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Mozilla Firefox 1.5 Review


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by Coenraad de Beer
(Webmaster of Cyber Top Cops)
Posted on 30-09-2006

Mozilla Firefox is the Open Source alternative to Microsoft Internet Explorer. Switching from Internet Explorer to Firefox is a very easy process. Its interface is very similar to that of Internet Explorer. Firefox is packed with handy features and enhanced security to make your browsing experience safer, faster and better.

Installing Firefox is a breeze and requires no complex procedures. Once installed you get the chance to import your current browser settings, favourites, cookies, history and other saved information. Click here for a step-by-step installation and setup guide for Mozilla Firefox.

Automatic Updating
Firefox automatically checks for updates to Firefox itself, Installed Extensions and Themes and updates to Search Engines. You can set Firefox to ask you before installing the updates or to download and install the updates automatically. Because of Firefox's stability you will find that updates are not released on a frequent basis like the updates to Internet Explorer. Updates are normally small in size and don't 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.

Resource Usage
Firefox has been known for heavy resource usage, but if you look at how fast it renders pages, you can't really tell that it is using so much system resources. Still it is not an alarming amount of resources being used and with the processing power of today's computers you won't even feel the extra amount of memory it uses.

You will find that Firefox is not that much different from Internet Explorer. The developers have kept the look and feel pretty much the same to make the switch to Firefox as comfortable and effortless as possible. But you will notice that some terminology in Firefox is a bit different. There is a special section in the Help file for Internet Explorer users to make them accustomed to the terminology differences.

The main interface difference between Firefox and Internet Explorer (up to version 6) is its tabbed browsing feature. Tabs (Tabbed Browsing) enable the user to navigate between several pages, opened simultaneously in a single browser window, by clicking on the desired tab. This means there is no need to switch between different windows and it makes browsing very comfortable because it prevents the taskbar from getting cluttered with multitudes of windows.

The interface can be expanded and enhanced with the use of extensions and Themes. Firefox is the best browser when it comes to support for extensions and you will be amazed at how much you can expand its functionality just by adding a few extensions. The extensions also make Firefox very competitive. You can get an extension for almost any built-in feature of the other mainstream browsers. One such feature is the built-in anti-phishing scanner of Internet Explorer 7. You can add this same level of protection by installing the Google Toolbar extension for Firefox. You will not only enjoy the anti-phishing protection of Google Safe Browsing, but you will also get a ton of other handy features. There is even an IE Tab extension that enables the user to view a page in Firefox as if it was using Internet Explorer, this comes in very handy when you are trying to visit Internet Explorer Only pages.

Firefox is also an RSS feed reader with its Live Bookmarks feature. Subscribing to a feed is as easy as clicking on the RSS feed icon in the address bar, choosing your location for the Live Bookmark and clicking OK.

The Download manager is another great feature of Firefox. You can easily monitor all your downloads from one single window. The Downloads box also acts as a log of all your downloads, which makes it easy to open downloaded files directly from Firefox.

Firefox is one of the most secure browsers in the Web Browser market today. With security threats increasing every day, it is important to have a browser that can protect your private data and your computer while browsing the Internet. Firefox supports the SSL 2.0, 3.0 and TLS 1.0 security protocols and verifies the validity of certificates. Firefox also gives the user more control over JavaScript by allowing the user to disable certain elements that can pose possible security threats, without disabling JavaScript completely. You don't need to know a thing about JavaScript because the most dangerous JavaScript elements are disabled by default.

Firefox has been one of the first browsers that included a built-in popup blocker. The blocker is very user friendly and it is very easy to allow blocked popups in the event of legitimate popup windows. Firefox is less vulnerable to viruses, spyware and browser hijackers because of its enhanced security features.

Un-installing Firefox is clean and easy. Your browser settings are kept intact should you whish to re-install again on a later stage and to import your settings into your new browser. The user is also provided with the opportunity to provide feedback about Firefox if desired. Un-installing is a very rare feat among dedicated fans of Mozilla Firefox.

CTC Rating for
Mozilla Firefox 1.5:

Installation: 9
Automatic Updating: 9
Resource Usage: 7
Interface: 8
Security: 8
Un-installation: 9
Overall: 8.33

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