Sunday, June 23, 2024

The best Firefox extensions to level up your browser

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FirefoxDigital Trends

Firefox is one of the best browsers you can use, but it gets even better when you start to power it up with a selection of add-ons and extensions. In fact, it has one of the best extension libraries of any browser out there, meaning you’re absolutely spoiled for choice if you want to add new features and abilities to your browser.

Contents

  • Productivity
  • Privacy & security
  • User interface
  • Shopping and finance
  • Searching
  • Video and audioShow 1 more item

Here, we’ve rounded up our picks for the best Firefox extensions that you can use today. Each one brings something different to the table, but they all significantly improve your web-browsing experience.

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Productivity

Gesturefy

Gesturefy

Ever wanted to speed up your browsing and reduce the number of clicks it takes to perform certain actions? If so, Gesturefy is for you. This genius extension lets you create custom mouse movements that, when performed, activate functions within Firefox.

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For instance, you could move the mouse wheel while holding the right mouse button to scroll all the way to the bottom of a page. Or hold the left mouse button and trace a circle to refresh the current website. It’s clever, powerful and deeply customizable.

LanguageTool

LanguageTool

Even the best writers often need help with spelling and grammar, and the LanguageTool extension is ideal for anyone who wants to tune up their emails, online documents, and more. It provides simple, but effective tips to help you improve your text, from spelling corrections to frequently confused words and everything in-between.

LeechBlock NG

LeechBlock NG

It’s easy to get distracted when you’re browsing the internet, especially when websites like Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) are designed to keep you endlessly scrolling. If you’re finding it hard to stay on track, LeechBlock NG might be able to help.

This extension works by allowing you to specify up to 30 sets of websites to be blocked. Each set can have a different time or day when the websites are not permitted, with detailed options for blocking (such as only permitting certain sites for 10 minutes every hour). With tons of features available, it’s a great way to stay productive.

To Google Translate

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If you ever come across a foreign phrase online that you want to translate, the usual method is to copy it, go to Google Translate or a similar service, paste in the text, and then wait for the result. With To Google Translate, things get much simpler.

With this extension, you just highlight the phrase to be deciphered, right-click it, and select To Google Translate. Your text is then instantly translated, saving you time and effort.

WhatFont

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Ever wondered what a particular font was on a website you visited? With WhatFont, you can find out in seconds. Just select the extension’s button, then hover over the font and a little pop-up tooltip appears, listing the font’s name, size, line height, color and more. It’s perfect for designers on the hunt for new typefaces, or for curious observers who like the look of a website’s lettering.

Privacy & security

1Password

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Staying safe online means you need to protect your accounts with hard-to-crack passwords, but that can be difficult if you just try to remember them all, as you inevitably end up slipping and reusing passwords, or you settle for passwords that are nowhere near as strong as they should be. The much better way is to use a top-rated password manager, and 1Password is the best there is.

The Firefox extension can suggest passwords when you create a new account, then save them to its vault. Next time you go to log in, 1Password autofills your username and password, meaning you never have to remember anything. It also works with passkeys, making things even more secure, and can alert you if you’re reusing passwords or if your details have been found in a breach.

Consent-O-Matic works so quickly that sometimes you barely even see its overlay in action. Digital Trends

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was meant to protect your privacy by forcing sites to let you opt out of cookies, but unscrupulous websites have made their cookie consent pop-ups so manipulative and confusing that you often end up accepting all cookies, even if you don’t want or mean to.

To put an end to this blight, use Consent-O-Matic. Every time a cookie consent form appears, this extension springs into action, opting you out of every tracking cookie and ensuring your data stays yours and yours alone. It’s so fast that you barely even notice it, and it’s a great way to improve your web-browsing sessions and protect your privacy in one fell swoop.

DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials

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DuckDuckGo is well-known for its privacy-first search engine and web browser, but it also offers a suite of tools packaged up into a handy Firefox extension called DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials. It blocks website trackers, enforces HTTPS protection, prevents sites from using fingerprinting, provides a secure search engine, and a whole lot more. It’s a one-stop privacy shop for your Firefox browser.

Facebook Container

Digital Trends

Facebook is not exactly known for respecting your privacy. The data-hungry behemoth will scoop up as much information about you as it possibly can, and thanks to embedded Facebook posts and Instagram stories (another site owned by Facebook publisher Meta), it can even track you on third-party websites.

