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Use a 64-Bit PC? Instead of Firefox, Try Waterfox 9.0

This variant of the Firefox Web browser is built for 64-bit systems and optimized for speed.

Earlier this year I wrote about Pale Moon, a version of Mozilla's popular Firefox browser that's optimized for extra speed on Windows.

Besides its focus on speed, another interesting difference in Pale Moon is that it's available in a 64-bit version, where Firefox is not--at least not with an officially supported release.

Users of 64-bit machines also have another option, however, and that's Waterfox, a version of Firefox that's optimized for speed on 64-bit systems. Along with last week's Firefox 9 release, the Waterfox project released version 9.0 of its own software.

Ready for a run-down? Here are some of the key features Waterfox offers.

'Further Performance Increases'

Waterfox bills itself as a high-performance browser based on Firefox that's made specifically for 64-bit systems and optimized for speed.

Users on older systems will find that the 64-bit browser loads faster and is much more responsive than 32-bit Firefox, the project says, while on newer hardware, Waterfox allows users to enjoy their systems' full potential.

"In benchmarks, the 64-bit variant of Firefox outperforms the 32-bit variant," according to the Waterfox website. "Also because this variant is being built specifically for Windows, there might be further performance increases."

Add-ons are fully supported, and major plug-ins such as Adobe Flash, Sun Java, and Microsoft Silverlight all have supported 64-bit binaries available, the project notes.

A Free Download

Following last week's release of Firefox 9, Waterfox 9.0 made its own official debut complete with the improved JavaScript performance and other improvements Mozilla's new browser brought to the table.

Also included were some Waterfox-specific updates, however, including a smaller set of final code.

Users of Waterfox must have Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x64) installed. That software along with Waterfox 9.0 and its associated plug-ins are available for free on the Waterfox download page.

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