Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Favorite Firefox Extensions

I am a big fan of Firefox(the new version came out today)and one of the main reasons for my fanaticism is it's security, stability, and ability to be customized. The easiest way to customize Firefox is to download Extensions. These are plugins for the browser that allow it to do thing that it doesn't do by default. Over that last 2 years of using Firefox, I have tried about 30 different add-ons and found some I like and some I don't like.

Adblock Plus
This extension blocks adds. This is nice for 2 reasons. 1. It cleans up the clutter on web pages. 2. It is more secure because it blocks some of those unwanted tracking cookies that the adds use.

Adblock Filterset.G Updater
This extension updates Adblock with add signiatures, which allows the filter to do a better job of blocking adds.

This extension is probably my favorite. It backs up and automatically synchronizes my bookmarks to an online server. What makes this extension so sweet is that when I switch between operating systems on my computer(Linux, Vista, XP) and any of the other computers I use in the office, I always have my bookmarks available, and if I find a new one, I add it to my bookmarks and it then gets synchronized to all the other computers and operating systems.

Google Toolbar
This is a nice piece of work that makes searching Google easy, and it makes blogging easy too. There is a button on the toolbar that automatically creates a post when I find an interesting web site I want to write a post about. I haven't been able to find a version of this for Ubuntu, but I haven't worked on it much yet.

IE Tabs
This extension allows you to open a tab that uses Internet Explorer instead of Firefox for the Rendering Engine. I used to use this quite a bit when Firefox first came out due to incompatibilities. Now I rarely find a web site that doesn't work correctly in Firefox, so this extension is used less and less by me. This also doesn't work in Linux for obvious reasons.

Bible Verse Toolbar

As the name implies, this extension displays a bible verse at the top of the screen right underneath the Google Toolbar. The verse changes every time you open Firefox, or when you click on the toolbar.

Download Statusbar
This is a great add-on that moves the download manager from a separate window to a bar that pops up on the bottom of the browser window. It really cleans up the download process, and it allows you to keep track of the status of the downloads while cruising the web.

This is a great add-on that allows you to get into those pesky web sites that want you to register. Sometimes there are web sites like news sites that make you create a login just to read one article. This extension allows you to login in using someone else's login so that you don't have to give them your info. Pretty useful.

And that wraps up the list of my favorite extensions. In one of my next posts, I will be posting a list of some of the other extensions that I have used and liked, but I don't use enough to keep installed.

One of the things to remember with add-ons is that they are user created, so some of them have some flaws that cause memory leaks(slow your computer down), and/or cause instability in Firefox. I only use the ones that really provide value for me, and often disable them if they don't. All of the ones I am listing are ones I haven't found any issues with so far.



Blogger Theo said...

This is a great collection of tools...thanks for sharing! I'm going to have to get that book mark one...

4:15 PM  

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