Well.Done (c) Radek Hulán [EN]
Is Mozilla Firefox secure (and advanced) enough?

Is Mozilla Firefox secure (and advanced) enough?

18.07.2007

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 - Wednesday, 18.07.07 - category: Internet - 34463x - permalink

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Comments:

  1. [1] Shaky 23.174.146.88.cust.sloane.cz

    comment was put to wastebin by readers

    reply to this comment votes: -10 18.07.2007, 18:56:32
  2. [2] --==[FReeZ]==-- pool48.tetanet.cz

    Most of the Firefox's success is based on marketing strategy and agressive banners. Microsoft uses the same practices, maybe just people love when somebody make decissions instead of them.

    Firefox is very popular today. The most positive feature for me is that it's OpenSource, I can tweak it, compile it and customize absolutelly everything what it got.

    Clean Mozilla is always better solution to regullary browse the web. It's faster, more stable and more secure.

    I don't understand to person who use software only because it's "in", or well propagated. I've chosen a quality, the best way for me is Opera.

    reply to this comment votes: 1 18.07.2007, 22:21:51
  3. [3] Vkfdfls adsl-dyn3.91-127-102.t-com.sk

    Huh, the never-ending story continues :)

    It seems I will always have both browsers installed and run'em depending on my current needs and mood. In my case, using FX is not caused by marketing and also not by being an unexperienced user. I simply see that both apps have their way, and can't tell which one is better. Rather, they are just different, and different sorts of users can have very divergent opinions about their usability (generally I feel that the majority of non-IT folks prefers the well-thought simplicity).

    Btw., I've never needed so many extensions as you demonstrated, and the ones that I tend to use are giving me the functionality which simply can not be added to Opera at all, or it would be very hard (partly due to its closed source nature) to do so. (And while I have open source on my mind, that's what all of my FX extensions are, so I have no concerns about my credit card numbers at all.)

    Frankly, I don't care if someone else uses tabs, customizes the UI, nor install any extensions. It's up to them, everybody is free to do it, and I won't just simply judge them and their IQ, 'cause I'm no god :)

    My first minutes after installation of ANY browser are spent by configuring, tweaking, and so on. As to Opera, one can spend quite some time on a site like operawiki and playing with config files to get half-a-like functionality of some of FX' extensions. Maybe that can be counted to usability aspect too. Well, whateva..

    reply to this comment votes: 37 19.07.2007, 01:51:50
  4. [4] Name 133.119.119.217.in-addr.arpa

    comment was put to wastebin by readers

    reply to this comment votes: -10 19.07.2007, 13:45:23
  5. [5] kubik port-83-236-239-120.static.qsc.de

    I was using Mozilla since milestone M12 or so and my migration path followed the Firefox boom (when Mozilla became de facto obsoleted). I tried Opera a couple of times but I always feel strange when using it - there are some minor differencies that make me feel uncomfortable. Sometimes I feel like using Mac - I am thinking of a way how to trick Opera to do something the way I want to. I would be most likely able to reconfig Opera in the way I want, but I do not want to spend days looking for and testing hints. In other words - I feel exactly the same as RH, but from the opposite side :-) This is not a question of one product being inferior to another, but just a question of personal preferences and habit.
    BTW: I am not sure what makes someone a pro user (besides bearing the RH initials). I use Firefox on a daily basis and the only extensions I need (or like to have installed) are FlashBlock and Google Notebook.

    reply to this comment votes: -1 24.08.2007, 13:52:38
  6. [6] elek p3.peak.at

    Well, I mostly use Firefox and really like it.
    I use Tabs, need pages to be rendered correctly Bookmarks an History - Firefox has all of these features.
    From the extensions I only need Webdeveloper and FireBug. I really don't want to miss FireBug - there is no compareable feature/plugin for other browsers.
    My critics to Firefox are the memory-leak-feature ;) and no possibility to http-authenticate with two different users on one site at the same time.
    I only can do that with IE, Opera also lacks this feature.

    reply to this comment votes: 2 06.09.2007, 19:49:20
  7. [7] George goldware.tgnet.cz

    When I was reading these article, I had to agree. I use Opera of course. Why? Because it's a great browser! There is no better browser than Opera (not today). FF is only copy of IE6 with a few tools, which in IE6 isn't. I'm not so lucky as Radek and I haven't got PC with quadcore CPU and 4GB RAM :-) , that's another reason, why Opera is better choise for me. I'm not care about another users.

    To everyone: Do what you want, but I hope that more clever peole discover Opera and they will be certainly contend. (And webdesigners will have less work.)

    reply to this comment votes: 2 03.10.2007, 17:58:42
  8. [8] awesome-0 C-59-101-73-157.syd.connect.net.au

    I think one of the reasons that opera is not used by people is that they do not know about it.

    FF has google to promote it (most known webpage)
    IE has MS to promote it (biggest OS)

    opera doesn't have the luxury of being promoted by massive companies, and therefore will have a problem gaining market share.

    Not to mention IE and its shitty implementation of web standards (or M$web standards)

    reply to this comment votes: -1 06.04.2008, 04:50:45
  9. [9] JZ r3m160.net.upc.cz

    FF3 is pretty fast and where i can turn on the same behavior in opera that give me these plugins:
    noscript
    adblock+
    cs lite
    bugmenot
    web developer

    But still, i have both installed. Opera isnt bad at all. Its just that FF3 is way better :)

    reply to this comment votes: 1 02.10.2008, 12:55:28

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