firefox.jpgFor a while now, I've been surfing the web with Firefox 0.8, the new Mozilla browser. It's amazing how cool this browser is, and if you pick things up quickly, Firefox's features can help you get around more quickly and easily. One of the features I've been using quite often is tabbed browsing. You know how whenever you want to open a new browser window in IE, it adds another IE instance to your taskbar? Well, that sucks if you're one of these people (like me) who likes to have a bunch of web pages open on their desktop at any given time.

Firefox deals with this problem in a nice way. Control-T opens a new browser tab, which opens up on a toolbar just below the address bar. So you can have a kajillion different tabs while seeing only the one instance of Firefox in your taskbar.

Another cool feature is the ability to click on links without the mouse. Simply type in the first couple letters of a link you want to activate and go.

There's a popup blocker, auto-downloader - even a version of the Google Toolbar. Firefox is quickly supplanting IE as my browser of choice. Not only is it easy and intuitive to use, but it helps make web browsing faster.

Another thing that's speeding me up is Privoxy. It's essentially a web proxy that runs off your machine and helps you do things like strip out extraneous graphics, ads and such. It also helps with managing cookies.

Before you freak out and call me a hypocrite for being in the online advertising business and wanting to strip out ads, let me say that I continue to use IE when I'm casually surfing. However, when I need to get to a page fast and I can't wait for someone's piggish 2-ton streaming Flash-a-ma-jig to load, I use Firefox with Privoxy.

What's amazing is how fast pages load when not encumbered by extraneous graphics. I still can't believe how fast one can browse with this combo of tools. If you're web browser is starting to get sluggish, I highly recommend it.