Firefox - Is there any alternative?

Let me start off by saying that I love Firefox. I love tabs. I love the in-build popupblocker, and the fact that I don’t have to bother with random IE jacking crap.

That said, I’m posting this from IE now. Why? Because FF is a memory sucking processor draining hog. :frowning:

It seems to have some sort of memory leak? If I’ve had it running for some time, it goes up to almost 200MB of memory, and that’s ASTOUNDING! It also starts up with slightly over 100MB, so restarting often helps, but not that much. IE only uses about 20K or so on startup, as a comparison.

Normally, if I’m just browsing, I guess it’s not a problem, but when I’m surfing in between video rendering or the like, it’s just unacceptable.

Sooo… I’m asking. Is there any way to reduce the footprint of FF (unlikely, I already have very few extensions), or is there a “lite” version of FF, with tabs, that I can switch to?

Not leaking here, about 37 MB’s, perahaps uninstalling and reinstalling will help

I use Opera and have had no problems, but perhaps a resinstall of Firefox is in order.

Mine is a sucking sieve of memory too. However, it’s just been in the last week I’ve really noticed. I’m actually on the Dope to avoid a reinstall.

Now if you will kindly come babyproof my house as my child has decided to abandon her previous plan of laying flat on her back and having me wait on her hand and foot. (Now to work on her father…)

I run Firefox with scads of extensions, and it’s only using about 34MB here. I would also try uninstalling and reinstalling it.

Alsol, I know there aren’t many spyware/adware hitchhikers out there that ride on Firefox, but it would probably be a good idea to do a thorough scan of your system to make sure your PC is clean.

I noticed the same thing and just did the uninstall / reinstall. Dropped it from 200+ to 34-36 MB. Thanks for asking the question, and thanks all for the reply.

Mine sucks memory and often crashes. I like some of the features, but like all open source, it is undependable: since no one owns it, everyone waits for things to be fixed. Also, since many of the websites I go to are designed for MSIE, I can’t use it dependably on them (the plug-in that supposedly allows for this is a piece of crap).

I’ve been using it at work, but stick to MSIE at home.

Yeah, Opera would be the only other big browser for Windows. I never liked Opera much, but some people would vouch for it.

There are a few other browsers that use Firefox’s rendering engine (Gecko) but with their own UIs and feature sets:
-AOL Explorer
-Netscape 8

But I dont know if they’ll help the memory issue. It’s really kind of silly that there are 4 browser products that all use the same underlying technologies released by the same group (Mozilla) and paid for by the same company (AOL). Bizarre.

There are IE-based tabbed browsers too, if you miss the ol’ spyware days:
-NetCaptor (The original! Firefox shamelessly stole almost all of its features from this browser.)
-Avant Browser

If you’re on a Mac, Safari would be another choice. If you’re using Linux… well, you’re probably not, so nevermind.

Want more? See the Wikpedia article on tabbed browsing.

I’ve read somewhere ( maybe?) that the situation has become worse with Firefox 1.5. Of course this was anecdotal evidence.
You have probably already read this, but on the offchance you didn’t, have you seen this page?
Reducing memory usage (Firefox) - MozillaZine Knowledge Base

That was certainly my experience. I’m on an old computer running Win98, so the memory issues were something I’ve always noticed, but they seemed to get much worse when I installed version 1.5.

I’ve heard that one of Firefox’s features is to cache the last few pages that you’ve seen, so that if you hit the back button, it can load that page again without having to make an HTTP request. One problem with the implementation is that it keeps several cached pages per tab, so if you have a lot of tabs open, your memory usage can explode.

I love it; I never thought I would be able to kick the IE habit, but I did.

The only problem I’ve had with it is that if the last Firefox window you close has a Java applet in it, you get a ‘firefox is already running but not responding’ message when you try launching it again. No memory leaks or resource hogging apart from that though.

