Waterfox (64-Bit) - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Waterfox (64-Bit)

CNET Editors' review

Waterfox is a 64-bit version of Firefox. The browser's developers modified the Firefox source code specifically for machines running 64-bit versions of Windows. Software designed for 64-bit Windows editions can take advantage of faster RAM and processing speeds and greater stability in 64-bit systems. Just converting Mozilla's source code for 64-bit Windows doesn't do enough to make Waterfox stand apart from Firefox and other Firefox-based Web browsers; other unique tweaks help it exploit the speed of 64-bit systems. As the Waterfox Web site states, speed is its mission.

When we first opened Waterfox, it displayed our bookmarks and other personal data from Firefox. When it comes to looks and extras, Waterfox doesn't disappoint in a side-by-side comparison with the latest Firefox release. Waterfox has a family resemblance to other Mozilla-based browsers, with a dark blue Start button instead of Firefox's orange. Otherwise, Waterfox looks and functions like Firefox, including its various customizable features and options. Our add-ons, extensions, and plug-ins worked in Waterfox, too, including Microsoft's Office and Silverlight plug-ins. Waterfox also has regular updates.

We could tell with just a few quick trips to familiar sites that Waterfox is fast, so we visited some of our favorite browser speed test sites to see how it stacks up against the competition, including Firefox and our current default, Chrome. For the most revealing results, we threw Peacekeeper's HTML5 torture test at each, pitting Waterfox against the site's Chrome benchmark and our own copy of Chrome.

This online benchmarking tool separates the smartphones from the gaming desktops with a series of increasingly grueling tests that took some 5 minutes to run through. Waterfox bested Firefox but not Chrome, both in speed and HTML5-rendering capability, though the results were close enough to make it a matter of choice. Raw speed tests with CNET's Bandwidth Meter produced much closer results. Chrome held a consistent edge, but Waterfox is fast, too. Subjectively, it "feels" fast, which might be the advantages of 64-bit operation. In any case, we like Waterfox a lot. If you prefer Firefox but run 64-bit Windows, give Waterfox a try.

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.0 stars

    out of 42 votes

    • 5 star: 24
    • 4 star: 6
    • 3 star: 5
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 6
  • Current version:

    4.1 stars

    out of 11 votes

    • 5 star: 7
    • 4 star: 2
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 2
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 11

  • 5.0 stars

    "Fixed Firefox Bugs"

    February 25, 2014  |   By eatdrumz

    Version: Waterfox (64-Bit) 18.0.1

    Pros

    Very, very fast!
    EZ to install & Import all Firefox settings
    Stable
    Flash works perfectly

    Cons

    Can't get Roboform to work

    Summary

    If you want a Firefox, without the crashing, bugs, and Flash player problems, Wha La! Waterfox is Very fast, and is all the best parts of Firefox, with the bugs worked out. Why Firefox exists with this browser out there...well, maybe it won't be.
    The only, "Malware," that exists, is from website installers. You have to be Very careful now to pick, "Custom Install," than, carefully read every window that pops up. Most of those windows want to install crapware onto you're computer. It's not a Waterfox problem, it's from sites downloaders.
    Great, great browser I would recommend to anyone. The only problem for me, is RoboForm toolbar doesn't work with it yet. It's not quite a deal breaker, but, I did download Pale Moon, another Great Mozilla browser, that isn't Firefox. Roboform works fine with it.

    Updated on Feb 25, 2014

    Yep, it's a downloader problem, NOT a Waterfox problem. Pay attention when downloading programs from C-net, or any other site! They will download crap on your computer, you don't ever want on it!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Awful browser!"

    December 27, 2013  |   By morganash44

    Version: Waterfox (64-Bit) 18.0.1

    Pros

    None - took me hours to get rid of all the spyware/adware that came with this browser.

    Cons

    Just got rid of Firefox that had inbedded viruses that were resistent to all malware removers. Thought Waterfox would be a good replacement and it immediately infected my system with a virus/adware called PASSSHOW which infected all my video & flash players.. still not sure i've erradicated it completely. Download.com said it was safe to download and spyware free!!!! never trust anything from them again nor will I ever download anything relating to Firefox. By the way I did a custom install as I always do and the PASSSHOW virus was still hiding in the download.

    Summary

    Dont trust this browser

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  • 5.0 stars

    "BY FAR THE BEST BROWSER I HAVE EVER USED!!!"

