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Mozilla Firefox

By Mozilla Free Editors' Rating

Key Details of Mozilla Firefox

  • Plunge into people-first browsing era with impeccably adapted, highly customizable, and safely secured Web experience
  • Last updated on 02/10/21
  • There have been 9 updates within the past 6 months
  • The current version has 1 flag on VirusTotal badge_icon
  • Also available on Android, iOS, and Mac

Editors' Review

tom.mcnamara Nov 30, 2016

Mozilla Firefox is a popular Web browser available on a variety of platforms. Its code DNA reaches back to the dawn of the World Wide Web and has shaped other software and software companies, including The Tor Project (Windows, Android, Mac), the Opera browser (Windows, Android Mac) Adobe Acrobat (Windows, Android, Mac, iOS) Oracle, and Logitech.

Pros

Battery-friendly video streaming: We tested video streaming on both Firefox and Chrome. While Chrome usually provides smoother page scrolling, Firefox surprisingly pulled ahead when it came to CPU power consumption with HD videos on YouTube, one of the most popular browsing activities. This power consumption has a direct effect on how long your battery lasts, and on the likelihood of a laptop fan noisily kicking in to keep your PC cool.

Easy reading thanks to smooth text scrolling: On a text-heavy Web page, Firefox does a better job than Google Chrome (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS) at making vertical scrolling scale to your Windows mouse settings. While the default scroll speed is relatively slow, Firefox has a lot more steps between "not enough" and "way too much." Text-heavy webpages also tend to glide up and down more smoothly in response to your mouse wheel movements, which makes it easier for your eye to track where you are on a page. However, Chrome still scrolls more smoothly on media-heavy pages.

Highly customizable interface navigation: Mozilla introduced a UI overhaul in November 2013 that didn't go over very well. Among other things, the standard menu design was replaced with a "hamburger" button that opened to reveal a number of icons. On the bright side, Mozilla gives developers deep access into modifying Firefox's behavior, and one of them quickly introduced Classic Theme Restorer, which ended up giving Firefox the most user-customizable interface of any browser on the market, even three years later. With Classic Theme Restorer, the bookmarks button doesn't have to look (confusingly) like a clipboard; you can tell at a glance which custom search engine you have loaded; and you can freely mix design elements from both the "classic" UI and the overhaul.

Cons

Underwhelming performance on media-heavy Web pages: Embedded videos, animated images, and large static images have become a very popular way for both advertisers and content creators to reach their audiences. But this rich-media environment takes its toll on a Web browser that can't load all that data smoothly. Chrome feels prepared for this evolution, while Firefox arguably requires an ad blocker to prevent chunky scrolling and delayed loading of different sections on the page. (Firefox on Android fares much better in this department.) Basically, Chrome feels optimized for visual elements, while Firefox feels optimized for reading.

Mozilla has committed to finally replacing the Gecko page rendering engine with a new one called Quantum, but the company doesn't expect to make it available until the end of 2017.

Sync requires managing another account: With Google Chrome, you can log in to your Google account (which you already have if you use Gmail or subscribe to YouTube channels), and it will pull in your bookmarks, add-ons, and themes from any other device where you've used the Chrome browser with that Google account. With Firefox, you need to create a separate Firefox account, which you won't use anywhere else. Thankfully, though, the login screen works just fine with password managers like LastPass (Chrome desktop, Firefox desktop, iOS, Android).

Bottom Line

Though it needs some initial setup to perform smoothly, Firefox is a robust and trustworthy browser.

Full Specifications

What's new in version 85.0.2

Firefox now protects you from supercookies, a type of tracker that can stay hidden in your browser and track you online, even after you clear cookies. By isolating supercookies, Firefox prevents them from tracking your web browsing from one site to the next.
It’s easier than ever to save and access your bookmarks. Firefox now remembers your preferred location for saved bookmarks, displays the bookmarks toolbar by default on new tabs, and gives you easy access to all of your bookmarks via a toolbar folder.
The password manager now allows you to remove all of your saved logins with one click, as opposed to having to delete each login individually.
Firefox no longer supports Adobe Flash. There is no setting available to re-enable Flash support.

General

Release February 10, 2021
Date Added February 10, 2021
Version 85.0.2

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows, Windows 7
Additional Requirements None

Popularity

Total Downloads 52,147,010
Downloads Last Week 910
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User Reviews

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15,638 User Votes
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Developer's Description

Mozilla Firefox is a fast, full-featured Web browser. Firefox includes pop-up blocking, tab-browsing, integrated Google search, simplified privacy controls, a streamlined browser window that shows you more of the page than any other browser and a number of additional features that work with you to help you get the most out of your time online.

Mozilla Firefox is in the Web Browsers category of the Browsers section.