11 Firefox 3 Extensions That I Can’t Live Without

I love Firefox and I love extensions!

There I said it. I am an extension junkie!

I did a clean install today on a new laptop and I decided to document some of my favorite Firefox extensions. But before we get into the list …

I wanted to warn you that each additional extension you install uses more memory and can slow down your Firefox or computer. So try out as many as you want, keep what you need and disable/uninstall the ones you don’t to keep your fox running nice and quick.

As I created a list of my favorite extensions, I realized I had more than 30 on the list. I whittled it down to about 21 must have - cant live withoutkills my productivity to use your crappy extensionless browser.. extensions I couldn’t live without.

So in no particular order here are 1 through 11 and watch out for the next bunch in a few days …

I guess I should start out with what an extension is and how you install / use them for the n00bs out there.

An extension is a small program or add on to Firefox and they have been around for as long as Firefox has. These extensions give you a super power if you will (or at least lets you do something you couldn’t do before.) Like automate things you do often or integrate a service right in your browser. Are you excited?

I didn’t think so but hey it was worth a shot. Continue on to the top ten Firefox extensions after the jump.

1. Flashblock

Flashblock is an absolute must-have for blocking Flash advertisements, auto-starting videos or annoying games. Using Flashblock will help you retain more of your memory and some of your sanity while browsing the interwebs. It has a white list as you can see below and requires Javascript to be enabled.

From the developers site:

Flashblock is an extension for the Mozilla, Firefox, and Netscape browsers that takes a pessimistic approach to dealing with Macromedia Flash content on a webpage and blocks ALL Flash content from loading. It then leaves placeholders on the webpage that allow you to click to download and then view the Flash content.

2. Secure Login

Do you have problems remembering all of your passwords? Do you hate typing in your usernames and passwords over and over again? Want to automate logging into websites? Then SecureLogin is for you!

Secure Login

    “¢ Works out of the box without any configuration needed.
    “¢ Login with one click or a keyboard shortcut (automatically submitting the login forms).
    “¢ Easy and convenient selection for multiple logins (multiple users)
    “¢ Provides direct login to any site from the bookmarks (using the “Secure Login Bookmarks”).
    “¢ Integrates with Mozilla Firefox password manager.
    “¢ Provides easy access to the saved passwords.
    “¢ Prevents malicious JavaScript code to automatically steal your login data.
    “¢ Provides an option to protect your login data from all JavaScript code during login.
    “¢ Websites requiring JavaScript for the login process can be added to an exception list.
    “¢ Can prevent cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks to steal your passwords without having to deactivate JavaScript.
    “¢ Helps to protect you from phishing.
    “¢ Shows the login URL(s) and the number of available logins in a tooltip of the toolbar button and the statusbar icon.
    “¢ Can be set to automatically search for login data and highlight form fields.
    “¢ Can be used with a toolbar button, a statusbar icon, a keyboard shortcut or via the context menu.
    “¢ Completely customizable interface (buttons, icons and menus can be enabled/disabled).
    “¢ Provides a customizable keyboard shortcut
    “¢ By default only active on login so it doesn’t consume any system resources while surfing.
    “¢ Can fill out additional form fields using the Autofill Forms add-on.
    “¢ Possibility to play a sound when logins are found or when logging in.

Secure Login

3. Del.icio.us Add-in

Are you a heavy Del.icio.us user? Do you want to have instant access to your saved bookmarks through Firefox? Then you should check out this del.icio.us extension and go get your browsing on! Very tight Firefox and Del.icio.us integration. This is a huge help to me during my hours of web surfing.

“Our new extension for Firefox tightly integrates your bookmarks into your browser, making it easy to search, sort, and view your bookmarks. It automatically syncs throughout the day with your del.icio.us account and makes it easy to keep your bookmarks at your fingertips on any computer you use.”

4. Read it Later

Do you want an easy way to clip pages to read later? Then try out ReadItLater and eliminate flooding your bookmark area with one visit wonders. Consider it your temporary area where your new websites live so you can decide if you want to add it to your bookmarks or give it the old heave-ho.

