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Newbie's shouldn't jump to Firefox Browser

by skyace / February 17, 2005 11:59 PM PST

I've been using the Firefox browser for over two months. I've been computing since the Vic20 and on the web using one of the first versions of Netscape. So many good things have been written about Firefox, I feel it's my duty to warn newbie's .. be careful about hurrying to use the Firefox browser.

I could detail the reasons for my recommendation, However here it is a brief explanation: I like many features as well as the philosophy behind the Firefox browser.. but some of the bugs, design quirks I have encountered would be difficult for new computer people to deal with. Some of the issues I faced since using it, caused me to come close to shelving it. If you know what Bugzilla is downloaded it. If you can't describe the word browser to your friends, stay away. I know we should all keep in mind Microsoft's domination of the industry... but I.Expl. works well! Remain aware about the other Browsers. Internet Explorer and Firefox are not alone. In fact Google, another dominant player, may well be offering a Firefox type browser in a few months. You will also become aware there are other Operating Systems as well. Windows is not the only game in town.

Therefore in time, those of you who end up fairly good at computers, have a duty to explore the meaning of all new offerings such as Firefox, Linux etc. Developers working day and night to compete, need our help! It's sort of our duty to try other op. systems and different software. Just make sure your ready. Thanks

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I write "Bad advice".
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 18, 2005 12:22 AM PST

A newbie would do well to use a non-Microsoft browser until they understand the new plague of SPYWARE and how to deal with it.

IE does work well to allow Spyware to wreck havoc on the new users.

Toss the newbie onto Firefox. They'll do fine.


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I agree.
by Old Blue Yellowdog / February 25, 2005 2:54 PM PST
In reply to: I write "Bad advice".

I am still trying to get all the spyware off my newbie friend's computer. The first thing I did after installing and running Ad-aware (I will also install and run Spybot S&D) was to install Firefox as her default browser. Any minor challenges newbies may encounter learning to use Firefox will be nothing compared to the difficulties they will face trying to close endless popup windows that are the result of spyware attacks that IE let in.

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Re: Advice for "newbies" about Firefox
by mudman5 / October 14, 2005 7:49 AM PDT
In reply to: I agree.

Who is this "sky___" guy an industry wonk for Microsoft?
I have been using Firefox since it was a baby beta and I have never had any "issues" that would trouble a "newbie". (kind of a derogatory term, don't you think?).

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IE vs. everything else
by OmegaGeek / October 14, 2005 10:19 PM PDT

Everyone not using IE (icky poo) needs to know how it wants to intrude at every opportunity before using Firefox, Opera, Mozilla et al. The whole Windows won't work without IE thing.

I'm pretty handy with PCs (helped setup Texaco's PC help desk in the early 80's) and moved directly to Mozilla then FireFox when I upgraded to XP, and worked backwards. If Yahoo's mail client functioned fully w/ Firefox, I'd have no need to every run IE.

As Firefox gets more and more popular, the cracker community will start writing malware for it. Based on past experience, it's reasonalbe to expect that Mozilla will be more forthright than MicroHard... opps, I mean MicroSoft with problems and patches.

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Some Applications that work with IE won't work with Firefox
by LindaSegal / October 15, 2005 2:58 AM PDT

eBay selling tools don't work with Firefox.

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thinking the same
by wheelnut53 / October 14, 2008 1:40 AM PDT

I've had all sorts of problems with windows and none with firefox . I was suspicious when I read dont mess with firefox till you get experiance . Thats a joke.

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Posting To A Three Year Old Thread??
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 14, 2008 3:02 AM PDT
In reply to: thinking the same

Old News and such isn't really relevant at this time... and I'll lock this old thread to avoid confusion.

Hope this helps.


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I dont agree
by cayble / October 16, 2005 3:33 AM PDT
In reply to: I agree.

