What Is Waterfox?


Waterfox was initially created as a custom 64-bit Firefox build by developer Alex Kontos in 2011. His goal was to give users greater control of their online experience.

It is free, open source and offers many privacy features – not to mention being regularly updated!

Waterfox is owned and managed by System1, an advertising company with a strong commitment to privacy-focused operations.


Waterfox was developed by 16-year-old Alex Kontos as an innovative 64-bit browser designed to offer maximum privacy. Based on Mozilla Firefox’s source code, but without all of the tracking features or telemetry data collection implemented over time by that browser. Waterfox makes a good option for anyone concerned about how much information major browsers like Chrome or Chromium collect about users.

Recently, Firefox has seen its popularity decline due to the integration of services like Pocket, interface changes, and its massive collection of user data. Waterfox provides an alternative that offers more focused experience by offering features designed to protect privacy such as an option to block third-party cookies and private tabs as well as the capability of disabling WebRTC altogether.

Waterfox browser stands out by striking an ideal balance between privacy and functionality, being one of the fastest browsers available, as well as being regularly updated to address security vulnerabilities, providing a safe browsing environment – making it an excellent choice for anyone concerned with online security.

This browser gives you plenty of ways to personalize the browsing experience in many ways, integrating seamlessly with traditional XUL Firefox extensions, WebExtensions, bootstrapped add-ons and NPAPI plugins as well as supporting a range of themes and color schemes. Furthermore, there’s even an inbuilt screenshot feature so that screenshots can easily be captured and shared across platforms.

Waterfox stands out by not sending your location data to websites you visit and prompts for permission before passing any information about your location to websites that use HTML geolocation service to determine your approximate position on the Internet. Unfortunately, Waterfox doesn’t come fully configured for privacy; to achieve maximum protection it must be configured via options menu(s), about:config tweaks and trusted privacy-friendly browser plugins.

Even with its benefits, Waterfox does have some drawbacks. First of all, it may not offer as much customization options as some other browsers (Brave or Firefox itself are especially customizable), and being run by one person means security updates may take time to appear.


Waterfox stands apart from both Firefox and Google Chrome by emphasizing privacy, speed, and customization. As a fork of Firefox, Waterfox boasts a faster x64 executable as well as additional features that support legacy extensions and NPAPI plugins like Microsoft Silverlight and Java; no telemetry data or tracking; enhanced security; it is available for Windows, macOS and certain Linux distributions – though development on its Android port has since stopped.

Waterfox outshines Firefox in terms of speed. Utilizing 64-bit architecture to optimize computer resources, Waterfox supports multiple tabs simultaneously while also eliminating features that compromise privacy, such as pocket, telemetry and startup analysis.

Waterfox stands out from other web browsers by being capable of running any Firefox add-on, from traditional XUL extensions and WebExtensions, to older NPAPI plug-ins being phased out by Mozilla for safety and compatibility reasons. Furthermore, Waterfox provides unprecedented customization options, with the ability to install various themes to tailor its appearance according to individual tastes.

Alex Kontos first created the browser as part of his open source software-inspired computer build projects from an early age. While developing his browser, Alex aimed for something both powerful and safe; in addition to speed and security features, his aim was also to return power back to users by making installation and customization simpler; his philosophy can be seen throughout its design and functionality.

Since then, the browser has been improved to address various bugs and performance issues, work on ARM devices, support the latest versions of Firefox, become more secure by offering users encryption capabilities as well as providing them with a concise privacy policy without tracking or telemetry data; plus more!


Waterfox provides you with plenty of options and settings to customize your browser experience, such as selecting which icons appear in the tab bar and toolbar and even moving items between these areas. Furthermore, you can alter the look of your homepage, default search engine, bookmarks saved to Pocket, recent activity lists and much more!

Waterfox also includes an extra feature to personalize the browsing experience: you can create your own theme! While this isn’t essential, creating custom themes makes the browsing experience feel more tailored and personalized. Plus, Waterfox includes a translation tool so that web content can be translated using your native language – perfect for international travelers!

The browser’s developers have done an excellent job at making customization options easily accessible for users who don’t feel confident fiddling around with about:config. In fact, these options have been integrated directly into the settings menu – this represents a marked improvement over Firefox which makes customizing look and functionality more difficult.

As with Firefox, Waterfox uses the Gecko browser engine and supports many of the same add-ons; however, there are separate editions dedicated to legacy extensions and modern WebExtension support.

Waterfox is an ideal choice for users seeking a fast and secure browser with an emphasis on privacy and security, available both for macOS and Windows operating systems. Unfortunately, however, its developer has recently found themselves in some turmoil; System1 – an advertising firm from the US – acquired them in 2020.

Waterfox appears to have emerged unscathed from its acquisition by System1, according to Kontos’ blog post in which he declares it as being fully owned and operated by Alex and his team, promising continued support into the foreseeable future. That may entice some who were disgruntled about being sold off; nonetheless it should always be carefully considered whether you trust System1 with your personal information before using their service.


Waterfox stands out among browsers in terms of security. It does not track user data and supports a wide array of add-ons, from traditional XUL extensions to WebExtensions API and NPAPI plugins. Furthermore, Waterfox comes equipped with an effective anti-phishing feature and does not run ads, providing greater peace of mind and saving both privacy and wallet space.

Since Chromium is a fork of Firefox, it utilizes its Gecko engine and updates regularly – often within hours after Firefox itself updates – so expect regular patches to fix bugs or prevent exploitation.

Additionally, it removes some of the most privacy-damaging features from Firefox, such as Pocket and Telemetry, by default and doesn’t run its webpage data through Google SafeBrowsing service – one of the best ways to secure browsing experiences. Furthermore, uBlock Origin comes preinstalled as one of the top tracker blockers, using only minimal system resources while blocking trackers effectively.

Waterfox should be noted as being less secure than other browsers; it doesn’t support TLS 1.3 yet and requires an external tool to manage cookies properly. Furthermore, Waterfox is incompatible with Tor making it less effective against censorship and surveillance.

This browser boasts an active community with its own wiki, forum and Discord chat server. Furthermore, its developer can be reached on Twitter or other social media platforms for help and advice.

Waterfox is available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux systems; an Android version had previously existed but was discontinued due to technical reasons.

Waterfox team wanted to emphasize privacy and usability over Android support; further, they wanted to ensure their mobile version of browser kept current with current security fixes as this is particularly critical when updating a platform such as Android.

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