Mac users: Firefox vs Safari

Dear All,

In a moment of procrastination we all know too well, I was thinking to try Firefox --for not particularly good reasons apart from just trying something fresh.

I tried it in the past but Safari is synced so well across my apple devices that I found myself returning to the Apple flagship browser. I also tried Arc but its reliance on AI, in practice slows down the experience quite a lot! Also, it is more oriented for users that use a tons of tabs and mostly prefer tabs to applications.

Now I want to seriously try Firefox again as it seems that the syncronization between MacOS and iOS has in fact improved.
I am aware Firefox is slightly behind in the average benchmark when speed and performance is compared, but offers more customization and is, at least in theory more open source oriented.

I was wondering what do you – apple users – use and why?

Thank you in advance.

Mostly Brave (and sometimes Firefox). It’s basically Chromium minus Google plus Adblock baked in, and it syncs across all platforms (e.g. there’s no Safari for Android).

I like Firefox, but the constant harassment to upgrade gets annoying very quickly. They release a new version every week, it seems.

So, I’m back to using Safari for most of my browsing, although it struggles to handle payments on some websites. I have Chrome installed for those occasions.

Do you use a password manager at all? I used to use 1Password back when it was on a perpetual licence, but now that it’s subscription only I’m back to using iCloud Keychain… another reason why I’m back on Safari as my main browser.

Firefox for me. Sure the regular updates are intrusive @pigfender but better that than have to wait an indefinite period to have security holes plugged. Plus there’s all the extensions that I rely on: UBlock Origin, Ghostery, FBPurity, Privacy Badger, and others to protect my privacy and defeat spammers (aka advertisers). Also have customer privacy settings in Firefox further protecting my privacy. Only real annoyance is that on my MacBookPro I need to login to my polticial party’s discussion forum whereas on my Mac mini — with the exact same Firefox setup (add-ons and custom settings).

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I’ve been using Vivaldi, which is great. Opera likewise, but I have issues with anything owned by Chinese companies where data is concerned.

Currently trying out DuckDuckGo browser which I’m finding fast and stable. It has the option of generating duck.com email addresses that they forward to your normal address after stripping any tracking. Set one up but I haven’t had a play with it yet.

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The fact that a password manager has a subscription model is a crime on its own. Yes, Apple password or keychain does the job and if you are in the ecosystem there is little to no reason to change.

I have DuckDuckGo as my main search engine and the browser to test. It is really impressive how quick and snappy it is !

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Vivaldi and DuckDuckGo have their own password managers, which if on par with the browser security should be more than adequate.

I had a free 3 year licence to 1pwd offered to staff of a company I worked for which recently expired. A Dashlane licence was also offered and I took that up just before leaving. It’s not quite as slick as 1pwd but it’s okay.

Unfortunately the reality is almost every decent cross-app pwd manager other than Keychain is a subscription.

Rumour is Apple will be announcing a cross-platform manager later this week, but rumour also is it could be part of a subscription. Guess we’ll see!

Edit - just remember the WWDC invite said tonight so guess we’ll know tomorrow morning (Aus time). Big drive tomorrow so won’t be watching live.

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I have used the DuckDuckGo search engine for years now. At the start its coverage and content were small but now they rival Google plus of course they don’t allow scammers to set third party cookeis.

For my iPhone and iPad I downloaded and set their browser as my default.

For myself, Safari is like Edge. It’s that thing you use once to download your browser. :slight_smile:

I have been using Vivaldi for years now, as well. I was an Opera user back in the day (before the gutted remake came out), and so I was excited to hear that key elements of that development team were starting a new project. It was a bit rocky to start, and I went back and forth between it an Firefox, during the beta days.

My growing dissatisfaction with Firefox formed a similar gradient to Vivaldi reaching maturity, so it all worked out. When Firefox deleted bookmark descriptions, wiping out decades of annotations without warning in a minor update, that was enough. Fortunately I back things up.

What I like most about Vivaldi is that it feels like it is being made by developers that take browsers seriously, as a tool one might need to be productive in. The harder you push it, the better it gets, if you need it. And since it is Chromium-based, you can count on websites working with it, and you get access to most extensions—but Vivaldi does so much on its own you might find yourself using fewer than you would in another browser.

Settings and data sync are really good. Everything is stored with zero knowledge encryption, and it works well between platforms. I don’t think it is doing anything particularly novel there, but it has a pretty full spectrum data sync, like you’d expect from other browsers I think. You can open tabs from other devices, most settings are shared, etc.

The mobile browser is still relatively new, but I don’t have any complaints with it.

