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Essential Browser Extensions

The internet has evolved into a smooth data consumption experience over the years, but in many ways, it’s still a chaotic digital frontier. I’ve found that web browser extensions have become essential.

Firefox blazed this trail with unprecedented success, but problems with bloat prevented me from using too many extensions, or sometimes, any at all.

These days though, the speed and simplicity of Google Chrome has won me over, and there are some fantastic extensions for Google Chrome, which don’t impact Chrome’s speed or performance in any discernible way.

If you are logged into Facebook while browsing other websites, this extension will prevent those websites and Facebook from talking to each other and sharing information. I love the innovation that has blossomed with the advent of social networking, but I like having an optional ‘off switch’ even more.

Email This Page
This extension will compose a new Gmail message with a webpage’s title and link. It’s a feature built-in to most browsers, but this extension will trigger Gmail within the browser, which is unique.

Safari recently introduced a great new feature called “Reader” which is a dream. iReader for Chrome mimics Apple’s Reader function. When trying to read an article on a cluttered webpage, clicking the iReader icon will hide all unnecessary cruft on the page and display a clean, nicely formatted version of what you’re reading. It’s a brilliant distraction eliminator.

Personal Block List
This is an official Google extension that allows you to block certain websites from appearing in Google search results. It’s a fantastic way to eliminate certain unwanted sites from coming up constantly in search results.

Xmarks is a fantastic free service for syncing bookmarks across web browsers on multiple computers. It’s especially great because it supports different browsers on different platforms.

No YouTube Comments
This extension will block all comments from appearing under YouTube videos. Do I even need to explain why this is so brilliant?

Stop Autoplay for YouTube
This extension will stop YouTube videos from automatically playing when they are opened in your browser. I’m an obsessive “open in new tab” web-browsing nerd, so this extension is an ear-saver.

You should be able find all of these extensions with a quick Google search. Variations exist for other browsers as well.

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