What Makes Firefox Unique?

Firefox has an exceptional collection of features:

  • Popup blocking Firefox's built-in popup blocker is very effective at stopping most popup ads completely.

  • Tabbed browsing Tabbed browsing lets you view multiple web pages in a single instance of the browser. You can also use this feature to open links in the background: while a link is loading in one window, you can continue working in another window.

  • Privacy and security Firefox has been designed with privacy and security in mind. Not only does Firefox not load potentially harmful ActiveX controls, but it also has a comprehensive set of tools to keep your online activity private.

  • Search features Google Search is built into the browser. Firefox also has Smart Keywords that let you customize quick searches with your favorite websites so you can just type a short keyword, add the information you want to look up, and there you are! Another great search feature is the Firefox Find bar, which finds text as you type without covering up anything on the screen.

  • Live bookmarks Firefox has built-in RSS capabilities that let you read the latest news headlines and updates to any of your favorite websites that are RSS-enabled.

  • Download Manager Firefox's Download Manager downloads files and automatically saves them to your desktop. You can also open a file directly from the Download Manager.

  • Easy bookmark management You can use the Firefox Bookmark Manager to organize bookmarks quickly. The Bookmark Manager lets you select groups of bookmarks and folders and move, copy, or delete them.

  • Fast setup Because Firefox is very compact (less than 5MB for the Windows version), downloading it is fast even on a slow connection. There isn't a whole CD of software to be installed, copied, and verified. You can typically download and install Firefox in just a few minutes. The installer's Easy Transition system imports all your settings, including favorites, passwords, settings, and other data from Internet Explorer and other browsers, so you probably won't even have to do any initial configuration.

  • Built-in web developer support A set of web development tools is built into Firefox, including a powerful JavaScript and CSS error/warning console and an optional document inspector for analyzing your web pages.

  • Customizability While the default capabilities of Firefox are powerful and very easy to use, you may want to customize the browser to better suit your needs. Product settings are accessible and easy to understand. You can also customize and augment Firefox with product extensions and themes. Hundreds of Firefox extensions and themes add features and options to the program and modify the program's look and feel.

  • Compatible email program The Thunderbird email program is a powerful adjunct to Firefox.

In addition to a broad array of impressive features, the core technology for Firefox (and for Thunderbird) has been built, enhanced, and tested by tens of thousands of volunteer engineers, testers, and translators. Their common goal has been to create dependable, secure Internet software that can be used around the world. With a strong central group of innovative and visionary developers, the project has been able to keep up the pace of development and product improvement and to devise creative ways to reach the mainstream population of Internet users.

The single biggest strength of Firefox is that people who try Firefox like it. They also make a point of telling other people about it and convincing them to try it, too.


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.

    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage (Garage Series)
    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage
    ISBN: 0131870041
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2003
    Pages: 185

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