This Firefox extension allows you to save pages of interest to read later. It eliminates cluttering of bookmarks with sites that are merely of a one-time interest. A commenter (Chris) summed it up very well: “It’s a ‘staging area’ for bookmarks.”

Our favorite part of this extension is click to save mode. Here you can hit Control-M and then tag links. Instead of opening them it will add them to your ReadItLater list! Awesome for use with digg! Sweet.

Also check out Mark’s review and Abhijeet’s review of Read It Later and 4 Tools to Save Pages for Reading Later.

  • Save pages to a reading list to read when you have time
  • Offline Reading Mode – Read the items you’ve saved for later on the plane, train, or anywhere
  • RSS Feeds – View your list from anywhere with automatic rss feeds of your items
  • Sync Between Computers – Sync your reading list with any number of computers, work or home
  • After reading, bookmark pages on your preferred bookmarking service
  • Click to Save Mode – Quickly batch a reading list just by clicking on interesting links

    5. FireFTP

    There really is not much more to say about Fireftp besides what the author decided to post. But I will add that it comes in very handy to be able to use a full featured ftp client instead of the old browser interpretation of one!

    FireFTP is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP servers.

    7. TinyURL Creator

    Do you TinyUrl? Working in the world of tech support I use it on a daily basis. Now with this Firefox add-on you can shrink URL’s very easily.

    Easy shrink any long URL or link in the page to something you can email or Twitter using the TinyUrl service with a single click in your browser.


    8. Colorful Tabs

    Do you want to be able to easily distinguish between tabs at a glance? How about if they were all different colors? Wouldn’t that be a huge help? You better believe it is. Plus it makes your browser all pretty in the process.

    The most beautiful yet the simplest add-on that makes a strong colorful appeal. Colors every tab in a different color and makes them easy to distinguish while beautifying the overall appearance of the interface.

    9. Customize Google

    Are you a customizing freak? Do you like things the way you like them? Do you hate how the results from Google are displayed? Customize them!

    CustomizeGoogle is a Firefox extension that enhances Google search results by adding extra information (like links to Yahoo, Ask.com, MSN etc) and removing unwanted information (like ads and spam). All features are optional and easily configured.

    Customize Google

    10. Download Statusbar

    Next to installing extensions I love downloading stuff almost as much! Isn’t it wonderful? But if you are like me, your downloads can get out of control and you can lose track of exactly what is going on. Check out what Download Statusbar does to your Firefox status bar. This is another one I could not live without. Why isn’t this built into the Fox yet?

    View and manage downloads from a tidy status bar – without the download window getting in the way of your web browsing.

    11. Download Them All

    Doing research? Want to grab all that porn a lot of songs from a page? Need to download a lot of stuff from a single page? Why not use this plugin to save you the leg work? DownThemAll makes this a snap. I wish I could go back in time and give this to a younger me.

    The first and only download manager/accelerator built inside Firefox!


    Did I miss some of your favorites? Do you HATE some of the ones I have listed above? Do you know of any extensions/add0-on’s that screwed up your machine? Share your favories and experiences… guess where?

    In the comments!

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    Comments (32)
    • zoraro

      @ jkm, try “Try All Again” extension.

    • Gypzee

      I couldn’t live with out Download helper .. rip any video off the net (or music) Must. Have. It.

    • John Reuschlein

      What I find essential for Firefox 3:
      Answers (2.2.48 currently)
      Quick info for a word or term. Why read blindly unknown words.
      Foxmarks (Real nice syncronizer between multiple computers.
      Stumble Upon: Great way to discover new web sites and people.

      These are my essentials.

    • jkm

      Do you know of any extension that will automatically reload pages that didn’t fully load (i.e. “page load error” pages)? If one doesn’t exist already, one should!

    • Rosie

      I thought I might not be able to go on after I upgraded to Firefox 3, and left Netscape Linkpad behind. Its developer seems to have moved on, sadly. But thanks to you, I discovered ReaditLater, which is just as good and maybe better. (: Thank you!!!

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    This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

    For more details, please read our disclosure.
    Affiliate Disclamer

    This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

    For more details, please read our disclosure.
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