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
Software Reviews
15,526 Reviews PC Advisor Gold Award

Firefox 2.0

Manufacturer: Mozilla

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5 User Rating: Our users rate this 5 out of 10

We put Mozilla Firefox 2.0 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 to the test.

The latest version of IE (Internet Explorer) is here at last, offering a taster of how the internet landscape is going to change as we step into the era of Windows Vista. And as Mozilla eagerly removes the wraps from version 2.0 of IE's fierce rival, Firefox, we couldn't resist seeing how the browsers compare.

While Firefox 1.5 was released only a year ago, IE hasn't received a major overhaul in five years. You can't miss its improved user interface, with tabbed browsing, integrated search and newsfeed support. And Microsoft has added an antiphishing tool and boosted IE7's security.

Firefox 2.0 offers no radical changes – a hint that there wasn't much wrong with 1.5 to begin with. A built-in antiphishing tool makes its debut appearance, but most changes simply refine features that are new only to IE7. It polishes tabbed browsing, newsfeed support and add-on management. There are still sites written specifically for IE that just don't look right, but plug-ins can automatically switch your browser.

Tabbed upgrades

IE7's streamlined look resembles Vista. The buttons and address bar are compressed into two rows at the top. In default mode, standard menu options such as File, Edit or View are absent. But the browser now supports tabs and will allow you to save your session, remembering which tabs were open when you closed it down.

But Firefox's tab updates are still a step ahead. You can configure Firefox to always save your last session, while IE7 requires you to click a box every time. And Firefox allows you to reopen closed tabs via the History menu or by right-clicking on an open tab.

RSS (really simple syndication) feeds are now supported in IE. Browse to a page with an associated feed and an icon will light up. Check the headlines from that feed and, if you wish, subscribe. Unfortunately, once you've subscribed, you have no way to preview feed contents without opening it up in IE. This somewhat defeats the convenience of RSS.

Firefox 2.0 makes it easy for you to preview headlines, while the range of subscription options adds depth. You can now add a feed to a Bloglines, Google Reader or My Yahoo page.

Safer browsing

IE7 features more security fixes than Firefox, but most of these were essential. Both browsers add antiphishing features, but Firefox's default protection stops at comparing sites against a known blacklist, which is only partially effective. IE analyses sites for hallmarks of phishing. Even if the site isn't blacklisted, it should be able to detect it. And, as with Firefox, it can now clear temporary files, cookies, history files and passwords.

Firefox is a much smaller download – 5MB rather than IE’s 15MB. And it uses fewer resources. With three tabs open, Firefox used 58MB of memory, while IE sucked up 80MB. Both programs upgraded fairly smoothly.

The screenshot, price, system requirements and scores to the right are for Firefox 2.0; to see details of IE7, kindly click here.

Firefox Expert Verdict »

There are currently no technical specifications recorded for this product.

  • Ease of Use: We give this item 9 of 10 for ease of use
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 10 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

There are some nice features in IE7 that might halt the steady flight to Firefox. Quick page zooms and enhanced web page programming support fit well, while Microsoft's antiphishing looks more thorough. However, Firefox 2.0 remains ahead of its rival in many areas. Upgrading from Internet Explorer 6.0 will mean finding your way around a new interface, so IE enthusiasts would find it a good opportunity to convert to Firefox.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Internet Explorer 7.0

    We put Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 to the test.

  • Unbaby.me review

    Unbaby.me

    Unbaby.me is a Google Chrome and Firefox extension that turns your Facebook news feed into a baby-free zone. Read our review to find out more.

  • Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta 2 review

    Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta 2

    Those who expect Internet Explorer 8.0 to be a warmed-over version of IE7, or a me-too response to Firefox 3.0, will be surprised by the just-released Beta 2 of IE8.

  • Newzie review

    Newzie

    Newzie serves up your RSS feeds and more in a good-looking, easy-to-use tabbed interface.

  • Toolbar Cleaner review

    Toolbar Cleaner

    Toolbar Cleaner removes unwanted browser toolbars, browser extensions, and start-up items. Read our full Toolbar Cleaner review to find out more.


IDG UK Sites

The 10 most ridiculously opulent, mega expensive and utterly stupid gadgets you can't afford

IDG UK Sites

iOS 8 review: Hands on with the iOS 8 beta

IDG UK Sites

5 things Android Wear *can't* do: Smartwatch OS is great but not flawless

IDG UK Sites

Free QuarkXPress update offers redlining, notes and image enhancement