The Good Firefox 3 touts faster rendering, vastly reduced use of system resources, clever new data-mining tools for your bookmarks and browser history, and more security features than any other browser.
The Bad Firefox 3 will no longer support Windows 95, 98, and Me; same with Mac OS X, versions 10.2 and earlier.
The Bottom Line If only for the speed, lightness of being, and security alone, Firefox remains our Editors' Choice for best Internet browser.
After months of testing, Firefox 3 (code name Gran Paradiso) is available for download from Mozilla. With its new Gekko 1.9 engine, the browser rocks, rendering pages faster and uses fewer system resources overall. As with any new browser, some add-ons created for Firefox 2 may not work, but give them time. Firefox 3 touts faster rendering, a vastly reduced use of system resources, and clever new data-mining tools for your bookmarks and browser history. Most notable is that Firefox 3 includes many security-related features baked right in, such as the best of breed antiphishing protection, making Firefox the most secure browser on the market today. If you haven't already tried Firefox, what are you waiting for? Firefox 3 remains our Editors' Choice over Microsoft Internet Explorer and Opera. See our slide show of Firefox 3's basic features, and its various security features.
Firefox 3 is free, and available on a variety of operating systems: Windows, Mac, and Linux. There are also a wide variety of localized language versions, including Basque and Byelorussian. Unlike IE 7, Firefox 3 does not require a system reboot.
The interface is the same in some places, but different in others. Placement of buttons hasn't changed, but the icons are new. Firefox 3 now provides a native look and feel (for example, the Linux version matches the Linux user interface), and smooth scrolling of open browser tabs. What will draw the eye are more icons near and within the address bar itself. A company logo, if available, will appear before the URL; after the URL there's the new one-click bookmark star and the familiar RSS icon. Other tweaks include those to the Password manager, Add-Ons manager, and Download manager.
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