Firefox Version 18: Mozilla Boosts Browsing Speed

Dennis Faas's picture

Mozilla says the next edition of its popular Firefox browser, Firefox 18, will be the fastest version of the browser yet released. The company also says the new Firefox's security capabilities have been significantly improved over previous versions.

In a recent blog post, Mozilla vice president of engineering Johnathan Nightingale took some time to outline improvements to the Firefox formula for version 18, which is currently available for free download and use.

"The Firefox of today is significantly better than the Firefox of a year ago in every way," Nightingale said. (Source:

JavaScript Improvements Result in Higher Speeds

Among the notable improvements, Mozilla says, is Firefox 18's use of a new and improved JavaScript compiler called IonMonkey.

This addition significantly reduces the time required to load web applications. In fact, Mozilla says some apps (like online games) should now load about 25 per cent faster than they did using earlier versions of Firefox. (Source:

To give Internet users an idea of Firefox 18's improved speed, Mozilla has built a new, 3D first-person shooter (FPS) video game called "BananaBread."

According to Mozilla, the demonstration game uses the improved JavaScript technology, and so it enhances the overall gaming experience by reducing all the necessary load times.

Mozilla also says it has now added support for high-resolution Apple MacBook Retina displays. As a result, owners of these devices can finally take advantage of Apple's cutting-edge display technology.

Meanwhile, the new and improved Firefox browser's security protection against phishing and malware threats has been significantly improved. Users of Android devices will reportedly notice the biggest improvement in online security.

PC Magazine Tests Verify Speed Claims

Of course, it's the speed boost that will most excite regular users of Firefox. To test Mozilla's performance claims for the updated browser, PC Magazine ran a series of experiments.

The tests enabled PC Mag to verify Mozilla's claims. Testers found that a dual-core PC running Windows 8 and Firefox 18 showed a 23 per cent speed improvement over the same PC running the earlier version of the browser, Firefox 17. (Source:

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