Firefox 67 arrives with faster performance and enhanced Private Browsing features

Speed and flexibility are two Firefox watchwords. With Firefox 67, Mozilla has picked up the pace yet again.

Credit: IDG

Mozilla released Firefox version 67 on Tuesday, promising that the browser is 40 to 80 percent faster compared to a year ago. Firefox 67 also ships with a number of other new features, including amped-up Private Mode options and an intriguing GPU acceleration tool.

Ever since Firefox Quantum overhauled the browser's backbone at the end of 2017, Firefox has emphasized speed as a niche in the crowded field of competing browsers. As our recent browser tests showed (based on Firefox 64) it’s a niche that the company has somewhat exploited—Firefox is indeed fast, but so is its competition. Opera remains our favorite browser.

With Firefox 67, Mozilla has reprioritized which features the browser handles first to speed up the page loading experience. Specifically, you’ll find that Firefox loads search scripts for pages like Google and Amazon before others, so that you’ll be able to search for what you want first. Meanwhile, some less-critical aspects of the page are delayed slightly, relatively speaking. Firefox will also “tombstone” or suspend idle pages when the total available system memory drops below 400MB, so that active pages will be prioritized.

new firefox browser version 67 Mark Hachman / IDG

Firefox 67.

Firefox 67 also boasts a number of enhancements in its Private Browsing mode. Most notably, it wraps in flexibility that Chrome already provides by allowing you to manually turn on individual extensions while running in Private Browsing mode. Firefox also handily allows you to preserve passwords, too, so that while a record of your browsing session won’t be saved when you close a Private window, you can still log into whatever sites you choose.

Private Browsing will also allow more customization options to allow you to choose what web elements to block. With the new release, Firefox now allows you options to block hidden cryptominer extensions as well as “fingerprinters” that track you around the web by identifying the unique combination of hardware and software on your PC.

If you own an Nvidia graphics card, you may see something special: support for WebRender, a new rendering method that taps your Nvidia GPU rather than your CPU for improved performance. It only works with Nvidia graphics chips, however, and Firefox will only be shipping this to a “small group of users.”  Firefox 67 is also shipping with support for dav1d, a new royalty-free video format jointly developed by Mozilla, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. 

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Mark Hachman

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
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