52 Facts About Firefox


Mozilla Firefox, or simply Firefox, is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation.

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In November 2017, Firefox began incorporating new technology under the code name Quantum to promote parallelism and a more intuitive user interface.

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Firefox is available for Windows 7 and later versions, macOS, and Linux.

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Firefox was created in 2002 under the code name "Phoenix" by the Mozilla community members who desired a standalone browser, rather than the Mozilla Application Suite bundle.

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The name Firefox was said to be derived from a nickname of the red panda, which became the mascot for the newly named project.

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Firefox attracted attention as an alternative to Internet Explorer, which had come under fire for its alleged poor program design and insecurity—detractors cite IE's lack of support for certain Web standards, use of the potentially dangerous ActiveX component, and vulnerability to spyware and malware installation.

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Firefox has an integrated search system which uses Google by default in most markets but an update for American users in 2021 made it start including paid promotions by default in its suggestions.

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Firefox provides an environment for web developers in which they can use built-in tools, such as the Error Console or the DOM Inspector, and extensions, such as Firebug and more recently there has been an integration feature with Pocket.

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Firefox Hello was an implementation of WebRTC, added in October 2014, which allows users of Firefox and other compatible systems to have a video call, with the extra feature of screen and file sharing by sending a link to each other.

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Firefox Hello was scheduled to be removed in September 2016.

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Firefox previously supported add-ons using the XUL and XPCOM APIs, which allowed them to directly access and manipulate much of the browser's internal functionality.

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Firefox can have themes added to it, which users can create or download from third parties to change the appearance of the browser.

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Firefox 4 was the first release to introduce significant HTML5 and CSS3 support.

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Firefox has passed the Acid2 standards-compliance test since version 3.

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Mozilla had originally stated that they did not intend for Firefox to pass the Acid3 test fully because they believed that the SVG fonts part of the test had become outdated and irrelevant, due to WOFF being agreed upon as a standard by all major browser makers.

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Firefox allowed for a sandbox security model to manage privileges accorded to JavaScript code, but that feature has since been deprecated.

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Firefox generally has fewer publicly known security vulnerabilities than Internet Explorer, improved security is often cited as a reason to switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox.

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Symantec later clarified their statement, saying that Firefox still had fewer security vulnerabilities than Internet Explorer, as counted by security researchers.

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In October 2009, Microsoft's security engineers acknowledged that Firefox was vulnerable to a security issue found in the 'Windows Presentation Foundation' browser plug-in since February of that year.

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In 2010, a study of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, based on data compiled from the National Vulnerability Database (NVD), Firefox was listed as the fifth-most vulnerable desktop software, with Internet Explorer as the eighth, and Google Chrome as the first.

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InfoWorld has cited security experts saying that, as Firefox becomes more popular, more vulnerabilities will be found, a claim that Mitchell Baker, president of the Mozilla Foundation, has denied.

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Firefox 11, released in January 2012, introduced a 3D page inspector that visualizes web pages' document object model three-dimensionally through WebGL.

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In January 2015, TorrentFreak reported that using Firefox when connected to the internet using a VPN can be a serious security issue due to the browser's support for WebRTC.

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Firefox 43 blocked unsigned extensions but allowed enforcement of extension signing to be disabled.

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In November 2018, Firefox began using a sandbox to isolate web tabs from each other and from the rest of the system.

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Since version 60 Firefox includes the option to use DNS over HTTPS, which causes DNS lookup requests to be sent encrypted over the HTTPS protocol.

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On May 21, 2019, Firefox was updated to include the ability to block scripts that used a computer's CPU to mine cryptocurrency without a user's permission, in Firefox version 67.

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In March 2021, Firefox launched SmartBlock in version 87 to offer protection against cross-site tracking, without breaking the websites users visit.

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In September 2013, Mozilla released a Metro-style version of Firefox, optimized for touchscreen use, on the "Aurora" release channel.

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Traditionally, installing the Windows version of Firefox entails visiting the Firefox website and downloading an installer package, depending on the desired localization and system architecture.

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Firefox can run on number of other architectures on Linux, including ARM, AArch64, PowerPC, POWER, Sparc, HPPA, MIPS, s390, and in the past Alpha, IA-64 and m68k.

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Firefox for mobile is a web browser for mobile phones, tablets, and PDAs.

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Former Firefox for Android, was a web browser for Android devices, such as mobile phones and tablets.

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In November 2016, Firefox released a new iOS app titled Firefox Focus, a private web browser.

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Firefox Reality was released for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality headsets in September 2018.

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Firefox Reality is available on HTC Vive, Oculus, Google Daydream and Microsoft Hololens headsets.

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Firefox is regularly built for the current branch of the operating system, the latest versions are packaged for each release and remain frozen until the next release.

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Solaris port of Firefox was maintained by the Oracle Solaris Desktop Beijing Team, until March 2017 when the team was disbanded.

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GNU IceCat is another derived version of Firefox distributed by the GNU Project, which maintains its separate branding.

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Firefox icon is a trademark used to designate the official Mozilla build of the Firefox software and builds of official distribution partners.

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Early Firebird and Phoenix releases of Firefox were considered to have reasonable visual designs but fell short when compared to many other professional software packages.

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Firefox community has engaged in the promotion of their web browser.

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Firefox 3 used less memory than Internet Explorer 7, Opera 9.

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The performance tests showed that Firefox was either "acceptable" or "strong" in most categories, winning three categories only finishing "weak" in CSS performance.

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In conclusion, Tom's Hardware determined that Firefox was the best browser for Windows 7 OS, but that it only narrowly beat Google Chrome.

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Firefox scored the highest on the "non-performance" index, which measured memory efficiency, reliability, security, and standards conformance, finishing ahead of Chrome, the runner-up.

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Firefox surpassed all other browsers on the Peacekeeper benchmark but was behind the Microsoft products when tested with SunSpider.

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Firefox took the lead with WebXPRT, which runs several typical HTML5 and JavaScript tasks.

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On Octane, Firefox came ahead of IE and Safari, but again slightly behind the rest, including Vivaldi and Microsoft Edge.

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Firefox was the second-most used web browser until November 2011, when Google Chrome surpassed it.

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Up to early 2020, Firefox was the second-most widely used desktop browser, and that position made it the third-most popular with 3.

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From Oct 2020, the desktop market share of Firefox started to decline in countries where it used to be the most popular.

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