I, like most, started using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer because it was what I started off using and it came with the computer I bought. It works (sorta) so why switch?
Have you ever noticed that as the day goes on your computer and browser get sluggish? I have found that this is typically because Internet Explorer is a memory hog, and the longer you use it, the worse it gets.
I switched to Mozilla Firefox about a year ago and “poof” my problems were solved. My computer started running faster… longer. Give it a shot and let me know what you think. Details about Firefox 3.5 after the break.
Security & Privacy View the video
Instant Web Site ID
Want to be extra sure about a site’s legitimacy before you make a purchase? Click on a site favicon for an instant identity overview. Another click digs deeper: how many times have you visited? Are your passwords saved? Check up on suspicious sites, avoid Web forgeries and make sure a site is what it claims to be.
new Sometimes it’s nice to go undercover. When this feature is enabled, you won’t leave a single browsing fingerprint behind for others to discover. You can slip in and out of private browsing mode quickly, so it’s easy to return to what you were doing before as if nothing ever happened (you can also browse privately all the time).
Forget This Site
new Having second thoughts about having visited a certain Web site? With this feature, you can remove every trace of that site from your browser—no questions asked!
improved Firefox protects you from viruses, worms, trojan horses and spyware. If you accidentally access an attack site, it will warn you away from the site and tell you why it isn’t safe to use. Firefox checks every part of a Web page before loading it to make sure nothing harmful is sneaking in the back door.
Shop and do business safely on the Internet. Firefox gets a fresh update of web forgery sites 48 times in a day, so if you try to visit a fraudulent site that’s pretending to be a site you trust (like your bank), a browser message—big as life—will stop you.
Enforce parental control settings you’ve entered on Vista—stop unwanted downloads and more.
Clear Recent History
improved Clear all your private data or just your activity over the past few hours with a few quick clicks. You have full control over what to delete, and then your info is gone for good—on your own computer or the one at your local library. It’s that easy.
Customized Security Settings
Control the level of scrutiny you’d like Firefox to give a site and enter exceptions—sites that don’t need the third degree. Customize settings for passwords, cookies, loading images and installing add-ons for a fully empowered Web experience.
Firefox looks for a secure connection before installing or updating add-ons, 3rd party software, and Personas.
We’ve seamlessly integrated this feature into your surfing experience. Choose to “remember” site passwords without intrusive pop-ups. Now you’ll see the “remember password” notification integrated into your view at the top of the site page.
Firefox integrates elegantly with your antivirus software. When you download a file, your computer’s antivirus program automatically checks it to protect you against viruses and other malware, which could otherwise attack your computer.
Banish pop-ups (and pop-under windows) from your surfing experience once and for all. Or, find a happy medium—choose to view blocked pop-ups or create an “allow” list of sites whose pop-ups you’re okay with seeing.
Our open-source security strategy lets us find—and fix—security issues in record time, making Firefox the safest way to surf. Install upgrades when you receive automatic notification or wait until you’re ready..
Smaller Memory Footprint
Short and sweet, Firefox uses less of your computer’s memory while it’s running.
With a new management function in place, Firefox keeps memory usage under control. The XPCOM cycle collector continuously cleans up unused memory. Plus, hundreds of memory leaks have been remedied.
Faster Page Load
A redesigned page rendering and layout engine means you see Web pages faster—and in the way they were meant to be seen.
Color Profile Support
improved The colors in your online photo albums will be sharper and more brilliant than ever, thanks to improvements to our graphics engine.
Firefox Performance: Fast — Faster — Fastest
Results of a SunSpider test on a Windows XP machine
- 18,148 ms
- 3,669 ms
- 1,524 ms!
Over 6,000 ways to customize
improved The sky’s the limit with a growing library of over 6,000 Firefox add-ons, little extras you choose to download and install for a browser that works your way. Manage online auctions, upload digital photos, see the weather forecast in a glance and listen to music all from the convenience of your browser. There’s no need to open a new window or tab for each task. If you’re not sure where to begin, try Fashion Your Firefox—a handy Web application that recommends add-ons based on your interests.
Find and install add-ons directly in your browser. You no longer need to visit the add-ons Web site—instead simply fire up the Add-ons Manager. Not sure which add-on is right for you? Ratings, recommendations, descriptions and pictures of the add-ons in action help you make your selection. The fully integrated add-on manager even lets you view, manage and disable third-party plug-ins in a few easy clicks.