A pile of adware, and/or viruses a certainly the sign of a newbie at the keyboard for sure. But your advise on Firefox is quite misleading. The first thing any newb should be made aware of is the need for pop up blockers, adware/spyware blocking and removal and of course anti virus protection is a must. This is infact the case with every operating system and every browser. Linux and FIrefox are not exempt from this, although there are many who give out advise that implies as much, all OS's and browsers need protection, although those that are less popular or in more restricted use are not going to get targeted as often as XP or IE. Other OS's and some browsers are often designed in a way that makes conventional spyware and virus attacks in effective or less effective, but they still should have protection. The fact is, if IE has the proper security in place it is just as safe and for most people easier to use, as well as being a more effective browser for widespread surfing of the web.
I have tried every browser out there, always have tried them again when newer versions have come out for each one. Alot of them are pretty nice, and you will find plenty of people who will swear by each one of them. The fact is a properly secured IE has served me well for several years and I surf everywhere and anywhere on the net, I fileshare and often work on unecrypted wireless networks, and my system is clean and IE always works like a charm. Nuff said.

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I could not agree more
by patio_nl / February 25, 2005 6:53 PM PST
In reply to: I write "Bad advice".

Sites that can only be accessed with M$IE are not worth to be called 'site' and certainly not be accessed by newbies.
If you're having troubles with Firefox it's crippled site design.
Because some of those my wife or me need we keep IE next to Firefox. On the latter no more spyware, pop ups and more horrible stuff that is supported by Micro$oft.

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by dougjp / February 25, 2005 8:13 PM PST
In reply to: I could not agree more

I think by now its safe to say this poster just did so to hear himself, and we all got fooled into responding.

Complete lack of information when the topic obviously required it, failure to respond with details despite many posts requesting them.

Wow, now he's got me posting again too! Do I ever feel dumb!!! :-D

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Lack of objectivity on both sides
by rmendoza13 / October 14, 2005 1:30 AM PDT

I believe that the OP had a legitamate gripe and then he/she went on and did not explain it.
I use five computers on a daily basis: two desktops at home, one laptop that I bring with me back and forth from home to work, and two desktops at work (major university). I use Firefox in four of them; the fifth one belongs to my wife.
I have to say that MS bashers are just as irrational as MS supporters. In my experience, Firefox has its share of problems, which MS bashers refuse to acknowledge. For instance, when you open PDF files in Firefox, whether inside the browser window or in a new one, Firefox sometimes freezes and if you have more than one browser window open, it will make one or more disappear. However, even though the window might be gone, it still runs in the background, even after you shut down all other windows. I would say this could be, potentially, a major security threat.
Another example is the well-documented memory ''leak,'' whereby Firefox starts hogging huge amounts of memory, more often than not well into the 100 MB range.To this date, there is no real fix to this, just a workaround.
And last, there have been several security threats discovered, the latest whas the network.enableIDN ''issue,'' which to this date has no fix, only a workaround.
Now, I must admit that the Firefox people have been prompt and dilligent in addressing most of the known issues, more so than MS. And, in comparison to IE, Firefox has had only puny problems.
I also would like to clarify, in trying to anticipate the possible response from other forum members, I do use Firefox, by my own choice, in all five computers. I am not in any way, shape, of form associated with MS. I am not a computer geek (literature guy here hehehe), but I consider myself more competent than most average consumers and computer users (I have the patience to actually read through the bulletins and technical info about stuff like browsers).
And to address some of the comments by some posters, whoever says that IE is an open door for spyware and viruses, does not know how to configure it. Any browser, if configured ''correctly'', is a possible open door to threats, including Firefox. I think the difference is that Firefox makes it easier for the average consumer to find the more secure configuration. In many years of use (since 1997), I have never had an infection with IE; I believe this is because I took the time to actually configure it to avoid threats as much as I could. That, coupled with a good dose of caution when websurfing, will take care of most problems.

In conclusion, people need to step back a little and stop singing Firefox praises as a reflex. It is a better browser in may respects, but it also has ''issues''. So, try to be more objective in your comments - don't just jump in the bandwagon (like lemurs), try to make your own evaluation. Be a truly independent thinker.

