Favourite Firefox Extensions

I’ve been meaning to catalog these for a while now, so without further ado, here are my favourite Firefox extensions:

Adblock Plus blocks nearly all advertisements and popups automatically, but is also configurable to block images or just about any other content you want. My favourite use is when I’m browsing a particularly immature forum where people have offensive signatures (images they have uploaded to act as their signature); I can just right click on the image and use Adblock to block it. It keeps my screen uncluttered and clean.

All-in-One Gestures is highly programmable and allows you to use your mouse and a key combination (I click a button under my thumb on the mouse) to draw a “gesture” on the screen, which is then mapped to a command. Reloading tabs, opening new windows, or displaying cookies, they can all be programmed into Gestures.

BugMeNot isn’t officially hosted by Mozilla, but is pretty handy. If you get to a page where you have to login to see the content (a la some articles by the NY Times), just right click on the login box and select BugMeNot. It will query a database where people have entered accounts they have created in the past for just this purpose, then enter that account for login, thereby saving you the pain of creating a free account yourself.

Chromatabs is an aesthetically pleasing change to the tabs in Firefox, colouring the tabs either automatically or based upon your preferences. Tabs with a common domain (but not subdomain) are coloured alike, allowing for quick distinction between domains. Also, it’s pretty.

DownThemAll! is the best download management utility I have ever used. It often increases download speeds significantly (allowing you to download a file in as many as 10 pieces), can handle pausing and the like, and is both configurable and fairly silent. Compared to the standard Firefox download, it is wonderful, and is comparable to what Opera has built-in.

FireFTP is just a basic FTP client for Firefox, adding functionality that,while I would appreciate it be bundled with the browser, is excluded by Mozilla for some understandable reasons. If you don’t want to use a separate FTP program, install FireFTP.

Forecastfox Enhanced is a great weather plugin that displays the forecast in your status bar. My favourite feature is the built-in radar, which can be increased to 640×480 and animated.

Long Titles resolves a bug in Firefox that clips alternate text when you over an image with your mouse cursor. Normally in FF, to see this text, you would have to right click and go to properties (or switch to Opera or *shudder* IE), but Long Titles displays all of the alt text normally for you.

NoScript is a fantastic security addon that blocks all Javascript and other web scripting languages from being executed when you visit a page. The addon is also highly customizable, allowing whitelisting and the blocking of XSS. At work, I block pretty much everything to be safe, and this is always one of the first addons I install at a new computer.

Secure Login compliments the use of a master password (which you should always have if you use FF to store passwords) by entering the password in login fields a bit differently. Normally in Firefox, if you have your password saved for a page, upon double clicking on that field you’ll be prompted to login with your master password. After you give the master password, your login credentials are entered in the field and you can login. The downside is that FF does this by way of actually sending the characters to the login field and leaving it at that. Secure Login is similar to Opera’s wand feature and can log you into a site without entering the characters. This means that keyloggers can’t capture the passwords, and that nothing need be typed other than the master password and Alt+N. The upside is that, even if you have a keylogger installed on your machine, all a hacker could capture is your master password. Provided you use something different for all your accounts, they’d have to get physical access to your machine to find any useful information.

Tab Mix Plus is one I just discovered today, but it is the premier tab management addon, allowing you to lock, save, restore, and do a variety of other things to your tabs. It can also replace the standard Firefox crash recovery and is supposedly better at managing memory than FF’s normal tab/history/etc. saving and crash recovery.

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