Firefox 4 officially released globally

22 Mar 2011

Mozilla has launched the latest upgrade to its web browser, Firefox 4, providing better speeds, a streamlined interface and more privacy features.

The new release comes a week after Microsoft updated its web browser rival Internet Explorer 9.

According to Mozilla, Firefox 4 is six times faster than its last release, with hardware accelerated graphics, improved start-up and page load times and faster web app performance.

Firefox 4 supports HTML5, including high-definition video (WebM), 3D graphics, offline data storage, professional typography and touchscreen interfaces.

Its JavaScript engine incorporates the new JagerMonkey JIT compiler along with enhancements to the TraceMonkey JIT and SpiderMonkey’s interpreter for faster speeds and better gaming and web app performance.

If there is a crash with Flash, Quicktime or Silverlight plugins, it won’t affect the rest of the Firefox browser. Users can reload the page to restart the plugin.

The interface now has app tabs, letting users give a permanent spot to frequently visited sites. The Awesome Bar lets users switch to any open tab without opening duplicate tabs. Users can also drag and drop tabs into groups to help manage them better.

Firefox Sync lets users access the Awesome Bar history, bookmarks, open tabs, passwords and form data across multiple desktops, laptops and mobile devices and a new Add-ons Manager lets users find more than 200,000 add-ons for the browser.

New privacy features include ‘Do Not Track,’ which lets users opt-out of being tracked for behavioural advertising. It also has HTTP Strict Transport Security (HTST) which automatically establishes secure connections to stop attacks and keep sensitive data safe during log-in processes.

Its Content Security Policy prevents scripting attacks by allowing sites to tell the browser which content is legitimate.

Firefox 4 is available to download now.