Mozilla Firefox Review | Open source online browsing
Mozilla Firefox is a free open source web browser developed and launched by Mozilla Corporation in 2003. It started with just a few features but grew to match many of its rivals. One of the most appreciated capabilities is its speed of loading website pages using less system resources than some competitors.
Of course, this also comes with its drawbacks. Yet there is lots of new features which have appeared recently. Some of them include new security measures, VPN services and a pocket version to save pages to read later. Learn more about what it has to offer in the Mozilla Firefox review below.
First steps with Mozilla Firefox
When you begin your experience with Mozilla Firefox, the browser greets you with an initial setup. You can ignore any of them and deal with them later, but I recommend establishing them early on. Once done, you will be able to enjoy all the features it has to offer.
Configuring your default browser
The first question Mozilla Firefox will ask you after installation is whether you want set it as default browser. Don’t be intimidated into saying yes, because you can still enjoy all your surfing on any other browser you like without limiting the features Firefox has to offer.
If you say yes, it just tells Windows to always use it to open web pages by default. Mozilla Firefox is quite persistent with this offer, as you will receive an email about the change after creating an account. I will deal with that a little later.
Importing bookmarks and settings in Mozilla Firefox
The next step is import your bookmarks and settings. I get tired when I do this action because I always worry how it will affect my original bookmarks and options on Avast Secure Browser. However, it worked quite well when I did it from Microsoft Edge to Avast, and you only need to provide the email address you linked on your old browser.
Choose your theme
Finally, you will have to choose one of the themes that Mozilla Firefox lists. I generally like to work in normal or dark mode, depending on what I’m working on. There is a fourth option with stunning colors. When you click on a theme, you get an in-browser preview of what it will look like.
Default tab page
Now that Mozilla Firefox is configured for use, you will enter the Default new tab page. You will see icons under the search panel with links to social media platforms. While the section below is empty at first, the browser will pay attention to the content you visit the most. In a few days you will see recommendations for other sites.
What features of Mozilla Firefox stand out?
As you can see, Mozilla Firefox is easy to configure. In many ways, the platform looks and behaves like Google Chrome, but there are some differences. Let’s take a look at some of the most outstanding features.
Central search and address bar
As has become common practice with most browsers these days, the the address bar also serves as a search field. You can either place a URL there or enter what you are looking for. Either way, it will take you to the site or show you the best results for your search intent. If you have already entered something similar, this will populate the field for you.
Another feature you’ll find in Google Chrome, Avast Secure Browser, and Mozilla Firefox is the little star that bookmark pages for you. When you click on it, you will be asked to provide a folder name and location. This makes it easy to organize your bookmarks later when you have hundreds of them.
Back up and sync your account
If you want to open your bookmarks and saved pages on another device, you will need to create a Mozilla Firefox account. It will send you a code to verify your email, then it will sync your information. Now you can log in on another computer, tablet or phone and review all your data and sites. The process is painless and completed in a minute or two.
You can expect Firefox to bombard you with a some emails once you have finished. It will ask you if you want to import your bookmarks or change the default browser. It’s nothing if not persistent in making sure that you only use this browser to search the web.
One of the features of Mozilla Firefox that I found fascinating is the Overflow menu. When you click the menu button, More Tools, and then Customize Toolbar, you can add multiple shortcuts. For example, you can insert email links, your history, save pages, go full screen, or switch to developer mode. I don’t recall seeing options like this on any other browsers.
Add-ons are like extensions
You might remember a specific feature called Extensions introduced by Google Chrome. Mozilla Firefox has Additional modules, but it offers so much more. Even where you can browse the library looks more impressive.
There are four areas:
- Recommendations: These are themes and extensions that Mozilla Firefox recommends you try.
- Extensions: These add-ons add more functions and integrate with apps for a better experience. You can add a translator or a YouTube audio player, as examples.
- Themes: Besides the basic browser themes, you can find additional colors and banners from other creators that Mozilla has approved.
- plugins: This is different from other add-ons by modifying specific elements of how Firefox works. For example, you can install audio codecs for different formats.
Is Mozilla Firefox safe to use?
I decided to dedicate an entire section of my Mozilla Firefox review to security aspects. With so much malware on the rise, it’s critical for browsers to protect your information. Here is what Firefox has implemented.
Check for Account Violations on Mozilla Firefox
One of the free offers that comes with Mozilla Firefox is search for any data breaches linked to your email account, regardless of who you signed up with. It will give you a report telling you if any passwords have been leaked or any other dangers you should be aware of. If you want to be a researcher for this program, Mozilla will reward you with a gift card.
Part of the Mozilla Firefox Monitor offering that you can sign up for includes receive alerts for any violation. It can monitor multiple emails at the same time even when you access them on the browser. You do not necessarily need to use the Firefox browser to access this feature.
Hide your email address with Mozilla Relay
Another security feature that you can connect to the Mozilla Firefox browser is Mozilla Relay. It allows you create multiple aliases so recipients don’t see your real email address. This way, you can prevent phishing and other harmful activities related to stealing account information. So when you’re on the browser and want to enter an email address for a newsletter, you can use an alias instead.
Just like Incognito mode, Mozilla Firefox offers a private window which does not store cookies or information on the site. It’s good when you want to bank or shop online without anyone spying on you. Of course, you won’t have access to saving passwords, which is also a good thing.
If you want to completely hide your IP address or access content in other countries, you will need to Sign up for Mozilla-VPN. You can use the VPN service on the Mozilla Firefox browser and you will enjoy complete anonymity from the eyes of spies. The only problem is that it is not available in all countries at the moment.
On the lookout for stalkers
In the upper left corner of the search bar, there is a small shield icon. This is a notification panel if Firefox detects trackers on a site you are visiting. When everything is clear, it will remain empty and tell you that there is no danger. You will receive a warning if cookie tracking is used.
Does Mozilla Firefox share data?
Although Mozilla Firefox does everything possible to ensure the security of your data, this does not mean that your information is not shared. There is a clear policy on how it uses this data. For the most part, it’s for technical reasons, crash reports, and recommending new content. However, there are marketing campaigns he participates in where the information is valuable to them.
Mozilla Firefox: providing a fast browsing experience
Mozilla Firefox is an exceptional browser that provides a fast experience through the use of low system resources. It pays special attention to the user’s security needs, even if some features are not available worldwide. Some of the features are similar to other browsers, but the add-on platform and customizable toolbar stand out from the rest.
Even though it offers plenty of security tools, you still run the risk of someone hacking your information and passwords if you’re not careful. Safety starts with you. Please read our guide to how to stay safe online always.
- Is to be implemented
- Sync across all devices
- Import bookmarks and settings
- Multiple security features
- Superb complementary platform
- Ability to customize the toolbar
- Recommended content
- Limited VPN Access
- Sharing data for marketing and technical purposes
Developer: Mozilla Corporation
Editor: Mozilla Corporation
Main features: Search bar, security services, synchronized account, bookmarks, add-ons
Platform reviewed:Windows 11