Browser extensions are little programs that extend the functionality of your browser. They’re easy to add (see the great instructions on LifeWire) and can make your browser a safer, more productive or more fun place. There are thousands available and the ones that work best for you will depend on how you use the internet. Here are four of my favourites to give you ideas.
uBlock Origin: Adverts are a mixed blessing. Reputable sites use advertising revenue to pay for valuable content they make available for free. But when websites allow the adverts take over, you can use an adblocker like uBlock origin to do something about it. By default, uBlock is very simple: it hides all the adverts on a page. If you decide you want to support the website, just a couple of clicks will show the ads. uBlock also warns you if you click on a link that will take you to one of the questionable sites it’s aware of.
LastPass: Although there have been some recent concerns about security vulnerabilities in password managers, the advice is still that “the benefits … outweigh the risks”. I rely on LastPass to remember all my passwords; this extension automatically pops the right password in the right place, allowing me to login with ease. It also recognises when I use a new password and will save it if required.
Dream Afar: I love the simplicity of Chrome. But to me, the New Tab page takes that simplicity too far and is just … boring! To fix that, I’ve installed Dream Afar. The stunning pictures can be set to change daily or hourly, while choosing a one-minute update interval pretty much guarantees you’ll see a different image each time you open a new tab. Love a photo? Download it with a single click and keep it forever. Add to that an easily accessible search bar, a list of my most visited sites and quick links to my Chrome bookmarks, apps and history and you have what I think is one of the best new-tab extensions out there.
Save to Pocket: If you’ve ever found yourself reading an article or watching a video when you really should be doing something else, just because you’re afraid you won’t find it again, help is here. A single click on Save to Pocket will save the page to a read-it-later list at getpocket.com allowing you to easily go back to it when you’ve got some free time!
My other favourites include OneTab and Wayback Machine. What are yours? Share in the comments.