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4 Year Anniversary Waterfox Charity and Storm Search

Hello everyone! I’m the developer of Waterfox, Alex Kontos. 4 Years ago on the 27th of March I released the very first build of Waterfox for everyone to try out. It was posted over at the lovely community of and since then Waterfox has become known around the world.

I never expected it to become what it has and I’ve embraced every success that it has made. I am proud to be part of the global Waterfox Community and the wonderful people that make it up. I really appreciate the kind messages and posts I see about Waterfox on the and Waterfox subreddit and I am so happy that even 4 years on, Waterfox is growing and making a positive impact on the web.

I’m very happy to announce a new idea for Waterfox: Charitable Giving!

What exactly is this?

Back in March 2014, I was invited to an event called Pitch@Palace, hosted in London. Various technology startups showcased their ideas and it was a great opportunity to collaborate with each other. I met some super people who had a great idea: Give the users of Waterfox the ability to donate to charities without them having to give anything directly. It means Waterfox could carry on expanding and everyone gets to contribute to a good cause! Initially I’ll select the Electronic Frontier Foundation as the charity of the first month of release. In future releases I will be building functionality that will allow you to choose a charity of your own. So how is this going to work?

We’ve created our own search engine called Storm that you’ll be able to beta test in the coming weeks. The idea is simple; carry on doing what you always do! Search using the Storm as you normally do with any other search engine and when you do your shopping online and purchase something by searching for it via Waterfox search, various retailers have chosen to donate a certain amount of your basket to charity at no cost to you!

Does Waterfox get anything?

That depends on the charity! We’ve spoken to a lot of them and each one of them decides how much Waterfox gets.

How can we be certain the money will go to Charity?

The whole process is going to be transparent. It means that Waterfox has set up its own company, Waterfox Ltd. The payments to charity will be managed through an independent bank that holds the money in ESCROW, meaning that the charity will always be paid and no foul play occurs.

How can we trust the search engine?

None of your personal information is kept (everything is anonymous). In fact, we don’t even ask for any (and none of your searches are stored anywhere)! The only thing that happens is that a cookie will be stored (it is not a tracking cookie as we follow EU law and if users don’t like a cookie being used we can find an alternative :-) ), which will hold the data for the charitable donation to be managed. That’s it!

That’s awesome! Where do I sign up?

Keep an eye out over the next few days to access a beta website to test out the search functionality and let us know what you think!

Does this mean Waterfox is turning into some big company?

Not at all! I will still be the only person developing Waterfox, giving support and just generally hanging about the Waterfox subreddit and support thread over at I’ve just gotten some extra help from a good company with noble intentions to help get this off the ground.

As you know, Waterfox has gotten quite big and costs to run it are quite high and I’ve been struggling to pay out of pocket so I thought it’s a great way to raise money for Waterfox without exploiting the community. Plus it’s opt out, meaning you’re not forced to use it and can carry on using whichever search engine you like.

I thought it’s a much better way to approach things, than say the way Mozilla are introducing sponsored tiles and the likes. Please let me know what you think!