Why Firefox is NOT ‘Safer, Faster, Better’

Until about 5 o’clock yesterday when I stumbled upon Firefox Myths I was a true Firefox fan (not a fanboy), I told everyone Firefox is the Safest browser out there, it Faster than Internet Explorer, and it’s Better all around. I went and installed Firefox on all my computers at home (5 computers) and countless friends whose computers I’ve serviced.

I was WRONG! I was wrong about Firefox’s God-like status. It is not what it has been made out to be. I ask you to venture into Spread Firefox’s website, read through their forums/articles/comments and see for yourself how deceiving this Spread Firefox campaign has been.

Below I will cover each of the abilities that Firefox claims to have – I will cover this from a high level approach, Andrew does a better job of explaining this. I’m writing this in hopes to reach users that blindly followed Firefox’s claims, I know I did, but promise to never do it again.

Below I highlighted why Firefox is NOT ‘Safer, Faster, Better‘ My main source for this was Firefox Myths, other sources are listed below.

NOT Safer : All of us take browser vulnerabilities seriously; it’s one of the reasons among others, why we all flocked to Firefox (please notice I said one of the reasons, there are others). According to Firefox Myths, these are Firefoxes latest security statistics:

  • Secunia – lists (122) security vulnerabilities in Firefox, (77) rated Highly Critical. – Source – Notes – The number of Secunia “advisories” (34) does not equal the actual amount of “vulnerabilities” (122). Over 10 advisories have multiple vulnerabilities, look carefully. SA19631 – Lists 24 Vulnerabilities Alone!
  • Mozilla – lists (125) security vulnerabilities in Firefox, (26) rated High and (54) Critical. – Source
  • CVE – lists (180) security vulnerabilities in Firefox. – Source

These numbers may not reflect the exact number of current vulnerabilities due to Mozilla’s release of version which resolved about 12 firefox vulnerabilities, but they do show Firefox is not as ‘Safe‘ as it is claimed to be.

NOT Faster : Below you will see a comparison that clearly shows Firefox is slower than Internet Explorer, Opera, and even Mozilla with regards to loading times.

Myth – “Firefox is the Fastest Web Browser” – Example

  • RealityOpera (now 100% Ad free) is the fastest Graphical Web Browser in Windows. – Source

Myth – “Firefox is Faster than Internet Explorer 6” – Example

  • Reality – Internet Explorer 6.x is clearly faster than Firefox 1.x in 6 out of 7 measures of performance and is significantly faster from a cold start. – Source (Notes – The argument that components of Internet Explorer may load during Windows Startup is nullified by Opera‘s start times. Which means there is no excuse for this except poor coding on Firefox’s part).

Myth – “Firefox is Faster than Internet Explorer 7” – Example

Myth – “Firefox is Faster than Mozilla” – Example

  • Reality – Ironically Mozilla 1.8 is faster than Firefox 1.x in 5 out of 7 measures of performance.. – Source (Notes – Considering Firefox is supposed to be the lighter, leaner version of the Mozilla suite, this is very surprising).
NOT Better: With regards to a better browser, well that is entirely up to the user, you may like, for example, the fact that StumbleUpon makes an extension for Firefox and Internet Explorer only, not Opera, you may stick with Firefox due to IE’s myriad of vulnerabilities, whatever the case may be, if we’re going to judge a piece of software and rate it Better based on capabilities alone, Opera would be the better browser (based on capabilities and speed), NOT firefox.

With all that said, I will keep a copy of Firefox on my computer (just for StumbleUpon, I’m addicted) until it is real eased for other browsers. I will continue to play with Opera, which by the way I’m loving and continue working on; I will also continue using IE7 and hope for the best when it is officially released.

Download Opera, Internet Explorer 7

Sources: Secunia Security BulletinsMozilla Security UpdatesFirefox MythsSpreadFirefox ForumsRob AshtonPopular Technology.net, Dave’s Rants