We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Mozilla Firefox 3.1 gets 'porn mode'

Private Browsing available on next beta version

Mozilla has added a privacy mode to Firefox 3.1.

The web browser, which is still under construction, features 'Private Browsing', said developer Ehsan Akhgari in a blog post. Akhgari has been the primary programmer working on the new feature.

Firefox 3.0 review

In the blog, Akhgari outlined the mode's operation. He explained that it lets Firefox first memorise the current tabs so that it can reopen them at the end of the private-browsing session, and then slip a small notice at the top of the window to indicate that the next moves won't be recorded.

"After all, if you're doing something online that you don't want your coworkers to know about, you don't want to raise their attention with a big sign saying PRIVATE as they pass by and glance over your shoulder," said Akhgari.

As long as the mode is enabled, Firefox refuses to store traces of where the browser went and what it was asked to do. While in Private Browsing, Firefox will not record the browser history, search history, download history or form history, or save cookies or temporary files. Saved downloads and pages that are bookmarked, however, are not deleted.

Mozilla decided to include a privacy mode - sometimes dubbed 'porn mode' as a sop to an obvious application - about eight weeks ago. The move was largely in response to competitive pressure from other browser makers, which were adding similar features to their software. Less than two weeks before Mozilla announced the privacy mode addition, for example, Google had released Chrome and touted its 'incognito' mode. Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 will also include a private-browsing feature, dubbed 'In Private'.

Originally, Mozilla officials were pessimistic about the chances of adding a privacy mode to Firefox 3.1, but several days after discussing the feature, the company decided to insert another four to five weeks of work to the schedule to make sure Private Browsing, and several other in-development pieces, made it into the final.

Akhgari said that the privacy mode would appear in Firefox 3.1 Beta 2, which will likely ship later this month.

"This will be included in Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 which will be released soon, so if you want to try it, you can give it a shot then," he said. "And of course, it will appear in the final release of Firefox 3.1, so if you're not the type who test beta software, you can wait until Firefox 3.1 is released."

Users interested in trying out the privacy mode immediately can download the pre-release version of Beta 2 - called 'nightlies' by Mozilla - from the company's site.


IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

LED vs Halogen: Why now could be the right time to invest in LED bulbs

IDG UK Sites

Christmas' best ads: See great festive spots studios have created to promote themselves and clients

IDG UK Sites

Why Apple shouldn't be blamed for exploitation in China and Indonesia