updated 6/5/2012 2:51:03 PM ET 2012-06-05T18:51:03

Mozilla released the newest version of its Firefox Web browser today (June 5), creating a more intuitive and secure experience for its millions of users.

Firefox 13 contains a number of new features, including a new default homepage and on-demand tabs, which, to save startup time, loads only the active tab in use. "It's an improvement that makes Firefox start faster and use less memory," Mozilla  said in its advisory.

Also contributing to the increased speed and security of Firefox 13 is "SPDY," a default protocol designed by Google as a successor to HTTP encryption  that reduces Web page loading time. SPDY (pronounced "speedy"; it is not an acronym) compresses the number of interactions a server performs when loading a Web page.

The "Cycle Collector" feature in Firefox 13 works to accomplish the same goal, by freeing up memory not currently in use.

Mozilla fully implemented silent updates  into Firefox 13, which automatically update the browser's software in the background, without notifying the user with a dialog box and without requiring a long delay upon restart. Parts of the silent update feature were introduced in Firefox 12.

Firefox 13 can be downloaded at

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