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All About Mozilla Firefox

Download Firefox for mobile browser add-ons and plenty of ways to personalize. Get the latest Firefox updates and answers to your questions.

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Firefox is a free Web browser created by Mozilla. It is notable for being completely open-source, meaning that anyone can obtain the source code and make their own version (like Orfoxmore

Firefox is a free Web browser created by Mozilla. It is notable for being completely open-source, meaning that anyone can obtain the source code and make their own version (like Orfox or Pale Moon), without paying a licensing fee.

Managing Firefox's storage space

The desktop version of Firefox lets you control how much space it uses to cache web pages. Once a page is cached, future loading of that page happen more quickly and use less data. To change this setting, click on the hamburger icon in the upper right (three stacked horizontal lines), select Options, go to the Advanced section at the bottom, check the box next to "Override automatic cache management," type your desired amount of space to use, and the change will be saved automatically. Of course, make sure that you're not giving Firefox more space than you have available on your device.

Using custom search engines

Google Chrome (the default browser on Android) and Safari (the default browser on iOS) have a shortlist of search engines you can choose from, while Firefox lets you add any search engine you want. Safari on iOS is especially limited: Google, Yahoo, Bing, and DuckDuckGo -- and Yahoo uses Bing under the hood, so your choices technically narrow to three.

Firefox has a relatively long list of pre-recognized engines, plus you can long-tap in a search field on most webpages and add that search to your list. This will let you directly search the websites for services like iMDB, Steam, LinkedIn, the Google Play Store, or the iTunes store, without first having to open their respective apps or load their websites. This can save time and data. Unfortunately, however, Firefox on iOS does not yet support custom search.

Mobile browser extensions

Unlike Chrome or Safari, the Android version of Firefox will let you install many of the desktop version's add-ons, enabling things like ad blocking, Flash video downloading, and price-comparison checkers. So you can download videos over Wi-Fi and watch them later, or save yourself some money shopping. Firefox for iOS does not support extensions yet.

Recommended Alternatives to Mozilla Firefox

Google Chrome

Google Chrome

When you're typing an Internet address or search query into the address bar, Chrome has optional tools that can automatically kick in to help you reach your destination more quickly. It can redirect you when you mistype a URL, suggest websites or searches as you type, and partially preload websites in the background with a prediction service. There's also Touch to Search, where mobile users can tap on a word on a webpage to search Google for that term.

Tor Browser

Tor Browser

A snoop-free browsing experience can be difficult to achieve, but apps like the Tor Browser make it possible. The browser is a modified form of Firefox with built-in support for the Tor network. This is a network of encrypting relays between you and the Internet that makes it difficult for nosy people to intercept your private online communications or record your whereabouts. The Tor Browser works similarly to a VPN, but it's more decentralized, and it's free. The Android version is called Orfox and is used in combination with the Orbot app to connect to the Tor network. iOS doesn't have an official Tor option, but there are third-party Tor-aware browsers such as Art Fusion's VPN Browser.

Opera Browser

Opera Browser

Since Opera is basically Chrome's fraternal twin, if it wants to compete with Chrome, it has to be better, and that's a hard act to follow. However, Opera's benefit to battery life is one point in its favor -- Chrome has a reputation for inefficient battery use. And some users will appreciate the video pop-out. Since you can get all the major Chrome extensions without much fuss, it's hard to make a case against Opera. It's definitely a worthy Web browser in its own right and might make Google reconsider some of its decisions on Chrome.