Firefox took browsing to a whole new level. It offered a stable, open source, cross-platform browser with innovative features, such as tabs, extensions, and find as you type search. Granted, many of its features weren’t original ideas of the Mozilla Foundation. Nevertheless, Firefox introduced them to the masses, and meanwhile many features have been adopted by other browsers, demonstrating how much this browser has changed the game.
When Chrome was released, Firefox slowly lost market share. It was an old beast, struggling with performance issues. The unexpected competition pushed Firefox to return to old strengths and it has since been catching up. Firefox continues to be a unique, reliable, and progressive browser, not least thanks to its huge active user base.
Are you curious to see Firefox with fresh eyes? This brief review highlights some of Firefox’ great features and recaptures why it remains one of the best.
Firefox In Its Own Words
A better browser. For the greater good.
The Native Fox
The first tab you see when you open a native Firefox profile contains the above video. The second tab is the Firefox’ default home page. You may never see this because you restore a session every time you launch Firefox or maybe you have added a custom home page. The default start page contains shortcuts to everything that makes Firefox outstanding.
Firefox’ native home page contains shortcuts to your Downloads, the Bookmarks manager, your browsing History, Add-ons, Sync, and Settings. And if you left tabs open during your previous session, you will also see a Restore Previous Session option in the bottom right.
Note that you won’t see the native home page in case you set a custom home page. Find an explanation how to reset the home page here.
You can access all of these features via the orange Firefox control button in the browser’s top left.
Or click the [ALT] button on your keyboard to temporarily view the classic menu bar.
3 Reasons Why People Hang On To Firefox
The reasons why so many people still love Firefox and hang on to it are many. For some it’s pure sentiment. Others may share Firefox’ vision of an open source software, built based on the users’ needs. For some Firefox is more stable than other browsers. Many don’t like or trust Google or other corporations offering free browsers. The hardcore fans, however, stay for particular features, often implemented via extensions that no other browser offers. Let’s have a look at a few of those features.
1. Master Password
If you are the type of person who allows the browser to store usernames and passwords, you should switch to Firefox. It offers a master password to protect your privacy.
To activate your master password, click the orange Firefox button in the top left, select Options and switch to the Security tab. Check the box next to Use a master password and set your password.
To get even more secure, try these 5 Firefox Addons For Serious Password Management.
2. Vertical Tabs
The screenshots above reveal that natively, Firefox uses horizontal browser tabs in the same style as Google Chrome. Hardcore users crave vertical tabs. This isn’t a native feature, but it’s available as a browser extension.
Open the Firefox Add-ons Manager and search for vertical tabs in the top right search bar. Choose from one of the many results and enjoy the new feature.
Find a selection of the best extensions on our Best Of Firefox Addons page.
3. Firefox Sync
Many of Firefox greatest features were originally available as extensions only. The session manager or managing tabs are a good example, and so is Sync. With today’s mobile lifestyle, where people access the Internet via a host of different devices, syncing has become essential. Other browsers offer it, but Firefox does it equally well and may be easier to trust.
Go to Firefox Options and switch to the Sync tab. Click Set Up Firefox Sync in case you have not used it before. Log into your account or create a new one. Once you are logged in, complete the setup by picking what you would like to sync. You can choose from Add-ons, Bookmarks, Passwords, Preferences, History, and Tabs.
Firefox isn’t a naturally minimalistic browser like Chrome, but if you keep the tabs and extensions at bay, it can be. Some features still need to evolve to a level where they become intuitive to use, such as the profile manager. Nevertheless, Firefox remains a living and hopefully thriving legend.
Why do you hang on to Firefox?