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What are the Pros and Cons of Firefox®?

Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco

People who are used to using one type of Internet browser may be reluctant to trying another brand, even when people claim the wonders of one over the others. While programs like Internet Explorer® serve many people well, some users may want to consider Firefox® if they have dealt with certain issues, like security breaches and download problems, in the past. Each browser software has its own pros and cons, but Firefox® is often considered to be among the fastest and safest available. It does have disadvantages, however, including compatibility and memory issues.


  • Speed — Firefox® is reported to be the fastest browser when it comes to download speed. Not only do programs and files download faster, but users get a record of all their downloads in the form of a table, so they can erase or move them at their convenience.

  • Security — This browser has some advanced security measures that help protect a computer from spyware and even certain viruses. It also comes with a state-of-the-art popup blocker that stops almost 100% of popups.

  • Tabbed browsing and other advanced featuresTabbed browsing allows the user to open an unlimited number of pages in a single window, thus helping to organize browsing. Firefox® also has an embedded memory, which means if the computer is turned off by mistake, the browser will remember which sites were open and offer to restore the previous session.


  • Compatibility issues — The main disadvantage of Firefox® is compatibility. Some websites do not show properly in this browser and require the user to view them with IE®.

  • Memory — Firefox® takes a lot of memory to run. Even with an up-to-date computer, some users may find that it becomes hard to run the browser when several other programs are open. The software also tends to freeze and close when too many tabs are open simultaneously, which is why the brand invested heavily in creating the recovery memory feature.

  • Interrupted service — Another disadvantage is that downloads cannot be resumed if they are interrupted. This may not be a big deal for people who have cable or DSL service, but those on a dial-up connection may encounter many problems because of it. The browser was actually designed for people using high-speed Internet, which means dial-up users can run into many problems when using the software.

Discussion Comments


Firefox seems so wonderful on the surface, but if you pay close attention to the small things your computer is doing now that you use Firefox. There may be very subtle changes to your file locations, the programs used to access your files, the rearranging and different configurations of your desktop, your memory usage, your traffic monitor and other things you usually do not notice.

You may think, as I do, that it's so much more private and secure and, well just so wonderful as I said, that I now look for the back door it uses to offer you such a sweet state of mind and complacency. The name "Firefox" even sounds attention getting, but I will continue using it, because, bottom line, it is better than IE, and I don't have time to worry about the things that I can do nothing about. There's too much other stuff in this life to keep my mind occupied.


One change in FF 26 annoys me. "Find in page" was changed for worse. Previously there was one "Find in page" per window (very useful when searching for something in multiple sites), now it is one per Tab.

Another thing: they aligned "Find in page" options to right instead leave it attached to line edit where pattern is entered. Who came up with this idea? This is total UX failure! On large hi resolution monitors (most desktops) it is useless.


I love Firefox. I'm using it right now! I never have any problems at all and it runs very very very smoothly. I will recommend everybody use it, even though my parents don't.


I love Firefox. That is what I always use to look something up. I rarely run into any problems with the service. It really runs smooth and is always a good reliable source for me to use. I highly recommend people use Firefox. It's a great source I would say, if anyone asks me.

Even though Firefox might run faster it, takes up too much memory on my older computer. I found that it overloaded my computer sometimes or would just freeze up and I would have to shut down and restart.

My husband uses nothing but Firefox on his laptop and thinks it is the best browser there is. I am just glad there is more than one choice in using a browser depending on what you like, and how it works on your particular computer.


I am not all that computer savvy and didn't even realize you could have more than one browser downloaded on your computer at one time.

Since Internet Explorer came already downloaded on my computer I thought that was the only one I could use. My son thinks that Firefox is a better browser so he downloaded it for me and said I could switch back and forth.

I guess I am a creature of habit though because I keep Internet Explorer as my default browser and only use Firefox if I am having troubles with Internet Explorer. I guess I didn't give Firefox much of a chance to see if I liked it better or not.


I used Internet Explorer for many years before I looked at using a different browser. The first time I downloaded Firefox I was surprised at how much faster it seemed to download programs.

I also love the way Firefox has their tabbed browsing so you can have more than page open in one window. This has made life much easier for me on the computer.


Recently, Yahoo email started crashing IE8 frequently when I tried to send a message. Yahoo tech support responded to the problem with a "go away kid, you bother me" type response. I installed FireFox, and now Yahoo mail is working better than it did with IE.


i'm a word/pic nerd but a computer amateur. i do downloading and word processing and navigate happily around the net grabbing things, but i don’t do real photoshopping and learned my way into the computer and net from a word processing base, no programming. i have a low grade blog. i have a vista system and ie 8 but have always heard good things about firefox, especially the open source aspect and the fact it is not microsoft. one time i tried to download it and start using it and things went wrong and i chickened out and removed it. now chrome beckons and i wonder if i should try one or the other. Any advice on which if either way to go?


1. Compatibility: Firefox has a built-in "IE engine" icon you can click on to switch to viewing the page in IE through the Firefox interface when/if you need to view a page in IE. It would be helpful to note that the reason Firefox does not support ActiveX or VBScripts is because these scripts are so often used for spyware. (That's part of what makes FF more secure than IE.)

2. The memory issue is untrue. See Wikipedia's article on Firefox and look at "Critical Reception" to see: "When PC Magazine compared memory usage of Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer, they found that Firefox used approximately as much memory as the other browsers.[64] Tests performed by PC World and Zimbra indicate that Firefox 2 uses less memory than Internet Explorer 7." Also, I have used FF since its release in 2004 and have no problems with freezing personally, but FF is updated constantly to fix problems or bugs that might cause freezing on certain boxes. If you Google "Firefox +freezes" you get 646,000 hits. If you Google "Firefox +freezing" you get 1,040,000 --- that's roughly 1.7 million hits together for a browser that's been downloaded 300 million times. 1.7 million is just over .5% as a comparison to downloads. That's an extremely low hit-rate even if you double it to 1%. That kind of hit rate isn't indicative of an overall problem for a browser that's been downloaded so many times. Try the same Google search with "IE +freezes" and "IE +freezing" and you'll see what I mean.

3. Interrupted service: Resume downloads will be built into FF 3.0 and should perhaps be mentioned here.

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    • Though Firefox is reported to be a fast internet browser, it also presents compatibility issues.
      By: contrastwerkstatt
      Though Firefox is reported to be a fast internet browser, it also presents compatibility issues.
    • Firefox® is highly rated for its download speed.
      By: alexskopje
      Firefox® is highly rated for its download speed.