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Guide: Firefox vs Firefox Focus: Everything you need to know
Firefox Focus is a strange name for a browser, and the fact that it wasn’t developed by any other Mozilla is even weirder. After all, you have Firefox Quantum on almost every platform imaginable, right?
So what is Firefox Focus anyway? Basically, it lets you stay anonymous and does a great job at thwarting site trackers, but better yet, it stays by its name and really helps you stay ‘focused’.
But does it have everything it takes to make you leave Firefox for good? Well, you’re about to find out!back to menu ↑
Firefox Focus is only available on Android and iOS, so if you’re a desktop user you’re out of luck. Mozilla will roll out the browser to PCs and Macs over time, but it’s on for now mobile or nothing.
Firefox, on the other hand, is available on any device you own, and Private Mode is pretty close to anonymity features that Firefox Focus has to offer. So it’s not like you are missing out when it comes to protecting your privacy.
To download Firefox Focus, simply go to the Play Store (Android) or the App Store (iOS). Installing will not affect your existing Firefox installation, so you can use both if you prefer.back to menu ↑
Tiny app size
If you are really looking for storage space or if you want to reduce bandwidth, Firefox Focus download size should help. It’s at a meager 2.8MB, which is more than ten times smaller than Firefox!
Even with a slow internet connection, you can download Firefox Focus in seconds and have it ready to go. Plus, the heavier iPad version of the browser weighs in at just 19MB, which is crazy!back to menu ↑
Targeted user interface
This is where the name ‘Firefox Focus’ really starts to make sense. Just fire up the browser and you should find a barebones interface with just a URL bar on a purplish UI.
No Pocket Recommendations, Top Sites, Highlights or other annoyances present in Firefox to distract you. If you want to stay focused on browsing the web from the start, Firefox Focus is the way to go.back to menu ↑
Tabs versus no tabs …
The ultra-focused UI is fine, but when it comes to opening new tabs, you’re in for a pretty nasty surprise. In fact, you can only load one tab, which is frustrating.
But on the plus side, Firefox Focus really lets you curb the incessant feeling of loading multiple sites and helps you stay focused on what’s out there. Otherwise, it is better to keep using Firefox for the full browsing experience.
Tip On Android, you can still use extra tabs, but that’s only possible if you come across links on a web page.back to menu ↑
Full protection against tracking
When Firefox Focus labels itself as a dedicated web browser with full tracking protection, it doesn’t lie. Just load up a website, and you should see all trackers completely blocked with no ads and popups to boot. Really amazing!
You can even see the number of trackers blocked with a simple glance at the URL bar, and you’d be amazed at some of the numbers!
On the other hand, Firefox also has its own tracking protection features, but you can still run into annoying ads and up now and then. If you hate ads and prefer to remain anonymous during your browsing session, use Firefox Focus.
Yes, private tabs in Firefox are okay, but on mobile you never know when you could use a normal tab to accidentally browse anonymously. Does not happen with Firefox Focus, which is always private.back to menu ↑
Faster browsing speeds
Compared to Firefox, Firefox Focus loads quite quickly due to its zero tolerance for tracking modules and ads. Even slow sites are more responsive thanks to the drastically reduced web elements within loaded pages.
And even better, you also use less bandwidth. For example, if you have a poor cellular connection while traveling, you can expect Firefox Focus to load your websites eventually.
Note: The lightweight nature of the app also means that Firefox Focus works well on low-end smartphones and tablets.back to menu ↑
Forget about bookmarks
If a lack of tabs didn’t bother you, it certainly will. Firefox Focus does not support bookmarks, clear and simple. Mozilla, fire the guy who came up with the idea of forgoing such basic functionality!
However, there is a workaround to force Firefox Focus to auto-populate your favorite sites, which means that you use the AutoComplete list to manually add site links. It’s a tedious process, but worth it if you have a few sites that you need to visit immediately.
Regardless, users with many bookmarks should find Firefox Focus a nightmare to deal with.
Note: In case you were wondering, Firefox Focus has no option to sign in to Firefox Sync.back to menu ↑
Supports cookie functionality
Firefox Focus is so aggressive when it comes to your privacy that it almost feels like no site cookies are allowed, but thankfully, that’s not the case. And that means you can make purchases or perform any tasks that require cookie functionality in the first place.
However, cookies are automatically deleted when you close Firefox Focus. That is a problem. And this makes Firefox best suited for serious work, especially if you want sites to remember you during subsequent browsing sessions.back to menu ↑
Does not require closure
Firefox Focus takes its privacy measures seriously. Obviously closing the browser will delete your browsing history, but what if you don’t force close your apps?
You can use the special Erase instead button conveniently placed at the top of the screen to immediately delete all cookies and browsing data. It’s also a quick way to clear everything on the screen so you can focus on another task right away. Pretty intuitive.back to menu ↑
On Android, Firefox has a huge library of useful add-ons that let you spice things up up easy. Be it an ad blocker or a password manager, you’re bound to find something useful. Unsurprisingly, that’s not the case with Firefox Focus, where add-ons are not supported.
But on iOS, there’s no difference – Firefox doesn’t support add-ons on the Apple platform in the first place, so you wouldn’t miss a thing with Firefox Focus in that department.back to menu ↑
Firefox has a jungle of options to wade through. Not the case with Firefox Focus, where you only have a handful where you have to swap the default search engine to determine which types of trackers to disable.
If you like serious tweaks, stick with Firefox. But if you hate the thought of screwing things up up By screwing up the default settings, Firefox Focus is the best because it already excels at what it does right out of the box.
Cool Tip There is also a handy option on the iOS version that allows you to integrate the anti-tracking and ad-blocking capabilities of Firefox Focus into Safari. Amazing, right?back to menu ↑
So, is it worth the switch?
Firefox Focus feels pretty barebones at times, and it in no way justifies a full switch from Firefox, which also has its own private tabs, complete with bookmarks and multi-tab support – something Firefox Focus seriously lacks.
But if you still want to focus on just one task at a time, consider Firefox Focus a little extra to use when the opportunity arises. And thanks to an extremely small download size and memory footprint, there’s really no reason not to install it alongside Firefox.back to menu ↑
Firefox vs Firefox Focus: Everything you need to know: benefits
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