One of the things that sets apart Mozilla Firefox browser from other browsers is the rich set of add-ons using which people can do just about anything. Add-on is a small piece of software which plugs-in into your browser to add new functionality or change its look and feel.
This gives tremendous power to the user to do just about anything that he desires such as being more secure, get all his devices connected, block irritating ads, become more productive and so on. So by using add-ons you can easily customize Firefox to meet your specific needs and requirements.
No wonder that there are thousands of add-ons, each doing something special, and each one vying for its space in the crowd, to become more visible and well-known. The sheer number of add-ons makes it very difficult for people to quickly find the right add-on.
To make your life easier, here are the top 18 most useful Mozilla Firefox add-ons. As my purpose is to list useful add-ons, these may, yet not be the most popular Firefox add-ons in their category.
So, here we go.
This is one of the most essential Firefox add-ons. Its main function is to block those intruding, distracting, and irritating advertisements which some websites overdo.
Just like a pop-up blocker, if you want, you can whitelist sites from where you want to see advertisements. In addition to this, this add-on also protects you from being tracked online, blocks websites which are known to spread malware such as viruses, Trojans, worms, adware and spyware.
It can optionally also disable social media buttons such as Facebook, Google+ etc., on the websites which you visit. This helps in protecting your online habits from being known to those social media sites.
This add-on is one of Firefox best add-ons. Installing this add-on is like taking insurance. Just like insurance, it looks was until it is required. But when that unfortunate moment strikes, then we realize its enormous value and importance.
You will realize Lazarus’ value and importance when you will end up in a situation where you have entered lots of information in forms of some site, and then suddenly something happens like browser crashing, or you accidentally closing browser or tab, or accidentally pressing back button or clicking on some link, and as a result, you just lost half an hour of your life because you cannot recover your text in any way.
Not only that, you will lose another 30 minutes to fill up that form again. If you had Lazarus, then the add-on would have saved all the text which you were typing, and when such accidental loss happens, you will get all the text back with just few mouse clicks.
Although still in the experimental stage for Firefox, its Safari equivalent is one of the most downloaded extensions. By adding a social angle, this add-on takes the ‘reading list’ feature to a whole new level. Other than saving and retrieving content, the social aspect enables people to find content, that too together with like-minded people.
So, now you can not only save and retrieve articles such as in Pocket add-on, you can also share it with other ReadingPack users who have similar interests as yours and vice versa. ReadPack always put the most recommended content on the top of the list thus ensuring that the best content gets your best attention.
You can also configure it to notify when someone in your ReadingPack group promotes some content.
Nowadays people are extremely concerned about their online privacy. Several websites which we most often visit have very poor privacy policies or their policies are confusing, unclear, incomplete etc. This allows these websites to quietly track your every online activity hidden from you. Most common and biggest of such websites are search engines.
Normally people use only one search engine, and despite not logging into the search engine website, the search engine websites can track all your online search history, with which they make your online profile, based on which they ask advertisers more money for ‘targeted ads’, plus sell your profile to aggregators for more money.
Imagine one day you suddenly start getting ads about products or services which you were always browsing in incognito or private modes! This is why DuckDuckGo exists. This is an alternative search engine which simply doesn’t track any of your personal details including your IP address.
This is online shoppers dream come true. When you are shopping online, it helps you to get the best of both the worlds i.e. options to save money and choices to make money. By just one click during checkout, this add-on will automatically search for the best coupon that could give maximum discounts.
It also helps you earn in the form of getting you best cash backs offers for the stuff which you will buy anyways. On top of these, it will help you get the best deals on Amazon.
Currently, it works for top hundred online stores only in US, Canada and UK. Makers of this add-on keep adding more retailers continuously.
This is another add-on which online shoppers will jump upon. Before going further, please let me ask you a simple question: When you are shopping online, what are the things you are anxious about?
I am sure that your answers definitely included the anxiousness about that possibility that some other online store might be selling this item at lower price. This is where InvisibleHand comes in. With InvisbleHand you can freely indulge in online shopping knowing that InvisbleHands has your back about finding lowest prices. Presently, it has 580 retailers on its list.
Similarly, it also gives lower prices for flights and hotels. Currently, it works only in US, UK and Germany.
I am sure that we all have been in situations when we want to download something but simply cannot do it right away due to several reasons such as bandwidth limit, peak time, etc. Also, we have been in situations when such as the time for best download speeds falls roughly around 2 am! All the people who have been in these situations hoped for some solution which will let them schedule their download.
Now they can do this with Download Plan. For example, you can schedule heavy downloads for late in night while now you enjoy the streaming video. Without Download Plan either you will have manually start the download after watching the video, or start the download right away and tolerate the repeated re-buffering in the streaming video.
Download Plan doesn’t only let you schedule downloads, it also lets you organize them in order, as well as specify the location where you want to save them.
This is for people like me who constantly keep juggling between phone and computer. So many times I get frustrated when suddenly phone beeps for some notification while I am in middle of doing something on my computer.
Then, on one hand is the urge to look at the notification and on the other hand the need to finish the work. Similarly, so many times I find some good website or good file when working from mobile phone, which I want on my computer to continue the work.
By connecting all devices, PushBullet helps solve these kinds of problems. Among other things, with PushBullet I can see the phone notifications on my computer and even reply to them (which goes via the mobile phone), I can SMS someone, and I can easily share files between devices.
