Firefox vs Chrome: Memory usage, performance, security

Firefox and Chrome are the most talked about browsers and are similar in performance and ease of use. However, each one of them affects your browsing experience differently. Users are often asking around ‘Is Firefox better than Chrome’? Or is the reverse true? How can you find the browser most suitable for your needs?

When it comes to choosing one above the other, a few factors like Memory usage, performance, privacy, and security can make or break the deal. Of course, you may want to use a different browser like Kingpin if privacy is your biggest concern since Chrome’s terms of privacy are a bit shady.

So here are the categories of comparison between Firefox and Chrome:

#1 Memory usage

The more RAM a browser uses, the slower the browsing gets. With this adage in mind, let’s see how Firefox and Chrome weigh against each other.

Does Firefox use less RAM than Chrome?

For a system with 8 GB RAM, Chrome ends up using up to 1.5GB memory for 5 active tabs while the consumption for Firefox falls under 1GB.


  • Firefox uses a considerable amount of RAM. However, the way it does so is quite memory-efficient. For instance, if you are toggling between a dozen tabs on Firefox, the browser can still load pages fast.
  • It maintains a quick response and uses fewer processes for each tab.


  • Chrome, on the other hand, devours RAM like nobody’s business. For every active tab, Chrome uses a lot more resources than its competitor.  
  • Here, it is only fair to point out that Chrome delivers superior performance than Firefox for those same RAM-heavy processes.
  • Chrome also uses a lot of memory in the background. Its extensions keep on consuming RAM even when you are no longer browsing.  
  • Besides, the stress on the system battery is also higher with a higher RAM. Hence, Chrome is heavier too.

If heavy browsers are not your thing, you might want to consider an alternative one like Kingpin. Now in this fight between two heavyweights, how does Kingpin fit in? It is a private browser that is as fast as Chrome and several times lighter. Extensions are disabled by default and the browser doesn’t allow popups. The chances of experiencing lags fall several notches down.

Winner: Firefox

Users may conclude that when it comes to browsing on multiple tabs, Firefox is ahead of Chrome in terms of speed, RAM efficiency, and data savings. This is especially true for desktop users since mobile devices usually come with data restricting options.

At the end of Round 1, Firefox is clearly the victor.

#2 Performance

Browser performance is tied to its memory use. However, there are things like customization, user interface, navigation, and availability of upgrades that are important in the final analysis. Both Firefox and Chrome boast mind-boggling features and have developed a loyal user base. But what makes one slightly better than the other?


Firefox has a simple, easy, and engaging interface. Its functions are located at convenient points and are uncomplicated. Users navigate the browser without much trouble. When you open multiple tabs, the browser stacks them horizontally so you can scroll up and down easily. Should you find anything interesting, you can pin the tab and even share it with another of your devices. Not just users, developers too find experimenting with Firefox codes less complicated. Firefox is all for an open web and intends to keep it accessible and open for all. However, Firefox lags in market share. And this is where Chrome steals its thunder.


Chrome has the highest number of users. Being the brand it is Google is better placed to influence future browsing technologies. Being a Google product, Chrome is seamlessly connected with other popular and useful Google products. So chrome users are at a benefit here. Besides, the market is awash with Chromium-based browsers. They have similar layouts and functions and switching between two chromium browsers is not a big shock. Developers have taken to designing websites with Chromium browsers in mind.

Why is that a setback for Firefox users? Because these sites disappoint them. Such sites might not display entirely or work as expected. So at the end of round two, Chrome is ahead of Firefox.

Winner: Chrome

#3 Security and privacy

User security and privacy are more important than ever and both browsers take them seriously. Let us see how they stand against one another in terms of user tracking, website cookies, ads, privacy policies, and such. Users also generally check whether Firefox or Chrome provide any kind of safeguard against malware attacks.


For Chrome users, issues of cross-site tracking are common. Chrome also collects user data and sells it to a third party for revenues. Besides, Google’s revenue model ensures that web marketers are able to target customers with specific ads. And these ads are what make the browser and most Google products a tad shady. Users may never completely understand the terms and conditions of privacy.


Firefox, on the other hand, doesn’t earn from selling user data. Its policies are more easily understood and the browser comes with useful features that help block unwanted tracking. If online privacy is your priority, few browsers are better than Firefox at this.

However, as far as security is concerned, Chrome is hard to beat. It issues a clear message (an icon and text) if users are about to access unsafe sites. Firefox also issues the warning but it’s icon-only and easy to overlook.

  • Yet, chances of tracking can’t be ruled out completely.
  • If users were able to block ads by default or enjoyed inbuilt incognito browsing, then only they could protect their privacy better.
  • The Kingpin browser for instance has a default private mode that guards against unwanted tracking. The browser forgets cookies as soon as the browsing session is up and has a disabled extension feature turned on to restrict possible malware attacks.
  • What’s more, its tabs are protected with a four-digit PIN. You and only you can reopen accidentally closed tabs with this digital key.
  • There’s less chance of snooping and with no cache files to lead back to the users, ads leave the browser alone.

In the third round, Firefox scores some brownie points owing to its handling of user data. Chrome, although better at security, is part of an ecosystem that thrives on the sale of user data. So, in the final analysis, Firefox is way ahead.

Winner: Firefox

Summing up

Firefox seems to be the better browser and a fitting match for Chrome. In fact, the two share similar features and touch similar performance metrics. If you want a browser that uses less RAM and doesn’t drain out your system’s battery too quickly, Firefox is the ideal choice. If you want a browser that is more private, Firefox is the browser meant for you. Firefox is less secure but Chrome is less private. All in all, Chrome stands a bit behind the other browser mainly due to its data tracking practices. If security and privacy mean a lot to you, you could try migrating to additional browsers like Kingpin. In the end, it is your browsing habits and needs that will decide whether you opt for either of these two popular browsers or find your way to another one.