5 Cool Add Ons for Firefox 5

Are you a Firefox user? Do you want to make pesky ads disappear, manage your passwords better or view photos and videos in 3D? Bill Snyder of CIO.com highlights his favorite fun and free browser add ons that will work on both Firefox 5 and 4.

By Bill Snyder
Mon, July 11, 2011

CIO — I was just getting used to the excellent version 4 of Mozilla's Firefox browser when those wild and crazy coders rolled out version 5 after just three months.

Version 4 was a huge leap forward from 3.6 and when it came out, I recommended it for its many new features, particularly the way it allows users to group tabs. Version 5 doesn't break a lot of new ground from the user's point of view, but it's solid and has some good stuff under the hood to make it more stable and developer friendly.

Like other versions of Firefox, many of the best goodies are contained in add ons, little programs that run within your browser. One problem with releasing versions so quickly is that it will take a while for developers of the add ons to make whatever changes are necessary for their apps to be compatible with the new browser.

Not all add ons that worked with 4 will work with 5, though many will and even more will work again in the future. For now, I've tested a number of my favorite add ons (plus some new ones) and picked five that will work on Firefox 5 as well as Firefox 4. All of these add ons are free.

If you install an add on and decide you don't want to keep it, uninstalling it is easy. Simply go to "tools" then "add ons" and then look for an icon labeled "extensions." When you click it, you'll see a list of your add ons and you can disable or remove them from there.

Google Shortcuts

Even though I tend to use Firefox rather than Chrome these days, that doesn't mean I don't use Google (GOOG) services. In fact, I use quite a few. I really like this handy little add on. You can use it to display any of the dozens of Google services as buttons or as a space-saving dropdown menu next to your address bar. There are so many services to choose from in the settings menu box that you'll probably learn about some you'd never heard of.

Adblock Plus

I'm not the worst dressed guy in town, but Gucci? I don't think so. So I wasn't sorry to see the Gucci ad at the top of the New York Times page disappear after I installed Adblock Plus.

This little add on doesn't do anything until you customize it. It can see everything a Web page attempts to load but it doesn't know whether this attempt should be blocked. That's when you need filters — filters will tell Adblock Plus what should be blocked. Usually, you won't create filters yourself. Instead you will add a filter subscription that is maintained by somebody else. If there's a page with ads you'd like to see, you can set Adblock Plus not to function on that page.

Continue Reading

Our Commenting Policies