Found something useful? Don't forget to leave a comment!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

WhiteHat's Guide to the Top Firefox Add-ons

Mozilla Firefox has gained much respect (as evidenced by its ~20% market share) as a free and open-source browser platform. Widely acclaimed for its extensive tweakability, Firefox now has a myriad of available add-ons in the forms of visual themes and extensions that add new features. They exist for every possible purpose and task you could think of. I am a hardcore web surfer and consequently, I have come to rely on several add-ons. These are the ones I always install first on a fresh Firefox and the ones I use and keep day in and day out:

  • Adblock Plus: Internet ads are now everywhere ranging from relatively unobtrusive text boxes to huge, obnoxious flashing banners. ABP effectively removes all ads from a page, regardless of type; it supports pre-configured "subscriptions" that contain the latest blocking rules. You can also add your own custom rulesets and block specific Java and Flash page elements as well. By blocking ads, you improve your browsing experience and page load times too. Ads - gotta catch 'em all! (Did I just type that?) Note, though that by getting rid of ads you are essentially ripping off one of the website owner's sources of revenue.
  • Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer: Great for anyone who uses Firefox in multiple locations or on-the-go. This extension has one purpose: to keep your bookmarks sync'ed across all your Firefox installs and profiles. Foxmarks can run both in automatic and manual mode, and its conflict checking is extremely intelligent. It's easy to use, too - simply type in your username, choose what you want to do, and voila! Your bookmarks are suddenly there on that brand new Firefox installation.
  • DownThemAll!: Although Firefox's built-in download manager has seen great progess, it still can't hold a candle to a full-fledged download manager. That's where dTa, as it's called, comes in. Since it's an extension, it integrates seamlessly with Firefox. It's also much more elegant than using FlashGot and a separate download manager. With support for complex filters and one-click downloading, dTa makes grabbing files a quick and easy process.
  • FoxyProxy: Proxies often come in handy when you need to access an offsite resource - say, an academic journal. Perhaps you maintain a large list of proxies. Or maybe you need a streamlined way to facilitate the circumvention of internet filtering. FoxyProxy provides a neat and unobtrusive way to manage and select proxies for use.
  • ColorfulTabs: As its name implies, ColorfulTabs adds color to the Firefox tab bar. A simple yet extremely productive tool since colors work better than text as labels.

Keep in mind that these particular add-ons are those I find more useful. Different people have different needs, and I'm confident that you will be able to find many more add-ons that suit you.

No comments: