If you’re running Windows then you currently have three main choices as your web browser; Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Which browser is the best for business? Which is our pick? We pick Mozilla Firefox for the following reasons:
Keep in mind that some legacy web applications you may use may need Internet Explorer to work properly – but for most businesses you have a choice in which browser you use.
Firefox supports NPAPI plugins
In business, any web-based systems you use (such as cloud apps) sometimes require NPAPI plugins like Silverlight and Java. As of April this year you can no longer use these plugins with Google Chrome. Internet Explorer and Firefox both still support and continue to support the use of these plugins which make these browsers useful for web-based business apps which require them.
Firefox can do Click-To-Play for Security and Speed
In Firefox you can go: Menu > Add-Ons > click ‘Plugins’ on the left hand side. From there you can easily enable and disable plugins you have installed. As you install software on your PC, sometimes programs install plugins so they can provide some functionality on the web. We recommend you set most plugins to ‘Ask to Activate’. If the webpage requires a plugin then all you have to do is click on the icon to activate the plugin (see right). Having the plugins ‘ask’ provides better security because when you load the page – they don’t start straight away – possibly loading malicious code onto your PC.
There are 2 plugins you should leave as ‘always activate’: ‘OpenH264 Video Codec’ and ‘Primetime Content Decryption Module’ – these are Firefox provided plugins.
You can also set Flash Player to ‘Ask to Activate’
In the ‘Plugins’ section set ‘Shockwave Flash’ to ‘Ask to Activate’ – this will speed up Firefox and may resolve any issues you are having with instability. It may mean some pages don’t load completely without manually clicking to start Flash Player. You can experiment with it ‘ask’ and ‘always activate’ to see which is right for you. Flash Player is the most common plugin Firefox uses on the web today so with it set to ‘ask’ you might find it too annoying.
Firefox is Separate from Windows and Internet Explorer – better security
When a security hole is found in Internet Explorer, it is fixed through an update from Microsoft through Windows Update. Firefox has its own independent update system which runs in the background and isn’t dependant on Windows. Firefox is also technically separate from Windows, as Internet Explorer is more closely linked to the operating system – making security holes in Internet Explorer more dangerous.
Firefox is Open Source and not associated with Google
For those who value privacy – Firefox is an independent company. It is not associated with Microsoft or Google – so there is no reporting back any statistics to those companies.
Obviously different business use cases will call for different browsers for different reasons, but we think Firefox is solid choice for security, speed, and usability for business users.
If you like any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Remember to always contact your IT Support company to let them know you are using a different browser - additional updating/monitoring may be required.