Free open-source browser
Mozilla Firefox is a free web browser for Windows and Mac operating systems. Launched by the Mozilla Foundation in 2003, the open-source program has undergone several name changes, face-lifts, and updates to become the class software it is today.
Web browser with key advantages
The US company behind the Mozilla Suite already had a browser running in 2002, but they wanted to escape Netscape’s sponsorship restrictions. Originally named Phoenix, the brand changed to Firebird and then to Firefox in 2004 to avoid trademark claims. Since then, it’s become one of the most popular browsers on Windows, Mac, Linux, and mobile devices.
Initially running on 32-bit systems, Mozilla Firefox updated to a 64-bit MSI package for Windows in 2016. The main advantages include improved download protection, process separation, and specific customizations on the web browser. While you can use the interface bar like a search engine, Google appears as the default.
The colorful, attractive theme appeals to most people who use the platform, and ease of use and minimal menus are some of the top benefits. Firefox’s speed rivals some of the best browsers available, using less memory and other Windows resources. What it lacks, though, are advanced tools for developers.
Firefox and safety protocols
One of the greatest concerns for anyone using a browser is whether Mozilla Firefox is safe to download and use. In 2019, the German Federal Office for Information Security named it the most secure web browser among any available worldwide. Of all the features analyzed, Firefox’s list of trusted certificates came out on top.
The platform also has strong privacy protocols for both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems, protecting your PC from tracker cookies. The certificates passed both verification tests for the Certification Revocation List and Online Certificate Status Protocol. Additionally, Mozilla Firefox presents adequate icon and color signage for whether a site is encrypted or not.
To further expand on Firefox’s safety features, it has HTTP Strict Transport Security and supports the Same Origin Policy. There’s a password manager to keep all your data securely in one place and you’ll receive regular updates to ensure optimal performance. You can also block and delete cookies, and clear your browser history if you'd like.
Signing up for a Firefox account
While you’ll receive the basic services when using the web browser, there are specific advantages to creating a Firefox account. Foremost on the list is Firefox Sync, which lets you access your account data on any Windows device. There’s also the Pocket tool that saves different web pages to your reading list based on your preferences.
If you enjoy helping other members with program issues, holding an official account gives you the chance to answer help queries. You can also synchronize notes you’ve made for easy access on desktop and mobile. For improved security, you’ll be able to monitor any data breach information.
A Firefox account lets you also watch content on Fire TV by receiving tabs from other Windows devices. If you’ve installed add-ons and themes for your web browser, the only way you can save it is with a registered account.
Comparison with other Windows browsers
When anyone speaks of quality internet searching, Google Chrome quickly springs to mind. It matches Mozilla Firefox in speed, beating it slightly when it comes to a desktop. The latter wins the fight with performance when opening several tabs since it isn’t as hungry on resources as Chrome.
Microsoft Edge is another leading competitor in the industry, designed and built for the Windows environment. It’s an in-house web browser that receives updates when the operating system does. However, since Edge is still relatively new, it has a long way to go to catch up to Firefox’s massive market and security features.
Finally, many businesses have hailed Opera as one of the most innovative browsing platforms. Its instant search function and advanced tools build on Chrome’s success. Opera’s latest features have set the benchmark for others, including a crypto wallet, support for Web 3, and a VPN service for additional online safety.
How to download and install Mozilla Firefox
Downloading the software is easy and effortless. When you open it, you’ll need to indicate where to install the program. You won’t be able to synchronize your files with your Firefox account until after the browser is set up.
The main downfall is that you’ll need to spend some time after installation working through all the available options. However, it’s best that you do, to ensure advanced security measures kick into place. Once installed and running, you can click on the menu tab to look at all the privacy and control settings.
Secure web browsing on Windows
Mozilla Firefox has come a long way from its days as Phoenix and Firebird. It has strong safety systems in place to protect your privacy and passwords, claiming the title as the most secure browser in 2019. You can also access additional tools and settings with a registered account.
Of all its features, its performance stands out above the rest. The speed is a result of needing fewer resources, unlike other browsers, giving you a better experience. It also hosts several new updates, such as blocked cryptominers notifications, improved alerts, and Extended Support Release upgrades.