While Firefox remains a powerful browser, Chrome is becoming even heavier, but many people continue to look back at Firefox as the alternative. Of course, it also continues to have one of the best extension libraries in town. Below we will go over some of the most useful Firefox extensions for bending the web as you wish.
What is the Lifehacker Pack you ask? It is an annual snapshot of all our favorite extensions and applications for our favorite platform(s). Let’s get on to the first Lifehacker Pack for Firefox.
Pocket, Instapaper, or Readability
There is a good chance that you have come across so many interesting news stories, blogs and articles that you simply are not able to read them all at the moment, especially if you’re working. This is where the bookmark and read at a later time services are useful, such as Pocket and Instapaper, which are the two major options, with Readability a close third.
It still has a devoted following, even though it has not been updated for years. Each of these services send the links to their respective service, remove the ads, formatting and provides a readable version that you can return to when you have time, on any device.
Note: Pocket is built into Firefox already, so another extension may not even be needed.
Wunderlist continues to be in our top favorite to do list managers, with the Firefox extension this is only enhanced. You are able to save any content on the web with a quick click and send it right to a to-do list, this is great for making lists with actionable details. It is fast, flexible and free.
Microsoft took over Wunderlist last year, but continues to be business focused and even updated in January 2016. Although, an alternative is Todoist, which also has a Firefox extension.
If you are going to install any of these extensions, it should be this one. Have you ever written something within the browser window, then it crashed and all your work was lost? Well, Lazarus will be your lifesaver here, as it constantly saves what you’re doing when typing in forms.
If the browser crashes for some reason, or the window accidentally gets closed, you will be able to right click the text box on the page and get the text back. While you may not think it’s a feature you need now, when the day comes this happens you will be happy to know you installed it.
OneNote Web Clipper or Evernote Web Clipper
If you use Evernote, but don’t have the Evernote Web Clipper, it’s a must have and you are missing out on one of the best features of Evernote. Although, if you are a user that’s been recently put off by the price increase and free account restrictions, an alternative is Microsoft OneNote. It also has a web clipper extension.
Either way, rather than simply writing down notes in a notebook, Web Clipper allows you to save the whole page, article or section of the page to the notes to save you time. You are then able to make notes regarding the article, then save it with related notes and so on.
Dashlane or LastPass
There is a new hack at least weekly, suddenly your password tricks no longer work and the only password which works is something you cannot remember. This is the reason you have a password manager, to keep things in order. When it comes to password managers, LastPass is one of our favorites, but Dashlane is a great alternative and simple to get set up while providing similar features.
Also, adding passwords into the manager is not that challenging and it creates passwords that are secure and automatically logs you in. You are able to access them easily if manual entry is required.
Both Dashlane and LastPass has more tools for changing compromised passwords in a single click, and you don’t even need to go to the site to get it done. LastPass was taken over by LogMeIn and is not invulnerable itself, but it is still much better than having to remember various passwords for multiple sites, or even worse, using the same password for different sites.
If you are looking for an easy way to secure your web browsing, using HTTPS is one of the easiest methods and it helps to keep your credentials protected from being stolen. HTTPS Everywhere is not only simple, it forces the browser to use HTTPS if the site you’re on supports it, meaning you won’t have to think about it.
There is also the option of whitelisting specific sites if there are any issues, which can happen occasionally. While HTTPS Everywhere has been here a while, it gets feature updates often.
If you want to prevent being tracked while on the web, Disconnect is your tool. It eliminates social widgets, ad trackers and various other tacking elements prior to loading, which also results in faster page loading.
This goes even further with the full desktop app, including adware and malware blocking VPN. However, the extension is strong enough for the majority of people, and it is lightweight too. There may be some using Ghostery’s extension, which is similar, but we recommend disconnect as it does not have the controversy around it.
It does not matter if you use Outlook, Gmail, or other webmail apps, you should learn to encrypt sensitive emails and that is where Mailvelope comes in. It is a simple and easy extension that allows you to do just that. It is built around the popular PGP standard.
Stylish and Greasemonkey
There are times when you won’t need a full extension to do want you’re wanting, there are times when all you need are well placed scripts. These are simple to install, learn to write, and provides full control over how you experience the web.
These often come in the form of Userstyles and Greasemonkey scripts, no matter if you are enhancing the newest Gmail iteration, fixing YouTube annoyances, or organizing the Netflix queue. The Greasemonkey extensions required by Userscripts, while Userstyles needs Stylish. We suggest installing both as they do not consume system resources or run until you’re needing to install a script.
YouTube High Definition
There are many ways to correct YouTube annoyances, some of these ways have been mentioned, but this is another method that provides you control over the other tools. YouTube High Definition provides the ability to determine the resolution of all videos, such as always loading at the highest available resolution, never play or auto-play, auto mute, and much more.
Also, HD video support is extended for sites such as Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter without manually changing the resolution. You can control he video size for fitting the browser, while disabling annotations, etc. The best feature may be when viewing embedded videos, it ensures they also obey your settings.
Tab Mix Plus
This extension is considered by some to be the holy grail of extensions, and keeps many people using Firefox. It provides you full customization and control over Firefox tabs, from controlling tab focus, duplicating tabs, choosing what happens when clicking tabs, and so on. It also has a massive settings page where you can set it all up, but it can have adverse effects with performance. Once you start to use it, you are going to wonder how you survived without it.
Video DownloadHelper and DownThemAll
While DownThemAll has been here for a long time, it remains one of the more essential extensions for Firefox, and it is only available for Firefox. It will change the entire process of downloading files, you will be able to download links, objects, images, download files that match specific criteria with a single click, auto-rename files, or boost download speeds.
We also suggest getting Video DownloadHelper while you’re at it, as it will download YouTube videos and various other streaming sites straight to your PC.
While Firefox can sync bookmarks by default while opening tabs between computer and devices, Xmarks allows you a feature rich syncing alternative, and it is able to sync between IE, Chrome and Safari too, which can be helpful for those that use several browsers.
You are also able to create profiles, such as ‘Play’ and ‘Work’, while deciding what to sync to certain computers, getting information regarding sites from the address bar and much more. If you’re wanting more than the default Firefox Sync, this is worth giving a try.
When shopping online, you can usually find a little discount using the correct code or coupon. Honey helps to automate the process as it searches the web for any discount coupons or codes for the site you are on, and applies them automatically to the order, that way you won’t have to do anything. This is by far the best way for automating discounts at checkout, but if you are looking for something with a bit more control, Coupons at Checkout is another option.
This is another useful extension for online shoppers that auto-searches the web to locate lower prices on products you are viewing. If a lower price is found from another site, it will alert you so you can always get the lowest price.
Because computer hardware isn’t cheap, you want to be sure you always get the best price. With the Hover Hound extension, you are able to compare prices of hardware between Amazon, Newegg and NCIX just by hovering the mouse. You will also be able to see price history from their lowest and highest level from each seller.
This extension is a must for anyone that often purchases computer hardware online, and it gets updated often to provide new features. The most recent update brought Amazon customers the ability for sorting Prime-eligible products with a compatibility checker, and price history tracker.
If you’re a Facebook user, you likely complained at some point about Facebook. Well, Social Fixer is an extension that allows you improve your Facebook experience as it eliminates obnoxious posts, tracks those that unfriend you, and many other things. If you’re looking for an alternative, FB Purity is another option, but developers from Social Fixer are saying a large update is soon coming.