Browser Look & Feel
Dress up your browser as you like it. With themes, choose a darkened control panel reminiscent of a space ship, faux wood paneling, or hundreds of other unique looks to surround your surfing. With Personas, add a simple, lightweight “skin” to your browser in an instant. (Personas is a Mozilla Labs project.)
Add-ons are the cornerstone of customization, but adapting Firefox to suit your style doesn’t stop there. You can add new search engines, change toolbar preferences, display different sizes, shapes and styles for your browser’s navigation buttons and more. With additional preferences, you can specify a Web mail client, such as Gmail, to open up when you click on an address from a Web page or set up a news reader application for the blogs you encounter.
improved A quick way to get to the sites you love—even the ones with addresses you only vaguely remember. Type in term into location bar (aka the Awesome Bar) and the autocomplete function includes possible matching sites from your browsing history, as well as sites you’ve bookmarked and tagged in a drop down.
For example, you could enter the tag: “investments” to find “www.fool.com”. The Awesome Bar learns as you use it—over time, it adapts to your preferences and offers better fitting matches. New enhancements for Firefox 3.5 give you greater control over the Awesome Bar, and include privacy settings.
improved Label a site with names or categories that are meaningful to you. For example, you can label the site www.bbc.co.uk with the “news” tag as well as the “foreign investments” tag, plus give www.nytimes.com the “news” tag, too. When you enter “news” into the location bar, both sites will be shown as results. A single site can have multiple tags, and there’s no limit to the number of tags you can create. You may not remember the exact name of a site, but with a tag, you’ll be able to find it in a way that makes sense to you.
Make your browser as efficient as you can imagine. Your browsing history (all the websites you’ve seen) and your bookmarks (all the websites you’ve saved) are archived in the Library, where they can be easily searched and organized. You can also save your frequent searches in dynamic smart folders that automatically update as your bookmark list and history grow.
Manage your bookmarks a lot or a little. One click on the star icon at the end of the location bar bookmarks a site. Two clicks and you can choose where to save it and whether to tag it. File bookmarked sites in easy-to-access folders and organize according to theme (like “job search” or “favorite shopping”). Find your bookmarked sites in a flash by entering the tag, page or bookmark name into the location bar. The more you use your tags and bookmark names in the location bar, the more the system will adapt to your preferences.
Find things fast with Smart Bookmarks. Click on the Bookmarks menu for quick access to sites organized by most visited, recently bookmarked and recently tagged.
Platform-Native Look & Feel
improved The Firefox platform looks and feels like home. Think of it as a Firefox who’s really good at making friends. Whether you use Windows Vista, Mac or Linux, the browser seamlessly integrates into your computer’s environment. A native look makes for a flawless interface that never gives you pause.
RSS Feed Reader
You can read feeds using an online Web service, a client-side feed reader or by creating a Firefox Live Bookmark. So there’s no need to comb the Web for the latest news and updates. See the latest headlines in the toolbar or menu and go directly to the articles that catch your eye.
Download files seamlessly and securely! A pause and resume feature means there’s no need to wait for a download to finish before you disconnect. So, if you’re halfway through the latest White Stripes album and it’s time to catch the bus, just pause and pick up downloading when you get home. The resume function also works if your system crashes or is forced to restart. The manager shows your download progress and lets you search your files by name or the Web address where the download came from.
A built-in spell checker lets you enter text directly into Web pages—like blog posts and Web-based email—without worrying about typos and misspellings. Work directly with the Web and save yourself a step.
improved Restart the browser without losing your place after you install an add-on or software update. And, if Firefox or your computer unexpectedly closes, you don’t have to spend time recovering data or retracing your steps through the Web. If you’re in the middle of typing an email, you’ll pick up where you left off, even down to the last word you typed. Session Restore instantly brings back your windows and tabs, restoring text you entered and any in-progress downloads.
Visit your favorite news page and read the caption under the picture—or view the picture itself in a size you can see. An elegant new zoom feature lets you swoop in and see entire web pages. They scale in the way you’d expect them to, with all the elements of a page’s layout expanding equally, so you can zero in on what matters.
