15 MUST-HAVE EXTENSIONS TO GET MORE OUT OF YOUR WEB BROWSER

Modern web browsers—Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Safari—do a lot more than just load websites. All of these have a “store” where you can download and install extensions (or add-ons) that will boost productivity, enhance your multimedia experience and even safeguard your privacy online

Ashutosh Desai & Savio D’Souza | TNN

Unlike Mac/PC software, extensions do not consume hard drive space; they run within the web browser and can even be disabled without uninstalling them.

When you install an extension, it appears in the top right corner, besides the address bar.

To access an extension’s configuration options, left click on its icon, or right click to manage or uninstall them.

Wikiwand

Chrome, Firefox, Safari

Wikipedia is a primary source of reference on the internet, and Wikiwand is a browser plugin that beautifies a wiki page and makes it easier to navigate: It converts the table of contents into a sidebar; lets you change the font type and size for better readability, and even bookmark pages within the extension’s toolbar. You can hover over a web link for a quick preview, and even use keyboard shortcuts to view word definitions or run a wiki search without leaving the page.

WikiTube

Chrome

WikiTube is a tool that displays videos from You-Tube that are related to the subject you are reading about. For instance, if you are on Michael Jackson’s wiki page, this extension will load a scrollable panel at the top with music and interview videos of the artist. Clicking the plus sign at the end of the list will load more suggestions, and these YouTube videos play within the same tab itself.

Pocket

Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, Safari

Once you create an account on this cloud-based service, it allows you to bookmark online articles, links to videos and images by simply clicking the Pocket button and adding searchable tags. You will be able to access all your saves from a web browser on any computer where you have logged in and via its Android and iOS apps.

FireShot

Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, Safari

With this tool, you can take a screen grab of a specific area or the entire web page. The extension auto-scrolls the page and opens a new tab with options to save the image as a JPG/PNG or as a PDF. The Pro version, which is a paid feature, gives you advanced options to edit the image; annotate with text, arrows and labels; and upload the changes to TwitterFacebook or Flickr.

TooManyTabs

Chrome, Firefox

If you work with too many browser tabs, install TMT. This extension displays all opened tabs as thumbnails; you can use a keyword search to find the tab you want, and even use its Suspended Tabs feature to hide idle tabs by moving them into a temporary holding area. Plus, there’s a backup feature where you can export your tab list to a Google Drive account.

Ghostery

Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, Safari

Websites track your online activities to learn your browsing habits for targeted advertising. If you don’t want to be tracked, install Ghostery. It lists the trackers found on a website and gives you an option to individually block them. Its advanced settings give you granular control over cookies that are related to advertising, site analytics, social media and adult ad networks.

LastPass

Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, Safari

Once you create a free account with LastPass, you can save the login details for your online accounts—including OutlookAmazon and Gmail—to allow the service to securely login for you. It can save confidential notes, fill forms with frequently-entered text and even generate complex passwords for new web accounts. LastPass uses 256-bit AES encryption to ensure that your data is stored securely.

WOT

Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, Safari

Along with antivirus software, Web of Trust (WOT) helps you to identify unsafe links and scams. Its algorithms identify rogue websites in real time to provide you with colour-coded icons: Red indicates potential danger, yellow means you should be cautious about the link, while green denotes a safe website. You can even request the WOT community to review a website that doesn’t have a reputation rating.

HTTPS Everywhere

Chrome, Firefox, Opera

This tool detects unencrypted (HTTP) requests, when you browse the internet, and forces it to take place over an encrypted (HTTPS) connection. This tool is especially recommended for times when you use public Wi-Fi hotspots.

10 TunnelBear VPN

Chrome, Firefox, Opera

With TunnelBear, you can add an extra layer of security to web browsing. A virtual private network (VPN) hides your IP address, location and lets you access web content that may not be available in your country. A free TunnelBear account includes 500MB data per month—you can get 1GB more if you tweet about it—and spoof your location with up to 20 countries.

11 Enhancer for YouTube

Chrome, Edge Firefox, Opera

If you spend a lot time on YouTube, you must install this extension. Enhancer has an adsremoval tool that gets rid of overlay (images, text) and in-stream video ads (displayed before, during, or after the main video) even if they are non-skippable.

It lets you control video playback speed or volume level with the mouse wheel, set a preferred playback quality for the videos you view, automatically pause videos when you switch tabs and even disable preloading when videos are paused. When you scroll down to read the comments, the YouTube player can be automatically pinned on screen to keep it visible at all time, and you get access to a whole bunch of other features like loop, cinema mode, larger player, custom themes, etc.

12 Audio Equalizer by Muyor

Chrome, Firefox

New web technologies have changed the way we listen to music and watch movies. Now, with Audio Equalizer, you get complete control over audio playback. You also get several default presets, such as pop, club, party, soft rock dance, etc, and this extension also lets you create your own equaliser settings and save it for later use. It even has a reset button to revert all changes to the factory setting.

13 Buffer

Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari

With Buffer’s free plan, you will be able to publish updates to three social accounts. You can choose between TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Google+ to schedule up to 10 posts at a time at predefined intervals. To do this, you have create an account and connect the extension with your social media accounts.

When you want to create a new post, click on the Buffer icon to load a dialog box and enter the message you want to schedule.

14 Bit.ly

Chrome, Firefox, Safari

With the Bit.ly extension, you can convert a long messy web link into a concise URL that you can use in tweets, Facebookupdates, blogs and emails. The service even lets you check how many clicked on the links you shared online, along with location data (if available).

15 All-in-One Messenger

Chrome

This instant messenger lets you chat with friends—on WhatsAppSkypeGoogle HangoutsFacebook MessengerTelegramWeChat, etcfrom a single browser window. Each messenger loads in a separate tab and AIO Messenger promises that the chats are carried out on a secure connection; it does not read your messages or store your login credentials.

 

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