Tutorials

Rediscover the Web with FireFox

Have you used Mozilla Firefox yet? It’s a free web browser that many consider superior to the old standard web browser, Internet Explorer, by Microsoft. I have been using Mozilla Firefox, or Firefox for short, for several years now, and have enjoyed it alot.

I started using Firefox in Highschool, after being introduced to it by a friend. Previously, I had only used Internet Explorer, and the crummy AOL browser. It took me a little while to get used to Firefox, but when I finally started using it all the time, it clicked. My web browsing experience has never been the same. The largest different I noticed at first with Firefox was that it allowed for easy tabbed browsing. Basically, you can keep multiple web windows open at once, and switch between them without having to minimize the program. It saves on memory, and allows for much speedier Internet surfing. The second big difference was that Firefox allowed you to download ‘plugins’ or ‘addons’ created by other people, that can do everything from instantly translate foreign languanges on a web page to monitor spyware to allowing Gmail to act as a external hard drive, and so on. These addons really help set Firefox apart from it’s closest competitor, Internet Explorer. Also, it is supposedly more secure than Internet Explorer (IE), and I’ve seen my IE get corrupted thanks to spyware, but my Firefox stay safe and operatable.

While the vast majority of Internet users still seem to use IE, more and more are switching to Firefox. It seems to be especially popular amongst younger, computer savvy guys, as evidenced by the large amount of college users on my dorm. Almost all websites work just as well with Firefox, (and sometimes even better), although there still are a few annoying holdouts, especially Microsoft (sigh) websites. Microsoft has recently released their new, and supposedly improved version of IE, and it does allow tabbed browsing. However, it still doesn’t feel as easy and lovingly crafted as Firefox does. I’ve tried both, and while the new IE is certainly a plus, it can’t hold a candle to Firefox, in my humble opinion.

I’m especially happy with the addons available for Firefox. One very useful one is called GSpace, and allows you to use your Google Gmail account (my favorite email account) as an external harddrive. This is really useful for backing up info, and is, best of all, free! Gmail holds roughly 2 GB of space, and you can create multiple accounts, so it’s quite a nifty tool. Other programs and addons offer a variety of useful options. Be warned though-downloading too many addons will slow your computer if you have a weaker processor.

I’m a happy Internet user with Firefox. I have a finite amount of time in each day, and Firefox has helped me maximize my efficiency while browsing the Internet. While it’s still not as universally used as IE, it’s becoming more and more popular everyday. Try it out, and let me know what you think. Or, as Mozilla says, “Rediscover the web.”