Screenshot of Waterfox version 55.2.2 running on Windows 10, showing the English Wikipedia
|Initial release||27 March 2011|
|Operating system||Windows 7 or later, macOS, Linux, Android|
|Type||Web browser, mobile web browser, feed reader|
|License||Mozilla Public License|
Waterfox is an open-source web browser for 64-bit operating systems, with an aim to be speedy, ethical, and maintain support for legacy extensions dropped by Firefox, from which it is forked. There are official releases for 64-bit Windows (including a portable version), macOS, 64-bit Linux, and 64-bit Android.
Waterfox is based on Firefox and is compiled using various compilers and using Intel's Math Kernel Library, Streaming SIMD Extensions 3 and Advanced Vector Extensions. Linux builds are built with Clang. Waterfox is continuing to support the long-standing XUL and XPCOM add-on capability that Firefox removed in version 57.
Waterfox differs from Firefox in a number of ways by:
- Disabling Encrypted Media Extensions (EME)
- Disabling Web Runtime
- Removing Adobe DRM
- Removing Pocket
- Removing Telemetry
- Removing data collection
- Removing startup profiling
- Allowing running of all 64-bit NPAPI plugins
- Allowing running of unsigned extensions
- Removing of Sponsored Tiles on New Tab Page
- Addition of locale selector in about:preferences > General
- Defaulting to Bing as the search engine instead of Ecosia, Google or Yahoo!
Waterfox was first released on March 27, 2011, for 64-bit Windows. The Mac build was introduced on May 14, 2015, with the release of version 38.0, the Linux build was introduced on December 20, 2016, with the release of version 50.0, and the Android build was first introduced in version 55.2.2. Version 29.0 released on July 22, 2015, had a build for iOS. And from May 12, 2015 to November 12, 2015, Waterfox had its own exclusive charity search engine called Storm.
Benchmarks and usage
32-bit Firefox outperformed 64-bit Waterfox in Peacekeeper browser benchmark tests run by TechRepublic in 2012, and 64-bit Waterfox slightly outperformed 32-bit Firefox in tests run by Softpedia in 2014. However, in 2016 64-bit Waterfox performed worse than 64-bit Mozilla Firefox in the Kraken, SunSpider, JetStream, and Octane 2.0 benchmarks. Benchmarks were once available on the developers' website but have since been removed. Waterfox was presented at an event called “Pitch@Palace” at St James's Palace for Prince Andrew, Duke of York.
- Kontos, Alex (14 July 2018). "Waterfox 56.2.2 Release". waterfoxproject.org. Waterfox. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
- Kontos, Alex. "The Waterfox Blog". waterfoxproject.org. Waterfox. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
- "Proposal for Waterfox 56". Reddit. 2017-03-11. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
- "Waterfox 55 Release". Waterfox. 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2017-11-20.
- Kev Needham (2015-08-21). "The Future of Developing Firefox Add-ons". blog.mozilla.org. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
- Jorge Villalobos (2017-02-16). "The Road to Firefox 57 – Compatibility Milestones". blog.mozilla.org. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
- "Waterfox - Help Waterfox". Waterfox Project. 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
- Kontos, Alex. "Waterfox 38.0 Release". www.waterfoxproject.org. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
- Kontos, Alex. "Waterfox 50.1.0 Release (Windows, Mac & Linux)". www.waterfoxproject.org. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
- Kontos, Alex. "Waterfox 55 Release (Windows, Mac, Linux and Android)". www.waterfoxproject.org. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
- Kontos, Alex. "4 Year Anniversary: Waterfox Charity and Storm Search". www.waterfoxproject.org. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
- Nawrocki, Matthew (20 April 2012). "Review: Firefox's unofficial 64-bit variant Waterfox". TechRepublic. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013.
- Opris, Elena (6 June 2014). "Waterfox 28 Review – A 64-Bit Version of Firefox". Softpedia.
- Don Salva. "Web browser benchmarks: Firefox vs. Waterfox vs. Pale Moon vs. Chromium vs. Chrome". The Kaputniks. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
- Alex Kontos. "Waterfox - Probably the fastest 64-Bit browser on the web". Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
- "Pitch @ Palace Bootcamp". The Duke of York. 10 November 2014.
- "Waterfox". waterfoxproject.org. Archived from the original on 2016-11-15. Retrieved 2017-10-15.