17 Nov Firefox – A faster, better web browser
Mozilla Firefox is the Web browser you have been waiting for as an alternative to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. If you are fed up with security warnings, virus threats and endless security patches from Microsoft, then switch to Firefox – now. Its loads pages faster, has a clean look, and offers better relief from pop-up ads and a search tool built right into the browser, among other features.
IE, while patched somewhat by Microsoft’s Service Pack 2 update, has not seen much improvement in more than three years. Switching from IE is easy, as Firefox has a wizard that imports your favorites, browser options, passwords, and a variety of other data.
One of my favorite features in Firefox is tabbed browsing, which allows you to open multiple Web sites in one window and switch between them using tabs. When you browse multiple sites, this helps you organize them.
Firefox also lets you collect and read news headlines and updates from your favorite Web sites right in the browser, using RSS (see my last column).
The browser’s functionality can be enhanced with a wide selection of extensions made by the community, including a tool to back up your bookmarks and a Google search toolbar. For those who like individuality, Firefox is customizable with many choices for themes, buttons, and features. Firefox makes downloading easy by automatically saving files to your desktop.
One of the downsides is that some sites support only IE. Even some that work with Firefox block access to any non-IE browser anyway. A Firefox extension called User Agent Switcher can make the browser impersonate IE so you can try to use these sites.
This full-featured browser is available free for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux users at Mozilla.org.
Mike Klein is WTN’s editorial director and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.