Firefox Extensions I Couldn’t Live Without

One of the major things that makes Firefox a great browser is the vibrant community of extension developers that have grown up around it that makes a growing number of little programs that makes your browsing experience that much better. There are over two thousand extensions on the official site and they can supply your browser with a feed reader, blogging client, FTP client, music controller and a host of other tools. Here’s a list of my favorite extensions:

1. Del.icio.us Bookmarks

Since I move between computers and operating systems rather frequently, it’s good to have my bookmarks somewhere where I can always get at them. Del.icio.us lets me store and organize my bookmarks online and this extension brings the service into the browser. It lets you save bookmarks along with tags and comments also creates a toolbar and menu allowing direct access to your bookmarks, without having to visit their site.

2. DownloadThemAll

This is a download manager which makes the default download manager look like something out of the stone age. Not only is the interface much nicer, it packs a punch under the hood. You can download all the links on a page with a click (hence the name), pause and restart downloads, set priorities and queues and setup filters for different filetypes. And if you’re on a slow connection, you also get a significant speed boost.

3. Greasemonkey

Take back the web with this masterpiece of an extension. It lets you use pieces of code (mainly JavaScript) to alter the way various websites work. You can write scripts to club together various internet services, gather data from various sites and put them together or simply just change the look and feel of your favorite sites to suite your tastes. There are a number of scripts available at Userscripts.org and you’re sure to find something that you can put to good use.

4. GSpace

Turns your 2.8 GB Gmail inbox into an online file storage solution. It looks and acts like an FTP client, letting you upload and download files in bulk, rename them and put them into folders. Once you have this up and running you’ll probably never want another way to store files online again. This one of the few extensions to have actually been bought by a large company, in this case, FON, who plan to use it as part of their wireless storage technology.

5. FireFTP

While GSpace may look like an FTP client, this is one. It’s a full-featured FTP client with message logging and support for multiple FTP accounts. There’s also a handy little feature where you can right click on a file and “View it on the Web”. Handy if you’re a web developer and can’t remember what that oddly named file is supposed to do. And for those of you worried about security, there is support for SSL encryption, so you can rest assured that your data is safe.

While these are the ones that I currently use the most, there are a lot more useful ones out there. You might want to check out my Superfox Series for some more cool extensions (and web services) that will make your life easier.

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Published by

Shrutarshi Basu

Programmer, writer and engineer, currently working out of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

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