Firefox remains one of the biggest names in the world of web browsers, but if you're currently using Edge, Internet Explorer or Chrome, is there an incentive to switch allegiances?
Browser development has accelerated so much in recent years that if you haven't used Firefox for a while, you probably have very little idea of what it's actually like now. All the more reason to give it a go.
While browsers have moved forward a great deal in recent years, Firefox hasn’t advanced quite as much as the competition. There are interesting little quirks like retaining separate address and search bars, for instance, and the rounded tabs are like stepping back in time. The feature that keeps passwords and bookmark synchronized between devices also feels antiquated.
There have been great improvements when it comes to privacy and security, though. Firefox's private browsing mode includes tracking protection to block third-party ad trackers, and Flash has been all but killed off.
Other recent changes include the introduction of Quantum Compositor to improve stability, redesigned tabs which are more informative, and compact themes for those who likes to change the look of their browser.
The stability of the browser may have been improved in recent updates, but little has been done to boost the performance which continues to feel lackluster. The menu system is horrible, feeling like it has been designed for a smartphone rather than a desktop computer. It's also hard to ignore the dated look of Firefox. There's the promise of themes to jazz things up a bit, but they don’t address the generally weak interface design; they're little more than a lick of paint on top.
On the positive side, site rendering is generally excellent, and the range of extensions to increase functionality is also impressive.
The latest version of Firefox uses multiple operating system processes for web page content to achieve a better balance between performance and resource usage. For full details, see the Firefox release history.