The Firefox browser is a fast, secure and flexible alternative to Internet Explorer
Mozilla Firefox is a very impressive web browser that has several advantages over Internet Explorer. It is open source and so free to download and use.
Firefox 15 is more efficient with system memory when browsing with addons, offers better performance in browser based games
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Firefox 9 added the ability to disable third party addons by default. This gives you more control over what the browser is doing.
The installation wizard can import settings from Internet Explorer including the home page. The welcome to Firefox page has some example Personas, links to Firefox on Facebook and Twitter, and a link to the Add-ons site.
Tabs are above the address bar and there is a single button to access the different menu options. The tabs can be moved back beneath the address bar if you want.
Tabs can also be arranged in groups. There is an icon for this on the right hand side of the Firefox Window. This shows a preview of all the open tabs that can be dragged into different groups. Groups can be named and when you click on them they open with those tabs. This makes it ideal for situations when you want several tabs open for a particular job. It's similar to the tab grouping in Opera but makes better use of the tab bar so long as you can remember which tabs go in which groups.
There is even a search feature for the groups. Click on the magnifying glass icon and a bar will appear. Tabs that match the search term will be highlighted.
Tabs can be added to groups via the right-click menu.
Another useful option in this menu is to add tabs as an App tab. These tabs just show the site favicon and are pinned to the left hand side of the tab bar. This is another clever way that Firefox keeps tabs manageable.
Personas are themes for Firefox that change the background behind the toolbars at the top and bottom of the Firefox window. There are over 180,000 to choose from and they are arranged by categories.
One very clever feature is that the Personas are previewed when the cursor hovers over the Persona pictures. There are also instructions on how to make your own Personas.
A more powerful part of Firefox is the ability to install add-ons to add extra features to Firefox. Some of these are quite simple and others are very powerful web design tools such as Firebug and Web Developer toolbar.
Downloads are saved into a separate folder in My Documents and the Downloads tool is a handy reference. It can be used to copy the download link and to open the folder the file was saved into. The latter is very useful if you can't remember where a file is.
The history tool records all of the websites that have been viewed and can browse pages by date or by searching by keywords.
If you don't want your browsing history recorded, Firefox also comes with a Private Browsing mode, which is useful if you want to look at webmail or other personal webpages on a shared computer. Unlike Opera, which opens a private tab, Firefox starts a whole new window, which does at least make it harder to accidently enter passwords into a normal tab.
Firefox can save web links as bookmarks and there is a bookmark toolbar. It can also subscribe to RSS news feeds using bookmarks and they appear in a bookmark folder.
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An excellent web browser that can be extended with add-ons
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