Download: Mozilla Firefox 20.0 with per-window private browsing

By on April 2, 2013, 12:30 PM

Mozilla has just released a new milestone version for their recuperating web browser. Firefox 20.0 offers -- as with most new versions -- a combination of stability improvements, bug fixes and HTML5 additions so you can browse the web with less hiccups. Although that sounds far from interesting, this latest stable release also introduces a few new features that are worth highlighting. Among them are an improved private browsing mode, a new download experience and the ability to close hanging plugins without the browser itself hanging.

Private browsing has been available on Firefox for quite some time, but in its previous implementation, enabling the feature meant having your entire browser session in private mode while everything else was put on hold. Now Mozilla promises the ability to browse the web “without saving any information about which sites and pages you've visited” on a per window basis, so you can have private windows running simultaneously right alongside normal windows. That's similar to how Google has been handling its Incognito mode in Chrome all along.

For those who are not completely familiar with private browsing mode, the feature lets users browse the web without leaving traces of visited pages, form and search bar entries, passwords, downloads, cookies and cached web content on the browser client. It's main purpose is to protect your privacy on shared machines but it could be useful for things like having two accounts for a single service opened simultaneously.

Aside from private browsing, the download experience is also getting some improvements with a new interface and download button next to the search bar that makes keeping track of active and previous downloads a little easier. Clicking this icon will still bring up a panel with the most recent downloads as usual, but during active downloads this button now changes into a timer bar that estimates the time left for the transfer to complete.

Finally there's the ability to close hanging plugins, without the browser hanging. This is self explanatory and a big relieve for the millions of us who have lost sessions over a faulty plugin. The new Firefox is now available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

For download links and the complete release notes, head here.




User Comments: 16

Got something to say? Post a comment
t3chn0vamp said:

The problem is, Mozilla is acting too late than Google ! Chrome has been providing these features for a long now with faster speed and less hanging !

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Better with Opera, it uses private tabs instead private windows !!!

;)

Guest said:

Don't trade your privacy for a little speed!

Guest said:

Chrome is a pile...

Guest said:

I downloaded chrome the other day after reading people praising chrome. But I don't see any reason to keep chrome on my machine. Firefox does everything I need to do and speed is not a problem at all. Moreover using firefox, I can sleep a little better knowing that what I do is not secretly recorded and kept at Google servers for them to track me later with ads.

2 people like this | LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Chrome is a pile...

a pile of yummy goodness. Hmmmmm....

davislane1 davislane1 said:

"For those who are not completely familiar with private browsing mode, the feature lets users browse the web without leaving traces of visited pages, form and search bar entries, passwords, downloads, cookies and cached web content on the browser client. It's main purpose is to protect your privacy on shared machines but it could be useful for things like having two accounts for a single service opened simultaneously."

You mean everyone's inner Quagmire? Ain't that the truth.

"Aside from private browsing, the download experience is also getting some improvements with a new interface and download button next to the search bar that makes keeping track of active and previous downloads a little easier."

That's going to save a lot of people from a lot of awkward moments, let me tell you.

"Finally there's the ability to close hanging plugins, without the browser hanging. This is self explanatory and a big relieve for the millions of us who have lost sessions over a faulty plugin."

At first, I didn't think I would be able to make this paragraph sexual -- then I read the second sentence.

SusanBA said:

Ugh. Before I was assured that *ALL* the sites I visited were private. Now I have to worry if I have multiple windows open (ugh) and which are private and non (ugh, again). This is an awful "update". And... worse yet it can NEVER be turned off. (triple ugh.)

Why waste the screen space and memory... we multiple windows???? Either I'm in private-mode... or I'm not. I don't need to be in "both" at the same time.

Another of many, ever increasing, "features added to FF without thinking".

Guest said:

@t3chn0vamp: near half the engine has been rewritten for this, so yeah, it took a while.

@SusanBA: It shows clearly, which one is the private window. Disables personas, UI changing add-ons and there is a purple mask.

Guest said:

"... if you wanna do something, like shopping or access your bank... "

yeah, I'm sure thats what most people use it for!

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Why can't nobody offer private browsing per-favorite? I've been wanting this feature for ages, but nobody came up with it. Most people need private browsing for already known URLs that are in their favorite list, like banking, so there would be no need opening a new window and activating private browsing explicitly, it would work automatically just as you pick up a website from your favorites.

JC713 JC713 said:

This should really be 5.5 lol.

Guest said:

You've tried the rest. Now try the best. Which, really, is Firefox. Just the clean and elegant and customizable GUI makes it that way. No one here seems to have anything nice to say about anything. So I'll say Firefox, after lagging a bit during its teen upgrades, is the best browser.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

You've tried the rest. Now try the best. Which, really, is Firefox. Just the clean and elegant and customizable GUI makes it that way. No one here seems to have anything nice to say about anything. So I'll say Firefox, after lagging a bit during its teen upgrades, is the best browser.

Are you working for Mozilla or something? Sounds like advertising. Your statements bare no credibility against the cold statistics: [link]

That shows that FireFox has been losing its market share to Chrome non-stop ever since November 2009, and for a good reason. It crashes often and not any near as fast as Chrome.

I've run into a number of people in the last two years, including recently who believe that Opera is the best browser in the world, which I know for being the worst one. I used it for a bit, it is nothing but a nightmare to use or to support.

And you are just one trying to resurrect the dying browser, bit it won't work. Chrome is the best browser, absorbing the rest of the browsers soon to become history.

Guest said:

@ Vitaly: Pffft.. my parents, my grandmother, and many of my friends all have Chrome installed, but none of them intentionally installed it (apart from my brother in law). Chrome is bundled with everything like spyware. Chrome is also advertised on Google's search page itself. Of course it is taking marketshare when it installs itself with another program and makes itself your default browser. My mother is now using Chrome, she thought she was still using Firefox.

I believe in privacy however, I don't want Google knowing everything I do online. I use StartPage to search (search results from Google submitted anonymously). I use Firefox with Adblock Plus, Ghostery, and HTTPS Everywhere. I am also always connected to Private Internet Access VPN (a zero log VPN).

I decided to at least try to have some privacy. Google records everything, I search thoughts, problems, random things every day. I don't want a profile built around me. I even went as far as ditching Facebook two years ago.

I have most browsers installed however. I'm using Chrome atm because Techspot's verification doesn't work with Flashblock. Clicking the verification box to enable flash forwards me to the forum rather than enabling the flash verification box. Bleh..

Guest said:

The main reason for chrome numbers are the un-noticed installs via freeware etc

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.