In today’s fast-changing digital era, more and more people are spending a considerable amount of time on the internet and with its benefits comes a lot of distractions. Web browsers are one of the most important technologies that we use to navigate the internet and one of these web browsers is Google Chrome, which as of 2017 holds 57% of web browser market share.
Following is the list of some of the best google chrome extensions on a desktop that I think will help you navigate and use the internet more efficiently and in a meaningful way.
Overview: Internet is filled with spammy pop-up ads, unskippable ads, popup dialog box ads that you cannot cancel and all other types of intrusive ads. Ads are not inherently bad, they are important for business awareness and also the source of income for websites and creators. That is why use your brain to be selective in blocking ads. Finally, if you are going to use an adblocker, use an effective one and at the time of writing this article, it is uBlock Origin. Well, actually it’s much more than an “ad-blocker”.
What can it do: uBlock Origin extension can block scripts, tracking cookies, pop-ups, 3rd-party servers, all kind of ads, and any elements of a website such as a button or an autoplay video. It comes with good blocking filters but you can also create your own.
Why it’s better than other adblockers? It is open source, consumes less memory and CPU resources, has no financial ties to any ad industry, and has no ad whitelist enabled by default.
Overview: Whether you are a native English speaker or trying to learn English, this free Google dictionary extension for chrome is extremely useful. It provides words meaning, definitions and pronunciation of words.
What can it do: Next time you come by a difficult word just double-click it and without leaving the page, Google dictionary extension will show you a small pop-up box with the word meaning inside it. You can also hear the pronunciation of the word.
3Reddit Enhancement Suite
Overview: If you use Reddit on your desktop regularly and aren’t using Reddit Enhancement Suite, then you are missing on a lot of amazing features.
What can it do: Using Reddit Enhancement Suite extension on Chrome will enhance your Reddit experience. Some of the amazing features it includes but not limited to are Inline Image Viewer, Infinite scrolling, keyboard shortcuts to navigate more easily, user tagging and easily switching between multiple Reddit accounts.
4LastPass Password Manager
Overview: Remembering all your usernames, passwords, credit card and other information can be difficult sometimes. With LastPass you only have to remember one master password and all your usernames, passwords and all other types of information will be stored and encrypted on LastPass servers and accessible through all your devices.
What can it do: After adding LastPass chrome extension, it will automatically prompt you to add new logins to LastPass Vault. Next time you visit the same website again you will be able to log in by automatically filling in your username and password with one-click, which will save your time. It supports multiple logins on the same website. It can also store credit cards information and credentials that you want to store securely. All your information will be in sync and you’ll be able to access it from all your devices on which LastPass is installed.
Good Alternatives to LastPass: KeePassXC, 1Password
Overview: HTTPS Everywhere is an extension that is created by EFF and the Tor Project. It automatically redirects a lot of websites from insecure “http” to secure “https”. It does not blindly redirect all websites to https because sometimes http version is broken. That is why it only works for a huge list of websites that have HTTPS Everywhere Rulesets. However, most websites are now making https default on their website by adding Strict-Transport-Security (HSTS) header in their websites, which might make this extension not so useful in the future, but for now, you should have it.
What can it do: It automatically switches from insecure “http” to secure “https” on a lot of websites, protects you from SSL Strip attacks, surveillance and other types of censorships. You can also add custom rules.
Overview: Grammarly is a neat little extension that automatically proofreads your content and suggests you corrections. You can improve your written English and also check your content for plagiarism.
What can it do: It will proofread your content for you and give you suggestions based on more than 250 grammar rules, to improve your written content. You can also choose between British and American English.
Overview: Imagus is a time-saving extension that automatically enlarges images and videos when you hover over them with your mouse.
What can it do: Zooms images and automatically play videos on a lot of websites when you hover your mouse over a thumbnail or small image.
8Magic Actions for YouTube
Overview: This chrome extension is a little bloated but it has some good features that will improve your overall YouTube experience. Until YouTube natively supports all these features you have no other choice.
What can it do: It will let you set a default playback quality like 1080p or 720p etc, It has an option to always redirect to US Youtube version, It can be set to auto-replay all videos, it can block youtube ads and a lot of other features that you can turn on or off based on your preference.