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'Firefox' How Tos

How to Use Firefox Private Network to Encrypt Your Web Traffic

Mozilla this week began piloting its own browser-based VPN service, and if you're located in the U.S. you can start testing it for free right away. Called the Firefox Private Network, the service promises Firefox users a more secure, encrypted path to the web that prevents eavesdroppers from spying on your browsing activity and hides your location from websites and ad trackers. In that respect, it won't protect any internet traffic outside of your web browser, but it's a good option if you want to use an encrypted connection on the fly when you're using Firefox on a public Wi-Fi network, for example. As a time-limited beta, the Firefox Private Network is currently free to try, although this does suggest it may become a paid service in the future. You also need to be a U.S. resident logged into your Firefox account using Firefox desktop browser. If you can fulfill those pre-requisites, you can install the private network by navigating to this page, clicking the blue + Add to Firefox button, then granting permission for the network to be added to the browser. Click the door hanger icon that appears at the top-right corner of the toolbar, and you'll see a switch that you can use to toggle the VPN on and off. A green tick in the icon indicates the secure network is active and your browsing activity is being encrypted. Opera browser offers a similar free VPN service that cloaks your web browsing, but with the added benefit that it lets you choose the continent that you want your connection to reside. So if you're looking to access a location-restricted

'Firefox' Articles

Firefox 69 for Mac Brings Default Tracking Protection and Performance Improvements

Mozilla has launched Firefox 69 for Macs, boasting performance improvements and some notable updates to its security repertoire. Firefox 69 for desktop now blocks third-party tracking cookies by default for all users. The feature is an existing part of the browser's Enhanced Tracking Protection system that was actually launched in June, but that introduced the default setting only for new users. Now even existing Firefox users are protected as standard. Firefox's default anti-tracking smarts now also extend to blocking cryptomining, a nefarious practice that aggressively hogs processor cycles and battery life in the background as it mines for cryptocurrency while the unsuspecting user browses the web. Firefox 69 also blocks fingerprinting in the user-selected Strict mode, and Mozilla says it plans to turn this protection on by default in a later release. Firefox users can tell if they have ETP enabled by looking for a shield icon in the address bar, which indicates tracker blocking is active. Users can also click on the icon to view a Content Blocking menu listing all currently blocked tracking cookies. From here, it's also possible to disable tracking cookie blocking on a per site basis. Security aside, other new features in this release include the ability to block autoplaying videos, including those that don't play audio. For users in the US or using the en-US browser, there's a new New Tab page experience that connects them to the best of Pocket's content, while macOS users can also look forward to improved battery life and a download manager interface

Mozilla Patches Two Zero-Day Vulnerabilities in Firefox Used to Install Backdoors on Macs, Update Now

Mozilla has patched two zero-day security vulnerabilities in Firefox that allowed backdoors to be installed on Macs, bypassing Apple's usual XProtect and Gatekeeper protections. Firefox users should update the browser immediately. Ars Technica's Dan Goodin:Mozilla released an update on Tuesday that fixed a code-execution vulnerability in a JavaScript programming method known as Array.pop. On Thursday, Mozilla issued a second patch fixing a privilege-escalation flaw that allowed code to break out of a security sandbox that Firefox uses to prevent untrusted content from interacting with sensitive parts of a computer operating system.The zero-days were exploited by unnamed hackers this week, but so far, attacks are known only to have targeted Mac users involved in cryptocurrency. 3/ We’ve seen no evidence of exploitation targeting customers. We were not the only crypto org targeted in this campaign. We are working to notify other orgs we believe were also targeted. We’re also releasing a set of IOCs that orgs can use to evaluate their potential exposure.— Philip Martin (@SecurityGuyPhil) June 19, 2019 As noted by Mac security expert Patrick Wardle, XProtect and Gatekeeper provided no protection in this case, as they only scan applications that have a quarantine flag set. Fortunately, this may change in macOS Catalina. Firefox users on Mac should update the web browser to version 67.0.4 as soon as possible to keep themselves protected. More details can be read at Ars Technica

Mozilla Says Paid Version of Firefox With Premium Features Coming Later This Year

