Ads in Firefox vs Google Chrome

I have two laptops, one Windows 7 with Google Chrome and the DuckDuckGo extension. The other machine is Linux Mint with Firefox and also the DuckDuckGo extension. A few websites I visit quite regularly, and for a while I’ve thought that Firefox was showing more ads than Google Chrome. So yesterday I booted both up, sat them side by side, and did some direct comparisons, just to check it wasn’t my imagination.

Now confirmed, definitely more ads showing in Firefox. So bearing in mind I’m not using any additional adblocker or anything like that in Chrome, my question is this. Is this just par for the course, or is there something in the Firefox settings I’ve missed? If so, could someone please point me in the right direction.

Thank you

Well, I’ve 3 computers: a netbook running on Peppermint; a MacBook Pro running on Ubuntu, and a Chromebook. The Chromebook is my main one I use and I have ad blockers on it, so I rarely see any ads.

I did have Firefox on the MacBook as my bro put that on when he sent me it as a birthday gift. I got rid of Firefox (as you can see from my recent posts) and installed Chrome as I found Firefox very clunky, slow and rather annoying when doing a web search, because, instead of going straight to a list of links, it refers you to Duck Duck Go which is not a very good search engine when you compare it with Google. I know people are a bit iffy about Google, given that it has the monopoly, but, it is the most competent engine out there.

I have also got Firefox on the Peppermint netbook but I also have Chrome, so I never use it on there. It’s even slower on the netbook than it is on the MacBook! I’ll have to get rid of it as it tries to launch itself sometimes!

I didn’t really notice the ads on Firefox but I used it very little. I did, however use it exclusively a few years ago when I had an old HP laptop running on Peppermint. Firefox used to be so much better. I had adblockers on it and never got ads

Personally, I’d recommend getting rid of Firefox on your Linux laptop and installing Chrome. It is much faster and has lots of ad blocker extensions, including one for YouTube.

Firefox does have ad blockers in the extensions though. Have you added any?

Thank you for the response Melissa, I’ll check the extensions in Firefox for adblockers before I do anything drastic. There’s every chance I’ve missed something, or more likely think I’ve activated something but haven’t. You know, something daft like tick in wrong box. I don’t think I’ve noticed Firefox being particularly “slow and clunky” though. While I’m playing around with things I might give a couple of other browsers a spin, just to see what they’re like. Nothing to lose.

Yes, like a lot of people, my plan was to try and escape from Google in much the same way as I intend to escape from Microsoft. Which is going reasonably well I’m glad to say, I’m using Linux more and more, and Windows 7 less and less. It’s taking a bit of time, but I’ll get there. Would help if I made my mind up about which distro to stick with!

I found Firefox very clunky, slow and rather annoying when doing a web search, because, instead of going straight to a list of links, it refers you to Duck Duck Go which is not a very good search engine when you compare it with Google.

I find it odd that Steve & Matilda think it is Firefox that is serving advertisements. FF is just a web browser - it is the search engines such as Google that you visit with FF that provide the ads, and track you all over the web.
DuckDuckGo can’t be worse than Google because it is not itself a search engine. A far as I can tell it acts as a “middle man” between the user and Google so that Google can’t track the user - like a VPN, but better.
Most people choose a search engine as the default home page for when FF starts, and you can specify in FF settings which search engine to use as default.

Adblockers. I use EFF Privacy Badger that is available as a FF Addon:

It is very good and provides much user flexibility and info on who is trying to track you.


I use uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger and HTTPS Everywhere and get no ads or lag in Firefox.

It may be a memory ‘thing’ - as in lack of - or possibly a case of tweaking FF to help it along.

Check this out for ways to speed it up - Easy Linux Tips Project: Speed Up your Mint!

Look through the list for the FF tweaks - they’re safe to implement and are easily reversible if you don’t want them.

The site itself is aimed at Mint users but Mint is based on Ubuntu so the tweaks should apply just the same. :wink:

Edit: Just noticed - there’s a separate page for Ubuntu users too :wink:

I think there’s been a bit of confusion here between my OP and Melissa’s reply. For one thing I haven’t found Firefox to be particularly “slow and clunky”. I had simply noticed that I was seeing more ads when I use Firefox than when I’m using Google Chrome, irrespective of the origin of the ads. Yes I know Firefox is a browser, although if I go into the settings it shows my default Search Engine as DuckDuckGo. So is Duck an engine or not? Possibly enough to confuse anyone?

Now this may be purely psychological, but knowing the reputation of Google regarding ads and trackers, I would have expected to see more ads when using Chrome, not less. I was just curious as to what may be behind it. And I merely mentioned the fact I was using DuckDuckGo with both on the off chance it had any bearing on the issue. If it doesn’t, fair enough.

Over the weekend I will have a look at some of the suggestions made, and see how things go.


I’m glad you don’t find Firefox slow and clunky, but I have found it so on both my Peppermint netbook and my Macbook running on Ubuntu. To explain: the engine itself loads up slowly when you launch it. when you type in something to search for it takes you straight to DuckDuck Go which yields far far less results than Google does.

I can’t say I had problems with ads, but then I had enabled a Firefox ad blocker extension.

It was the slow clunkiness of it.

Google is fast fast fast! It also yields tons of useful search results, which being a writer doing research, I need. In fact the more I search for something (even if straight away the results are either not as much information as I want, or not quite right) it seems to go deeper and deeper and finds me obscure stuff I was looking for.

Google does have tons of ads by default, but if you use ad blockers then they barely show up!

DuckDuck Go is a search engine, but not a very good one. People tend to use it because it states that it gives the user anonymous searching, which is a good thing in some ways, but the trade off is a limited searchability.

You can also use a do not track me extension on Google.

I got it wrong about DDG: I was thinking of another (British) search engine called Oscobo which "licences its search index from Bing/Yahoo so does not have any semantic search tech of its own." (Oscobo Is An Anonymous Search Engine Targeting Brits) And it has the same ethos as DDG but aimed specifically at British users (i.e. searches).

As for speed - 1sec is fast enough for me. But it’s “horses for courses” and we each use what we find best for our individual purposes.
If you really want to use Google but value your privacy, you could always use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) such as the free (and very secure) ProtonVPN. Of course, that will slow up your searches - 3s.