Web browsers are applications that make it simple to access the internet. Using a web browser, you can search the internet for anything available on it. You can access videos and images of whatever you want, and you can get more features like looking for directions and accessing files through online accounts on a device. Web browsers vary in terms of speed, reliability, security, and additional features like customization to make using the internet fun. There are various types of web browsers available, they include, Google Chrome, Brave, Mozilla Firefox, Opera browser, Vivaldi, Waterfox, Safari, and many more.

Waterfox Web Browser

Waterfox is an open-source web browser that is ideally built to give you a sane way of browsing the web. Its enhanced tracking protection prevents hackers from following you around and collecting data from your browsing habits. We all hate that! Apart from the enhanced tracking protection, Waterfox disables Telemetry within the browser preventing data collection, and is only limited to collecting data that is used to keep your browser secure and up to date.

Waterfox is built based on Mozilla to extend its capabilities as a free and open source platform with the main focus being speed. It balances privacy and usability that makes users find comfort while using it as whatever they do on the web is only known by them. It currently has two versions Classic for legacy systems with a specific need and Current which works best with websites. Waterfox is available for Desktop and android.

Its features include;

  • Waterfox is powered by Gecko to include a third party to meet the Browser’s goals.
  • Waterfox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection safeguards your privacy while browsing.
  • Private Browsing that does not save your history or cookies.
  • Syncs data in encrypted form on various devices.
  • Support Add-ons from addons.mozilla.org (“AMO”), chrome.google.com/webstore (“CWS”), and addons.opera.com/extensions (“OWS”).
  • Soon to provide an offline translated service.

This guide takes you through the process of installing the Waterfox web browser of Ubuntu/Debian/Linux Mint.

Install Waterfox on Ubuntu /Debian /Linux Mint

Update your system packages with the following command.

sudo apt update 
sudo apt upgrade -y

Download the latest version of the Waterfox Tar file from the Downloads page.

Depending on where the file has been stored after downloading, extract the file with the following command.

cd Downloads
tar -xvf waterfox-*.tar.bz2

The extracted folder is a waterfox directory with installation libraries and all other dependent packages. Change to that directory.

cd waterfox

Run the following command to open the Waterfox browser.

./waterfox

Setup Waterfox on Ubuntu / Debian / Linux Mint

It opens as shown below.

You can import bookmarks by clicking on the Import bookmarks button to open the following prompt. Select from where to import the bookmarks. then click Next.

Select the type of bookmarks you want to import. Click Next.

The import happens and is successful. Click on Finish Button.

Customize Waterfox

To further customize the Browser, Click on the Menu icon to select Add-ons and Themes.

The extensions tab opens first, It has a redirect link to where you can add extensions from Mozilla.

Click on the link to open the Mozilla Firefox Addons page.

Let us say I am looking for an Extension called Wave Accessibility tester. I will do a simple search and click on one of them from the suggestions provided.

The extension opens as shown below. Click Add to Firefox.

It will download and prompt you to add it to the browser. Click on Add.

It shows in the list of extensions available.

The redirect link is no longer available but that should not worry you. If you want to get another extension, click on the search bar and enter a name of part of the name of the extension you want, and press Enter.

It automatically opens the Mozilla add-ons website with the results of whatever you might be looking for.

Click on the one that you want and then click Add to profile.

Then the download happens and a prompt to add the extension is shown. Click on Add.

The extension will now be available for use by the browser.

To remove an addon or extension, click on the dots against the extension and click on Remove.

You can further customize the web browser by changing the theme. On the themes tab, there are several themes listed.

Scroll to find the one that captivates you and click on Enable. I chose the Dark theme. It appears as shown below.

Sync

To sync data, you should have an account first. Go to the menu icon and click on sign in.

Enter the email address to be used to Sign up or Sign in to the account.

If you already have an existing Firefox account, Enter the email address registered with your account. The email will be automatically picked as registered and will be redirected to Enter Password to Sign in.

If the email address provided is not registered under Mozilla Firefox, Enter details to set up an account. Select the type of data you want to sync. Then click Create Account.

Then enter the confirmation code sent to your email to activate the account.

Then you are now ready to sync data on different devices.

Click on the I’m ready to sync devices button which directs you to your account as shown below.

Conclusion

We have installed the Waterfox web browser on Ubuntu / Debian / Linux Mint systems. Waterfox is built with the user in mind to provide a sane way of browsing the web. It balances between privacy and usability providing not much or too little privacy. It is a high performant web browser that supports the lasts HTML standards. Waterfox enables users to personalize and optimize their time on browser-based applications while protecting their online activity. Check below for other articles representing other web browsers;

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