Product Type: Mozilla in Communication
Newest Review: ... doesn't install unnecessary adware, or any other programs. Nor does it contain anything else, other than the Firefox installation files. ... more
Member Name: TheGoodSurveyer
Advantages: Performance, speed, usability and functionality, customisation and stability.
This review cover's how I heard of Firefox, why I considered it to begin with and how I found its installation. I've also included in the review- details of installation and use of Firefox, on Windows and Ubuntu. This includes thirty-two and sixty-four bit Windows operating systems, as well as alternative software to Firefox. Besides that, I've covered information about the program, including the newest major feature and basic information about some other programs I've used, which are made by Mozilla.
How I heard of it
I first installed Firefox in the dial-up days, the browser was relatively new, and my Internet Explorer was painfully slow. The browser kept freezing, and whenever it worked - it was extremely slow. I knew this wasn't a problem with my computer, because everything except Internet Explorer worked as it was supposed to. The poor performance wasn't even due to temporary files, cookies or cache, which I made sure to clean out regularly. As an XP user at the time; I only needed to know one run command (%temp%) to access the junk files, which I would manually delete. I don't think software such as CCleaner - existed at the time.
I was recommended Firefox by a friend, so I decided to install it. I was informed that this browser is a lot faster than Internet Explorer, and it's a lot more stable, user friendly and customisable. I found all these claims to be true.
There haven't ever been compatibility issues with installing Firefox, whether on Windows, Linux or other operating systems- in my experience.
The installation is, and has been very short and simple- as long as I can remember it.
As computers progress in sixty-four bit architecture; I believe Firefox can make a few adjustments, or create an alternate compilation for higher processing architectures for Windows users. The Linux distributions of Firefox- are already available in thirty-two and sixty-four bit compilations. I use the Ubuntu Linux Software Centre, which automatically installs the sixty-four bit version- on my Linux computer.
The installation on thirty-two bit Windows is to the %programfiles% directory (Program Files), while on a sixty-four bit Windows, the installation is to %programfiles(x86)% (Program Files (x86)). I never find any problems with Firefox- running on sixty-four bit Windows 7, only the installation is in thirty-two bit format. Sixty-four bit software install's to the %programfiles% directory.
One thing I like about the installer- is that it doesn't install unnecessary adware, or any other programs. Nor does it contain anything else, other than the Firefox installation files. So I'm not prompted to choose ask.com toolbar and search engine, which a lot of other freeware installations contain. I don't particularly like ask.com, nor do I like their toolbar, so it's always a relief to know that Firefox installation remains free of ask.com.
Running a new installation of Firefox is fast, and doesn't have to look for any further content updates. But updating an existing installation- sometimes needs to find updates for incompatible addons. I usually find this to be the case with Kaspersky URL advisor, which is an addon that takes some times to update- for the newest stable Firefox builds. Firefox automatically checks for updates, if you click the top left Firefox button, then click Help, and click About Firefox. When an update is available, it can be applied from there. I've found this to be a very fast method for updating Firefox, but for me- it's definitely not a substitute to manually downloading the installable file. I always make sure to keep an installer (installation file) saved to disk, so that I can quickly reinstall it after the Windows is reinstalled. I find that the Windows operating system can become a bit corrupt, and could require reinstallation quite often. There's no guarantee that it will get corrupt, but the last time I reinstalled Windows- two years ago; was after a week of prior reinstallation.
I never need to keep a Firefox installer for Linux, because Linux is a lot more stable in my experience. I've only ever had to reinstall Ubuntu once, which was after a hard drive failed- following a power surge.
Using Firefox on Windows
I've found a few performance issues early last year, when Firefox was working a bit slow. I use a sixty-four bit Windows, so I began looking for an alternative to Firefox. I found two alternatives, which are very close to Firefox- in appearance and functionality. Firstly Waterfox, which is a third party sixty-four bit compilation taken directly from Firefox source code. This can't be run parallel to Firefox, as they use the same extensions, cookies, cache and temporary files. The other one is Pale Moon, which can be used in parallel to Firefox, and has its own application data directory.
I found neither Pale Moon, nor Waterfox- suitable to replace Firefox. Other users may find one of those two as a good replacement. I kept Pale Moon installed, and use it quite often along with Firefox. There are some functions, which don't work in Pale Moon. An example is collectively bookmarking all open tabs, which is a useful default feature in Firefox.
Most of the functionality of Firefox- is available in the sixty-four bit Windows alternatives. Even the latest version number of Pale Moon, accurately matches the Firefox build, because its built on the same initial source code, with a few modifications.
Using Firefox on Ubuntu Linux
I found my first install of Firefox on Ubuntu to have the old menu-bar view, which was the default. I right-clicked in the top blank part of the Firefox window and unchecked the Menu-bar feature, which left the window view with the new interface.
Without tweaking, Ubuntu 10.04's repository has version 3.6 of Firefox and thunderbird. I used Ubuntu Tweak to manually add the up to date installation repository for Mozilla. The version I use is compiled for sixty-four bit architecture computers. It's installed by default to usr/lib, but the installation can be made portable and customised to the user's needs in Linux. I find the default installation good enough, and the application/user data is easy enough to backup. The procedure is simply to copy the user data folder, which back's up all the data, including all the extensions.
Linux also has alternatives to Firefox, which are very similar in appearance and functionality. I've used IceCat, and still use it at times. In my opinion, IceCat isn't as good as Firefox, because I've found it to slow down at times and even crash. Although IceCat nearly always works very well, a few hiccups in the program are enough to change a person's opinion.
Program and Updates
Firefox is one of the applications, made by Mozilla. The software is available to download at www.mozilla.org , and can also be accessed by typing www.firefox.com , which is redirected to the correct page. Downloading the program is very easy, you have to simply visit http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all​ ;.html , and choose the language and operating system, which you wish to download it for.
The latest versions of Firefox have a newer feature, which improves upon the tabbed browsing experience- at least it does so in my opinion. I've found the Tab grouping feature to come in very handy for saving a lot of window space for heavy browsing, especially as some of us may be used to opening many unrelated tabs. This feature can be used to quickly put tabs into groups, and even label each tab group. The tab groups button can be access at the top right corner of the browser, this button is next to the window control buttons. The button has a symbol, which is made of four rectangles.
Mozilla has several other projects, which include Thunderbird (an email client), Seamonkey (All-In-One web browser with email and calendar functionalities). I use Thunderbird and Seamonkey, but I don't use Seamonkey as often as I use Firefox, and it's not much of an alternative to Firefox- in my opinion. I haven't used their other software as much, e.g. Lightning and Sunbird, so I can't really say what I know about them; you'll find the little I know from their website at this URL: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/projects/
Using Firefox for a number of years has given me plenty of time, in which I can get to understand the features, functions, performance and changes in Firefox. I've come to the conclusion that Firefox is the best browser overall, whether analysed from a speed point of view, or user customisation, appearance and functionality. I've found Firefox, Pale Moon and Safari to run at the highest speeds. I found Firefox, Pale Moon and Chrome to be the best in features and customisation. I've found Internet Explorer, Chrome and Maxthon to be rather slow and crash more often. I've found Opera to be the mediocre in most cases, except customisation, in which it's not so good. Safari doesn't work on Linux, so I can't give it as high ratings as I give to Firefox. Pale Moon's few limitations in functionality, drop it slightly lower in grade- compared to Firefox. This is the basic theoretic view of why Firefox is my favourite browser, even though I use many browsers.
Summary: Review covering everything important about the Firefox internet browser, including major changes.
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