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IE vs Firefox
by blkhawk / October 14, 2005 3:33 AM PDT

I would be interested in a more detailed instruction of how to set the IE browser to eliminate these insidious 'pop-ups' and the other nasty things about it. Just saying that we don't know how to set it leaves me with the impression that this person feels somewhat 'superior' In their knowledge and plans on keeping it that way

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Careful, a cohesive comment could earn applause!
by GreasedSilver / October 14, 2005 8:22 AM PDT

There are issues with every browser and, as "mendoza13" expressed his, we all have a browser of choice. I use IE, Firefox, and Avant. I guess I ride the big waves. To each his own and set them well. To the young man looking for the settings to stop the "Pop-Ups"\ search for Webroot's Pop-Up Stopper and their Spyware Killer. You'll do fine.

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firefox or not to firefox
by fancierquinn / October 14, 2005 9:47 AM PDT

I'm not a newbie nor a geek. Just your average user. I have done all I know how to do, including reformat and still get "page cannot be found" from IE on a lot of sites including ones I have just visited. I don't have that problem with firefox. If someone can help with the IE problem in non tech terms I'd appreciate it. Uninstalling and re-installing IE didn't help either. Dell is stumped. I'm running Windows XP, 56k dial up. Until someone can figure out how to fix my IE, I'm most grateful for firefox.

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what randomly fixed ie for me
by monkeyjoe / October 15, 2005 7:14 PM PDT

when ie wasnt working for me, i was messin around with different programs and downloaded the trial version of hide-ip platinum from and installed it, then all the sudden ie started working again, although i still use firefox, besides, i like how in firefox clicking the scroll wheel opens the link into a new tab

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"page cannot be found"
by Marv99 / October 19, 2005 4:39 PM PDT

Interestingly enough I have the same problem. This started when I switched to a different ISP. Before that I'd used AOL and rarely had that issue unless their domain server was glitching. Which did happen sometimes. However now I've changed to a cheaper ISP and get this problem everytime I surf. Often the page will even load then default to the ISPs search page with the now dreaded "page cannot be found" error but would I like to hit one of these links. All of the links appear to be pages that buy adds on this ISP. Now I knew I'd see some more adds when I went for a 10 buck ISP but I'd expected it to be a bit more straight forward. When I used AOL I used IE or Netscape outside AOL and haven't changed anything other than the browser changes the ISP made when installing itself. BTW the ISP has a nice popup blocker. Works real well except for this stupid search thing. Which I've tried to turn off in IE prefs. No luck. Maybe I should try Netscape.... Hummmmm.....

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Good Show
by jayfin / January 8, 2006 1:30 AM PST

Very well stated - more light and less heat

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by ivan.icin / October 14, 2005 7:41 AM PDT

Claiming just "some bugs" without being precize is not an argument.

I know some bugs with IE (for example, Work off-line menu dissapers in frequent situations), and I can show you 100% standards complaint page that not just fails to render with IE, but actually turns whole IE into gray box.

One good thing about Firefox is that it works side by side with IE. So if anyone has a problem as this user claims, he can switch back.

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Uninformed post - my parents do fine with Firefox on Linux
by leobh / October 14, 2005 10:08 PM PDT

It's one thing having to deal with the fact that there are always going to be trolls who will make these kind of posts, but why the h*ll was this mentioned in the newsletter. I mean, the original poster doesn't make a single point about why new/less experienced computer users shouldn't use Firefox and is barely even comprhensible.

For G*d's sake, my parents have got on just fine using a *Linux* box that I set up for them, which they use for email (Thunderbird), web (and ecommerce - they get groceries delivered to the door) (Firefox) and for word processing (Ximianised (looks nicer Silly ) ). GNOME confuses them a hell of a lot less than did Windows, and I don't have to constantly check the machine for viruses and spyware. This machine is running Gentoo of all things, and if anyone has the idea that multimedia is a problem, the machine has Flash, Java, Realplayer and the Mplayer plugin, which covers all the media formats you could ever need. And lets not forget, as well as being libre software, it's also all *free*.

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LOL....agreed it's devil's advocacy
by supercourier / October 22, 2005 11:37 AM PDT

Bugs? Design quirks? Difficuties for a beginner? Huh? It took me a second, too, to realize that this was a Jerry Springer stunt for postings without any solid examples.

