Sunday, July 02, 2006

Why Firefox Is My Browser Of Choice!

First off, I have a Macintosh so the most common choice of browser for Mac OS X is Apple's Safari but that has problems with some websites - see my earlier Which Internet Browser? post for information on the more commonly used Macintosh browsers.

There are other browsers out there for Macs but Firefox does it for me for one main reason, extensibility and cross platform compatibility. Okay that's two reasons but the list could be larger. Some of Firefox innovations, such as tabbed browsing, popup blocking and integrated searching have been picked up by Safari and others but it's still the leader in those fields. Here are some extensions that I find useful...

Adblock PlusAdblock Plus - Ever been annoyed by all those ads and banners on the internet that often take longer to download than everything else on the page? Install Adblock Plus now and get rid of them. Select the content you want to block or use filters with wildcards or even regular expressions to block complete banner factories.

Adblock Filterset.G UpdaterAdblock Filterset.G Updater - A companion extension to Adblock and Adblock Plus that automatically downloads the latest version of Filterset.G every 4-7 days. Filterset.G is an excellent set of filters that blocks most ads on the internet. - Integrates your service and allows you to easily add to and access your tagged pages. is probably the best known, free social bookmarking service and is basically a collection of favourites - yours and everyone else's.

DownThemAllDownThemAll - A free extension that lets you download all the links or images contained in a webpage and much more: you can refine your downloads by fully customizable criteria to get only what you really want.

FasterFoxFasterfox - Firefox is already a very fast browser but why not make it even faster! Fasterfox is a performance enhancer that can speed up network and page rendering by tweaking many network and rendering settings such as simultaneous connections, pipelining, cache, DNS cache, and initial paint delay. If desired, it can also pre-fetch and cache all the links on the page you're viewing or even block Flash initiated popups.

FoxMarksFoxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer - While the current trend is to use social bookmarking services like and LookSmart's Furl, everyone still uses the built-in browser bookmarks for sites they visit regularly. However, if you use more than one machine, say at home and work, then you'll find this a wee gem. It's a free service that can synchronize your browser bookmarks on any system that you have Firefox installed on. To facilitate this, your bookmarks are stored online and even if you end up using a system without Firefox installed, you can still access them by logging into your account.

Google CalendarGoogle Calendar Notifier - Monitors your Google Calendar and notifies you of upcoming events. Google Calendar is a free online shareable calendar service. With Google Calendar, it's easy to keep track of all your life's important events – birthdays, reunions, sporting events, doctor's appointments, etc. – all in one place.

Google NotebookGoogle Notebook - A really useful free service that lets you take text clippings, images, links, etc. while browsing and saves them to an online notebook. Great for research or when moving between systems at work and home and you can even share your notes.

VideoDownloader - Ever tried to save or download a multimedia item from a page you're viewing and simply can't seem to get at it? Well, VideoDownloader can download videos from Youtube, Google, Metacafe, iFilm, Dailymotion and over 60 other video sites! It can even cope with all embedded objects on a webpage such as movies, MP3s, Flash, Quicktime, etc. directly!

There are hundreds more extensions available, just have a look at Firefox Add-ons. There are also extra search engines to plug into the integrated search facility and loads of themes for anyone needing a new look as they browse.

Originally posted to The Jumbled Box on 12/6/2006

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