PROS: The new designs focus on simplicity and speed.
CONS: It’s incredibly difficult to reach Mozilla’s support team.
VERDICT: Mozilla Firefox is a versatile and feature-rich browser that’s ideal for both advanced and beginner users. Firefox’s most recent updates may be enough of a change to draw in web surfers who migrated to other browsers. The new version of Mozilla Firefox provides updates to the web browser that the service has needed for some time. Firefox has ditched the orange tabbed menu that sat on the top left and replaced it with a three-bar button menu that fits on the main toolbar. This design, called Australis, rounds off the tabs and highlights the tab you are currently on, while the other tabs appear more translucent.
Firefox’s main menu focuses on simplicity. You immediately have access to open private windows, find add-ons and set up Adblock Plus. This new focus on ease of use and the impressive speed of navigation make Mozilla Firefox the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner in our internet browser reviews.
Speed & Compatibility
Firefox has always been a fast internet browser, and now it’s even faster. It beats most of the competition in terms of speed, and we had no problems loading Firefox or quickly navigating from page to page. Firefox provides a fluid web browsing experience from start to finish and boasts compatibility across the web. Furthermore, Firefox is fully equipped to accommodate multi-touch gestures.
In our test using the Numion Stopwatch, it took 1.55 seconds to open our site. We averaged how long it took to start our site 10 different times. Firefox finished loading the entire site in 1.09 seconds on average. While navigating to a completely different site, Firefox took 3.21 seconds. Your internet provider and plan comes into play in tests like these, but in our testing, Firefox had better speed tests than the competition under the same test conditions.
Firefox is well organized and intuitive, making the navigation easier. The browser has an easy-to-use interface stocked with the essentials, but it’s far from cluttered. Firefox features are powerful and useful, yet simple and accessible.
Firefox has several additional features that further improve usability. A fully integrated spell-checker ensures your spelling is correct as you work directly on the web. Another great function is its automatic session restore. When Firefox reopens, you can pick up where you left off, even if the browser closed unexpectedly. Session restore can restore text you were writing in an email and even downloads in progress.
Like many other major internet browsers, Mozilla Firefox has adopted a useful synchronization feature. You can synchronize your browsing so you can access your history, passwords, bookmarks and more on your desktop or mobile browsers. It also has tabbed browsing, allowing you to quickly navigate between webpages in a single window. You can reorder tabs, organize them into customizable groups using the Panorama feature and perform a redo function when you accidentally close them.
The browser also has a handful of features to make browsing easier and quicker. The find-on-page function is sleek and nonintrusive, allowing you to easily find a word or phrase on a particular webpage. Firefox puts the feature right on the bottom of the browser so you don’t have to deal with a pop-up window. The internet browser also has a voice interaction add-on. This feature allows you to browse the internet through simple voice commands. However, this functionality is not built into the browser itself. It becomes available with an add-on.
Firefox is an ideal browser if you conduct research online. Mozilla has developed virtual sticky notes, a feature unique to Firefox. You can add your own notes to specific webpages and access them through the toolbar. You can also access your saved bookmarks, archived browsing history and pinned apps. The Pin as App Tab feature allows you to save frequently visited websites, such as Facebook or your web-based email, as icons on the toolbar. That way, you can easily access them without opening a new tab. You can also use private browsing, a feature that allows confidential and mostly anonymous internet surfing, in a new tab or window.
The browser’s innovative Smart Location Bar adapts to your use and preferences. This handy tool makes it easy to return to websites you’ve previously visited, even if you don’t remember the exact URL. It also helps you locate sites based on titles and content. Firefox also includes form auto-fill, a pop-up blocker, a password manager and parental controls. Another nice feature is the drag-and-drop functionality, which allows you to drag text or a link from anywhere on a web page and put it directly into your search bar. Firefox also includes a built-in PDF viewer, which means you no longer have to open PDF files in a separate program.
Firefox has integrated private browsing; you can easily enable and disable the private mode, browsing seamlessly in complete secrecy. Unlike with other browser privacy modes, there is no noticeable icon or change to the interface when it’s in private mode.
Mozilla Firefox protects against viruses, spyware, malware, phishing sites and pop-ups. The internet browser also has automatic updates, so your browser is always up to date on the latest security fixes. The internet browser also provides customized security settings. You can control the level of scrutiny placed on sites and customize settings for cookies, downloads, passwords and add-ons.
Another impressive security feature the internet browser has is the one-click site info. You simply click on the site in the address bar to view important safety information. You can easily clear your personal information, including history, cookies, passwords and web-form entries, with the click of a button. You can even remove all traces of you visiting a specific site.
Help & Support
Mozilla provides a lot of useful online documentation, including FAQs, a knowledgebase and a tutorial. The knowledgebase is searchable and includes standard as well as personalized help in the form of live chat with the Firefox community. If you need instant help, this service directs you to the community forums, as there are no support options in terms of phone or email.
The most recent update of Mozilla Firefox may look a little familiar if you’re a Google user, but the ease of use and speed puts it slightly over the top. In our evaluation, Mozilla Firefox is the best internet browser. It is a simple browser that gives you the option of installing numerous add-ons for a better, more customized experience. This browser, which always performed well, has gone through several improvements, leading it to become the top browser software.