Firefox is a free internet browser whose first version dates back to 2002. Long considered as the reference in this field, the red panda has lost ground with the advent of smartphones and was defeated by the all-powerful Chrome. Firefox nevertheless remains the second largest browser on the market (for desktop computers) with a market share of nearly 10%.
Installation and familiarization of Mozilla Firefox
The Mozilla Firefox installer is fast and easy to install. The browser will offer you, if this is its first installation, to import favorites from other browsers and become your default web browser.
The Firefox homepage consists of three main elements:
- A field of research
- A series of mini-tiles for the most visited sites
- Key elements: a selection of sites or elements recently used. You will find, for example, your latest downloads, your bookmarks, as well as pages viewed during your last session.
The default Firefox toolbar is minimalist and offers only 4 functions:
- Access the latest downloads
- Open the history
- Show bookmark
- Access the menu
Note that it is possible to display the menu in an additional bar by right-clicking on the dark area.
The proposed interface is intuitive and clear. The user can also add his personal touch by going to Menu > Personalize. He can then add his favorite functions to his toolbar: saving pages, deleting data, etc. The user can also download Firefox themes as extensions.
The user can easily access the software’s advanced settings through the menu or by simply clicking on the dedicated icon on the home page. The most advanced functions are quite well explained. After about ten years of existence, the software is clearly one of the most accessible and intuitive solutions on the market.
Main features of Firefox and performance
In terms of pure navigation, Firefox remains one of the best. Since its last version “Firefox Quantum”, it displays web pages much faster even when they contain multimedia elements. The browser supports different search engines, including alternatives. The user can easily switch from one engine to another by activating the addition of a second search field in the toolbar.
Despite all the efforts Mozilla has made to lighten her browser, she is still very greedy. Users regularly complain about its “memory leaks”.
Mozilla offers a Firefox account system that allows you to synchronize all your navigation data on your various devices.
Firefox has its own screenshot tool that allows you to capture a particular area, or a complete page. The resulting image can be copied to the clipboard or saved in the cloud. A capture editor is integrated. Images are saved there for 14 days if you do not log in with your Firefox account.
Thanks to Firefox Pocket, the user can save any web page for later viewing in the state.
Firefox has a well-stocked extension catalogue. They work like applications and provide the browser with new features that allow you to improve your productivity, experience and security on a daily basis.
Note that this catalogue is often pointed out because of security holes in some extensions. Mozilla regularly cleans its library to eliminate problematic add-ons.
Is Firefox secure?
The browser includes a simple private browsing mode that allows you to surf the web without keeping a history. Firefox does not integrate a VPN and therefore does not allow you to browse anonymously on the Internet.
However, the browser includes an advertising tracker blocking system that can be configured in three levels:
In this way, the user gains control over the activity data recorded and shared with the websites. The browser is able to block popup windows and notify the user when a site tries to install an extension. The user can also manage all the permissions granted to the visited sites (location, camera, microphone).
The browser includes a phishing and malware protection service that alerts the user when they download a suspicious file, or visit a malicious, misleading or unsecured protocol site.
Firefox has its own password manager that can be protected by a master password. The user will be required to enter this password once per session when the browser needs to access the registered credentials. A function to import passwords from other browsers installed on the machine is also available.
Since the end of 2018, Firefox has integrated the Monitor service, which alerts the user when he or she uses a web service that has already been affected by a personal data leak. Firefox Monitor is the result of a partnership with the Have I Been Pwned website.
Our opinion on Mozilla Firefox
Firefox is undoubtedly one of the best browsers on the market. Regularly updated, it often offers new features, which allows it to resist the new wave of browsers like Brave or Vivaldi. Firefox remains a reliable and transparent web browsing solution, in addition, its users can rely on its very well provided extension catalogue and its flawless ergonomics. However, it still has some shortcomings such as its hazardous management of memory.
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