How to fire up your Internet browsing with Mozilla Firefox

FI-Log-On-With-Larry-SchneiderDear Larry,
A colleague of mine recommended using Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. Do you consider this wise?

P. T.

Dear P. T.,

I happen to be a huge fan of Firefox and recommend it highly, both for the PC and the Mac.

For those not in the know, Firefox is simply a free, alternative way to surf the net (like replacing your Magnavox TV with a new Sony). Using Firefox doesn’t change the content of the Internet, just the program you use to view that content.

To begin with, use Internet Explorer (or Safari on a Mac) to go to Firefox.com and click the Free Download button. When prompted, start the installer. Next, follow the steps as Firefox sets itself up on your computer, then walks you through importing your favorites and such from Internet Explorer or Safari. Now you’re all done. Firefox is now your new default Internet browser.

One of the most powerful features of Firefox is its support for add-ons — mini-programs that enhance and extend Firefox’s capability. One of my favorites is AdBlock Plus, which will block annoying advertisements and banners as you surf. Go to Addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus/to install this add-on.

Firefox tabs (which enable you to explore multiple websites simultaneously) work well, but Tab Mix Plus works better. Find this add-on at Addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tab-mix-plus/.

Trying to keep track of your login names and passwords for your various websites is trying indeed! If you want to have Firefox fill in these boxes for you, consider LastPass at Lastpass.com.

To learn more about add-ons in general, click Firefox, Add-ons, and then click Get Add-ons on the far left. There you can watch a video to learn more about what add-ons do and how they work.

Finally, if you use Firefox on multiple computers, you can have Firefox synchronize your bookmarks and other settings across all your computers (e.g., add a bookmark on one and it’s automatically added to the others). Click the Firefox button again, then click Setup Sync on each of your computers running Firefox.

In case you’re wondering, the Google Chrome and Opera browsers are worth considering as well. Personally, I currently put Chrome a notch below Firefox but I actively use both Opera and Firefox on my different computers.

This is Larry Schneider, logging off.

 

Larry Schneider is the owner of Accent on Computers, a Greenwich-based consulting firm — now in its 15th year of business — catering to individuals, businesses and professional offices. PC and Mac services include computer setup, training, troubleshooting, virus resolution, networking, Internet, database, and programming. Call 203-625-7575, visit Accentoncomputers.com or send email to [email protected]

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