to ease adding cookie/storage exceptions to selected websites. You have things like CookieAutodelete and the likes, but they apparently don’t have the required API to properly conserve or delete everything compared to the actual browser settings to delete everything for each session. Brave helps a bit in that matter.

Edit: I have found Simple Tab Groups which works great and doesn’t need a good css theme to go with it. But my point still stand about using extensions

TBH I try to limit it as much as possible but I personally don’t lose much sleep over fingerprinting because it’s a very deep rabbit hole and there are tons of ways to fingerprint you (just take a look at CreepJS), so I’m quite liberal (but minimalist, no redundancy) over extensions.

I just use Tor if I don’t want to be fingerprinted and want to be anonymous.

Interesting, I am on Fedora with Arkenfox too! Use the Flatpak Firefox on Kinoite.

I made a script for softening Arkenfox. You should try it and open a bug report if it doesnt work for you. Should be pretty good now, I tried to make it very interactive.

So there are base settings, the goal is to make Arkenfox work as a private browser on your own laptop. Quick search works (its just one setting) and everything is restored. There are more options but these are optional.

Of course you can also just change the script. Check the Readme and comment if something is missing. I am open for pull requests too :smiley:

I tried to implement a good way to update arkenfox too, via a systemd timer and a manual appstarter.

I used Brave too because Firefox was slow, but removing Addons and switching Noscript to “allow unrestricted css on trusted” made it fast again.

I love Firefox and its the browser I use on Mobile and Desktop. On mobile its a bit shitty that Vanadium (Chromium based) has so much better Webapp support, so opposite of you I use this secure but very unprivate Browser for Webapps I trust.

What makes you think Vanadium isn’t private?

Thank you and very interesting. However, I just need to enable quick search, can you guide me on how to do that?

Vanadium is secure and hardened, but doesnt compare with hardened Firefox. There is no good Browser on mobile you could say, but Vanadium is for sure not privacy optimized.

keyword.enabled true

What exactly about Vanadium makes it not private?

I dont know about the browser itself.

But its adblocking capabilities are the same as normal Chromium, meaning also content blocking.

It doesnt allow Extensions like NoScript, being essential for protection from loads of 3rd party Javascript on lots of Websites nowadays.

Also adding a custom search engine like is not possible, this is a major problem, as the presets pretty much censor what search engines you can use.

will have to test it using CreepJS and other tools, but the thing is these tools often dont give any results on Mull, as Noscript just blocks everything. So real world often malicious sites dont get anything from you.

But of course there also is Tracking using CSS, there Vanadium might be better as Chrome on Android is pretty popular.

You can disable JavaScript in browser settings, and enable it per-site.

You can set custom search engines as long as they support OpenSearch:

You can use DNS filtering with something like NextDNS for that. I believe they also have plans to add a content blocker into the browser, but don’t quote me on that.

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Disabling all Javascript breaks sites. Its true that noscript also doesnt support “disable google stuff except for recaptcha on this exact page”, but it may be possible. Also in theory you can allow fine grained javascript, at least minimizing attack surface.

Many search engines dont support Opensearch. Firefox mobile allows adding these anyways, Firefox Desktop needs an Addon, Brave Desktop and even Edge allow this too.

Yes of course DNS filtering is the best, but this is about browsers and their capabilities. You could say iphones are perfectly, or even Windows (okay if you dont want updates or anything) if you use a good DNS blocker. Makes no sense to me, althoug good recommendation of course.

Yes they may add an Adblocker etc, but in general they dont seem to prioritize stuff like that. Noscript fine grained settings too. So will never be an option for me.

That’s fine if it doesn’t work for your specific use case, however this does not mean that Vanadium is not a private browser as you keep claiming.

The OpenSearch requirement is not one of Vanadium specifically, but one of Chromium on Android. I do not think desktop browsers are a fair comparison to this.

As for content filtering, I recommend you read the conversation in this issue: content filtering using the built-in filtering engine · Issue #10 · GrapheneOS/Vanadium · GitHub. There is already a content filtering system built into Chromium: chromium/components/subresource_filter at master · chromium/chromium · GitHub, which is used by Bromite for instance. It’s just a matter of actually implementing the lists to be used.

I think this conversation is off-topic from the original post. If you want further details or have questions about Vanadium, I encourage you to ask in the GrapheneOS community.

I seem to recall to be able to “install” the startpage search in Firefox without using an addon by going to and right clicking on the URL bar and select add search.

If it works like that the website supports opensearch.

This is great but also very limiting. Opensearch means the website controls how you search. Example, you can search for used articles on ebay, ignoring ebays bought sorting, instead sort by price:

You can do that on lots of sites, I have a big collection of such search strings. You can use a big HTML search string for SearX instances, storing your settings if your browser deletes Cookies all the time.