We tend to think of extensions as an add-on, that might bring some marginal improvement to our user experience of the Google Chrome Browser. While using the word “Extensions” might be technically correct, they can make a big difference to our web user experience. They can supercharge your web browsing experience, and improve your productivity at the same time.
In this article, we are going to look at the best chrome extensions that we believe are the best out there, and worth exploring by users. The upsides of these extensions included lower memory usage, improved task management, better email management, and increased security while browsing. The extensions discussed below are some of the best chrome extensions available on the Chrome Web Store.
HTTPS Everywhere is a chrome extension created by EFF and the Tor Project which automatically switches thousands of sites from insecure “HTTP” to secure “HTTPS”. It will protect you against many forms of surveillance and account hijacking, and some forms of censorship. It can also break some pages. If it happens, then you need to disable it for that particular page.
CHECKER PLUS FOR GMAIL
Gmail is the de facto choice for free email amongst the current generation of users, leaving Yahoo, Hotmail, and other email providers far behind. And most users typically have more than one Gmail ID. You may have one for personal use, one for business, and maybe even one for use as a login for all websites and transactions. In short, a single user is more than likely to have multiple Gmail IDs. To check all these email IDs, you probably need to keep a tab open for each email or configure a web or a desktop client to check all of them and show it to you through a single interface.
Enter Checker Plus for Gmail. With this extension, your world of multiple email inboxes just got simpler. The extension manages multiple inboxes, and auto-detects any signed in Gmail accounts on installation. You can get notifications, read, delete any email without opening Gmail in a tab. The tool has a number of features and options that can be configured just the way you want.
And not to forget, you can even opt to run this in the background even when Chrome is closed. Every mail is shown in a popup email preview window, where you can read, archive and delete without having to leave your current tab and go to the Gmail tab. New features are constantly being added, based on user feedback.
A tab management tool is probably the most important Chrome extension you could install on your computer. We are all voracious consumers of information from the web, and at any given time we are quite likely to have a number of tabs open in the browser. That’s great for us, but not so great for memory consumption, with a negative impact on speed. That’s where a tab management tool comes into the picture, and OneTab is one of the more popular tools available.
With OneTab installed, you can convert all your open tabs in a window into a list by clicking on the OneTab icon. OneTab can also convert all tabs across multiple windows into a single list, and it will keep track of the windows and its tabs. When you need it, you can restore specific tabs or all the tabs in a window. Neat, huh. This helps you manage your browser tabs efficiently and reduces the clutter. More importantly, it reduces the memory consumed by reducing the number of open tabs.
THE GREAT SUSPENDER
The Great Suspender as the name suggests, basically suspends or unloads tabs that are not active or in use for a set period of time. You can configure the time duration, set options for active or pinned tabs and whitelist URLs or domains. You can come out of suspended mode, by just refreshing the page and it will load the tab again. In a way, you could call this automatic tab management, but with the goal of saving memory, and reduce CPU being consumed by the tabs.
A pretty handy extension for any user who tends to have a lot of tabs open at any given point of time, but does not want to be penalized with memory and CPU usage.
EVERNOTE WEB CLIPPER
Evernote Web Clipper is a clipping tool with which you can clip articles or entire web pages to your Evernote account and access it across all your devices where Evernote is installed. You can clip items to separate notebooks or assign tags. You can highlight and share clips via email or URLs. An extremely handy tool if you like to be well organized and record information in a structured manner, and access them across devices.
Wikiwand is basically a modern version of Wikipedia. What it does is, take the fantastic content on Wikipedia and showcase it the user in a new interface with a cleaner layout, new typography, larger photos, multi-language search and personalization features. It works by replacing links to Wikipedia articles with links to the same article on Wikiwand.
This might not be for everyone, especially those who browse a lot and enjoy the visual aspect of browsing. The Text Mode tool loads any website without any images, videos, or animation. What this means is your pages are lighter and load faster. It also means that there are lesser distractions to the eye and more focus on the content. This is definitely worth considering if you have a slow connection.
LastPass is not just another password manager. It is what they like to call a vault, with all your data stored only on your device, and not transmitted over the Internet to any server. The LastPass vault is capable of storing passwords, important personal notes, addresses, documents, payment methods like credit cards, and even bank accounts. Access to the vault information is controlled via a master password set by you and backed with Two Factor Authentication if you choose to enable it. You can also create separate identities, let’s say one for Home and one for Work, and tag the vault information accordingly.
The extension also comes with an inbuilt password generator based on criteria selected (Uppercase, Lowercase, symbol, length, etc). In short, this extension can simplify the challenge of maintaining and remembering online passwords for every website you access, as well as important personal information.
If you are not already familiar with Google Keep, then it’s time to get familiar with it. it is essentially a note capturing service, developed by Google and released in 2013. A digital version of a Post It Note, with obviously more capabilities. Installing this Chrome extension of Google Keep allows you to make notes including simple text or a list, images, and record audio. You can also configure reminders, color-code your notes, and collaborate with other users in real-time all from your desktop.
The tool synchronizes with Google Keep on your iOS or Android mobile phones, giving you the ability to take notes using the tool across platforms and sync them, so they are with you always.
Grammarly, as the name suggests, is essentially a spelling and grammar checking tool. In short, it makes you a better writer. With this extension, you can check your emails, social media posts, blog posts, and text you write using the web interface. It is one of the more popular Chrome extensions out there, and is a must-try. Communication is key in today’s connected world, and getting it right can only do good.
If you have used Chrome Extensions, and think you know a great one that is not on the list here, then let us know in the comments, and we will check it out.