The Mozilla Foundation is working on a premium version of its Firefox browser, according to a new report. German media site T3N ran an interview with Chris Beard, CEO of Firefox, who appeared to confirm that a paid tier of the browser could be ready to launch by October this year. According to Beard, the premium version of Firefox is likely to include a VPN, secure cloud storage, and other subscription services such as paywalled content access. "We will probably launch some new services first and then we will think carefully about which model makes the most sense while ensuring the best user safety," said Beard. "Firefox and many security features and services, like ETP [Enhanced Tracking Protection], will still be free, that's for sure."Mozilla has been experimenting offering ProtonVPN to some Firefox users for a $10 per month subscription, but Beard says the company is now considering offering some amount of free VPN bandwidth to non-paying users, and a premium metered VPN service as a monthly subscription. Mozilla currently earns its money through read-it-later and content discovery service Pocket, which it owns, but the majority of its revenue comes from the search engines used in its free browser. After Beard's interview was published, The Next Web received a statement from Dave Camp, senior vice president of Firefox, who confirmed that paid products are actively in development: We were founded on the belief that the internet should be open and accessible to all. A high-performing, free and private-by-default Firefox browser will continue to be central to

Firefox 62 for Mac Makes Browser Mojave-Ready With New Automatic Dark Theme

Mozilla today launched Firefox 62 web browser for macOS, bringing variable fonts support and a new automatic dark theme to Mac desktops. By introducing a dark theme to the browser, Mozilla is following up the one it added to its mobile counterpart last month, the only difference being that the desktop version comes with intelligent support for the new native Dark Mode featured in macOS 10.14 Mojave. What that means is Firefox automatically switches to the twilight theme whenever the the macOS Dark Mode is active, making for a more uniform desktop application interface without requiring action on the user's part. Meanwhile, support for variable fonts makes it possible for web designers to create typography using a single font file, rather than generating several files for variations of the same font. Also listed in this release's changelog: Firefox Home (default new tabs) can now display up to four rows of top sites, Pocket stories, and highlights, while a "Reopen in Container" tab menu option appears for users with Containers that lets them choose to reopen a tab in a different container. Lastly, disconnecting from the desktop version of Firefox Sync prompts the browser to ask if you want to wipe your Firefox profile, including passwords, history, cookies, and web data. Firefox now has 300 million active users, according to Mozilla's weekly user activity report. If you're already a Firefox user, you should receive an automatic upgrade after restarting the browser. For everyone else, Firefox 62 is available for macOS as a free download directly from

Firefox Test Pilot Program Expands to Mobile With 'Firefox Lockbox' Password Storage iOS App

Mozilla's Firefox Text Pilot program allows users to test out experimental features and provide feedback that goes toward improving the service, and today the company is expanding the program to include two mobile apps. The first is an iOS app called Firefox Lockbox and it enables you to access your saved passwords within the app so that you can easily sign into various other apps on your iPhone. The password management app syncs with existing Firefox accounts and imports the passwords you've already saved in the Firefox browser. You can then browse a list of all your passwords, copy the one you need, navigate to another app, and paste it into the log-in field. The company says the app is secured by 256-bit encryption and supports unlocking via Touch ID and Face ID. Since Firefox Lockbox requires you to sync existing passwords from the browser, it'll only be useful for those users who regularly use Firefox to browse online and store their log-in information. With Firefox Lockbox, iOS users will be able to seamlessly access Firefox saved passwords. This means you can use any password you’ve saved in the browser to log into any online account like your Twitter or Instagram app. No need to open a web page. It’s that seamless and simple. Plus, you can also use Face ID and Fingerprint touch to unlock the app, so you can safely access your accounts. Notes by Firefox is the second Test Pilot app, and is built for Android users so that they can take and store notes across desktop and mobile devices. Any note written in the Firefox browser can then be synced to the new

Firefox to Get New Security Tool With 'Have I Been Pwned' Email Database Integration

Mozilla has announced a new security tool for users of its Firefox web browser. Called Firefox Monitor, the website lets visitors check if their accounts have been included in known data breaches and the types of data exposed in each breach. The security tool is the result of a partnership between Mozilla and HaveIBeenPwned.com (HIBP), a site set up by security researcher Troy Hunt that includes a database of email addresses that are known to have been compromised in data breaches. Thanks to the partnership, Firefox is able to check email addresses against the HIBP database via a method of anonymized data sharing (full details can be found in Troy Hunt's blog post). The new tool builds on Firefox's existing HIBP integration, which tells users if a site they are visiting was previously exposed in a data breach. In February, password management app 1Password announced its own partnership with HIBP, which lets users check that their passwords haven't been leaked online. Since that time, developers AgileBits have built the Pwned Passwords database list into its 1Password desktop apps. As of today, users can also search HIBP from directly within 1Password via the Watchtower feature in the web version of the product. Mozilla says it will begin trialling the new integration between HIBP and Firefox to make breach data searchable over the coming weeks. Firefox Quantum is available for macOS as a free download directly from the Mozilla website.

