Whether you are researching an essay, submitting an assignment, or simply browsing Facebook, modern college students spend hours each day using the internet. Surprisingly, however, many students are still using their browsers default configuration.
In todays post, we explore seven of the most important browser add-ons for Firefox.
This is almost always the first add-on I install new computers. Adblocker Plus automatically removes most advertisements for a cleaner, more efficient web browsing experience. In addition, it also provides an option to manually block most images and other page elements for the rare occasions when the automatic function misses an advertisement. If you ever dont want advertisements blocked for some reason, you can easily select to disable Adblocker completely or simply for one site.
This tool is particularly useful for college students. Since both our work and leisure activities are easily accessible from a computer, it can often be easy to get distracted from our studies. Thanks to this plugin, however, you can quickly set your browser to block the tempting websites during your study sessions. Additionally, you can also change your settings to only limit the amount of extra browsing, such as only five minutes per hour.
After hours of researching and writing, you probably dont want to spend much time compiling your bibliography page. Thankfully, Zotero will help speed up the process. As you research online, you can use Zotero to replace the old three by five note card system. Using tags and searches you can sort your sources and easily import the proper citations to Word or OpenOffice. When working on a class project, you can collaborate over Zotero to share your notes.
This versatile add-on provides a number of useful improvements, including faster downloads and options to download videos. My favorite feature, however, is the Google search modification. Normally, researching in Google involves repeatedly clicking through to the next page to see more results. FastestFox changes this so that the next page automatically loads as you scroll down (much like the scrolling in Facebook).
Security. We all know its important, but we often ignore it until after it has been compromised. After all, creating secure passwords sounds good, but remembering those passwords is a different story. While saving passwords in Firefox is definitely not a new solution, the default password saving feature has a few crucial problems. For instance, anyone using your computer (if you lose it or someone gains remote access) can easily view and download all your passwords and usernames within a matter of seconds. LastPass not only makes your passwords more secure, but it also allows you to automatically fill forms and gives options to save other data, such as security question answers.
As college students, we are always looking for the best deals. Shopping online makes this fairly simple already, but the InvisibleHand add-on takes simplicity to the next level. When you visit a product page, their software automatically checks the pricing on other websites (including eBay, Amazon, and dozens more) to find the best price. Although their results dont recognize all the factors in pricing (such as free shipping on Amazon Prime), this unobtrusive addition greatly quickens the comparison process.
Just as LastPass improves your password storage security, this add-on works to keep your password and other information secure when you sign in. As you probably have heard, many websites including Google and Facebook have options to force https, or make sure your connection is secure. Adjusting this for every site you visit, however, is too much of a hassle. Developed by the Tor Project and Electronic Frontier Foundation, HTTPS Everywhere automatically make your internet browsing secure on thousands of the most popular websites.
If you have never installed an add-on before, the process is really quite simple:
- Click the link to the download page
- Select the download button
- Confirm the installation
- Restart Firefox
Its that simple!
What are your favorite plugins?