Comparatively Speaking...

Monday July 1st, 2002

Linux Online recently compared the major Linux browsers, including the Mozilla-based trio of Mozilla 1.0, Netscape 6.2 and Galeon. Reviewer Michael J Jordan praises Mozilla's stability, tabbed browsing, rendering and customisation.

As mentioned by fondacio on our forums, the International Herald and Tribune took a look at Mozilla, Opera and NeoPlanet (note that the site doesn't seem to work in some builds of Mozilla). Reviewer Lee Dembart says that "Mozilla is impressive and has it all over Opera." He especially likes the ability to block pop-ups, tabbed browsing and pipelining.

UPDATE! tuxracer writes: "I've put up a browser comparison list, comparing various features that affect usability and W3C standards compliance. It compares Mozilla 1.0, Netcaptor 7.01, Internet Explorer 6.0 (Windows), and Internet Explorer 5.x (Mac)."

#97 Re: Re: Re: Not my exp

by asa <>

Monday July 8th, 2002 10:12 PM

You are replying to this message

"Are you suggesting then that if people were to switch to Mozilla that they no longer need anti-virus software, firewalls, etc.?"

Depends. I have no say in the firewall issue at work. We have an industrial strenght firewall there that is supposed to prevent people on the outside getting inside. They also "require" that we use antivirus software on all our machines (I currently have 7 machines, three of them PCs running windows or linux, three of them macs running 8,9,and X and one of them an OEOne machine running OEOne's HomeBase). I download and install the company recommended antivirus apps about once every 6 months on my windows and macintosh machines, run them, and find nothing. I attribute this to avoiding the virus, worm and other attacks aimed at the less secure Outlook and IE (although I do have to use IE for testing some of the time and I'm always a little bit apprehensive). At home I don't have a firewall but I'd like to get one because I occasionally run other networked apps that I'm not as confident about. But the overwhelming majority of my internet activity is using Mozilla and so I feel pretty confortable that my system is secure. If a bug report about a security issue in Mozilla shows up and it worries me then I take the necessary precautions. Sometimes that means disabling JavaScript or some particular JS functionality (mozilla has more granular controls on JS than IE so this is less painful than it would be if I was using IE) or it might mean waiting a day or two before a patch is available and during that time I might not surf from home where I don't have the protection of an industrial strenght firewall. That hasn't happened yet although I did stop using IE completely for a couple of weeks (while I waited on a patch from MS) after the announcement of one of the exploits this spring. I haven't been infected by a single virus or worm or been the victim of any security attack in over 2 years. The last time I was a victim was at my old job where we were standardized on Outlook and IE and during that time I had several virus infections an ad-ware app secretly installed by a malicious website (it kept popping up IE windows with random ads). And I had an app that IS said was a virus-installed backdoor that could allow a malicious website to read data off of my harddrive or other drives on our intranet. I have no idea whether or not my files were actually read though and IS was unable to tell from the firewall logs so they assumed that it didn't happen.

I believe that Outlook is probably the biggest security problem on the internet these days (both for corporations and individuals) Unfortunately that reflects poorly on IE and the Windows operating system because so many of the worm and virus attacks are actually exploiting holes in IE or other OS components that Outlook uses. As a matter of fact, the latest MS security patch for the hole in Windows Media Player was actually a patch to a vulnerable part of the IE cache that could be taken advantage of through WMP or other web-enabled apps that used that part of the IE cache.

I just don't trust those apps. I have very little in the way of files on my machine that would bother me if they got stolen so I'm not terribly worried about that but I would be in sorry shape if something corrupted or deleted some of my files. I'm sure that other people have lots of private information on their machines and MS has a poor track record when it comes to protecting user data. I recommend to people using apps with bad records on security that they find applications with better track records. Netscape and other Mozilla-based applications are a good choice as IE and especially Outlook replacements.