lately I have been using Firefox. It works rather well, but given my browsing habits (I never close down Firefox, I rarely reboot my macbook) I end up with an instance of Firefox that eats up 2/3 GB of RAM.

This is obviously unacceptable, and Firefox is well known to have memory leaks here and there. On the long run, "here and there" bogs down my machine and I need to close it down (when it doesn't crash) and restart it, and since I don't save things in the browsers (password, forms ecc) I need to re-login everywhere. :(

On the other hand I am concerned with Chrome and Safari, since I don't want history on my browser, nor want to provide data about a person (me) to third parties (via cookies, history, habits, tracking, whatever). So no Safari, no Chrome.

I don't know about Opera, but I never used it: I have always been curious, and I will download it today.

So here's the question: given all of the previous information, which is the browser safe, not-leaking-memory and that respects my privacy that you would advise me to use?


  • Why don't you have the same concerns about Safari/Chrome with Firefox or Opera? – grg Jan 16 '14 at 17:04
  • Firefox I can control, via several controls I know well. So far I haven't used Opera, but they have clear statements about what they use and what they not (the fact they respect them is a different matter entirely). – mgm Jan 16 '14 at 17:50
  • You don't even need to set Incognito mode in Chrome; just go into the settings and shut everything off. You can even forego assigning a Google account to Chrome if you like. If you really want a pristine browser, use a copy of VirtualBox and snapshot the OS, do your browsing there, and revert to the snapshot upon shutdown. Or use a browser like elinks or w3m. – DopeGhoti Jan 16 '14 at 19:03
  • while elinks and w3m are incredibly useful on remote machines they are not really useful on a variety of websites which employ something more than html+css (think javascript, for example). On the other hand, the idea of snapshotting and reverting a VBox VM is not so bad :) Thanks! – mgm Jan 17 '14 at 11:13

Chrome is a data mining operation, pure and simple. It's based on Chromium, however, which is less intrusive and can use all the Chrome add-ons -- though many of those are deceptive and are actually trackers, adware and malware. This is why I stick to Firefox.

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Use Safari or Chrome in Private Browsing or Incognito mode, and set Do Not Track.

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