Behold: A Newer, Better Firefox


Recently the very popular Firefox browser underwent a new update, bringing with it many new features and benefits. The new Firefox 21 Beta is the latest release from the Mozilla Foundation, and is an open-source, free browser.


Here’s a look at a few of the great upgrades and new features of Firefox.

Improved Startup Speed for Higher Performance

Image via Flickr by Justin Dolske

While not necessarily a new technology, the new version of Firefox will detect slow start-up times and then will suggest methods to increase performance. Some suggestions include:

  • Changing the homepage
  • Disable certain add-ons
  • Changing loaded tabs at startup

With this new improved start-up speed, your browsing experience will be greatly enhance, since you won't be sitting around waiting for your browser to start.

New Download Manager Enhance Browsing

The new download manager will enhance your browsing experience as it presents a new streamlined interface. Clicking on the down arrow will open the new download panel manager and will present a listing of current downloads with download progress status. Right clicking will give you the following options:

  • Resume/pause
  • Go to download page
  • Open download folder
  • Cancel

Because the new download manager is integrated with the library, history, bookmarks and tags windows, managing your downloads is quick and easy.

HTML5 Compatibility Brings New Application Support

The Mozilla team has included support for MP3, AAC and H264 in the latest beta release. What does this mean? Because of the HTML5 implementation, more feature-rich file formats can be embedded in websites.

This HTML5 support will allow the implementation of websites that wish to eliminate the need for Adobe Flash. You will gain greater performance from internet providers such as those found at through this new HTML5 compatibility.

Do Not Track/Private Browsing for Enhanced Privacy

Many internet users these days, find themselves increasingly bombarded with ads and other pop-ups that can occur because their browsers are tracking their activity. The increased functionality of Firefox's Do Not Track features allows users to implement more privacy features. There are now three options from which to choose:

  • Tell sites that you do not wish to be tracked
  • Indicate sites that you will allow tracking
  • Do not let sites know anything about your tracking preferences

Keep in mind that this function does NOT provide anonymity on the Internet. Services providers, employers and even the sites you visit can still tracking your visited pages; however, the feature tells sites you want to opt out of tracking such as those used for behavioral advertising.

New Health Report Keeps Firefox Healthy

With the latest release of the Firefox browser, users can now help keep the browser healthy. Users will now get information to help them understand their browsing experience, as well as sharing information about those experiences with Mozilla.

The Firefox Health Report collects information on things such as:

  • Individual configurations
  • Browser customization
  • Performance

The report does not collect information such as keyword and search terms, and locations. Additionally, the data shared with Mozilla does not contain personal information, and users can opt out of the feature if desired.

With all of these new services and features, the latest version of Firefox is sure to enhance the browsing experience.

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