BTW, does anyone know if it’s possible to make MSN messenger open up my hotmail in firefox, rather than IE? it doesn’t seem to pay any attention to what is set as the default browser.

I once got my Firefox up to 273 MB of RAM, and I’m perversely proud of that fact. :stuck_out_tongue:

From :

Memory Usage Upon Minimize

There is a pref that enables trimming Firefox memory usage when you minimize all Firefox windows. This pref is for Windows only. To enable it, set the following pref to true using about:config:


Fast Back/Forward

Firefox 1.5 has a new fast back/forward feature (bfcache) that vastly reduces the amount of time taken to display pages when the back/forward buttons are used. This adds to memory usage. To disable this, set the following pref to 0 using about:config:


You can also control the number of pages stored instead of disabling it entirely, this is documented in the MozillaZine Knowledge Base. Note that the amount of memory used will vary according to the size and content of pages.
Browser History

Setting the browser history to extremely large values will increase memory usage. Keeping the history to a reasonable level is a good idea for this reason.
Download Manager

Clearing out the list of downloaded files every so often will reduce memory usage.
Other Issues

Pages with lots of (or bad) JavaScript can increase memory usage. Using NoScript to control when sites can use JavaScript can help in this situation.
Profile Corruption

Profile corruption can cause all sorts of strange behaviour, including increasing memory usage. If you suspect your profile is corrupted, or none of the other suggestions work, you can try creating a new profile.

I thought the memory leak was a known issue that had been resolved.

BTW, I can attest to the configuration trick working. After setting it, just minimize Firefox, and it will release a bunch of RAM.

Thats nothing. I’ve gotten my Firefox up to over 1 gb of RAM used. I’ve tried all the fixes and I’ve run firefox in safe mode. Nothing stops it from piling up RAM until I have to restart it to get my RAM back.

I’ve noticed that about Firefox too…if I leave a window open for several days at a time, the memory seems to start leaking.

I just checked, having left the browser open for several days, and Firefox was using about 161,000 K. I restarted it, and now it’s using about 29,000 K. Still, rarely does it really slow down my computer, and mine isn’t what I’d call top-of-the line - it’s an Athlon 64 3000+ with 1 gig of RAM.

I see that Firefox seems to do the memory thing worse than IE, but still, I see no reason to use IE unless absolutely necessary, if for no other reasons than the constant patching they have to do against security vulnerabilities, and the fact that it doesn’t render a lot of things correctly (IE 6 and before, anyway), which irks me as both an internet user and a developer. Maybe when IE 7 comes out, I’ll consider using it.

Man, I really got off on a tangent there. Sorry. :smack:

I solely use Maxthon and I never have a problem with spyware. In fact, I find it much better than Firefox in every aspect. Gotta love the mouse gestures and the fact that it actually loads 99% of webpages out there, something Firefox can’t do.

Hmm, no spyware problems? You either have spyware and just don’t know it or you’re lucky or very careful :slight_smile: I too used IE, Netcaptor and Maxthon for years without running into significant spyware issues, but I think we’re the exception and not the norm. Heh, there’s an entire industry built around IE’s flaws.

Anyway, most pages these days work fine with Firefox. IE is still better, but it’s not 1999 anymore and FF is far from unusable… have you tried it lately? And yeah, regular Firefox is lame, but it’s greatly expandable with extensions. Mouse gestures and many other Maxthon features can be recreated in Firefox, and Firefox can do cool things that IE and Maxthon et al can’t.

Extensions have loads of control, so they can do things like splice together multi-page websites into one long one for easy scrolling; show you thumbnail previews of links as you hover over them or identify the type of link before you click on it; submit forms to new tabs or windows; open links from certain table rows or columns (e.g. you can drag-select a bunch of SDMB posts and open them without accidentally opening up the author profiles as well), blah, blah, blah…

But anyway, we’re not here to start a GD. They’re both good browsers, but IMHO IE is just harder for the average user to use safely.