From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Original author(s)Alexandros Kontos
Developer(s)Waterfox Limited
Initial release27 March 2011; 12 years ago (2011-03-27)
Stable release
G6.0.1 / September 27, 2023; 8 days ago (2023-09-27)
Preview release
G6.0 Beta 5 / September 14, 2023; 21 days ago (2023-09-14)
Written inC, C++, CSS, JavaScript, XUL
EngineGecko, SpiderMonkey
Operating systemWindows 7 or later, Mac, Linux
Platformx64, ARM64, PPC64LE
TypeWeb browser, mobile web browser, feed reader
Websitewww.waterfox.net Edit this on Wikidata

Waterfox is a free and open-source web browser and fork of Firefox. It claims to be ethical and user-centric, emphasizing performance and privacy.[1] There are official Waterfox releases for Windows, macOS, and Linux.[2] It was initially created to provide official 64-bit support, back before Firefox was only available for 32-bit systems.[3]



Waterfox shares core features and technologies like the Gecko browser engine[4] and support for Firefox Add-ons[5] with Firefox. It is also compatible with Google Chrome and Opera extensions.[1] It disables telemetry and Pocket by default, which are present in Firefox builds. However, it collects technical information about the user's device to update properly.[3]

Waterfox Classic[edit]

Waterfox Classic is a version of the browser based on an older version of the Gecko engine that supports legacy XUL and XPCOM add-on capabilities that Firefox removed in version 57.[6][7] It is still partially maintained with fixes and patches from Waterfox and Firefox ESR releases. However, its development has been separated due to several changes from Waterfox that are otherwise unapplicable.[8]


Waterfox Classic has multiple unpatched security advisories. The developer states that "changes between versions so numerous between ESRs making merging difficult if not impossible".[9][8]


Waterfox was first released by Alex Kontos[10][3] on March 27, 2011 for 64-bit Windows. The Mac build was introduced on May 14, 2015 with the release of version 38.0,[11] the Linux build was introduced on December 20, 2016 with the release of version 50.0,[12] and an Android build was first introduced on October 10, 2017 in version 55.2.2.[13]

From July 22, 2015 to November 12, 2015, Waterfox had its own search-engine called "Storm" that would raise funds for charity and Waterfox. Storm was developed with over £2 million of investor funding and powered by Yahoo! Search.[14][15][16]

In December 2019, System1, an advertising company which portrays itself as privacy-focused,[17] acquired Waterfox.[18][19] In July 2023, Alex Kontos announced that Waterfox had been turned into an independent project again.[20]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "What Is Waterfox and Is It Safe?". MUO. 2022-09-13. Retrieved 2023-08-24.
  2. ^ "Waterfox, Free Web Browser". www.waterfox.net. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  3. ^ a b c Proven, Liam. "Waterfox: A Firefox fork that could teach Mozilla a lesson". www.theregister.com. Retrieved 2023-08-24.
  4. ^ "FAQ". www.waterfox.net. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  5. ^ "Find and install add-ons to add features to Waterfox". www.waterfox.net. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  6. ^ Kev Needham (2015-08-21). "The Future of Developing Firefox Add-ons". blog.mozilla.org. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  7. ^ Villalobos, Jorge (2017-02-16). "The Road to Firefox 57 – Compatibility Milestones". blog.mozilla.org. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  8. ^ a b "Waterfox Classic development will continue, but as a separate project from G4". ghacks.net. November 4, 2021. Retrieved August 24, 2023.
  9. ^ "Unpatched Security Advisories · WaterfoxCo/Waterfox-Classic Wiki". GitHub.
  10. ^ "About Waterfox". www.waterfox.net. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  11. ^ Kontos, Alex. "Waterfox 38.0 Release". www.waterfoxproject.org. Archived from the original on 2017-12-15. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  12. ^ Kontos, Alex. "Waterfox 50.1.0 Release (Windows, Mac & Linux)". www.waterfoxproject.org. Archived from the original on 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
  13. ^ Kontos, Alex. "Waterfox 55 Release (Windows, Mac, Linux and Android)". www.waterfoxproject.org. Archived from the original on 2017-12-21. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  14. ^ Kontos, Alex (12 May 2015). "4 Year Anniversary: Waterfox Charity and Storm Search". www.waterfoxproject.org. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  15. ^ "New search engine from Waterfox founder aims to take a punch at Google". www.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  16. ^ Lake, Howard (2015-08-07). "'Ethical search engine' Storm to generate funds for charities". UK Fundraising. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  17. ^ Brinkmann, Martin (14 February 2020). "Waterfox web browser sold to System1". ghacks.net. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  18. ^ "Waterfox has joined System1". www.waterfox.net. 14 February 2020. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  19. ^ "Welcome Waterfox!". www.system1.com. Archived from the original on 17 February 2020. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  20. ^ https://github.com/MrAlex94 (2023-07-03). "A New Chapter for Waterfox". www.waterfox.net. Retrieved 2023-07-05. {{cite web}}: External link in |last= (help)

External links[edit]