5 Firefox Extensions I can't live without

Firefox is the darling of the tech world. Ask any geek, which browser he or she uses and chances are the answer will be Firefox.

What makes Firefox so Interesting ?

The success of firefox among geeks is probably due to the fact that it is an open source project and consequently more secure than Internet Explorer. But there is another reason why regular people like you and I love Firefox. Extensions, AddOns, Plugins. Firefox supports extensions to the base browser which extend the functionality of the browser many times.

Most of these extensions perform small but important tasks which are better performed outside the browser. In this post I am going to look at 5 extensions that I use absolutely cannot live without. Infact, these extensions are the first things I install on a computer whenever I install firefox.

1. DownthemAll ! – Download Accelerator for Firefox

This is an absolutely fabulous extension. The extension acts as a download accelerator integrated into the firefox contenxtual menus (right click menu) and lets the user download any file multitudes of times faster than using the regular means. It does so by breaking the file to be downloaded into several small chunks and then stitches them together locally. The result is faster downloads.

By default, downthemall divides the file being downloaded into 4 chunks and if you have the bandwidth you can increase this number all the way to 10 chunks. As a data point, A file which took me an hour to download without using downthemall was downloaded in about 20 minutes when I used the downthemall accelerator to download it. An absolute must have if you download files from the internet.

2. gSpace – Use gmail to store your important data

I’m sure everyone reading this blog has a gmail account. And I’m sure none of you has run out of the 7GB (and counting !) of space that google provides us. Sure, we all use gmail to store all the funny forwards we receive and all our friends pictures etc, but what if you could use that space for something else ? Like using it to make a backup of your wallpaper collection ?

gSpace lets you do exactly that. gSpace lets you login to your gmail account, create folders and store all your important data. The data will always be safe and this beats burning a CD of your archive anyday. Just login to gSpace using your gmail credentials and drag and drop your files from the left hand pane to the right hand pane. Thats it. Plain and Simple.

3. Firebug – HTML/CSS Debugger for Firefox developers

Like I said earlier, firefox is by far the favourite browser of the geeks and developers and if you are a web developer using firefox, Firebug is definitely going to be a tool you’ll need. Firebug helps in debugging the html and CSS associated with the currently loaded page and can be an extremely useful tool. I’ve used it myself a lot of times to fix some problems with the various themes I keep trying for my blog.

4. Shareaholic – Use social sharing effectively

Shareaholic is a nice extension to have for any blogger. Infact, it is useful for anyone who is a user of one of the social bookmark sharing sites, like digg, delicious, stumbleupon and many others. If you spend a lot of time browsing the web and sharing links with your friends, then shareaholic would be useful for you.

All the sites mentioned earlier offer their own extensions which integrate with firefox and let you use their features without actually going to the respective site. Shareaholics does all that with just one extension. It lets you use digg, delicious, stumbleupon, facebook, google, reddit and many others without cluttering up your toolbar.

5 BetterSearch – Beautify your search experience

Bettersearch is an extension which enhances your search experience while using Google, Yahoo, MSN or del.icio.us by showing a thumbnail of the search results in the results itself. This way, you can actually see a preview of the website with the result without actually visiting the site. Best shown with a screenshot.

Are there any must-have extensions that you guys use ? I’d love to hear about them.

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  1. Another must have extension is at http://watchmelater.com it lets you watch any online video later without having to download it. The extension will place a small button under embedded videos that allows you to easily tag it to be watched later. It also includes some cool features like maximized playback and it will even automatically bookmark your place in YouTube videos.


  2. @gspace: backup2e looks good although its not really a firefox extension, but definitely a useful tool.

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