Firefox 4 Delivers Decisive Advantages

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-03-23 Print this article Print

5. There's no speed advantage

When Microsoft launched Internet Explorer 9, the company was touting the speed of its browser. Now just about everyone who tries it would agree that the new software loads Web pages extremely quickly. But so does Firefox 4. In most cases, the two browsers were evenly matched, in my testing. In other cases, one bested the other, depending on the site. Overall, though, Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 4 seem to be in a practical dead heat when it comes to page-loading times. And considering all the other advantages Firefox 4 offers, a tie shouldn't be enough for someone to opt for Internet Explorer 9.

6. Security is a going concern

Microsoft did an outstanding job bolstering the security of Internet Explorer 9. It did so by protecting users against "socially engineered attacks," browser-focused malware attacks and flaws on Websites. But Internet Explorer 9 has only been in use for a limited amount of time. And so far, not enough people have downloaded it to truly determine how secure it really is. Does that mean it will be proved insecure? Not a chance. It might be one of the more secure browsers ever launched. But given Microsoft's history with security problems, and considering the browser has yet to be fully tested by malicious hackers in the wild, waiting to see how well Microsoft secured Internet Explorer 9 might be a good idea.

7. Add-ons have always been Firefox's strong suit

According to Mozilla, Firefox 4 supports more than 200,000 add-ons. And as old-time Firefox users know quite well, add-ons have always been one of the main reasons to use the browser. In Firefox 4, the browser supports restartless add-ons, which means users don't have to restart their browser after installing an add-on utility. Considering the sheer number of useful add-ons and the fact that Firefox 4 makes it even easier to use them, it's easy to see why Mozilla's latest browser is a worthy download.

8. Sync works beautifully

Mozilla has added the ability for users to sync Bookmarks, Preferences, History, Passwords and Tabs with other versions of Firefox 4 running on a person's computers and Android devices. It's an outstanding feature that is yet another good reason for people with multiple browser installations to use Firefox 4. It's convenient, and it works extremely well.

9. Standard support is a plus

Mozilla realized that support for integral Web standards was an absolute necessity in Firefox 4, and the organization delivered in a big way. Among other features, the browser has ample support for HTML5, including WebM high-definition video. As Mozilla itself points out, Firefox comes with support for "3D graphics, offline data storage, professional typography, touch screen interfaces, and the Mozilla Audio API to help create visual experiences for sound and more." Combine all that and one will find an outstanding browsing experience in Firefox 4.

10. Future-proofing

When evaluating browsers, it's always important for Web users to determine which platform will do the best job of adapting to the constantly changing Web world. For now, it seems that Firefox 4 is that winner. Aside from the fact that it supports important Web standards and it comes with new features, Mozilla updates its browser often. That means that Firefox 4's launch was just a starting point. And over the next several months, expect many more worthwhile updates to the platform. 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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