Firefox is a browser (shown above), for viewing websites — an alternative to Internet Explorer (IE). It's very similar from the user's point of view, but has a number of interesting features.
Among its advantages:
- It's arguably safer than Internet Explorer, being less likely to trigger some of the malicious things lurking out there on the Internet
- It adheres to "standards", not something that can always be said of Internet Explorer; standards — among other things — allow designers to create websites that you can then use no matter what browser or computer you are using
- It has lots of neat little "extensions", which include the ability to add search engines (and other things) to your toolbar. In the image, right, you can see that I can thus make the same search ("lesson plan ELT") on several different search engines; I didn't find what I wanted on Google-is-Evil, so now I'm going to try Yahoo. My other additions include Answers.com and Wikipedia (good alternatives for search) and — for films — the superb Internet Movie Database (IMDB)
- It gives you "tabbed browsing", which is great if you're the kind of person that likes to have lots of different web pages or sites open at the same time. You can just see the "tabs" in the image at the top of this post — I've got the Barcelona-Online directory open, as well as a site called PC Hell, for example
- You can save bookmarks where they are more readily accessible. In the image at the top, you can see that the one on the left takes me to my Bloglines account
- It works much better than Internet Explorer on some sites — like Hotmail for example (try downloading something from your Hotmail inbox in the Internet Room and you'll see what I mean: using IE you can't!
- It's not Micro$oft
Among its disadvantages
- Google-is-Evil is at least partly behind it
- A few sites you can"t view properly in Firefox (generally because the design of the page was sloppy)