Firefox 83 gets serious about encrypted connections, but it’s late

Mozilla is going from bad to worse… but here is a new version of Firefox, the only asset that keeps the company afloat. Firefox 83 It arrives with very little news of interest to its credit, although the accumulated work has paid off. And thank goodness!

Speaking of what’s new in Firefox 83, the top two focus on performance and security, which isn’t bad. First are the improvements to SpiderMonkey, the JavaScript engine of the browser and one of the most important components of it. As explained from Mozilla, this new version of Firefox offers a 15% increase in page loading speed, improves page responsiveness by 12% and reduces memory use by 8%.

On the other hand, Firefox 83 introduces a new preference called «HTTPS-only mode«, Which consists of forcing the connection to the sites that are visited through the HTTPS protocol, that is, the standard protocol with encryption, provided that the option exists. And most likely it exists, since currently most Internet sites offer this possibility. It is a functionality nailed to that of veteran extensions such as HTTPS Everywhere, available by default in browsers such as Brave since its inception.

The problem with this preference, which is disabled by default, is that the vast majority of Internet sites that today have implemented the encrypted connection using HTTPS, have not done so for the love of art but, mainly, because Google penalizes to those who still do not do it, so the most common is that the same sites are responsible for redirecting the visitor to HTTPS, in the event that they have entered via HTTP.

In other words, this “HTTPS-only mode” is a bit late. If you are interested in activating it, You will find it at the end of the privacy and security preferences browser.

firefox 83

“HTTPS-only mode” in Firefox 83

Other new features in Firefox 83 include gesture zoom with a pinch on Windows and Mac touch devices, support to control the playback and volume of videos in Picture-in-Picture mode, small design improvements and usability in areas such as video conferencing and searching, AcroForm support for editing, printing, and saving compatible PDF documents, and expanding support for the new WebRender rendering engine to more users, depending on their hardware configuration.

And one more thing, which is constantly being talked about these days: Firefox 83 should work without any problem on devices with Apple’s M1 chips, of course, relying on the Rosetta emulation layer, although Mozilla claims to be already working on a native Firefox for the brand new hardware of the apple.

And as for Firefox 83 for Android, there are new extensions supported: FoxyProxy, Bitwarden, AdGuard AdBlocker, Tomato Clock, LeechBlock NG, Web Archives and Ghostery.

In summary, what has been said: few news within Firefox, which is usually the norm since they accelerated the pace of releases, but fortunately for Mozilla, the accumulated work is noticeable and the fire fox continues to be a quality alternative to surf the web. At least for now.