Firefox 20 improves private browsing, fixes three critical flaws

Firefox 20 improves private browsing, fixes three critical flaws

Summary: Mozilla has released the latest version of its Firefox web browser which features new enhancement to private browsing and fixes a number of flaws.


Mozilla has fixed three critical security flaws and rolled out several new features with its latest browser update, Firefox 20.

New features include per-window private browsing, a new download manager and the ability to close hanging plug-ins separately.

Previous versions of Firefox had private browsing capabilities but they always required users to open a separate window. Firefox 20 allows users to browse privately without closing or changing their current browsing session.

Mozilla said that private browsing can be used to shop for a birthday present or check multiple email accounts simultaneously.

Firefox 20 also gives desktop users a new Safari-like download manager that pops out from the toolbar, enabling users to monitor, view, and locate downloaded files without having to switch to another window.

The complete list of new features that are built into Firefox 20 can be found on the official changelog.

The three flaws listed on Mozilla's security advisories page which are fixed in Firefox 20 include a bypass of System Only Wrappers that can allow protected nodes to be cloned, a WebGL flaw which only affects Linux users using Intel Mesa graphics drivers and a range of memory safety hazards.

The latest release in Mozilla's six-month update cycle is available to download now which is available to download on Windows, Linux, Mac and Android.

Users of previous desktop versions of Firefox should be able to upgrade to Firefox 20 automatically. The Android version of Firefox 20 is available through the Google Play Store.

Topics: Browser, Android, Linux, Windows

Sam Shead

About Sam Shead

Sam is generally at his happiest with a new piece of technology in his hands or nailing down an exclusive story. In the past he's written for The Engineer and the Daily Mail. These days, Sam is particularly interested in emerging technology, datacentres, cloud, storage and web start-ups.

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  • per-window private browsing

    Finally! It's annoying that private browsing taking over Firefox completely. The end result I use IE's Private Browsing if I need it.

    Isn't it about time for a UI update? It's long over due.

    Otherwise Firefox is still very good, stable and lets you change it to suit your needs. The Facebook integration is useful too.
  • Firefox 20 improves private browsing, fixes three critical flaws

    First in the office to upgrade to Firefox 20! I got bragging rights.
    • While I think Firefox is far and away the best browser out there,

      how lame is it for you to brag about downloading a browser update? What, exactly, Lovey, do you really do all day? I've presumed that you work at a fast food joint, but I have this image of you with a broom in a large cage of some kind and the sound of elephants or rhinos roaring at you, trying to hurry you along so that they can get back into their cages.
      • He left that fry station dirty last night

        while he was downloading a new noodle on his brain...
  • "Safari-like" Download Manager

    Just thought I'd point out that Safari implemented this style of download manager *after* Mozilla posted the design. It admittedly took them a long time to get it into Firefox, but there is a fair reasoning that Safari "borrowed" this design from Mozilla.
    Someday Chrome or IE (probably not) may use it as well - they've all taken design cues/features from each other multiple times - and that's cool, but just wanted to get the attribution straight.
    • Link

      Ah, found the link:
  • Firefox for Windows 8?

    But this is the Windows 7 (and Vista) version. Yes, I know it will run under Windows 8, but are there any news on Firefox Version designed for Windows 8? I know there is one in the making... :-)
  • ff update

    just updated tool all of 2 maybe3 minutes start to finish .

    Of course I'm using Chrome right now
    that's the daily driver here while firefox is a very good second browser ,it could be first. I just prefer chrome.
    preferred user
  • what is old is new again

    ha, some of the "new-look" features in Firefox used to be in good old Netscape 2, a decade ago, such as the placing of the "downloaded files" arrow icon - now back up near the top to the browser in the Navigation Toolbar, instead of allowing it to be "added" as a customizing at the bottom of the browser window in the "add-on bar" ...
    ... yet the use of single window/tab "private browsing" has been available in the Mozilla/Netscape off shoot OPERA browser for a long time !