That all ends with Facebook Container. This extension (made by Firefox developer Mozilla) sequesters Facebook inside its own special tab that essentially acts like a digital Faraday cage and blocks Facebook’s trackers from learning what you’re doing around the web. It’s a simple and effective way to limit Meta’s bad habits.

uBlock Origin

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Many people block website advertisements because they find them irritating or think they ruin the look of the sites they’re plastered over. For others, ads are a security risk, with malicious websites frequently using search advertisements to serve up malware and scams. Whatever the case, everyone can benefit from using uBlock Origin.

This extension has an extensive ruleset to detect and block advertisements on any website you visit. It’s also customizable, letting you plug in extra ad lists and even manually remove offending advertisements yourself that escaped from the dragnet.

Terms of Service; Didn’t Read

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Terms of service documents are incredibly tedious to read, and it often feels like that’s deliberately the case to discourage people from understanding how websites use their data. Well, you don’t have to put up with that any longer if you use the Terms of Service; Didn’t Read extension.

Every time you land on a website, the extension’s icon will light up with a grade from A to F. You can then select the icon to see what the site’s terms of service does well, what’s worrying, and what falls somewhere in the middle. Armed with that, you can decide if you want to keep using the site or go elsewhere.

User interface

Augmented Steam

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Steam is one of the most popular places to buy games on the internet. With the help of the Augmented Steam extension, you’ll be able to see a huge amount of extra information that helps you save money, manage your inventory, and browse better than ever.

It’s integrated with deals website IsThereAnyDeal, so you can see the current best deal, as well as historical low prices, on any game. It also adds extra search filters to help you find what you’re looking for faster than before. With these features and a bunch more, it’s a leveled-up Steam experience.

automaticDark – Time-Based Theme Changer

Digital Trends

Firefox has a built-in dark mode, but unfortunately, you have to manually enable or disable it, which can be a hassle when it needs to be done every single day. At least, that’s the case if you’re not using the automaticDark extension. As the name implies, this tool automatically switches between any of Firefox’s themes. The trigger can be your location’s sunrise and sunset times, a time you set yourself, or when you change your operating system’s theme. That all means it takes a lot of the hassle out of changing Firefox’s appearance.

Dark Reader

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Even when you set Windows or macOS to use a dark theme, not every website has its own dark mode that activates when you visit, leaving them as shining beacons of light in an otherwise eye-soothing inky blackness. And those sites that do work sometimes use ugly or suboptimal dark modes that you might want to change yourself. It can be a frustrating situation.

This is what Dark Reader aims to fix. It automatically creates dark themes for websites you visit, preventing eye strain when you’re browsing late at night. You can customize each website’s theme to suit your tastes, with sliders to adjust brightness, contrast, sepia tones, and more.

Minimal Theme for Twitter/X

Minimal Theme for Twitter / X

X (formerly known as Twitter) can be a slog to browse through, what with all its ads and promoted posts, trends you’re not interested in, unnecessary interface cruft, and other baggage. If you want a much more refined experience, the Minimal Theme for Twitter/X extension is a must.

It’s absolutely stuffed with customization options that allow you to tweak X to your needs. You can hide post view counts, decide what appears in the left sidebar (and how close to your timeline it’s located), change the font, remove the notification number in the window’s title, and so much more. It’s essential for frequent Twitter users.

Simple Tab Groups

Simple Tab Groups

These days, browsers like Apple’s Safari come with a tab-grouping feature that lets you switch between collections of tabs and keep them separate from each other. Firefox doesn’t do this natively, but you can get it anyway with the help of the Simple Tab Groups extension.

Tab groups are easy to create, but have a surprising amount of functionality. Tabs can be moved between groups, you can rename groups or restore them after deletion, and you can even create custom tab group gestures when you also install the Gesturefy extension.

Tab Session Manager

Tab Session Manager

Firefox can be set to reopen your previous tabs when you launch the browser, but it’s not a fail-safe method for getting back your windows. Crashes and other mishaps can prevent past sessions from loading properly, which can be particularly painful if you had lots of important tabs open that you now can’t access.

Tab Session Manager is a great way to hedge against this kind of calamity. It takes a snapshot of your open tabs at regular intervals (every 15 minutes by default), which is not only much more frequent that Firefox (which only saves tabs when you quit the browser), but also means you get many more choices for restoring past sessions. Add in its extensive customization options and you’ve got a real lifesaver of an extension.

