Faster, safer, slicker: Cliqz 1.17 based on Firefox Quantum now available

A new technical framework ensures significantly higher performance with lower memory usage. The user interface has also been optimized and security has been improved.

Björn GreifEditor

Cliqz Browser for Windows and macOS becomes even faster, safer and slicker. The latest version 1.17 contains all important innovations of Firefox Quantum (aka Firefox 57), the biggest update in the history of the Mozilla browser. Cliqz’s trusted Quick Search and AI-powered Anti-Tracking, which reliably protects against tracking without breaking websites functionalities, come on top. In addition, the blocklist-based anti-tracking tool Ghostery and the password manager LastPass can be activated as optional extensions. Support for HTTPS Everywhere and an adblocker continue to be part of the Cliqz package, of course.

More speed

Cliqz 1.17 is the fastest Cliqz Browser ever. The latest version unlocks its performance advantages, especially if your computer has a processor with two or more CPU cores. Then you’ll benefit from a quicker browser start, noticeably faster responsiveness and shorter page load times – particularly if you work with many open tabs at the same time. This is made possible by optimized parallelization: The workload is distributed to available CPU cores in such a way that they make optimum use of their computing power and thus process tasks faster.

This, however, does not come at the expense of memory consumption. On the contrary, with Quantum CSS aka Stylo, a new CSS engine has been introduced that significantly reduces RAM usage. The CSS engine is part of the browser’s rendering engine Gecko, which is responsible for displaying a website on the screen. Stylo also takes advantage of modern hardware, parallelizing the work across all of the CPU cores on your machine. This means it can run up to 2 or 4, or even 18 times faster. Learn more about the underlying technology in a detailed blog post from Mozilla.

In benchmark tests, Firefox Quantum turned out to be the browser with the lowest memory usage on Windows 10. It leaves Google’s Chrome and Microsoft’s Edge far behind. On macOS, Firefox Quantum and Chrome are about even, but clearly ahead of Apple’s Safari. On Linux, the new Firefox doesn’t even consume half as much RAM as Chrome. Cliqz Browser achieves similar results as it always uses the latest Firefox version as technical basis.

Memory benchmark tests show that Firefox Quantum mostly uses considerably less RAM than its competitors (Graphics: Eric Rahm).

Modern user interface

The first time they open the latest Cliqz Browser, experienced users will immediately notice the new interface design with updated icons. It was developed by Mozilla under the name Photon and adopted by Cliqz. The completely redesigned main menu (aka “hamburger” menu) is now more clearly structured so that you can find the options you are looking for more quickly. For example, you can go directly to Connect settings via the top menu item. [Update from February 21, 2020: The Connect feature has been removed due to performance issues. But we are already working on a better and more stable solution.]

The new hamburger menu of Cliqz 1.17
The new hamburger menu of Cliqz 1.17

For page-specific actions, there is a new menu within the address bar, which you can open by clicking on the three dots. For example, you can use it to send a link by e-mail or to send the active tab to your mobile device via Cliqz Connect. The Video Downloader icon for downloading YouTube videos now also appears within the address bar.

An alternative to the classic bookmarks menu is the new library menu, which also allows fast access to downloads and history. By default, the download button is now only visible while a download is running. Using the “Customize” option in the hamburger menu, you can set up Cliqz your own way: just drag and drop features in and out of your toolbar or overflow menu. Customize also includes a new mode for touch screen devices. If you activate it, important controls such as the tab bar or the navigation bar are magnified to make it easier to use with your fingers.

More control

There are also some changes in the browser settings menu. In the Privacy & Security section you now find a permissions management. Here you can specify which websites are allowed to access your device’s location, camera or microphone or to send you notifications. Another new option prevents accessibility services from accessing your browser. Accessibility services are screen readers or screen magnifiers that make it easier for people with visual impairment to operate the device. These apps, which are useful in themselves, may negatively impact browsing performance on the one hand and may be misused to monitor your browsing activity on the other hand.

The preferences menu provides additional privacy options.
The preferences menu provides additional privacy options.

New settings for site data provide you with an overview of web pages that store data locally on your computer. You can delete this data either individually or completely.

Improved security

Last but not least, Cliqz 1.17 integrates all of Firefox 57’s security updates, fixing a total of 15 vulnerabilities, three of which Mozilla has identified as critical. If not for all the new stuff, you should at least consider security and update your browser as soon as possible.

You can download Cliqz free of charge for Windows and macOS. To take advantage of all the built-in features such as Connect, you should also install the Cliqz app for Android or iOS on your smartphone or tablet.