Mozilla Finally Tastes 64-bit Sweetness With Firefox 43 For Windows

Mozilla rolled out version 43 of its Firefox Web browser yesterday, and all things considered, it seemed to be a standard fare release. However, there's more than meets the eye, because if you decided to check out the full downloads page, you might have noticed a completely new entry for "Windows 64-bit". That's right: Firefox finally has a "stable" 64-bit release for Microsoft's OS.

A 64-bit version of most any software offers a couple of key benefits, including potential performance boosts as well as the ability to utilize more than 4GB of memory (as if Firefox needed more, right?) The vast majority of users won't notice any difference, but power users might still prefer to upgrade and eke whatever benefit out of their browser that they can.

Firefox 64 bit
The 64-bit version of Firefox looks no different from the 32-bit one

One thing to bear in mind if you are looking to update is that some of your plugins may simply not work with the 64-bit version, so if you are at all concerned about that, it might be worth sticking with the 32-bit version for a while longer. If that doesn't matter, and you'd like to upgrade, you'll need to download the 64-bit version of the browser from the link above; an in-place upgrade to Firefox 43 won't transition to the 64-bit version automatically (for obvious reasons).

In addition to the unveiling of a 64-bit version of Firefox, Mozilla has also enhanced its Private Browsing and Tracking Protection feature. When in private browsing mode, Firefox automatically blocks a large number of sources that try to track your information, but not all. Now, if you want even better protection, you can enable "Strict" blocking under the privacy options, which will block as much tracking as possible. There is a caveat to be aware of, however, this level of protection could reduce or kill certain functionality on certain websites. If you do enable the strict option and encounter such issues, you'll know why.

Overall, a fairly simple release of Firefox, but one that's going to be much-welcomed by many thanks to the long-overdue introduction of 64-bit support.

Tags:  Firefox, Mozilla, Browser