New Firefox update features speed and privacy enhancements

Mozilla Firefox 67.0, released on Tuesday incorporates several speed and privacy-focused features. Photo: Mozilla. 

Mozilla has pushed out the latest release of the Firefox web browser Tuesday which brings performance and security enhancements. Mozilla says that it has improved the speed of its browser by one percent every week, for a cumulative speed bump of around 40-80 percent year-on-year. 

Version 67.0 incorporates the well-known time management strategy of “procrastinate on purpose”, the company says, by deprioritizing least commonly used features, suspending idle tabs, and reducing startup load times. If your computer’s available memory goes below 400MB, Firefox will automatically suspend unused tabs. 

Firefox has made its data privacy features a key selling point - the latest version incorporates a bunch of privacy enhancements – such as the ability to block browser fingerprinting and cryptomining scripts. Browser fingerprinting is a technique used by digital advertising companies to track users across websites – they identify a user by collecting device data, such as fonts, and other device information to track users without using cookies. Cryptomining uses a host web browser’s CPU to generate cryptocurrencies – they can be a severe drain on the battery and CPU resources. These two privacy-focused features were rolled out in a nightly build in April. This feature can be accessed from the Privacy & Security tab in Preferences.  

The new update also lets users access saved passwords while browsing in Private Browsing mode, and specify which add-ons or web extensions can be allowed to run. 

In addition, the latest release is fully keyboard accessible, as a part of Mozilla’s accessibility efforts. The release also supports WebRender on Windows 10 desktops running with NVIDIA graphics cards. WebRender is a GPU-based 2D rendering engine that improves browser speed. 

Firefox is the second most popular web browser on the desktop, with a market share of 9.58%, according to Statista. The most popular desktop web browser is Chrome, with a market share of 68.52%.