I have been a Firefox user for as long as I can remember. My reasons? It’s customizability and the nifty little extensions that the browser, in partnership with external developers, offers to their users. Now we have all been through the debate of who’s a better browser, IE or Firefox. Obviously, I favor the latter for surfing. Aside from the two already mentioned reasons for using it, the browser is also very user friendly. And for a dumb computer user like me, that counts for a lot. Anyways, to get to the main point of the discussion, what are the most useful Firefox extensions that are available today? Useful here, of course, would be relative term, as we use the Internet for different purposes, so functionality would vary hugely from person to person.
With this in mind, Firefox has made it easier for users to select extensions to suit their needs and preferences. They introduced the Fashion your Firefox feature (found here) which makes it a breeze to add a personal touch to the browser. Firefox recognized the differences in how we utilize the Internet, so with this, they came up with categories that groups people according to their usage of the Internet. The categories, specifically, are as follows: Finder and Seeker, Social Butterfly, Shutterbug, Digital Pack Rat, Rock Star, Decorator, Shopaholic, News Junkie and Executive Assistant. Of course, what’s included in the list are mere suggestions and do not constitute the full list of available extensions, so for a full list, you go here.
The full list of add-ons is divided into eleven categories, namely: Alerts and Updates, Appearance, Bookmarks, Dictionaries & Language Packs, Download Management, Feeds, News and Blogging, Language Support, Photos, Music & Videos, Plugins, Privacy and Security, Search Tools, Social & Communication, Tabs, Themes, Toolbars, Web Development and Other. Now, what are the most useful Firefox extensions in the categories? Useful, as used in this context, is a relative term, because we vary in how we use the Internet (as above-mentioned). So what may be useful for me may not be as useful or may even be completely useless to another. In that light, the following list would be My personal list of the most useful Firefox add-ons that I have used and/or am using to date.
We’ll start with themes, or that lovely add-on that lets you choose how your browser looks. My personal choices would be Office 2007 Black and theNASA Night Launch. Both are dark themes, as I have a penchant for dark colors these days. The Office 2007 theme is a sleek black theme that complements my MS Office 2007 color, while the NASA Night Launch theme is a super cool black theme that lets you further customize your browser with NASA images of your choice.
Next important add-on, and I think this should be number one on the list, isFoxmarks Bookmarks Synchronizer. Since I discovered this add-on, transferring my bookmarks from one computer to another has become a breeze. A recent improvement, which made me love it even more, is the Secure Password Sync feature of this add-on, which gives a Foxmarks user the option of keeping passwords in sync in all your computers, so there’s no need to type it again once you transfer from one of your computers to another.
Another extension that I recommend is the QuickNote add-on. It’s a neat note-taking extension that eliminates the need to open a whole new notepad/wordpad or word document when you need to copy paste bits of important information off a web page. Yet another convenient add-on for me is theBlank Canvas Gmail Signatures. Unlike Yahoo Mail, Gmail to date does not have an option for users to insert their signatures every time a new email is composed, and this handy extension does the job. Why not just use YMail for sending emails? Well, I attach a lot of stuff with emails that I send on a daily basis, and waiting for an attachment to finish with YMail would require a tremendous amount of patience and a huge period of time, both of which I do not have. Gmail, on the other hand, attaches files in mere seconds (a couple of minutes for larger files), plus the size limit of attachments is 20MB, compared to 10MB in YMail.
Lastly, WebMail Notifier is my personal choice for mail checker. What’s great about this add-on is that it can check for your emails in multiple webmail accounts at chosen intervals. The ability to change the notification sound is an added bonus, too. I personally go here for the WAV sounds I use with this add-on, and especially like the “You have mail, mistress” sound that I hear every time I receive a new mail in my Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail account. Tee hee. I have several other extensions that I use, but I am afraid they are quite boring to discuss, so.
There. I hope this article helped. Firefox may have flaws as a browser, but who doesn’t? I am not about to boast that Firefox is THE BEST browser ever, but it works superbly for me, and the extensions that come with it make my surfing sessions a lot easier and more fun.