What is Firefox? Your friends or coworkers are enthusiastically encouraging you to try Firefox, leaving you wondering why should you use it. Simply put, Firefox is a Web browser. Mozilla Corporation, the same group of people who developed the Netscape series of browsers, developed it.
What makes Firefox unique is that it is an open-source program. This means that anyone with programming skills can access the Firefox code directly and change it.
This allows people with programming knowledge to work with the original code of Firefox. By adding or deleting programming code, the programmers can customize Firefox for themselves or improve upon Firefox in ways that are available to all users.
Fortunately, you don't have to be a programmer to download and use Firefox. The program is free and works just like other browsers, such as Internet Explorer and Safari. Premade add-ons built by other users can be downloaded at the Firefox Web site to customize the performance of your browser.
What is Firefox and Why it's Gaining Popularity
The first version of Firefox was released in 2004. Currently Firefox is on release 3.0.11. At this time, Firefox is used by 22% of all Web users; this makes it the second most popular browser after Internet Explorer.
One reason for its popularity is that it runs on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Unix systems. Firefox has a reputation for being a faster browser.
The privacy settings on Firefox are more advanced then those found with other browsers. It's easy to find and customize your settings. Firefox can remove all your browsing history at the click of a button. Many people choose Firefox for its outstanding security features. Mozilla offers a cash bonus to anyone who discovers a security hole in the Firefox program and fixes it.
Many users like that Firefox allows you to have multiple browser windows open at one time. This makes it easy to toggle back and forth between Web pages. Firefox users also like the advanced search features found in the browser.
Firefox makes it easy for users to customize the browser by downloading add-ons. A user with no knowledge of computer programming can make the toolbar, settings and themes reflect their individual needs simply by installing additional add-ons.
Add-ons cover a range of functions. You can use them to add news headlines or weather to your browser window, block pop-up adds, instantly Tweet or update your Facebook page or change the appearance of the browser window and buttons. When you download add-ons, you'll receive periodic updates automatically, so that they're always current.
With thousands of Firefox add-ons available, choosing which ones to install can be a real challenge. Here are five free add-ons that are must-haves for all users.
Wondering how to install Firefox plugins? If you've got an active Web connection, you'll find everything you need in the Tools heading of the Firefox browser.
Wondering how to speed up Firefox? There are some adjustments you can make for more efficient operation, but they won't compensate for a slow computer or Web connection.