This is a God sent add-on for those people who cannot live without sharing something interesting with others on social media. Such people normally have accounts is several social media sites.
When they find something cool, they end up in copy-pasting same information, or uploading same file multiple times on multiple websites by painfully opening all those websites one by one, or opening their apps one by one.
With AddThis this entire pain will be history. If you have AddThis, you will be able to share whatever you want, to whichever social media service you want, in few mouse clicks and that too without leaving your current window. It supports hundreds of social media services.
Download YouTube Videos as MP4
This is a very clean extension. It does only one thing which is to download videos from YouTube. Maybe this is why it is among the most popular add-ons under ‘photos, Music and Videos’ categories in Mozilla add-on website.
After installation, his add-on adds a download button below the video to the regular YouTube page. If you want to download that YouTube video, simply click on that button. It will save the video as a mp4 file. You can control resolution of the downloaded video. It doesn’t download advertisements.
This is an amazing extension for those people who do lots of internet research. Several times such people want to copy paste text from browser to another place such as word document. Normal copy copies the formatting also, so when it is pasted it pastes the same formatting.
Then another copy paste from some other website adds another formatting and so on until the word document is hard to read which makes the person change all formatting (fonts, italics, bold, font sizes, text colors etc.) manually.
Copy Plain Text 2 solves this problem by letting you copy only the text, without formatting. After installing it adds ‘copy as plain text’ menu item in the right-click menu just below ‘copy’ button. Plus it adds Ctrl-U as keyboard shortcuts So now enjoy seamless copy-paste of only what you truly want – the text
Probably you would agree with me that there are so many times that we open several things together, in different windows and different tabs in each window. Within no time, the tabs become unmanageable and it starts to become increasingly difficult to find the right tab,
This is where Tab groups come to our rescue. It brings super important features for managing tabs. Some of the new things that this add-on lets you do include the ability to group tabs, performing same action on all tabs in a particular group, moving tabs between groups, create or remove groups, name the groups.
You can even resize and rearrange them visually however you like. Plus very quickly find the desired tab in the group(s). On top of this, it also provides feature to backup and restore your tabs including naming etc.
This add-on offers one integrated solution to collect best of the web at one single place. Using this add-on you can clip pages and articles and save them for later reference, mark something on web page to show to others what to see, clip only the text or images or the entire web page, annotate your clippings with text, shapes such as circles, and arrows, share your clips quickly to other using work chat or email or post them to Twitter and Facebook, set reminder for your clips and so on.
In simple words, this award-winning password manager add-on, saves all your passwords and gives you secure access to them when you need them from any computer and mobile devices.
In addition to storing passwords, it also offers functionalities such as one-click login into websites, suggesting and creating strong passwords for websites, store contents such as credit card numbers, keep everything searchable in this secured vault. So, now no more struggle to remember passwords, or keep very easy to remember passwords or worse keep the same password everywhere.
While printing a webpage from the internet, have you ever wondered why we can’t choose which parts to print (e.g. email text and which parts not to print (e.g. advertisements)? Why not compact the layout and print it in lesser number of pages? Print Edit does this for you. During print preview mode, it enables you to edit the web page content.
After editing, you can choose to print the edited version or save it as a PDF or HTML file. While editing you can choose to edit, or format, or hide, or delete any items from the webpage.
Have you ever wondered why some websites have http:// and some https://? What’s the difference between these two? The difference is that if a website uses https then the data being transferred between the website server and your browser will be encrypted.
Such encryption doesn’t happen if http is used. It is much safer to encrypt the data because even if someone intercepts the data, they will not be able to read it, hence protecting your personal information and privacy.
Many websites having https offer limited support for encryption but makes it difficult to use. HTTPS everywhere fixes this problem by forcing https always on such sites.
This is definitely one of the best Firefox security add-ons.
This is another masterpiece to drastically improve your online security and privacy. This add-on does three things: it stops you from being tracked, gives you all the important functionality of a password manager, and secures your personal information during online payments.
The feature of stopping tracking is similar to Adblock Plus. So I will not elaborate on it. As a password manager, it stores all your passwords and helps you generate passwords which are difficult to break.
The third feature about securing personal information during online payments is a paid feature. With this feature, you will be able to replace your credit card details with a disposable masked card, thereby not having to put your sensitive information on the web
So far we have seen add-ons adding functionality to Firefox. Let’s now see an example of add-on which changes the look and feel of your browser completely to make it awesome and yet they are practically useful also. Such add-ons which can change the look and feel are called as Themes.
This most downloaded, top rated complete theme was the best Firefox theme in 2012. This theme changes all colors and look and feel to sleek dark colors, mostly black and gray. Some items such as hyperlinks are in neon colors which looks terrific.
Also, only the active item is highlighted, while others are kept in the background in shades of gray. Because of mainly dark colors, this theme is easy on eyes. This makes it is good choice for people who work long hours with the browser.
The world of Firefox add-ons is like an ocean, deep and wide with lots of fishes of different shapes and sizes.
So even though we tried our best to cover as many add-ons as possible, from different categories, different purpose, different usage, new ones and old ones etc., it is impossible to list all best add-ons in a list of mere 18 add-ons.
Hence please let us know if we have missed your favorite add-on. Also, I am very eager to know your thoughts and opinions about these add-ons.