Is Firefox really free? How is the product development supported?
Firefox is really free. The Mozilla Foundation (http://www.mozilla.org/foundation) supports a core group of developers who work on the browser, but it relies on contributions from individuals all over the world because Firefox is an open source product. You can make a donation if you find value in the software and want to ensure the continuation of the project by visiting http://www.mozilla.org/foundation/donate.html.
If I download and install Firefox 1.0, will I lose my current bookmarks (or anything else in the settings)?
If you install Firefox, you will not lose any of your current bookmarks. Firefox offers you the ability to import your bookmarks from other browsers. See the "Importing Settings from Other Browsers" section in this chapter for information about how to import your bookmarks from another browser into Firefox.
If I switch to Firefox, can I go back to IE later? Can I use both browsers?
Yes, Firefox comes with a standard uninstallation program. You can also keep both browsers on your computer and use either or both.
I have limited hard drive space left on my laptop. If I install Firefox 1.0, what happens to the IE 6 programis it removed or just shoved aside? Can I download Firefox on top of Microsoft IE, or must I uninstall it?
If you have limited space on your hard drive, you may not be able to install Firefox. Your system will let you know if there is enough space to install Firefox, which requires 4.7 MB of disk space to download and about 16 MB to install. IE will not be removed unless you navigate to the Control Panel and remove it from your system.
I was surprised that you didn't give me a chance to not install Firefox on my C: drive. I prefer the installation on the D: drive, because Windows always writes some hidden data on the C: drive. Eventually the C: drive is full with all that trash sooner than necessary. Is there a way to do this?
Yes. When you are installing Firefox using Windows, you can select the Custom Install option and install Firefox to any drive on your computer that you wish. If you select the Standard Install option, Firefox installs to the C: drive.
How do I switch my default browser back to IE in Windows?
To switch your default browser back to IE, follow these steps:
On Windows XP, go to Start | Control Panel | Internet Options. (If you're using the "classic" view rather than categories, you'll go to Start | Control Panel | Internet Options.) On Windows 2000, go to Start | Settings | Control Panel | Internet Options.
Click the Programs Tab.
Click the Reset Web Settings, and then click "Yes" in the dialog box.
Your system will now use IE as the default browser. You'll also need to change the file association settings so that Windows knows to open HTML (and other) files with IE instead of Firefox, too:
Open the Windows Explorer.
Right-click a file that you want IE to open, and select Open With from the context menu.
You may be able to select IE directly from the list of programs on the submenu; if not, select Choose Program and then select IE on the Open With screen.
Windows will now open all files of that type with IE. You'll need to do this with each type of file that you want IE to open. For example, Windows thinks of a file with an extension of .htm as different from one with an extension of .html.
Will Firefox work on an older PC running Windows 98?
Yes. See the system requirements information immediately following this section for more information.
Is Firefox supported for Mac OS 8/9.x?
No. Firefox is supported only for Mac OS X at this time.
Is Firefox a replacement for MSN, AOL, or other online services?
These services provide both connectivity to the Internet and software for browsing. You can continue to use the connectivity parts of these services and use Firefox for browsing after you have connected to the Internet from any online service.
Is Firefox available in my native language?
Chances are very good that it is. Firefox 1.0 was released with about a dozen different translated versions, and more translations (the count is close to 30 right now) are added all the time. See http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/all.html for the current list of translations available.
Does Firefox have 128-bit encryption for secure transactions and banking on the Internet?
Yes, Firefox (and Thunderbird) supports encryption up to 256 bits and is suitable for secure transactions on the Internet. You can use Firefox with your bank or any other financial institution that requires strong encryption to protect your personal data. Firefox can also be customized to give you an alert when you access or leave a secure page.
I'm very concerned about downloading files from the Internet. How do I know that I have a "safe" copy of Firefox (one that was produced by the Mozilla Foundation and not by some imposter)?
Magyarkuti Barna has a guide that explains how to make sure you have a Mozilla-approved download. You can find it at http://bmagyarkuti.blogspot.com/2004/12/validating-your-firefox-installer-file.html.