Since its release, Google Chrome has been rapidly gaining users. As of now, over 200 million people have installed google chrome, and about 24% of web traffic is made through the Chrome browser. While Chrome is great on its own, extensions can enhance your browsing experience even more.
I have been using Google Chrome for almost a year now, and a couple of months ago I started exploring the realm of Google extensions. The official library of extensions can be found at https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/extensions, and, while they are somewhat organized, it can be difficult to find the best extensions while digging through hundreds upon hundreds of uninteresting or useless ones. In this post, I hope to share with you what I have found to be the 9 greatest extensions for Google Chrome. Enjoy!
1. AdBlock Plus
The internet is coated with layers of obnoxious ads that take the form of anything from blaring noise to flashing neon rectangles. Often intended to help the website owner make a living, they are sometimes overused and/or abused. This extension will prevent almost any ad from displaying, including ads overlayed on videos and mysterious audio ads. The web will no longer test your patience and bog down your computer with millions of pop-ups and tricky ads that cover up the content that you are trying to read. Keep in mind that, in order to maintain an internet with free content, content authors have to make money. Make sure to add blocking exceptions for the websites that you enjoy.
Everyone wants to browse the web more efficiently, and FastestChrome helps you do just that. It provides a ton of features, but the most obvious and helpful ones are automatic next page loads (it will seem like one endless page, and it works especially well with Google searches,) the definition of highlighted words will be displayed in a small bubble, text URLs are changed to links, shopping recommendations will appear on popular shopping websites and Google searches, and easy search engine queries can be made made from highlighted words.
As the name suggests, Awesome Screenshot lets you take a screenshot of any portion of any web page. You can capture a selected area, the entire visible potion, or the entire page. It then provides a handy tool set for editing and annotating the resulting image. You can draw rectangles and circles around important information, or even use a blur tool to hide personal information. Once you are done editing, you can either save the screenshot locally or instantly upload your screenshot to their website (you will receive a sharable link to it.)
If you’re anything like me when you browse the web, then you quickly fill your tab bar up with dozens of websites. The titles of pages start to overlap, and you can’t remember how many tabs in that YouTube video you were going to watch is. TooManyTabs helps you manage your tabs while you are browsing the web. With the press of a button, a bird’s eye view of all open tabs is displayed. You can do a search for a tab, sort tabs (by time, title, and domain,) restore recently closed tabs, and suspend tabs (kind of like removing then from your tab bar and putting them into memory.)
Smooth Gestures will give you the ability to perform specific actions simply by clicking and dragging the right mouse button in certain gestures. There are dozens of default gestures that include anything from swiping left to go back one page in history, to opening a link in a new tab by right clicking a link and dragging up. These gestures will make you more efficient when browsing the web, and they will make navigating the web even more enjoyable. One of my favorite features of Smooth Gestures is the ability to add custom gestures. You can move your mouse in any formation and then assign a specific action to that gesture. For example, I could make a gesture that consists of drawing a “B” and causes http://byterevel.com to be loaded in the current page.
YouTube Downloader let you, well, download videos from YouTube. A neat little “Download” button will appear below every YouTube video, and clicking on it will cause a drop down menu to appear. The drop down menu offers downloads of the video in 3 different formats, each in with various quality options.
For some reason, many website creators decide not to make URLs and email addresses clickable. This results in the annoyance of having to copy and paste URLs into the address bar (how ghastly!) or copying and pasting email addresses into email clients. With Clickable Links, all URLs and email addresses will be made clickable! If you have FastestChrome installed, then you can skip over this one because it includes this functionality.
LastPass is a great online password manager and form filler. It will capture all of your usernames and passwords from around the web and, after encrypting them, store them safely on both the cloud and your machine. It can then automatically fill out any form and username/password field for you in the future. All of your login information is stored under one master password that you can use to login to the LastPass website (where you can organize and view login information.) Another nifty feature is the ability to generate a long and completely random password for your accounts, which will result in more security. Since you don’t have to remember your passwords, complicated paswords won’t be a problem. Of course, if you don’t know your passwords by heart, then it would make sense that you won’t be able to login to your accounts on other computers. However, LastPass has the ability to synchronize your account information across all of your devices, so this won’t be a problem.
With AddThis, you will be able to instantly share any content on the web to over 300 social networking and bookmarking services. Sharing can be done by clicking the AddThis button or right clicking any web page. Some bonus features include easily bookmarking, printing, and translating pages.
I’m sure that we’re all annoyed by the flashing ads, massive banners, and disgruntling tracking cookies that many websites weave into their pages. With these cross-platform browser plugins, these ads will be a thing of the past! Enjoy ad-free YouTube videos, Google search results without the sponsored results, and all those websites that you browse without the flashing “Congratulations! You’ve Won!” […]
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