Undo Close Tab

Digital Trends

Picture this: 30 minutes ago, you closed a tab, but you now realize you need it again. Except it’s been long enough that you can’t remember what the website’s URL was, and Firefox only lets you restore closed tabs one by one, with no way to quickly jump to one that was shuttered a long time ago. In cases like this, you might struggle to get that long-lost tab back.

But not with the Undo Close Tab extension. Instead of just opening the last closed tab — which overwrites anything closed before that — Undo Close Tab shows a list of 25 recently closed sites (you can change this number if you want), giving you far more options. You can access it by right-clicking the tab bar, anywhere on a webpage, or by pressing the toolbar button, too.

Shopping and finance

Fakespot

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When you’re shopping online, it’s essential to ensure you can trust the seller you’re buying from. But with the advent of fake reviews, it’s harder than ever to tell if a seller is genuine or not.

Fakespot ends the uncertainty. Whenever you visit a seller’s website, you’ll see a small pop-up letting you know if the site is reputable or if it has faced complaints and reports of bad behavior. On some sites such as Amazon, Fakespot also adds a little notice with a grade and star rating so you know at a glance if you should go ahead with your purchase. It can even analyze reviews to weed out the suspicious ones and give you a revised rating that more accurately reflects real people’s feedback.

Honey

Digital Trends

Everyone loves scoring some money off on purchases they make online, but if you don’t take the time to actively look for vouchers and coupons, you can miss out. Not so with Honey, as this extension has a vast repository of cash-saving codes ready to go. When you get to the checkout, Honey offers to automatically try any valid codes it knows about. It then applies the one that will give you the deepest discount, all in just a couple of seconds. It’s a great way to save money when you’re shopping online.

MetaMask

MetaMask

If you’re interested in cryptocurrencies, you’re going to need a wallet to store your coins and tokens. MetaMask is the most popular wallet on the market for the Ethereum blockchain, which covers a huge number of coins you might want to buy. It’s the best way to get started and keep your tokens safe.

But it’s not just for holding your investments. You can buy tokens using fiat currencies (such as dollars or euros) or trade them for other crypto coins, all from within MetaMask and without needing to use an exchange website. You can also view your portfolio, send coins to another wallet, bridge them onto a different blockchain network, and much more.

Searching

Disable Google Lens

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In the past, Google offered an excellent reverse image search tool. This allowed you to upload an image, then Google would see which websites used it and show you higher-resolution versions of it. This was hugely useful if you wanted to find a high-resolution photo or wallpaper, for example, or needed to see where your images were being embedded. Google then replaced this tool with Google Lens, which instead tries to identify what’s in the image. You could still use the original reverse image tool, but it was much harder to find.

Now, you can get it back with Disable Google Lens. As the name implies, this restores things to the old way of working, giving you back a handy tool to enhance your image searches.

Search by Image

Search by Image

Search by Image is an alternative to using Google’s reverse image search feature, and in many ways, it’s superior. Not only does it let you search using other providers, but you can do so right from the webpage you’re currently browsing, without having to go to Google first.

Using it is incredibly simple. Just right-click on an image, pick Search by Image from the context menu, select a provider, then watch as your search is carried out. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Video and audio

Enhancer for YouTube

Digital Trends

There are a surprising number of things you might want to adjust whenever you watch something on YouTube, from the playback speed and quality to the volume and website theme. Instead of having to tweak these things every time you visit, you can use Enhancer for YouTube to automate them so that your viewing experience is always perfectly tailored to you.

Enhancer for YouTube does more than just automate repetitive tasks, though. It lets you set your own themes and dark modes, use a mini player that sits on top of your other windows, control settings like speed and volume with your mouse wheel, and designate keyboard shortcuts for frequent actions. Using YouTube will feel a lot better with this extension in your back pocket.

SoundFixer

Digital Trends

Having trouble with audio on YouTube and other video websites? SoundFixer could be worth a shot. It takes aim at a range of pesky sound problems, from audio being too quiet or too loud to sound only playing through one speaker or earphone. It doesn’t work on every website, but it could be the difference between frustration and bliss when it does.

Video DownloadHelper

Video DownloadHelper

Sometimes, you might want to download a video to watch offline in order to save bandwidth. Or you may want to view it later when you know you won’t have internet access. Video DownloadHelper is ideal for situations like these. It gives you a simple way to save videos from a range of providers, all with just the click of a button.

You can extract audio from videos, convert videos to different formats, and download live streams, as well as more standard videos. It works on over 1,000 websites, too.

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