Firefox and Earthlink

Category: Browsers

I've heard that I should switch to Firefox, but my ISP Earthlink tells me that Earthlink can only use Internet Explorer as its default browser and made it sound like I'd get into a bunch of trouble if I even used Firefox as a secondary browser. Is that true? How do you use Firefox as a secondary browser? When you add Firefox as the default browser, how do you do Microsoft updates?

The Rankin File

Can Earthlink "fire" Firefox?

Let's address the "secondary browser" question first. If you download and install Firefox, you can then fire it up and visit any website you wish, and Earthlink shouldn't know or care. Firefox may ask if you want to make it your primary browser, and if you want or need to keep Internet Explorer as primary, just click no.

It's possible that Earthlink may have some tech support tools that only work with Internet Explorer. If so, just be sure to use IE whenever dealing with Earthlink tech support folks. Otherwise, you should be able to use Firefox all day and all night if you like.

As for the Windows updates, you don't need to have IE open, or even set as your primary browser in order to get the Microsoft fixes. If you configure Windows Update to run automatically (strongly recommended), you're done. If not, you'll have to fire up IE every week or so to fetch and install the updates.

Earth to Earthlink...

I'll admit I'm not an Earthlink customer, so I'm shooting from the hip here. But I just don't see why an ISP would care which browser you use. Any Earthlinkers using Firefox? Share your experience here!

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Most recent comments on "Firefox and Earthlink"

Posted by:

Charles Edwards
26 Sep 2005

Thanks for askbobrankin
I am an EarthLink user, I had Internet Explorer and then added Firefox...which somehow became my default browser. Both work OK. Firefox works for most sites but occasionally it will not work so I just paste the URL into IE and then all is well. I don't have a strong preference but it's nice to have an alternative....and to see what all the Firefox talk is about.

Posted by:

26 Sep 2005

I work for Earthlink in tech support. Earthlink has 2 ways of connecting: either what's known as a 'manual' connection, or the Earthlink Total Access software. IE is needed for the TA software to install, but once it's installed, it will use whatever you set as your default browser/email client. For the manual connections, that's just a connectoid and you can, as always, use whatever you want as browser/email client. In matters of tech support, if you use something other than IE/OE and are having problems browsing or with email, we will have you open IE/OE to assist in teching (if you can't send/rec email with, say, Eudora, but OE works fine, then the problem is with Eudora and we'll recommend contacting Qualcomm). As a matter of fact, Earthlink recently released a toolbar add-on for Firefox (with a popup blocker, scam-finder, etc). So yeah, you can use Firefox. I do :)

Posted by:

Steve Mayer
26 Sep 2005

I have used Firefox and Thunderbird for a year as my primary browser and e-mail host. The only time IE pops up is when I do "help" on a windows program. I check my Earthlink acct on firefox. They don't seem to know or care.

I use Firefox not only because it is good, but because it not MS, and not everyones favorite target. I doubt that Firefox is has any fewer holes in it, it is just that it less popular of a target. I see no conflict between Earthlink and Firefox or Thunderbird.

Posted by:

26 Sep 2005

My ISP is PeoplePC, which is owned by Earthlink. I've been using Firefox now for many months and they never complained or anything. You should be fine. To make Firefox your default browser, the first time you run it it will ask you if you want it to be the default. Just click yes. If you ever want to make IE the default again, just go into its options and on the Programs tab at the bottom is the checkbox "Internet Explorer should check to see whether it is the default browser." Just check that and restart IE. It will then ask you to make it the default.

Posted by:

John Storaasli
26 Sep 2005

Been using Firefox on Earthlink for about two years now and NO PROBLEMS!

As I recall, when using the Earthlink tech guys on one occasion, they sort of made a face, but when I said I had no intention of returning to Explorer, they calmed down and we got to resolving our problem.

Posted by:

26 Sep 2005

I have been with Earthlink for almost 7 years and have always used a browser other than IE, and I switched to Firefox about 3 years ago. No problems here - even the few times I've had to contact tech support. My browser was never an issue.

Posted by:

27 Sep 2005

I've been an avid reader and user of your info and advice for some time now. I switched to Firefox at your recommendation and I have yet to look back. I'm also an Earthlink subscriber, and I have had no issues using Firefox.

When I want Windows updates, I just click the link in my start menu (it's pinned in my start menu) and it opens IE. If I find myself on a web page that doesn't open correctly in Firefox, or requires IE for some reason, I just right click and use Firefox's "Open this page in IE". Works like a charm.

IE isn't horrible. It's just that Firefox has some features I like better - mainly tabbed browsing - and I find that the various software toolbars I use, such as Yahoo, Google and Copernic, have now caught up to Firefox just fine.

By the way - here's an off-topic comment - Copernic's desktop search is terrific. In my opinion, it outshines Google's.


Posted by:

27 Sep 2005

Hummm.... Isps insisting on poeple using a certain browser. I would have to shun them myself. In fact I shun any ISP that insist I use its install disk. Because in my long years of internet browsing, I have concluded,that they are basically up to no good! Look at AOL's privacy record. But as far as I know "earhlink" still allows manual connections.I steer clear of others that don't.(Not an earthlink customer) Also be wary of what someone-else on the phone says. (Who may or may not be a tech.) And who may or may not have the right answers. Just thought I'd take a moment to post. "Clay"

Posted by:

Art Judd
27 Sep 2005

Been an Earthlink user for quite a few years. No problems with Firefox. Firefox offers an "extension" that gives you a right click context box with an entry "View this page with IE." That little jewel will alleviate any problem.

Posted by:

Pat J
27 Sep 2005

I have been using Firefox with Earthlink (cable) for probably a good year now. I have never had a problem with connecting. It is an excellent browser. I also design web sites and I have had very few problems with Ff in that area as well.

Posted by:

27 Sep 2005

I have earthlink and use FoxFire. It has saved me. If I log on using IE for even moments my computer starts going whacky and I have to scan for junk with AdAware. After any brief IE use I will have "critical objects" that cause multiple problems. I can use FoxFire for months without any! I LOVE it!!!! I can't see why EarthLink would care and the only site I haven't been able to fully use is SnapFish, so I do switch for that and then scan and switch right back.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Firefox and Earthlink (Posted: 26 Sep 2005)
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