Mozilla Firefox

A newer version of Mozilla Firefox is available.

Or, Learn More About Mozilla Firefox
CNET Editors' Rating 5.0 stars

Spectacular

Average User Rating stars

out of 15,557 user reviews

Back to product review

Full user review

  • 5.0 stars

    "Stable, Secure, Customizable, and now it's even Faster"

    January 9, 2013  |   By ycur

    Pros

    1. A mountain of add-ons allows users great freedom in customizing their browser just the way they like it. In my opinion this is the single best thing about Firefox. No other browser comes remotely close to it when it comes to customization.

    2. The browser is nicely balanced, having goodly amounts of both speed, security, stability, and customization.

    3. Firefox runs on Windows, Linux, and Apple operating systems.

    Cons

    1. As I have mentioned several other times, Mozilla needs to slow down on their six week release schedule. It places too great a strain on third party extension and theme developers to stay current. This is why Firefox users often encounter extension incompatibilities when new versions are released.

    2. When a user adds many exensions it will slow the speed in which it takes Firefox to open. Thankfully it doesn't adversely affect page rendering speed also.

    Summary

    Firefox 18 has just been released and one of the best new features is the new JavaScript compiler Ion Monkey. It's been over a year in development and is touted by Mozilla as being significantly faster than the current JagerMonkey. Apparently Ion Monkey has the ability to optimize JavaScript code before it's compiled into machine code. It's this extra step they've added that gives FF 18 a marked increase in the speed it takes to open web pages heavy in JavaScript. Depending on the benchmarks used it's said the increase is anywhere from a 7% to 26% bump up. From what I've read JavaScript in the browser can also benefit from having more memory, so it's unfortunate for Windows users that Mozilla doesn't yet have a 64 bit build of Firefox. Because of this those users would have a maximum of less than 4 GB of addressable space. This is where linux users, like myself, have an advantage. In Linux Firefox can be a 64 bit program, and as such would be able to use much more memory, thus allowing it to be faster. All this sounds good on paper but does it translate into a perceivable increase in speed? Well, it's tough to say there's much of a noticeable increase of speed in rendering pages heavy in JavaScript on Windows 7, but there is definitely a perceivable boost in speed on my Linux distribution. I guess what they were saying is true. Even if the speed bump up is not all that noticeable to some people right now bare in mind the new compiler architecture will make future JavaScript compiler research much easier. I read that we may see developers get faster and faster performance by simply plugging an optimization algorithm into the pipeline. Think about it. This could just be the start of a whole series of speed increases we'll see in the not-too-distant future. I hope.

    Over the past year I've written a number of Firefox reviews where I've extolled the virtues of extensions and how they add all sorts of useful features, yet for all the times I've mentioned them I have said very little about the ones I use. Until now. I decided to list the 64 extensions that I am currently using with the hope that readers who are curious about these add-ons but who have yet to really delve into learning all about all the cool features they add would have a "starting point" in their exploration. Extensions are nothing new to me as I have assiduously followed development from their inception. A few has grown into many thousand, and this fact scares people from looking into them more than a superficial once-over. With so many extensions they have no idea where to start. Simply put, the choices are overwhelming. There are no pat answers on what extensions are the best, for each person is different with special needs and desires. There are however a number of very useful extensions whose features would appeal to a broad group. I'm referring to those like Adblock Plus, Xmarks, Speed Dial, Tab Mix Plus, All-in-One Sidebar .... On my list I also have a whole slew of small extensions that add a single feature. Alone these add-ons bring little to the table, but in conjunction with an army of other similarly underwhelming add-ons can a turn Firefox into quite a powerful browser with a uniquely useful set of tools. Hopefully readers will continue to read further on the extensions I list below. Remember that my list is but the tip of an enormous extension iceberg. Don't let its size sink your curiosity.

    About Config Button, Adblock Plus, Add Bookmark Here 2, Add to Search Bar, All-in-One Gestures, All-in-One Sidebar, Better Privacy, Capture & Print, Clean and Close, Click&Clean, Copy Plain Text, deskCut, DownThemAll!, eCleaner, Edit Bookmark Plus, Extension List Dumper, Extension Options Menu, Fast Seach by Surf Canyon, Feedly, File Title, FireFTP, Flash Video Downloader YouTube Downloader, Foxlingo, History Submenus II, Image Zoom, InformEnter, InvisibleHand, Manage Folders, Menu Editor, Menu Icons Plus, No Color, Open Profile Folder, Places' Full Titles, Print/Print Preview (update), Print Edit, Quick Maps, Restart Firefox, Save File To, Scrapbook Plus, Search Preview, Send Tab Urls, ShowIP, Similar Pages, Speed Dial, Stay-Open Menu, StumbleUpon, Switch Private Browsing, Tab Mix Plus, Text Link, Textarea Cache, Themes Menu, Thumbnail Zoom Plus, Uppity, ViewAbout, Web Search Pro, WOT, xClear, Xmarks, Yahoo! Mail Notifier, Yet Another Smooth Scrolling, Zotero, Zotero Libre Office Integration, Zotfile

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (3) (1)

3 replies to this review

  • Reply by efreak1 on February 2, 2013

    I use over 100 extensions so I agree with you when you say that Firefox is the best browser for extensions:)

  • Reply by wyzwyk on January 15, 2013

    @NetTech78 Do you eat with that mouth? Frankly I'm surprised CNET would post such a trashy response.

  • Reply by NetTech78 on January 11, 2013

    Next time mind your own business and get back up from your knees, Seth already got off. Did you swallow?

Submit your reply

Submit

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

cancel

Add Your Review

Log in or create an account to post a review.
You are logged in as . Please submit your review for Mozilla Firefox 18.0
Add Your Review

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

E-mail this review

Submit cancel

Report offensive content

If you believe this comment is offensive or violates the CNET's Site Terms of Use, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the comment). Once reported, our staff will be notified and the comment will be reviewed.

Select type of offense:

Offensive: Sexually explicit or offensive language
Spam: Advertisements or commercial links
Disruptive posting: Flaming or offending other users
Illegal activities: Promote cracked software, or other illegal content
Submit cancel

Error

close

ERROR MESSAGE

If you think this is an error, please contact CNET TechTracker Support for further assistance.

Ok

Running Request

close

loading

Smart Install Software

close

CNET TechTracker will now automatically install software without requiring further action by you. (Note: This feature automatically accepts associated EULAs and third party applications on your behalf.)

You have selected the following software to Smart Install:

CNET TechTracker will attempt to install this software without interrupting you again. If an application requires manual installation, CNET TechTracker will download the installer and prompt you to take further action.

Proceed with Smart Install?

Confirm Standard Install Cancel