Firefox 4 Review: First impressions

By Gary Johnson - Mar 22, 2011

Last week I decide to download IE9 after I was previously using Firefox and then Google Chrome. I had used Firefox for a long time but started to have issues with it freezing and crashing. So I jumped ship to Google Chrome. But today I downloaded Firefox 4 and here are my early impressions of it.

After downloading which was a lot quicker than the download for IE9, I started the browser. First thing I noticed was how less cluttered the browser looked. I like the tab in the top left hand side of the screen which is an orange Firefox button, and gives you all your options via a pull down screen.

The bookmark and homepage button have switched over to the right hand side of the screen in the corner, this leaves more space on the page. Speed wise it’s no Google Chrome but is quicker than before and IE9. I had issues before with IE9 and my wireless Canon printer, but there weren’t any problems with Firefox 4.

So far I’ve not come across any issues with add-ons or plug-ins causing any problems with the browser, and after using the previous version for a long time it is like having an old friend back. When you click on the Firefox button you are given the menu options. There is also the useful feature of sorting out your open tabs into groups.

The Add-ons manager is an easy way to find extensions and themes, and you can easily find out what has been disabled or what’s running. There are a vast range of Add-ons available and you even get a rating system. This is a brilliant way of avoiding those which could cause problems or are not any good.


This is the best version of Firefox I have used to date, and will continue to use it. Hopefully I will not encounter any freezing or crashing as I did with its predecessor. I will not be using IE9 anymore, and will go back to IE8 so I can continue to use my printer. We have a poll running asking you what web browser you prefer between Firefox 4, Google Chrome, and IE9.

Have you tried Firefox 4 yet? What do you think of it?

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Also See: Firefox 4 first day downloads blitz IE9

  • Doug

    I updated to Firefox 4. Couldn't get my firewall & virus program to work. After some reading about the new version I found they do not support my program. I removed it & went.back to my older version. Not impressed with 4.

  • Phil

    Yes, its been freezing-up with a "Not Responding" across the top and in the Task Manager.
    Sometimes it clears and sometimes it doesn't.
    Restarted with all add-ons and extensions disabled for most of the day and its stable.
    Slowly adding in add-ons, first was Ani-weather and its holding fine so far.
    It will be a long process to figure out whats causing the problem.
    I do suspect Flash as it gave me problems on the last update.

  • Gary

    Win 7 x64, Intel i5, 4GB RAM
    I downloaded FFX4 and had to get rid of one add-in. Within 2 minutes, I had a frozen screen with just 3 tabs up (2 forums and 1 Google, so nothing amazing). Brought up Task Manager and stopped the process. Repeated this 3 times, each time it froze. I had a look at the memory usage – 1.3GB!

    I had had no troubles at all with FFX3.6.16, so I uninstalled FFX4 and reverted.

    I'll let the others road test FFX4 for me; perhaps I'll try it again in a few months and after a few updates.

  • Sarah

    While it is true that I would also normally wait a while to download a newer version of a product I find that with this one I can't wait. Firefox 3 has been incrediby buggy for me having constant freezes and crashes which is while I feel I must download the new version straight away. I'm hoping to experience less freezing with firefox 4 however if it continues I will no longer be patient and will probably move to chrome.

  • Chris

    I'll wait a bit before updating to Firefox 4. Like going to a newly opened restaurant on the first day, it's wise to let the bugs get ironed out. Set all your browsers to notify you before updating to save you the hassle of having to reinstall if something goes wrong. Always backup your settings before allowing such an upgrade! shows a benchmark of the main browsers showing Firefox 4 to be near the slowest! Gary only mentions download times of FF being less time than MSIE, probably because of file size differences. Opera shows to be the fastest twice as fast as Firefox. I have to question the validity of a site that excludes the fastest browser from their preferred browser poll, probably because of "market share" Wake up and smell the caffeine folks, check out Opera browser! It's been my preferred browser for eight years for pure surfing with its "z" and "x" and mouse swipe shortcuts and more it beats all others hands down!