Regarding password management, I too dropped 1Password ages ago. For a while I used Enpass, which is a one-time purchase, but I always felt nervous about getting locked into a proprietary system after the 1Passward debacle. So I did some further research, and found a number of open source alternatives that are using what has become a bit of a common format for password storage—meaning you aren’t tied to any one particular program. That’s great for many reasons, but one big reason for those that are tied to their mobile devices is that you aren’t having to make a decision that is optimal everywhere. You can mix and match what is actually best for the platform.

KeePassium is one front end for iOS to check out. It’s a solid password manager, doesn’t require any complications to sync (just open your database file out of whatever sync service you prefer to use). It is fully integrated with iOS, so you will not feel any different from using Keychain. I find the free version of it to be perfectly adequate.

I’m not as familiar with macOS software that can work with the KeePass format, but I’m sure there are good alternatives. I’ve been using KeePassXC, which looks a bit out of place (think LibreOffice), but it gets the job done and is cross-platform.

Sticking with open source for password managers seems like a really good idea to me. Having the code out where everyone can see it means not having put your trust into developers to treat your data right.

I have used the DuckDuckGo search engine for years now. At the start its coverage and content were small but now they rival Google plus of course they don’t allow scammers to set third party cookeis.

DuckDuckGo is a privacy wrapper over the Bing search engine, much in the same vein that StartPage is a privacy wrapper over Google. Using a mix of the two can sometimes help if one is returning weak results. More often than not though, these days it seems Google results are garbage and getting rapidly worse.

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The stand alone Apple password manager was announced.

It says it works with chrome and edge, so hopefully other chrome based browsers.

Will work with Windows, no mention of Android.

I can dump Google Authenticator

Of course they choose the dumbest, laziest and most obvious word to pollute web search results with. :laughing: Most systems I’ve seen, including the one I use, can do time-based passwords already, though I’ve gone back forth on whether it is wise to put your “second factor” on the same device/system/software that has the “first factor”. Of course when you put it that way it seems irresponsible to put them both together, and strictly speaking that is surely true—but on the other hand if it makes it easier for you to use the technology in the first place, then you should, because not using it is worse.

Mainly what I wonder though is if Apple is finally stepping into the current day and age with their Apple ID second factor.

Perhaps, though I could understand reluctance.

When Apple progressively began implementing 2FA on AppleID the pushback and inability to understand from some quarters was horrendous. People couldn’t understand why Password1! was no longer acceptable along with their cat’s name for recovery question. It caused endless hours of pain for AppleCare advisors. Even recovery questions were a nightmare ‘I didn’t set my teacher’s name as a recovery question, Apple must have!, I don’t know what my first job was.’ (always after they had locked themselves out of their AppleID and the recovery phone number and emails were from jobs they left years ago.)

:grinning:

I’ve never been a fan of those recovery questions, nor considered those to be a serious form of security (as bad as “your mother’s maiden name”), and they are prone to social hacking if you answer them honestly. Whenever I’m forced to use them I treat them as second and third passwords. They get 64+ bytes of raw random garbage as an answer for what my first car was. In other words, more fields in your password manager.

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While this is a great idea, I also had the pleasure to convey such a string over the phone. In heavy rain. To an employee who had no idea what most of those symbols actually look like. We had a great time. :joy:

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You’d think after an accurate recitation of the preamble “uL0!%n^pq7aM…” they’d say, “all right, yeah, there’s no way anyone else ever had that car, in particular.”

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They do this by … renaming “Apple ID” to “Apple Account”. In a Tim Cook voice: Which is the best name they have ever created and will change our lives!

I’m mainly a Firefox user but I also tried Vivaldi for a while.

I did read somewhere that Vivaldi had been sold to a Chinese outfit. Also that the Chromium version they used had not been adequately de-Googled. Effectively it was Chrome with a different UI.

Couldn’t really believe any of this but couldn’t find anything further. I wondered if you knew any more. I can’t believe you would continue to use Vivaldi if you thought it was basically Chrome or was used by the Chinese to hoover up data.

Vivaldi was not sold to a Chinese outfit; Opera was. Vivaldi is independent and based in Norway and Iceland. They use Blink, Chrome’s rendering engine and slapped on their own proprietary UI.

I use mainly Safari because of its integration in the OSes and the extensions third party apps provide. Sharing via the share icon (which is not the same as sharing via context menu/bar for a reason I don’t know) for example is significant to me.

But because Safari does not work with all web pages I use a secondary browser. So far, it was Firefox, but since the latest update of LittleSnitch (or Firefox? Who can tell?) I get tons of connection alerts even right after starting.

I might give Vivaldi a closer look.