Is Mozilla Firefox secure (and advanced) enough?

Mozilla Firefox was primarily designed as a browser that should compete with Internet Explorer 6.0. That was not a very difficult task, as IE6 was launched in 2001, and it was really obsolete already in 2004. Firefox ambition thus was not a big one, simply copy IE6 user interface, add Netscape rendering engine, add Google Search box (already known from Google Toolbar), and add tabs (already known for years from Opera).

And Firefox succeeded, now about 10-20% people are using it. We could say Firefox is the most famous copycat. Some advanced users value Firefox for its extensions, but this is a minority, most users install it because it closely resembles IE6 they know, and has some missing features (ActiveX), which make it arguably more secure (but less functional).

Most people installing Firefox never even open a new tab, they use and view the browser as another IE6. You may have noticed that "New tab" button is missing in toolbar at default Firefox installation. They use it simply because it is "in", and see many others doing it as well.

Yes, there are some advanced users, that use Firefox for different purpose, and that is extensions. Extensions are brilliant concept, but they still have many flaws in Firefox. Pro user needs to add 20+ extension to Firefox to make it a bit more powerful then IE6 (not even speaking about superior and fast IE7), and here is where problems start.

Firefox extensions are not tested as a complete package, they come from various independent developers, and can completely break the browser or another extension. They are also huge (potential) security risk, you never know if some extension is not sending out your credit card info.

But we also have Opera, browser always targeted at pros. Opera is always years ahead of competition. Light, fast, yet with myriad of functions you really need. It has mouse gestures already, AdBlock, download manager, IRC client, Widgets (these are secure, unlike Firefox extensions), and most importantly, is tested as a complete package, and made secure as a whole.

Opera is a brilliant browser, which does everything you need. Trying to close the gap between Firefox and Opera functionality, I had to search for and install these 24 Firefox extensions, and it still is not as functional as Opera, and performs very slowly even on my quadcore CPU and 4GB of RAM:

Firefox Extensions - slow, buggy, and potential security riskFirefox Extensions - slow, buggy, and potential security risk

I understand why people choose Firefox. It resembles primitive IE6 interface and is thus "easy" to use. It is well-known to them. But if you are a pro, and value privacy, speed and security, Firefox does not seem to be a good choice. You have to spend hours configuring it, and despite that you will (never) reach Opera functionality, speed and security.

Download Opera and browse the Opera Wiki. Get productive with Opera. I highly recommend it.

18:40:24 - 18.07.07 - Internet - 51871x