Mozilla Releases Firefox 58 for Mac With Performance Optimizations

Mozilla today announced the launch of Firefox 58, building upon the new "Quantum" features that were introduced in Firefox 57 back in November. Firefox 57 introduced a redesigned interface, new UI features, speeds twice as fast as Firefox 52, and an engine that uses 30 percent less memory than Google Chrome, and Mozilla is continuing to introduce additional improvements in Firefox 58. Firefox 58 includes updates to Gecko, Firefox's rendering engine, which are designed to streamline and speed up the browsing experience. Specific new additions include background tab throttling, a WebAssembly Streaming Compiler, and Off-Main-Thread Painting (OMTP) for a "significantly better" rendering process, with full details on the speed improvements available on the Firefox blog. Improvements have also been made to the way CSS fonts are displayed for shorter loading times, there's a new Promise feature to reduce redundant code, and functional and privacy improvements have been made to Firefox Screenshots. Full release notes for the update are available from the Firefox website. With this release, we're building on the great foundation provided by our all-new Firefox Quantum browser. We're optimizing the performance gains we released in 57 by improving the way we render graphics and cache JavaScript. We also made functional and privacy improvements to Firefox Screenshots. On Firefox for Android, we've added support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) so you can add websites to your home screen and use them like native apps.Existing Firefox users will be able to upgrade to Firefox 58

Mozilla Releases Firefox 57 'Quantum' Web Browser

Mozilla on Tuesday officially announced Firefox 57, the new "Quantum" version of its flagship desktop web browser for Mac, Linux, and Windows. Aside from a redesigned interface and a slew of new UI features, Mozilla says Quantum offers speeds twice as fast as Firefox 52 and a new engine that uses 30 percent less memory than Google Chrome. The performance advantages are said to be down to Firefox's "just right" multi-process architecture, which uses separate processes to run its user interface and tabbed web page content. These additional processes are able to run across multiple CPU cores, making it much less likely for open web pages to negatively impact each other or the performance of the web browser in general. While both Firefox and Chrome now run using multiple processes, Mozilla claims to have done things differently to avoid using up precious working memory. Chrome creates a separate content process for each open tab, and each tab typically consumes hundreds of megabytes of RAM, which has earned the browser a reputation as a resource hog. Where Quantum differs, claims Mozilla, is in its more conservative approach to using multiple processes. By default, Firefox now creates up to four separate processes for web page content, so the first four tabs each use those four processes, and additional tabs run using threads within those processes. This leads to multiple tabs within a process sharing the browser engine that already exists in memory, instead of each one creating their own. In addition to the under-the-hood improvements, the redesigned

Firefox Updated With Screenshot Feature, Cross-Platform Tab Delivery, and Form Autofilling

Earlier this week Firefox announced its upcoming "Quantum" browser that will bring twice the internet browsing speeds when it launches on November 14. Ahead of that major update, the company is now releasing a few minor additions to Firefox on desktop that will let you save screenshots, share content more easily between your computer and smartphone, and more. Screenshots allow you to capture any area within the Firefox browser without needing to download new software. After tapping a "Screenshot" button, Firefox presents a new interface where you can customize the specific part of the page you want to take a shot of, or let Firefox automatically detect the area you want, and then click save. You can save the screenshot to the web and generate a URL for easy sharing, or download the file to your computer. Firefox will also keep track of all the screenshots in a new "My Shots" folder, saving images automatically for two weeks. "Send Tabs" allows you to two-finger click on a tab open on Mac and select "Send tab to..." and choose between synced iPhone and iPad devices, which will then have the same tab ready for you in the mobile Firefox app. The same function can be repeated in reverse, and is supported by PCs and Android smartphones as well. Firefox also ensured that Send Tabs is encrypted end-to-end, so "even Mozilla can't decrypt it." The last new feature is coming to the United States first and aims to make filling out address forms easier, allowing you to complete online forms on shopping sites and relief organizations through a dropdown menu. After

Firefox Announces New 'Quantum' Browser With 2X Faster Speeds, Coming November 14

