Saying that there’s an overwhelming number of browser extensions would be an understatement. Regardless of which browser you use, there are thousands of extensions to choose from, and determining which are the best for you takes a lot of time and trial-and-error. For this list, I compiled seven extensions I use on a daily basis with a short description for each one.
A couple of things to note before moving on to the actual list. First, my browser of choice is Google Chrome, so all of the extensions are available for it. Second, while adding extensions to your browser gives more functionality, having too many can impact its performance. So try to be cautious when installing several extensions.
Grammarly is a free writing assistant. It uses AI to review your grammar as you type and gives you suggestions in real-time. You can use it for the online version of Google Docs, as well as on any other site where you can type. This includes everything from email to social media posts. There is a free plan that checks grammar, spelling, and punctuation which is probably enough for most people. You can upgrade to a paid version that also checks clarity, vocabulary, plagiarism, and tone.
This extension changes thousands of sites from the “HTTP” protocol to the secure “HTTPS” address. To put it more simply, it prevents surveillance and account jacking, a practice that still takes place regularly. This extension has been so important that most browsers have incorporated its functionality. Due to this, HTTPS Everywhere will be phased out at the end of 2022. Note that while most browsers have this functionality built-in, you might have to turn on this option in the settings. The best part about this extension is that you install it once and you forget about it.
This social bookmarking service lets you save articles so that you can read them later on any device. There are many use cases for Instapaper, but let’s say you are browsing the web and you come across a long-form article that you want to read later. You can use the “Instapaper” button on your browser to save it and that syncs it with several devices (the web version, your phone, and you can even convert it and email it to your e-reader of choice). You can read the articles you’ve saved whenever you feel like and the best part is that once your articles are saved, you can even access them offline. There are other services similar to Instapaper, but my favorite feature about this one is that articles are saved in such a way that all the graphics and menus are removed so that you can focus on reading.
If you want more functionality out of YouTube, this extension is for you. I mainly use Magic Actions to set YouTube to Auto HD. So I don’t have to see it go from terrible quality to 1080p at the beginning of each video. You can also stop auto-play, remove ads and auto-replay, switch to night mode, and more.
The Great Suspender suspends all the unused Chrome tabs to save memory and processing power. You can do this on a domain or URL basis, so let’s say you want to suspend all unused tabs with the exception of a tab where you have Google Docs open because you are writing a school project. If you’re anything like me and you keep dozens of open tabs when you’re doing research, The Great Suspender will definitely help.
This is an efficient blocker that doesn’t consume that much memory or CPU. Apart from blocking ads, uBlock also blocks tracking, as well as malicious URLs. You can easily blacklist and whitelist websites and you can also turn on all of these features with the turn of a button.
Who would have known that adding a simple extension to my browser could have changed my relationship with YouTube? I really like the video service, but it’s easy to waste time on YouTube instead of doing productive work. Enter Unhook, an extension that hides comments, lets you remove the left bar, turns of annotations, and autoplay. Its best feature? You can turn off the home feed and the recommended videos on the side. As a result, you’re no longer watching videos YouTube’s algorithm thinks you’re going to like. Instead, you’re encouraged to use the site more consciously and intentionally.
As I said before, there are thousands of extensions regardless of the browser you use. If you want to start 2022 ahead of the game though, some of the aforementioned extensions will prove to be quite useful. Although I did some research before posting this article, feel free to share the browser extensions I might have missed in the comment section down below.