Portable Apps – Firefox and Firefox Portable Settings Part 1

People who know me know that I am partial to open source software. In this posting I want to describe a few setting differences in using the Firefox browser locally, as opposed to the Firefox Portable browser, which I run from a thumb drive.

Both the local copy and the portable versions of Firefox, being used at the time of this posting, are version I have been using Firefox locally since shortly after it became available and the portable versions for the last year or so. The different settings are configured from various Tools>Options tabs.

I use the same “General” options tab settings in both instances, except for the “Connection Settings”. The local Firefox is a “Direct connection to the Internet”, while the Firefox Portable is set up with the “Manual proxy configuration” settings to allow me to access the internet at work and usually using the “Auto-detect proxy settings for this network” gets me access at a library or similar non direct location.

As for the Privacy options tab settings, neither instance is set to save the browsing history, forms, download history, cookies nor cache, beyond the current session. Both instances have been set to “Remember Passwords”, but have differing master passwords.

None of the saved passwords are for anything sensitive, like online banking or anything of a like nature; even so, additions or updates to the passwords on the Firefox Portable are only done when running from my own local computer and the master password is frequently changed.

Setting differences for the “Content”, “Tabs”, “Downloads” and “Advanced” options to be described in future posts.

Of course, these are the settings that I feel work best for me, and suit my security comfort levels, depending upon whether it is the local or the portable Firefox being used.

You may and probably do have different settings for your Firefox, however it is used. If you have a set up you think is better, or just have a question requiring a more in-depth look at the settings, feel free to let me know by leaving a comment to this posting and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Internet – Firefox Multiple Home Pages

Would you like to have more than one home page automatically open when you start Firefox? Here is one way to do so:

  • Open the pages you want to see in separate tabs.
  • Go to the Tools menu.
  • Select Options.
  • Click on “Use Current Pages”, in the Home Page of the General Tab.
  • Click on OK.

I use this to show tabs with a blank page, the Broward Personal Computer Association home page, and the Boca Raton Computer Society, each time I open my Portable Firefox on my thumb drive  That way I can see if there is any updated information for the user group pages and have a blank tab for anything else I want to check on.

See my July 17, 2006 post Open Browser To A Blank Page for how to set your browser to open to a blank page and the reasons I like to do that.


I have found an extension for Firefox that I like a lot.

It is called Anonymouser 0.3.1.

Once installed, just right click a link (must be an http:// type link, does not work with ftp, https, etc.), select “Open with Anonymouser” or “Open with Anonymouser in New Tab”, to open anonymously through anonymouse.org.

You can also go directly to anonymouse.org, if you would rather not install the extension or if you do not use Firefox.

Either way anonymouse is great to use if don’t want the sites you are using to have access to your personal information.

I used to use another anonymising site, but got annoyed with all the hoops I had to jump through to use it.

Anonymouser does have advertisements but, as I also use the Adblock v5 extension in Firefox so I don’t see them.

As with any unfamiliar software, don’t just take my word for it, check it out, Google it, check it out in Usenet groups, etc.