Firefox 94 adds plenty of new features, closes over a dozen security holes

Daniel Sims

Posts: 236   +12
Staff
In brief: Mozilla has released Firefox 94, with new features for Windows, MacOS, and Linux operating systems. Some of them are security-oriented, alongside the several high-impact vulnerabilities the update fixes. This comes just after Mozilla rolled out significant new features for the mobile versions of Firefox.

Mozilla's release notes detail the updates, which include performance, security, and privacy enhancements.

Firefox will no longer prompt Windows users for updates, instead downloading and installing updates even when Firefox is closed. In Windows 11, Firefox will now support Snap Layouts menus.

On MacOS, Firefox will now use Apple's low-power mode when viewing videos in full screen on some streaming sites, which Mozilla says should significantly increase battery life on MacBooks. Firefox 94 is also supposed to decrease power consumption in Linux by enabling the EGL backend, which should increase WGL performance.

What's more, Mozilla's browser will now automatically unload inactive tabs, but users can also view the memory consumption of each tab through an "about:unloads" page from which they can manually unload them without completely closing them.

Over the next few weeks, Mozilla will roll out a security feature called Site Isolation. In order to protect against side-channel attacks, Site Isolation can load each website into its own operating system process. This can prevent malicious sites from accessing information from other sites a user might have open at the same time.

The blog also notes Mozilla is rolling out a Firefox add-on called Firefox Multi-Account Containers that will separate online profiles into different compartments organized into tabs. This should let users log into one website or service with multiple separate accounts in the same browser. It could also keep social media trackers from following all of a user's online activity. Firefox Multi-Account Containers is integrated with Mozilla VPN.

Of the 13 vulnerabilities Firefox 94 closes, Mozilla rates seven as "high-impact." One of those changes prevents sensitive data copied to the clipboard from ending up on Windows 10's Cloud Clipboard feature, which records information from the clipboard onto the cloud when enabled.

At the same time, Mozilla this week also released significant interface updates to the mobile versions of Firefox. These changed the way tabs and bookmarks are displayed, and for Android users, the updated version will group together recent searches by topic.

Permalink to story.

 

psycros

Posts: 3,823   +4,972
"Firefox will no longer prompt Windows users for updates, instead downloading and installing updates even when Firefox is closed."

And just like that, Firefox put the last nail in its own coffin. Waterfox will hopefully not make the same mistake, and if they do there's always Pale Moon.
 

nnguy2

Posts: 353   +730
I've been having trouble with FF crashing or takes forever to load, esp Facebook and Instagram.

Hopefully this fixes it because I was about to switch to Chrome or Edge (gasp!)
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,478   +7,315
I have had a number of problems with FF and that's not to mention the security issues ...
 

umbala

Posts: 510   +873
Who cares about Firefox? I was a loyal FF user for many years, until they abandoned their user base and jumped on the me too bandwagon. Under the hood it's just Chrome now, so might as well use Chrome or Edge and get a better experience.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,018   +2,025
Struggling browser. I'd be shocked if it survived 2022.
QA team layoffs, testing Bing over Google, address bar ads, bleeding users...
 
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m4a4

Posts: 2,662   +3,321
TechSpot Elite
They should natively add unloading to the right-click menu. Sometimes I want a tab for later, but don't want it taking up resources...
 
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Yenega

Posts: 302   +206
It definitely feels snappier and does load cold pages faster.

Well I hope so, because Firefox is among the slowest browsers on my PC. Edge (2.0) and Chrome is waaaay faster. Especially closing and opening with alot of active tabs. Firefox is slower by several seconds and this is on a PC with NVME, 32gigs of RAM and 8C/16T haha

When will they change to Chromium? Their approach is doomed to fail because Edge 2.0 is based on Chromium like Chrome so Windows 10/11 will get OS-tweaks and optimization for this going forward (and already have). This is probably the reason why Edge and Chrome feels way more snappier.
 

andyross

Posts: 16   +10
"Firefox will no longer prompt Windows users for updates, instead downloading and installing updates even when Firefox is closed."

And just like that, Firefox put the last nail in its own coffin. Waterfox will hopefully not make the same mistake, and if they do there's always Pale Moon.
The background update option can be turned off in the settings, along with auto-update itself.
 

Aux101

Posts: 78   +16
After seeing the name Vivaldi on a forum I gave it a try, mostly for Tabs Stacking.
Was an instant WOW! Been my browser for more than a year now.

I know Firefox has a feature called Tab Container but after trying it a few times I knew it wasn't for me.
Firefox once had something called Tab Group but for some reason it was removed.

Had been using Firefox for a very long time before switching to Vivaldi.
The lack of one single feature was enough for me to drop it.
 

lazer

Posts: 404   +123
I have used FF from the beginning and loved it, but it is too much for me.
Can any one recommend a good browser that has a decent ad block to replace FF?
 

RaXelliX

Posts: 34   +27
Well I hope so, because Firefox is among the slowest browsers on my PC. Edge (2.0) and Chrome is waaaay faster. Especially closing and opening with alot of active tabs. Firefox is slower by several seconds and this is on a PC with NVME, 32gigs of RAM and 8C/16T haha

When will they change to Chromium? Their approach is doomed to fail because Edge 2.0 is based on Chromium like Chrome so Windows 10/11 will get OS-tweaks and optimization for this going forward (and already have). This is probably the reason why Edge and Chrome feels way more snappier.
I have the same specs and PCIe 4.0 storage and I dont see Chrome being any faster.
It is a good thing that Mozilla Foundation has not switched to Chromium. Because if they did we would have Internet Explorer 2.0 situation where websites were developed for IE and it's quirks not for compatibility. Not to mention monopoly.
 

mrSister

Posts: 49   +50
They should really make FF another Chromium based browser. Let Google work for them doing the heavy lifting while they use their dwindling resources to implement features to set them apart from the other browsers.
 

trieste1s

Posts: 58   +83
TechSpot Elite
They should really make FF another Chromium based browser. Let Google work for them doing the heavy lifting while they use their dwindling resources to implement features to set them apart from the other browsers.
Already done, it's called Brave browser.

In the meantime, Firefox stands apart as a browser that has more powerful addons and customisability if one wants to dig deep into usability, security and privacy hardening. Still using multi-row tabs till today, November 2021.
 

RaXelliX

Posts: 34   +27
They should really make FF another Chromium based browser. Let Google work for them doing the heavy lifting while they use their dwindling resources to implement features to set them apart from the other browsers.
That would be the final death knell. There are a million Chrome clones. No need to turn Firefox into one.