Firefox today announced that the latest version of its web browsing software -- which it's calling "Firefox Quantum" instead of "Firefox 57" -- will be available as an update for users beginning November 14, with a beta of the browser hitting iOS, Android, and desktop today. The company said that the biggest advantage of Quantum is its speed, which is twice as fast as Firefox 52 when measured using Speedometer 2.0, a benchmark that simulates modern web applications. Firefox said that Quantum takes advantage of multiple CPU cores offered by today's desktop and mobile devices, instead of running on just one core, resulting in a "dramatically faster" web browser. The company updated a few other features so that Quantum runs smoothly, including making sure that the tab open on the browser downloads and runs prior to other tabs in the background. When compared to Chrome -- which Firefox directly compared itself to in a new video -- Quantum is said to be faster than Google's browser, "while consuming roughly 30 percent less RAM." The user experience of Quantum has also been overhauled and enhanced through the company's Photon project, which tasked Firefox's design team to research and understand "how users perceive web browsers." The team's findings have resulted in a more "modern" design that's built for "task focused" users. Quantum also comes with more direct integration with read-it-later app Pocket, which Mozilla acquired last year. The new, minimalist design introduces square tabs, smooth animations, and a Library, which provides quick access to your saved

Firefox 55 Browser Gains Screenshot Utility, WebVR, and New Performance Features

Mozilla released Firefox 55 for macOS on Wednesday, touting new performance settings, faster speeds, several new features including a screenshot utility, and the addition of WebVR support. Firefox 55's major front end feature is Firefox Screenshots, accessed via a new screenshots icon on the toolbar. The feature allows users to capture a region of a web page by clicking and dragging a selection manually, or allowing Screenshots to capture one for them simply by hovering over the page element. It's also possible to capture a full page view without scrolling, and selections can be saved to an online Screenshots library, shared, and downloaded. Mozilla says Firefox Screenshots will be a gradual rollout so not everyone will see it immediately. Meanwhile, WebVR is the big platform feature shipping in Firefox 55 that allows users with an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift to experience VR content on the web. Although the feature is currently only available to Windows users, there's good reason to believe that macOS support is on Mozilla's roadmap, given that Apple developers have recently joined the WebVR open community initiative. In addition to the above, Firefox 55 promises users a dramatic performance improvement in session restores with large numbers of tabs, an option to fine-tune browser performance with e10s multi-settings, a new click-to-activate Flash Player, search suggestions in the Awesomebar enabled by default, and a modernized update system. Firefox 55 is a free download for macOS and can be directly from the Mozilla website.

Firefox 54 Promises Faster Browsing on Macs With Limited RAM

Mozilla yesterday announced the release of Firefox 54 web browser with new multi-process architecture that promises to make browsing with multiple tabs open faster and more stable, especially on computers with 8GB of memory or less. With the latest release, Firefox uses up to four processes to run web page content across all open tabs. This means that a heavy, complex web page in one tab has a much lower impact on the responsiveness and speed of other tabs, according to Mozilla: The old Firefox used a single process to run all the tabs in a browser. Modern browsers split the load into several independent processes. We named our project to split Firefox into multiple processes 'Electrolysis' (or E10s) after the chemical process that divides water into its core elements. E10s is the largest change to Firefox code in our history. Besides running faster and crashing less, E10S makes websites feel more smooth. Even busy pages, like Facebook newsfeeds, spool out smoothly and cleanly. In Mozilla's own tests comparing memory usage for various browsers, it claimed that Firefox used significantly less RAM in macOS than both Safari and Chrome. The group has published an article on Medium explaining how the new E10s architecture works. In one section titled "Why Chrome gets too hot when Firefox does not", Mozilla writes that Chrome's method of creating separate processes for each open tab can end up with each one consuming hundreds of megabytes of RAM, whereas Firefox reuses processes and content engines to limit memory usage. By default, Firefox now creates up to 4

Firefox Browser 52 Announced With 'Game Changing' Support For Complex Web Apps

Mozilla has heralded the release of a new version of Firefox that it says enables resource-intensive web content like games, apps, and image-editors to run in a browser window at previously unachievable native speeds. To accomplish the feat, Firefox 52 supports Web Assembly, a new standard developed by Mozilla, which it calls "a game changer for the web". WebAssembly allows complex apps, like games, to run faster than ever before in a web browser. We expect that WebAssembly will enable applications that have historically been too complex to run fast in browsers – like immersive 3D video games, computer-aided design, video and image editing, and scientific visualization. We also expect that developers will use WebAssembly to speed up many existing web apps.Mozilla has posted a video, embedded below, that shows the WebAssembly standard and WebGL 2 in action, with the help of a 3D environment demo rendered in real-time using the Unreal 4 Engine. In addition to Web Assembly, the update adds automatic detection of "captive portals" often used by hotel wifi networks that require the user to log in before they can access the web. Mozilla has also built contextual alerts into input fields to warn users when they're prompted to enter username and password information on a page that isn't encrypted with HTTPS. Other additions to this version of Firefox include CSS Grid, a Grid Inspector developer tool, and automatic disabling of plugins that use the Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI) besides Flash. Firefox 52 is a free download for the Mac.