    December 10, 2013  |   By andeyejah

    Version: Waterfox (64-Bit) 18.0.1

    Pros

    LIGHTNING FAST SUPPORTS ALL MY AD ON'S WITHOUT ISSUE NO CRASHES OR FREEZING WHICH WAS COMMON ON FIREFOX 32 BIT

    Cons

    NONE SO FAR

    Summary

    GET IT YOU WON'T REGRET IT!!! THANKS SO MUCH WHOEVER YOU ARE THAT MADE THIS 64BIT VERSION :):) :)

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Best version of Firefox"

    November 16, 2013  |   By 11ryanc

    Version: Waterfox (64-Bit) 18.0.1

    Pros

    This browser takes advantage of x64 processors and displays web pages significantly snappier than Firefox. Everything looks and functions just like Firefox, the only visual difference is the blue start button instead of the orange colored button that Firefox has. Most plugins, and all extensions work without any problem.

    Cons

    My only issue with Waterfox is that it is behind Firefox with updates, currently 24.0 is the latest build.

    Summary

    This x64 browser definitely performs much better than regular Firefox, looks and acts the same. Only x64 optimized.
    Worth a try!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Really really fast"

    October 27, 2013  |   By MAFinOKC

    Version: Waterfox (64-Bit) 18.0.1

    Pros

    I started with Netscape, then perforce switched to Firefox, and then switched to Pale Moon, which is a streamlined version of Firefox, which also has a 64-bit version. Then I came across Waterfox. Waterfox opens and displays its start page in 4 seconds flat; by contrast, Pale Moon can take up to 15-20 seconds and Firefox 20-30 seconds. This browser can do everything Firefox can do, only faster. I have seen negative reviews that state that the project has stagnated, but this does not seem to be the case according to the Waterfox website, and the creator seems to be very cognizant of current security pitfalls and their avoidance.

    Cons

    Most of Firefox's quirks, Waterfox also has. I get the same annoyance of proliferating and cluttered bookmarks when I sync the browser. Also, if you use programs like Ccleaner, Advanced System Care, or Malwarebytes, those programs don't recognize Waterfox (or Pale Moon) as Firefox equivalents, so they don't "clean" it. However, what I read on the Waterfox website seems to indicate that that is a GOOD thing according to the project's author. Also, Waterfox is not immune from that constant maddening "(Not Responding)" aggravation that is the bane of users of Windows 7 and 8.

    Summary

    There are some (usually technical or scientific) sites on which only Internet Explorer works, and Chrome is fast and has lots of good features (a 64-bit version not being one of them); but if you like the features and customizability of Firefox and have a 64-bit machine, Waterfox is worth a try for its blazing speed.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "WORKS AND IS FAST!"

    June 14, 2013  |   By TECHCRZY

    Version: Waterfox (64-Bit) 18.0.1

    Pros

    You Can Use All Of Mozilla Add Ons.

    Cons

    None As Of Yet

    Summary

    @bilglas You Really Shouldn't Dog A Program Without Sufficient Knowledge Of Where You Got SweetPacks. If You Use Daemon Tools That's Where You Got Said Malware By Not carefully reviewing Your Install Options.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Malware nightmare"

    May 31, 2013  |   By bilglas

    Version: Waterfox (64-Bit) 18.0.1

    Pros

    Familiar interface; nearly identical to Firefox.

    Cons

    Installing Waterfox on my system (Win7/64-bit) was a malware nightmare! Couple of things called SweetPacks and SweetIM wreaked havoc on my system, and were VERY difficult to get rid of. They not only infected Waterfox ... they also imposed themselves on Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. Took some scary Registry editing to finally get rid of it all. There was some other pernicious malware, too, but I don't remember what it was called.

    Summary

    I'm seeing all these glowing reviews, which makes me think I must be delusional, but if you're as dumb or unlucky as I am, you might want to proceed with caution.

    Updated on Jun 12, 2013

    Yeah, well blow me, Gene. At least I proofread my post before submitting it. So I guess we're both idiots, huh?

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Solved all my Firefox 18 problems"

    April 5, 2013  |   By gary7654

    Version: Waterfox (64-Bit) 18.0.1

    Pros

    No more freezing videos or other issues.

    Cons

    There are no cons.

    Summary

    I have windows 7 64 bit. waterfox works much better than firefox on 64 bit machines. I've always preferred firefox for default browser and now with waterfox it works great again.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "It IS fast!"

    March 2, 2013  |  

    Version: Waterfox (64-Bit) 18.0.1

    Pros

    It is very fast. I tried this after getting fed up with IE freezing. Obviously its a Firefox clone but I think that its cooler in blue lol.

    Cons

    Non so far.

    Summary

    I have made this my default browser. I'm impressed with its speed and cos its Firefox it has everything else that you need. Got 64-Bit? Get this.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "FAST, free and easy as Fx to use.!!!"

    February 14, 2013  |   By GCG1000

    Version: Waterfox (64-Bit) 18.0.1

    Pros

    GUI is exactly the same as Fx. Very nice browser.

    Cons

    None at this point.

    Summary

    Worth a shot!

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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Results 1-10 of 11

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Waterfox (64-Bit)