15 Must-Have Firefox Add-Ons
Looking to keep up with your favorite blogs, news sites, and other fast-changing information resources? You need an RSS reader, which grabs feeds in RSS formats, then lets you browse through and read only what you want. Sage-Too, an update of the venerable Sage reader, makes subscribing to, managing, and reading RSS feeds exceptionally easy. When you're on a page with an RSS feed, click a button, and Sage will find the feed for you and subscribe to it.
The reader itself is very slick, and displays the feeds inside Firefox, including graphics. You'll see a summary of each posting; to get to the full posting, click it. It is also easy to reorganize and automatically update your feeds. Plenty of display options exist, as well.
Download Sage-Too | Price: Free
Google may be the best search tool on the planet, but it's still missing a very useful feature--the ability to preview a site before you visit it. A simple text listing and site description usually isn't enough.
Google Preview adds such a previewing capability to Google search results by displaying a thumbnail image of each site to the left of its description. That way, you can better see whether it's a site you want to go to. The add-on also offers site thumbnails when you search using Yahoo.
Download Google Preview | Price: Free
If you're a big user of Google (and face it, who isn't?), you'll want to install this add-on. It customizes Google in just about any way you could imagine, and no doubt in many ways you couldn't. For starters, it will block Google's ads as well as Google analytic cookies (some people believe these cookies invade their privacy). Additionally, it anonymizes your Google user ID.
That's just the beginning, though. The extension adds links in your Google search results to other search engines, such as Yahoo and Ask.com, among others. It will also filter out search results from Web sites known to be spammers, and it will let you customize not just Google, but its various sites and features such as Gmail and Google News. In short, if you're a Google user and want to tweak the way Google works, make sure to download this one.
Download CustomizeGoogle | Price: Free
The FTP file transfer protocol, one of the earlier ways of transferring files on the Internet, has plenty of life in it. Since many ISPs these days limit the size of files you can transfer via e-mail, FTP remains a very effective way of sharing files.
Normally, you shouldn't try using your browser to transfer files via FTP--that's not what browsers are built for. But with FireFTP, you get the best of both worlds with a full FTP client right within Firefox itself. It has plenty of useful features, including the ability to compare directories and subdirectories, keeping directories in sync, and automatically reconnecting and resuming file transfers.
You may become somewhat confused the first time you use the program. Don't expect to type in an FTP location into the Firefox address bar and get FireFTP to work, because it won't. Instead, you have to first open FireFTP by choosing Tools, FireFTP. Then create a new account for each FTP site from a button on the top left-hand side of the screen. After that, it's all straightforward.
Download FireFTP | Price: Free
Download NoScript | Price: Free