Mozilla and Tor Warn of Critical Firefox Vulnerability, Urge Users to Update

Mozilla and Tor have published browser updates to patch a critical Firefox vulnerability used to deanonymize users (via ArsTechnica). Privacy tool Tor is based on the open-source Firefox browser developed by Mozilla, which received a copy of the previously unknown JavaScript-based attack code yesterday. Mozilla said in a blog post that the vulnerability had been fixed in a just-released version of Firefox for mainstream users. The code execution flaw was reportedly already being exploited in the wild on Windows systems, but in an advisory published later on Wednesday, Tor officials warned that Mac users were vulnerable to the same hack. "Even though there is currently, to the best of our knowledge, no similar exploit for OS X or Linux users available, the underlying bug affects those platforms as well. Thus we strongly recommend that all users apply the update to their Tor Browser immediately."The exploit is capable of sending the user's IP and MAC address to an attacker-controlled server, and resembles "network investigative techniques" previously used by law-enforcement agencies to unmask Tor users, leading some in the developer community to speculate that the new exploit was developed by the FBI or another government agency and was somehow leaked. Mozilla security official Daniel Veditz stopped short of pointing the finger at the authorities, but underlined the perceived risks involved in attempts to sabotage online privacy. "If this exploit was in fact developed and deployed by a government agency, the fact that it has been published and can now be used by

Privacy-Enabled Web Browser 'Firefox Focus' Launches on App Store With Automatic Ad Blocking

Mozilla today launched a new app called "Firefox Focus," which automatically blocks advertisements as well as online trackers. The company said that due to the new app's removal of heavy ads and tracking software by other companies, "web pages may require less data and load faster." The privacy-focused web browser also comes with an easily accessible "Erase" button at the top of the app, which users can tap and erase all browsing history, searches, cookies, and passwords instantly. Firefox Focus also offers extensive customizable browsing options, with the ability to disable a website's custom font, and users can choose to load a page in another browser -- Firefox or Safari -- if they're willing to leave the security of Firefox Focus. Browse like no one’s watching. The new Firefox Focus automatically blocks a wide range of online trackers — from the moment you launch it to the second you leave it. Easily erase your history, passwords and cookies, so you won’t get followed by things like unwanted ads. “Private browsing” on most browsers isn’t comprehensive or easy to use. Focus is next-level privacy that’s free, always on and always on your side — because it’s backed by Mozilla, the non-profit that fights for your rights on the Web. The app is otherwise simplified, with a single search bar greeting users when they open it, and only one tab available to view at a time. The settings of the app also include an additional layer of security to block other content trackers, but Mozilla warns that toggling it on "may break some videos and web pages." Firefox Focus

Mozilla Announces Firefox 48 for Desktop With Multi-Process Support

Mozilla announced the release of Firefox 48 for desktop yesterday, introducing a long-awaited multi-process feature to the browser along with a handful of interface tweaks. Firefox 48 is the first version of the browser to include Electrolysis (or e10s), a multi-process feature Mozilla developers have been working on for over seven years. Multi-process Firefox separates web content and UI processes, so that when a web page is consuming a large amount of processing power, other open tabs, buttons, and menus don't become unresponsive. Mozilla says it will be activating the feature behind the scenes in a staggered rollout for Firefox 48 users over the next few weeks. While Safari and Chrome browsers have offered a similar feature for some time, this version of Firefox is also running Mozilla's Rust language, which is designed to offer performance comparable to C++, but without the latter's susceptibility to security flaws. Firefox 48 also blocks Adobe Flash Player by default, as the big online media companies like YouTube increasingly switch to HTML5. Elsewhere, Mozilla has improved the Awesome Bar, which now offers more relevant search suggestions, while the Discovery Pane has been redesigned to make it easier to read. In addition, Reading Lists have been merged into Bookmarks and Synced tabs have been relocated to the History Panel. Lastly, version 48 also ships security improvements that enhance download protection in Firefox, such as flagging uncommon downloads that appear to mimic popular installation packages for malicious purposes. Firefox 48 is a