Lifehacker Pack for Firefox: Our List of Required Extensions
Firefox is still a strong browser, and as Chrome gets heavier than ever, many are turning to their old friend Firefox as an alternative. Plus, it still has one of the best, well tested extension libraries out there. Here are the essential Firefox extensions to help you take the web to your will.
Lifehacker Pack is an annual snapshot of our favorite and must-have apps for our favorite platforms. This list is the first package we made for Firefox.
Instapaper , Pocket or Readability
Chances are, you’ll come across so many links, blog posts, and news stories in a day that then you won’t be able to read them, especially when you’re trying to get the job done. Take advantage of the bookmarking and reading services later: Instapaper and Pocket are your two big opportunities in this arena, as is Readability, which still works and has a loyal following but hasn’t been updated in years. They all send those links to their respective services, remove ads and formatting from them, and provide you with an easy-to-read version that you can come back to later on any of your devices. Pocket is built into Firefox , and we really love Pocket, so you might not need another extension to get the job done.
Wunderlist is still one of our favorite to-do managers , and the Firefox extension makes it even better. With one click, you can save any web content directly to your to-do lists, perfect for making those to-do lists detailed and actionable . It’s fast, free, and flexible, and although Wunderlist was acquired by Microsoft last year, it still works as usual, and the Firefox extension was even updated in January 2016. For reference, my personal favorite is Todoist , which also has a Firefox extension if you’re looking for an alternative.
If you are installing any extension, install that. Have you ever written something in a browser window just to crash and lose all your work? Lazarus is your savior. Whenever you enter a form, Lazarus constantly saves what you are doing. If your browser crashes or you close a tab by accident, you can get that text back simply by right-clicking in the now empty text box on this page. You might think you don’t need it now, but when that fateful day comes, you’ll be glad you installed it.
If you’re an Evernote user and don’t already have Evernote Web Clipper, you should definitely install it. If you are using Evernote but not using the Web Clipper, you are missing out on one of the best uses for Evernote . However, if you’re an Evernote user who is more than a little confused by the recent price hikes and free account restrictions , Microsoft OneNote is feature- competitive and comes with its own web clipper that is well worth using.
Anyway, instead of just jotting down something in your notebook, Web Clipper lets you annotate an entire article, page, or section of a page so you don’t have to waste time. Then you can take notes for this article, save them with other related notes for the project, etc.
At least new hacks appear every week. Unfortunately, your cunning password tricks no longer work and the only secure password is one you can’t remember – which is why you need a password manager to keep them all in order. LastPass is our favorite, but Dashlane is another great, easy to set up and feature comparable alternative . Throwing all of your passwords into a password manager is not as difficult as it sounds: it will create secure passwords for you, log you in automatically, and you can very easily access them if you need to manually enter them yourself.
Both LastPass and Dashlane even have one-click tools to change compromised passwords – even if you don’t even go to the site to do so. Check out our LastPass guide to get started and alternatives if LastPass isn’t your speed. Of course, LastPass itself is not immune ( far from it , actually ), and it was recently acquired by LogMeIn (not that that changes anything), but it’s much better than trying to remember multiple passwords for multiple sites, or even Worse. addition, using the same password for multiple services.
Using HTTPS is one of the easiest ways to secure your web browsing and protect your credentials from theft. HTTPS Everywhere is simple : it forces your browser to use HTTPS on any site that supports it, so you never have to think about it (although you can whitelist certain sites if HTTPS Everywhere is causing problems, which can happen from time to time) … HTTPS Everywhere has been around for a while, but it receives regular updates to its rulesets and features. You can read more about this at EFF .
Look, here at Lifehacker we make money from advertising, but that doesn’t mean advertising is always good. Some sites have over-the-top ads that get in the way of hovering over text, while others have blatantly deceptive ads that make it difficult to find the Download Now button you’re really looking for. If you are tired of ads, then uBlock Origin (or AdBlock Plus) is the solution. We prefer uBlock Origin because it’s a leaner alternative that will save you precious RAM and still block ads (and tons of other scripts and other annoying memory-draining elements on the web) and it can use all of the lists and rules. which AdBlock Plus, which has been around for longer, can be used. On top of that, it gives you more options for whitelisting, filtering, and dynamically filtering items as you see fit.
Any of these will block ads on just about any page you come across (although we hope you whitelist the sites you want to support). It will also protect your online privacy , block other sections you want to hide (like YouTube comments ), and even block malware ( check out this post for everything it can do). Alternatively, you can prevent scripts from running on any page with NoScript – although we generally think this is more of a hassle than good, as it will break many of the sites you use.