Better to advise newbs to use programs that innately require as few peripheral measures as possible...even if we need to look a little dumb in the process. Happy

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Newbies can easily cope with Firefox
by r3loaded-20441545289960586572838839064933 / October 14, 2005 1:13 AM PDT
In reply to: I could not agree more

Ever since the 1.0 release of Firefox, I have gone and installed Firefox on my parent's computer (who are both relative newbies). My dad in particular had no trouble in using it (after importing his IE Favourites to Firefox). He praises its clean, uncluttered design which actually allows him more page viewing room than IE. He also loves how it starts up instantly compared to IE. He also prefers how the address bar search directs him to Google rather than MSN Search.

Newbies CAN easily use Firefox!

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Browser Security Not Much Of A Difference.
by KyleMAD / March 21, 2005 4:18 PM PST
In reply to: I write "Bad advice".

Just pitching in.

While security may seem to be the largest impetus for moving everyone to firefox, I doubt the move really makes a large difference to the overall security of one's system. Let's face it... if you were actually targeted by a hacker etc, no firewall or novel browser could prevent it.

I also notice alot of computer newbies, after hearing much about the greatness of firefox, switch to the browser and immediately assume they have become expert computer users.

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Security is more than hackers...
by r_remco12 / October 13, 2005 9:40 PM PDT

Security isn't only about hackers, it's lots more. Spyware and viruses are also a part of security.
You are also saying that firewalls are useless things, that is not true! I agree, if a very very good hacker really want's to get into your system a firewall isn't enough. But as normal user a firewall definitly prevents you for atacks by less experienced users.

Firefox definitly makes a large differenc to the security of one's system. Let me give my own experience as example:
I scanned our home system with Ad-aware the other day. We have different user acounts: I have my own, my sister has her own, my dad has his own etc. I am the only one at home who's using firefox. The scan resulted that I had only 4 spyware alerts but the others had a total of 203 spyware alerts! And I'm definitly using the computer a lot more that they do.
So firefox really helps keeping your system more secure.

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Hackers aren't God you know
by topazg / October 13, 2005 9:54 PM PDT

If you have a hardware firewall such as a port configurable router, you can in fact make your machine completely hacker proof (bar your own stupidity when going online).

A hacker can only work with what he has, if he has no way of reaching your machine then he has no way of accessing it.

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Are you kidding?
by tekoholic / October 14, 2005 2:24 AM PDT

NOTHING is 100% secure. That 'port configurable router' is only as good as a lock on your home's front door: They only keep honest people honest. ANYTHING can be hacked, given the motivation and determination. You can keep your false sense of security.

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I see...
by topazg / October 18, 2005 8:34 PM PDT
In reply to: Are you kidding?

.. how misunderstood I was.

Certain ports are used for certain communications types, for example, 21 is ftp, 22 is SSH, 23 is Telnet, 25 is SMTP, 80 is HTTP etc. etc. etc... if you leave them open, you grant access. Most machines have to grant access of some kind, for example, you cannot disallow port 80 outbound access through your router if you ever want to browse the internet.

However, incoming ports through any router are "redirected", in many cases to a false and non-existant machine. Set up correctly, all anyone else sees is a blank wall, no door, no lock, nothing, unless they have specifically granted access. Learn about Open, Closed and Stealth ports and you'll see what I mean.

The only genuine security vulnerability lies in the router itself. If your router has an HTTP driven control panel, you could redirect all incoming port 80 access to the router, which would be outstandingly stupid but would allow you to compromise your own security. Technically your router could be hacked if there are bugs in the firmware code that allows it to do what it does, and this is similar to the buffer overflow type errors and others you see with IE and suchlike. Check the manufacturers website regularly and update as and when updates become available, chances are you'll be _safer_ than houses that way.

Seriously, you really don't know what you are talking about here.

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Is that so?
by tekoholic / November 9, 2005 12:13 PM PST
In reply to: I see...

Yes, each port, as you mentioned, has a specifically designated purpose. However, they are NOT, as you seem to think that they are, limited to ONLY allowing the designated purpose to be achieved.

