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Mozilla Firefox Review


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by Coenraad de Beer (Webmaster & Founder of Cyber Top Cops)
Posted on 03-01-2007

Mozilla Firefox 2 builds on the strong foundation laid by Mozilla Firefox 1.5. With improved security, better compliance with web standards and loads of new useful features, Firefox still remains the most secure and fun browser to use when browsing the Web.

The Firefox 2 setup procedure is fast, easy and effortless. The complete setup process takes less than a minute, 5 times faster than installing Microsoft Internet Explorer 7. No need to validate your copy of Windows, no need to install updates to allow the browser to run and no need to restart Windows. You will be browsing the web with Firefox 2 in next to no time.

Automatic Updating
Firefox automatically checks for updates to the browser itself, Installed Extensions and Themes as well as updates to the Search Engines list. You can set Firefox to ask you before installing the updates or to download and install the updates automatically. Because of the stability of Firefox, there is no need for Mozilla Corporation to release updates as frequently as Microsoft do with Internet Explorer. Updates are normally small in size and do not take ages to download. Another benefit of using Mozilla Firefox is the rapid response to security issues. Because of its Open Source nature you will find that security issues get resolved quickly and effectively. Everything you enjoyed with automatic updating in Firefox 1.5 is still there.

Resource Usage and Performance
Firefox 2 is still heavy on your system resources, just like its predecessor, but it does not have any visible impact on the performance of your PC. This proves that Firefox uses your system resources responsibly and effectively. The amount of memory it uses largely depends on the number of extensions you have installed and the number of tabs you have open. Still it is not an alarming amount of resources being used if you take into account the processing power and memory capacity of standard computer systems these days.

Firefox 2 does take some time to start up, but it remains the fastest browser we have seen so far. It outperforms many other browsers in terms of speed when it comes to the loading of pages.

Interface and Rendering Capabilities
The developers did not fiddle too much with the interface of Firefox 2, except for refining the appearance of the buttons and menus. It is still very similar to Firefox 1.5 and Internet Explorer 6 users will find Firefox 2 much easier to use than Internet Explorer 7. The developers have kept the look and feel of Firefox 2 pretty much the same (compared to IE6) to make the transition from Internet Explorer to Firefox as easy and effortless as possible. The terminology in Firefox is a bit different from the terms used in IE. There is a special section in the Help file for Internet Explorer users to make them accustomed to the differences in terminology, but Mozilla Corporation might need to revise this document to explain the new differences between Firefox 2 and IE7.

Firefox 2 still has handy features like tabbed browsing, support for RSS Feeds with its Live Bookmarks and it supports other Feed Readers as well. You can still expand its functionality with useful Extensions and change its looks with different Themes. Most of the extensions developed for Firefox 1.5 have also been updated to be compatible with version 2.

A very handy addition to Firefox 2 is the Restore Session feature. If your browser is closed unexpectedly due to a crash, cold reboot or a power failure, you will have the option to restore the previous browsing session and all your tabs that were open at that specific point will automatically be re-opened.

Firefox renders W3C web standard compliant web pages, utilising CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), beautifully and flawlessly. This means less designing headaches for web designers and more time to spend on the promotion of your web site.

Firefox 2 remains one of the most secure browsers available today. It supports the SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0 encryption protocols and makes it easy for the user to verify the validity of SSL certificates. It still has advanced JavaScript protection, giving the user the option to disable certain JavaScript elements. JavaScript elements that are often abused by unethical web sites are disabled by default.

Firefox comes with a built-in popup blocker and it allows you to block images from specific web sites, so it is easy to exercise control over the content you want the browser to download. Enhanced security and protection against malware makes Firefox very resistant to viruses, spyware and browser hijackers. The built-in Web Forgery filter (also called an anti-phishing filter) protects you against the ever-increasing threat of phishing scams and the browser even has a feature under the Help menu that you can use to report Web Forgery.

Stability and Compatibility
The initial release of Firefox 2 was plagued by constant crashes. Most of these crashes were often caused by incompatible extensions and the tabbed browsing also seemed to play a role. The constant crashing seems to be resolved since the latest upgrade (version and Firefox 2 appears to be more stable now.

Firefox has always been a versatile browser and does not rely on things like Service Packs and Windows Updates to function properly. Because of its independency, it never interferes with your other applications or cause corruptions.

Un-installing Firefox 2 fast, easy and effortless. Certain elements like your browser settings and Bookmarks remain on your system to make it possible for other browsers to import them. The user has the choice to provide feedback about Firefox if desired.

CTC Rating for
Mozilla Firefox 2.0:

Installation: 9
Automatic Updating: 9
Resource Usage and Performance: 7
Interface and Rendering Capabilities: 8
Security: 8
Stability and Compatibility: 7
Un-installation: 9
Overall: 8.14

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