Everyone is trying to track you online and Disconnect is the solution. Disconnect stops ad trackers, social widgets and other trackers before they load, speeding up your web browsing and preventing certain noses from getting into your web activity. A full desktop app goes a step further, including a VPN that blocks malware and adware , but the browser extension is powerful and light enough for most people. Some of you may be using a similar extension, Ghostery , but Disconnect is not so controversial , so we recommend it.
Whether you’re using Gmail, Outlook, or another webmail app, learning how to encrypt confidential messages is a must on the Internet today, and Mailvelope is an easy-to-use and simple extension that lets you do just that. It is based on the widely used and recognized PGP standard , and we have a complete guide to encrypting your email with it, including step-by-step instructions on how to set it up.
Greasemonkey and stylish
Sometimes you don’t need a full fledged extension to do what you want – sometimes all it takes is a small, well thought out script. They’re easy to set up, easy to learn to write, and give you complete control over how you surf the web. They often come in the form of Greasemonkey scripts and custom styles, whether they take out YouTube hassles , improve the latest version of Gmail, or organize your Netflix queue . Custom scripts require the Greasemonkey extension, and custom styles require stylish, so we recommend having both handy. Don’t worry, they won’t start and consume system resources until you actually need the script you installed.
There are many ways to fix your YouTube inconvenience, some of which we have already mentioned, but YouTube High Definition gives you tons of control beyond these tools. This one add-on gives you the ability to choose the resolution at which all your videos are downloaded (for example, I have set to always download videos at the highest resolution available), automatically play them, or never play them until you hit play. , auto mute and more. It extends HD video support to sites like Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter so you don’t have to manually change the resolution, lets you adjust the video size to fit your browser, can permanently disable annotations, and more. Best of all, even though some of these features are available as toggles on YouTube itself, watching an embedded video elsewhere begs the question if the video will obey your settings. YouTube High Definition makes sure they do it anytime, anywhere on the Internet.
Tab Mix Plus is one of those extensions that is so great that it’s the only thing that keeps some people on Firefox – and for good reason. It gives you complete control and customization of Firefox tabs , from duplicating tabs to managing tab focus, deciding what happens when you click on a tab, and more. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the huge settings page. This can negatively impact performance, but once you start using it, you wonder how you ever lived without it.
DownThemAll may have been around since the Stone Age, but it’s still one of the most important Firefox extensions (plus it’s only available in Firefox). It completely changes the way you download files: you can download all links, images or other objects on a web page, download files that match certain criteria with one click, automatically rename files, and even increase your download speed. While you’re at it, we also recommend using the VideoDownloadHelper – it will download videos from YouTube and other streaming sites directly to your computer.
Firefox can already sync your bookmarks and open tabs between your computers, but Xmarks is a much more fully featured sync solution, plus it can sync between Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer, which is important if Firefox isn’t the only browser (and we’ll bet that this is not true). You can create profiles (for example, “Work” and “Game”) and decide which of them to synchronize with which computers, get information about the site from the address bar and more. If you want more than Firefox’s sync service can do, it’s worth taking a look at.
When shopping online, you can almost always get a little discount with the right coupon or code. Honey automates this process by finding codes for the site you’re on and automatically applying them to your order, so you don’t have to do anything. This is the best way to automate your discounts so you always get the best price. If you prefer something with a little more control, coupons at checkout are a great alternative.
InvisibleHand is another important shopping extension that does one thing well: when you shop, it automatically searches the rest of the web to find a lower price for the product you’re viewing. If he finds a lower price on another site, he will let you know and you will always get the lowest price.
Computer hardware is expensive, so you always need to make sure you are buying it at the best price. Expanding Hover Hound compares prices for the equipment in Newegg, NCIX, and Amazon, simply by hovering the mouse cursor. You can also view price history and find out when prices were high and low for each seller. Hover Hound is a must for anyone who buys computer hardware on a regular basis, and it is regularly updated to download with new features. Its latest update, for example, gives Amazon customers the ability to sort by Prime component, and it also has a compatibility checker and price history tracker, so you get parts that work together at the best prices.
If you use Facebook, you’ve probably complained about Facebook before. Social Fixer is the only extension you need to make Facebook infinitely better by getting rid of nasty political posts , tracking people who remove you from friends , and much more . If you want an alternative, check out FB Purity , but the developers of Social Fixer point out that there is a pretty big update coming soon that we look forward to.