9 Chrome extensions (and 1 Firefox extension) that should be ported to Microsoft Edge

Here are the third-party Chrome extensions that are must-haves for Edge.

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Move on over

Windows 10 comes with a new, default web browser called Edge. At first, it won’t have the ability to use extensions, but Microsoft says this functionality will appear in an update; and it will be compatible with Chrome’s extension architecture. So Chrome developers should, in theory, be able to port their extensions to Edge. So, which ones should be immediately brought over to the new Microsoft browser? Here are the third-party Chrome extensions that are must-haves for Edge.

ALSO: Review: Is Microsoft’s Edge browser ready for business?

Adblock Plus or uBlock
Adblock Plus or uBlock

Ad blocking extensions are controversial, of course, since they’re used to obstruct what may be a site’s only source of revenue. So Adblock Plus tries to come to a compromise by blocking what its developers deem as “annoying” ads, and letting through ones that are “unobtrusive.” But there can be other reasons for using an ad blocker: to provide another layer of protection against ads or pop-ups that may link to malware, and to enable you to block graphical elements on a badly designed site that distract or interfere with your viewing. A rising star among ad blocking extensions is uBlock, which has been designed to be lighter on a browser’s usage of CPU and memory.

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Disconnect

The developers of Disconnect claim their privacy-minded extension can speed up page-load times by as much as 27%. It displays in a graph the sites that are tracking your browsing and searching activity, and enables you to stop them from continuing their activity. (Disconnect recognizes over 2,000 sites that do this.) Thus, blocking such tracking should make pages load faster as you browse the web.

FireShot
FireShot

Edge already includes a built-in tool that lets you capture a screenshot of a web page, which you can then draw on or annotate with notes. The FireShot extension does these same things, but has more drawing features and versatility: You can export a captured page, with scribbles drawn and notes written on it, as an image file or PDF. (As of this writing, Edge in the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview cannot export captures of pages.)

Hover Zoom
Hover Zoom

With this extension, moving the pointer over a thumbnail (or a direct link) to an image will load either the original or a larger size of it -- floating over the page you’re looking at -- without you having to click to go to another page to see the original image. Hover Zoom will also play an animated GIF or video in WebM format that is linked to by its thumbnail; and, if a thumbnail leads to a photo album, this extension tries to preload all the photos so that you can flip through them, using the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard, or the scroll wheel of a mouse.

HTTPS Everywhere
HTTPS Everywhere

Many major sites have now implemented HTTPS to keep your browser’s communications with them more secure through encryption, but some don’t have this protocol fully deployed throughout their domain. For whatever reasons, they may default to unencrypted HTTP, or a page on it may contain links to HTTP addresses instead of HTTPS equivalents. HTTPS Everywhere, made jointly by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and The Tor Project, tries to keep your browsing activity on a site always connected through HTTPS, changing unsecure links to more secure ones if available.

LastPass
LastPass

This popular password manager is available for all five major browsers, so it’s a good bet there will be a version for Edge. Along with storing login IDs and corresponding passwords for sites you regularly visit, LastPass audits the strength of passwords you already have, and includes a tool to help you generate stronger passwords. It can also securely store your personal stats (name, address, birth date, email, phone numbers, Social Security), and banking and credit card numbers, so that any of this information can be automatically entered into form fields on a web page, like the kind you fill out when shopping an online store.

Lazarus
Lazarus

Speaking of online forms, how many times have you filled out one that had several entry boxes, only for something to go wrong when you try to submit it -- due to the network connection dropping out, some apparent fault from the site, or a mistake you made at your end? And then you have to go through the tedium of refilling all those boxes. Lazarus saves everything you enter in an online form, so you can recover this information if needed and let this extension re-enter them for you.

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Pocket

You click this extension’s icon to save the current link in the browser window to the Pocket servers, where you can access it from your user account landing page. If Pocket recognizes a link leading to an article, only the page’s main body of text is displayed in a simplified layout, making it easier to read; images and videos are also presented without the extraneous text and graphical elements that may surround them in their original web pages. Your curated links are synced to any mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) for which you’ve installed the Pocket app, so you can read or view them while on-the-go.

TinEye
TinEye

With this extension, you can right-click an image to see if copies of it show up elsewhere online, including: a larger resolution version, one that has not been modified (such as, if you want the source image that appears in a collage or meme), or, if you are the copyright owner, any sites using it without your permission. This extension pulls its results from the image search service TinEye. Chrome already has such a feature built-in, which uses Google’s own reverse image search. Microsoft could update Edge to do the same from their Bing image search, but a TinEye extension could still be helpful for providing additional results.

NoScript
NoScript

This is one of the most popular Firefox extensions with over 2 million users. It blocks JavaScript, Java, and other executable code from running, providing an added layer of security in case a site with malware that tries to hijack your browser or OS. It can also help speed up a slow-loading site. Of course, many sites use JavaScript or other code for legitimate purposes, such as banking and shopping, and won’t function properly if you disable their underlying executables. So, NoScript lets you whitelist sites that you trust. The developer of NoScript never created a version for Chrome. The most popular alternative for Chrome users has been ScriptSafe, but this extension hasn’t been updated in over a year. An extension unrelated to NoScript, Noscript Lite, has had a more recent update, with versions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera.