Firefox 74 is out: Here are the key changes and features

Firefox users, it's time to update your browser to get a raft of new features, such as DNS-Over-HTTPS, blocking Facebook from tracking you around the web, and blocking apps from installing add-ons.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Mozilla has released Firefox 74, and it comes with a number of key changes and new features.

High on the list of anticipated features is DNS-over-HTTPS, which sends the domain name you typed to a compatible DNS server using an encrypted HTTPS connection rather than plain text, a move that prevents third parties from seeing what websites you are trying to access.

DNS-over-HTTPS will be offered by Cloudflare, but there's an option for users to choose NextDNS.

This feature will be enabled by default for Firefox users in the US, with users in other territories being able to switch it on manually (click the menu button and select Preferences, then choose General, scroll down to Network Settings and click the Settings... button and click the checkbox next to Enable DNS over HTTPS).

In line with other browser makers, Mozilla has decided to drop support for TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1, and will only support TLS 1.2 or above for encrypting HTTPS connections. This is going to be a big problem for some site owners, as some 850,000 websites still use the old TLS 1.0 and 1.1 cryptographic protocols.

Firefox 74 also brings an end to the ability for third-party applications to install add-ons. Additionally, the Firefox 74 Add-ons Manager will allow the user to remove any add-ons installed by third-party applications.

Another change is Facebook Container. This is an add-on that prevents Facebook from tracking you around the web by blocking features such as Facebook logins, likes, and comments on third-party sites by creating a buffer between the user and Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. Users who want to make use of these features will have to enable the feature on individual websites.

Upon updating to Firefox 74, users are invited to install the Facebook Container add-on.

On updating to Firefox 74, users are invited to install the Facebook Container add-on.

On updating to Firefox 74, users are invited to install the Facebook Container add-on.

The Facebook Containers add-on already has over a million users at the time of writing.

According to Mozilla, Firefox has some 250 million active users in all, and according to StatCounter, it is the second most popular desktop browser, with some 9.5% of the market share (with Google Chrome in the lead, commanding almost 70% of the browser market).

Opening up the About Firefox screen, no matter whether you are running it on Windows, macOS, or Linux, will cause the browser to check for an update, and download it automatically for installation the next time you restart the the browser. Alternatively, you can download the browser direct from Mozilla.

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