Should you use these web browsers which are based on Firefox?


Mozilla Firefox is one of the best web browsers available on the web today, and it is also open source. Because of this, anyone with the necessary skills can modify the source code to create a fork of Firefox, which is essentially their own web browser.

Using Firefox forks

The best Firefox forks available right now are Basilisk, Waterfox, and Pale Moon. However, because of security reasons, many, at this time, recommend never to use these alternatives. In this article, we are going to do our best to explain why it makes sense to stick to the original version of Firefox.

1] Pale Moon is based on old Mozilla Firefox code

OK, so the primary reason to stay away from Pale Moon is the fact that it is based on old Mozilla Firefox code. When it comes down to the rendering engine, Pale Moon uses “Goanna“ over Gecko, which is a problem.

The problem is, Goanna is a fork of Gecko that doesn’t go down the same road. You might find this pleasing, but it affects the quality of the web browser. For example, if you want to view DRM content, this will not be possible on Pale Moon.

In terms of security, well, this is where Pale Moon falls short once again. You see, it lacks support for multi-process sandboxing features that have become available in Firefox Quantum. This is not compatible with the older code, which means Pale Moon will forever be less secure than the original version of Firefox.

2] Basilisk does not support multi-process features

When it comes down to Basilisk, we can say for sure that it was developed and maintained by the same person who creates Pale Moon. The big difference here is the fact that it relies on the newer Firefox code. But despite all of that, it still does not support multi-process features.

Since this browser is based on pre-Quantum Firefox code, there might be security problems unknowing to the user, in which case, we suggest keeping your distance until the developer solves this issue once and for all, if ever.

3] Waterfox takes too long to release security updates

Firefox forks available right now are Basilisk, Waterfox, and Pale Moon

When it comes down to popularity, Waterfox, in many ways, is likely the most popular of all the Mozilla Firefox forks. It became widespread during a time when Mozilla only offered a 32-bit web browser, while Waterfox was 64-bit.

Seeing as Firefox now offers a 64-bit version for anyone who is running the 64-bit version of Windows 10, then there are little reasons to take advantage of what Waterfox has to offer. Not to mention, most, if not all, of the features brought to the table by Waterfox is available in Firefox.

The only thing you might find as pleasing is the fact that Waterfox disables both Pocket and sending telemetry data to Mozilla. But guess what? If you really want to get rid of Pocket in Firefox, then you can do it. In terms of shutting down telemetry, this, too, you can do yourself with relative ease.

Now, if you check the release notes of Waterfox, you will see that the developer takes too long to release security updates, and that is not a good thing for those who use the web on a regular basis.

Overall, these three web browsers are not bad, but for the most part, they are based on old Firefox code, and as such, cannot be trusted where security is concerned.

Firefox forks available right now are Basilisk, Waterfox, and Pale Moon

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Jacob MORRIS

Jacob MORRIS

MORRIS is an impassioned technology writer. He always inspires technologists with his innovative thinking and practical approach. A go-to personality for every Technical problem, no doubt, the chief problem-solver!

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