At first glance, they look like little labels living above the site you’re currently visiting. But they are a brilliant way to browse multiple sites at once. Simple and easy, you can think of them as the electronic version of a well kept filing cabinet, with the tabs as the dividers and the sites as the content kept in folders. Each new site appears as a new tab (not a new window) and can be accessed in one click.
new improved Get your sites in order. Simply arrange the order of your tabs by dragging them in one swift move of your mouse. Or, if your browser window is getting cluttered with too many tabs, just drag a tab out of its existing spot and it will automatically open up in a new window.
Reopen Closed Tabs
If you accidentally close a tab, you can reopen it in one click. Just view Recently Closed Tabs in the History menu and select the tab you’d like to reopen.
Save on Exit
When you quit Firefox, you can save your tabs and windows for the next time you start. No need to reopen all your windows each time you start a session.
Like to have all 20 of your favorite pages open at once? An elegant new feature lets you scroll through tabs easily to see them all and access the one you want quickly.
Search the Web in record time with smart keywords. With a few clicks you can assign keywords to search engines, and then simply enter your key and search words in the location bar. With this feature, typing “book home building” can search Amazon.com, and take you right to books about home building without ever pausing at the homepage.
Start typing in the search bar and it will prompt you with a drop down of filled-in suggestions, plus you can use the search bar as a calculator, converter and more.
Integrated Web Search
Searching the Web is a breeze with the search box inline, just to the right of your location bar. Select the search engine of your choice and type what you want to find directly into the box. The width is adjustable so you can make it bigger if you need more space.
Hundreds of Search Engines
Access your favorite search engines quickly from the integrated search bar. You can use a new engine for each search, or stick to your favorite. Choose from a preset dropdown list of engines or select “manage search engines” from the same list to browse search engine options offered as add-ons. Check out your choices now.
The find feature appears in a keystroke. Search for a word or phrase on an open Web page. Highlight text before using the feature and finder opens pre-filled with your selection. See all instances of your search at once, or scroll backwards and forwards through the appearances of the word on the page.
Improved Text Rendering
Read your language as it’s written—more like real life. With a new graphics engine, Arabic, Persian, Punjabi and other script languages now render in a remarkably seamless way.
new View a wider variety of fonts on Web sites while you surf. Site designers and developers can create custom fonts that will be displayed and rendered properly even if you don’t have the font installed on your computer.
Emphasis on Accessibility
By minimizing keystrokes, allowing users to zoom in on Web pages and supporting screen readers, Firefox is that much easier to use for those with mobility disabilities and visual impairments.
Go beyond translation and experience the web in a way that makes sense to you. Local developers who know what’s best for their community have customized your Firefox browsing experience with local dictionaries, search providers, live bookmarks and Web feeds. Depending on where you live, you’ll see things like BBC headlines tailored to your region or experience features that work with Baidu, the Chinese search engine.
The Language of Firefox
improved Firefox speaks your language like no other browser on earth. Because the Web is a worldwide resource and we believe that resource belongs to the people, we’ve made our browser available in as many local languages as possible. We have over 70 different translations, from French and Chinese to Finnish and Czech. Find your language.
The Cutting Edge
improved Take your computer offline and still have information at your fingertips. Certain enabled sites may allow applications—like your Web-based email—to stay with you at all times.
new Now Firefox can tell websites where you’re located so you can find info that’s more relevant and more useful (for example, getting directions or finding restaurants near you). It’s all optional – Firefox doesn’t share your location without your permission – and is done with the utmost respect for your privacy.
Web Application Integration
Expand the power of Web-based applications. In the past you’d click on an email address in a Web site and your computer’s default email application would open up to send a message to the linked address—even if you never email through the program. Now you can choose a Web mail clients (like Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo! Mail) to launch when you click on that email address.
improved You have to see it to believe it. The rendering of text and graphics, including SVG and Canvas, is faster and sharper than ever before, thanks to our upgraded graphics engine. Firefox 3.5 automatically color corrects images that have the color profile data included (like your digital photos) to make sure the colors are exactly as intended.
Open Video and Audio
new Introducing the future of online media! Firefox is the first browser to support open video and audio formats, allowing practically limitless new ways for sites to display rich content. The open formats also allow modern web pages to display media without requiring a plug-in or a proprietary software download.
Newest Web Technologies
improved Brand new and enhanced functionalities enable Web site authors and developers to create advanced content and applications. Support is now available for:
- SVG Filters
- Ogg Vorbis
- Ogg Theora
- Native JSON
- Animated Portable Network Graphics (APNG)
- Cross-Site XMLHttpRequest
- Web Worker Threads