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Viewing Sites Meant Just for Internet Explorer with Firefox

written by: Regina Woodard•edited by: Christian Cawley•updated: 9/22/2010

Firefox browser fans now have reason to rejoice - they can view those stubborn Internet Explorer sites within Firefox with the addition of an add on.

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    Internet Explorer & Firefox

    Two of the biggest and popular browsers are that of Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox. Both offer the ability to surf the internet and view the websites that are stashed there, however both browsers are different and act differently in terms of how they display websites. Many websites are set up to work exclusively with Internet Explorer, like older websites; however, a number of websites are able to be viewed in both Firefox and IE. Internet Explorer 

    But what about viewing those websites that are just for IE? Is viewing sites meant just for Internet Explorer with Firefox even possible? The answer to that is resounding yes. There are two Firefox addons that will allow for websites that only seem viewable within Internet Explorer a reality for users of Firefox.

    Firefox is a very popular web browser, mostly for its speed at loading websites and the many ways to customize the browser itself to its user. One of these customizations are the use of addons, plugins that are easily downloaded from the main Mozilla site and added to Firefox. These addons allow for many different applications or themes to be used with the browser.

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    Why Internet Explorer Sites Don't Work with Firefox

    The main reason that some IE websites don't work with Firefox is mainly due to the Active X controls. Active X is a technology from Microsoft to add functionality to Windows programs. Active X, basically, is a proprietary object of Microsoft; that is, Active X is designed to work only on Microsoft Windows operating systems. Mozilla Firefox 

    Because of this, Firefox does not utilize Active X, as it restricts websites and operating systems to just that of Windows. This prevents users of Mac OSX or Linux systems from viewing certain websites. There is also the security issue, as Active X has been a primary target of malicious software by hackers, spyware, and viruses.

    Firefox uses plugins and extensions in order to add functionality to its browser. These include plugins for Flash, Adobe Reader, browser themes, and a variety of different user created applications.

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    Viewing IE Websites in Firefox

    For viewing sites just meant for Internet Explorer with Firefox, there are two different addons that Firefox users can use to get this effect - IE Tab and User Agent Switcher.

    IE Tab

    IE Tab is a Firefox extension out of the country of Taiwan, which embeds the site code of Internet Explorer to run in a Firefox tab. It is touted as a great asset for web designers as they can check their site in Firefox and Internet Explorer within the same browser window. Unfortunately, the add-on has not been updated and may not work for the newest version of Firefox, which is 3.6.10.

    User Agent Switcher

    UAS is a Firefox extension that was developed by user "chrispederick", who is a lead web designer originally from London, England. He developed the User Agent Switcher because he was frustrated by certain websites that would block the use of Firefox, despite the fact that the website worked perfectly within the Firefox browser. The application uses a menu and a taskbar that switches the user agent of the browser. It supports any software that uses Firefox, such as Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux operating systems.