Web-Browsing with Firefox Instead of Internet Explorer

by Holly Smith

Firefox is a completely free open-source web browser created by the Mozilla Foundation. Although many people haven’t heard of it before, it is a very popular alternative to Internet Explorer. In fact, Firefox’s latest version was so popular that it set the Guinness World Record for most downloaded software in a 24-hour period when it was released on June 17, 2008.

Firefox is a great alternative to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, mostly because of its security and customization. Firefox is able to download items more quickly, is vastly more secure against malicious viruses and hackers, and offers great customization options, making it an obvious choice for people who spend a lot of their time browsing the Internet.

The main area that Firefox outweighs its competitors is in its customization. The browser offers a tremendous amount of great enhancements, both aesthetic- and performance-based. Mozilla’s website contains thousands of free downloadable add-ons that allow users to customize and personalize Firefox to suit their individual tastes.

Firefox also employs tabbed browsing, which makes browsing multiple web pages possible. A great feature that allows users to view different web pages in a single browser window, which is especially convenient for comparison shopping.

Although tabbed browsing has finally been adopted by Internet Explorer 7, Microsoft’s browser significantly slows down after just several tabs have been opened, whereas Firefox can handle many more before any noticeable reduction in speed or responsiveness. Firefox also has the huge advantage because its users are able to customize their tabs through Mozilla’s database of add-ons geared specifically at improving the tabbed browsing feature.

Unlike Internet Explorer, Firefox only uses a small amount of memory to open and run. The web browser only takes up a few resources, leaving your computer plenty of memory to run and operate other programs. Users also praise Firefox’s ability to bring back their Firefox session, including all tabs that were open, if it should ever close unexpectedly.

Firefox offers its users with top-notch security against Internet-born viruses and spyware. Unlike Internet Explorer, Firefox utilizes incredibly superior built-in security measures that protect its users against any viruses, spyware and pop-ups that they may get while browsing the Internet. It is also constantly updated and patched in response to the latest security threats.

One of the main disadvantages of using Firefox, as opposed to Internet Explorer, is its incompatibility. Because Internet Explorer (IE) is often used as the standard for building and viewing websites, some web pages do not display correctly if viewed outside of IE. Similarly, pages using ActiveX and VBScript, which are not supported by Firefox. There are plug-ins available that seek to circumvent this problem, however.

There are several different types of web browsers available, so it is in your best interest to try a couple out to see the pros and cons of each. Although Mozilla Firefox is my current Internet browser, and has been for years, it’s important to experience what the competition has to offer for yourself- then you can decide if Firefox is the right browser for you.

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