As well, each router IS basically a computer system, although VERY low-end, and specifically tasked. However, the fact that it IS A COMPUTER, attached to the PUBLIC NETWORK (internet), it CAN, given the appropriate levels of determination, BE HACKED.

I've been a tech for 20 years. Don't tell me what I do and do not know...

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newbie shmoobie
by cravinbob / October 13, 2005 10:02 PM PDT

IE is the same as Firefox et. al. Junk! Forums are the worst places to learn or get advice. The first few posts here have the earmarks of a prank which is: bad grammar. CNET promotes this tripe as if it were the last word. "Cecil in Shortbus Alaska wins with his email explaining why you should take this weeks poll about why you should never respond emails with polls... CNET must bow and scrape to all things high tech due to the fact it is their bread and butter. Read any tech review site and you will be loathe to find a bad review. Why is that you suppose? Read or other site that feature user critiques and it should become obvious that anyone with a keyboard can post anything! Just as I am doing now!
If you want to learn then my advice is to do everything you read in these forums. Then you will have to fix all the damage on your own. That is learning!
Clue number 2 is the fact that every site on the 'Net it seems someone is selling fix-it, block-it, anti-virus, firewall, reg cleaner, window wiper, fdisk, never give out your email address, try this marvelous browser software complete with ''help'' instructions written by an obvious mental midget free to try download shareware. Then after you download their crap the only help you can get is in a forum written by ''customers''. All this is assuming you can even get on the Internet because you have been frightened into buying so much software protection your PC is useless unless you enjoy pop-up ads. Hit CTRL ALT DEL and see all the junk that is running on your PC! Then wonder no more why your PC is slow. If you want to slow it down even more you can download a ''speed up your slow PC'' program complete with "toolbar"!
Where else but on the Internet can someone attempt to steal my credit card but it is not really ''stealing'', they call it ''phishing''? Sometimes it is ''spoofing''. This is dumb, people!
The first person to disagree with my post will be the very type of person whom I have warned you to beware.
What twit would rave about Firefox or any other browser anyway? I have even heard people rave about AOL, how revolting yet sad!
Now, I would like to sell a set of new tires. They come with the necessary ''patches''! I believe they are brad XP...
(At this point I am supposed to list each component of my fabulous super PC like on a real forum ...blah blah blah I'm so clever)

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RE Hackers not being God
by zboot / October 14, 2005 1:46 AM PDT
In reply to: newbie shmoobie

Someone stated that if you have a firewall up and barring your own stupidity, hackers can't "see" your system.

Without being a hacker or great programmer myself, I can tell the guy's statement is utter ********. If you buy a router, configure it to operate as an firewalled AP. Setup the windows firewall on your machine. Go online to google and type what's my ip. There is a website that not only gives your your router's ip (the one that everyone (including hackers) would see - unless you went further to anonymize your system) but it also is able to get your local ip!

My router gets hit every few seconds with ppl trying to access it. My router does not broadcast any ssid, nobody but me knows it exists, I just got the cable connection - yet as soon as I was online, i was under attack.

As for the stupid IE vs Firefox - sure, you can make arguments why one is better than the other . .except where it comes to security - that argument is utter ********. IE spawns popups? Firefox does too. You can block popups automatically in Firefox? You can do that in IE too. I challenge some person to actually enumerate a firefox security feature that is NOT implemented in IE as well. If you want to argue usability, go ahead but all the vitriol about IE being unsecure vs Firefox is crap.

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What uninformed rubbish
by topazg / October 18, 2005 8:39 PM PDT

I can see that you don't understand the principles of internet traffic here.

The reason you can see your IP on what's your IP is because your machine sent it to the visiting server, who kindly displayed it on the screen for you - nothing whatsoever to do with the server getting into your system.

Yes, your router will get hit, so does mine, but unless mine _replies_ whoever was hitting it wouldn't know it had hit anything.

Also, almost every hit you get will _not_ be a hacking attack.

Learn some basic networking protocol information before spouting out uninformed rubbish.

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